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What Happens If You Put Too Much Developer Into Your Dye?

What does the Developer do when I mix it with the Color?

  • The developer is essentially hydrogen peroxide in a cream base.
  • It helps open the hair cuticle and activate the hair color.

Which Developer Strength Should I Use? 

  • Use 10 Vol for level on level coloring and tone-down
  • Use 20 Vol for 1-2 levels lift
  • Use 30 Vol for 2-3 levels lift
  • Use 40 Vol for 3 levels lift and more.
  • Whatever strength you use, the mix stays the same.
  • People sometimes think they can put in more developer to achieve greater lift. Not true. 
  • If your hair is too dark and you want to lift a lot, first vary the developer strength as above.
  • If that does not give you the lift you are looking for, the answer is to use high lift color or bleach, not add in more developer!

What is the Right Mix Ratio for Ugly Duckling Color, Toner & Bleach?

  • The recommended mix ratio for Ugly Duckling Color is 1 part color to 1 part developer for most of our colors.
  • The recommended mix ratio for Ugly Duckling Toners (Intense Pearl Blonde, Intense Silver Blonde, Pearl Blonde Toner, Silver Blonde Toner) is 1 part color to 2 parts developer.
  • The recommended mix For Ugly Ducking High Lift Colors (anything beginning with the number 100) is also 1 part color to 2 parts developer.
  • The recommended mix for Ugly Duckling Bleach (Brilliant Blonde), is 1 part Brilliant Blonde to 2 parts color.

How Should I Get the Color & Developer Ratio Right?

  • If you are new to coloring, use weighing scales. Set the scale to zero with an empty coloring bowl on it.
  • Then add in your color into the bowl and weigh again, so you know exactly how much you have out in. 
  • Do the same when you add in the developer.
  • You can also measure color off of the percentage of tube squeezed. For example, Ugly Duckling color tubes contain 3.5 oz.
  • So if you are using a whole tube of Ugly Duckling color, you need 7 oz of developer. (1:1 ratio)
  • If you are using a whole tube of Ugly Duckling toner or high lift color, you need 14 oz of developer (1: 2 ratio)

What Happens If I Put Too Much Developer In The Dye?

  • Your mix will be more wet, more runny. 
  • If it is way too runny, you may end up lightening the hair, but not depositing enough color. It will end up thinner, flatter and last less long.

Are There Any Cases Where it is a Good Idea to Deliberately Put in Extra Developer?

  • Putting in more developer will give you a runnier solution.
  • This is helpful when you want to saturate the hair (cover the hair with product) really really well and evenly. You will get a more even color result and you will tend to avoid patches.This is particularly important in full head applications.
  • A runnier solution will allow you to work fast. This may be an important factor when your client's hair is long and you want to give all the hair the same processing time roots to ends.
  • Very often, expert colorists tend to go with a runnier solution for the above reasons. Many of the artists who produce video tutorials for Ugly Duckling do actually use fairly runny mixes (See below)
  • Even when going with a runnier solution, aim at a maximum mix of 1:1.5 for Ugly Duckling Color and 1:2.5 mix for Ugly Duckling Lighteners (Brilliant Blonde) and toners. Any more and you may be compromising color results.

What Happens If I Put Too Little Developer in The Dye?

  • Your mix will be too dry, and you won't be able to saturate the hair properly with product and you may also get uneven and patchy color results.
  • You will not be lifting out enough of the hair's natural melanin.
  • This will mean you may end up with darker hair than you wished for.

Are There Any Cases Where it is A Good Idea to Deliberately Put in Too Little Developer?

  • It will help if you want to do a balayage technique (free painting with dye brush) and you want to position the color accurately and not have any product dripping off the brush.
  • Balayage artists tend to work with thicker color mixes. This helps avoid putting on too much product in one go and thus avoid visible lines of demarcation.
  • It will also help if you are looking to do grey hair coverage and your client has difficult to cover grey hair. You will get a darker color result, but you will be able to improve grey hair coverage.
  • Even when going for a less runny solution, aim at a minimum mix of 1:0.8 for Ugly Duckling Color and 1:1.5 mix for Ugly Duckling Lightener (Brilliant Blonde) and toners.

Watch Some Videos of How To Mix Ugly Duckling Color with Developer:

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Intense Pearl Blonde 100.21
Intense Silver Blonde 100.20
Pearl Blonde Toner
Small Purple Shampoo
20 Vol. Developer
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