What hydrogen peroxide is used for dyeing

Qué agua oxigenada se usa para teñir

While yesterday I talked about the peroxide used in bleaching, today I tell you what hydrogen peroxide is used to dye hair, depending on the effect we want to achieve.

This post interests you if you are using a dye for professional use that does not come with hydrogen peroxide.

When we buy a supermarket or drugstore dye, the dye comes with hydrogen peroxide. They never usually indicate on the packaging the number of volumes, but it is usually 20 unless you say otherwise.

However, if we use a dye bought in a hairdressing commercial (or even on Amazon or wherever) we will have the bottle alone and we will need to use hydrogen peroxide to apply it. Surely if you are reading this you already know, but it never hurts to clarify it.

To make you see the difference better, Olia de Garnier dye is an example of a supermarket dye, and Igora Royal dye from Schwarzkoft is a professional hairdressing dye.

If what you think is to dye yourself at home and do not know whether to use hydrogen peroxide of 20 or 30 volumes (or even another), read on. Depending on the color you want to achieve and the state of your hair you must choose between one water or another.

In stores specializing in hairdressing we can find hydrogen peroxide of 10, 20, 30 and 40 volumes.

What does hydrogen peroxide do in the dye?

Let’s start with the basics to better understand why to use one water or another. Hydrogen peroxide is a necessary part of the coloring process. Hydrogen peroxide or hydrogen peroxide acts as a dye activator. What it does is open the cuticles of the hair and make the color penetrate and not go away.

When we apply the mixture of dye and hydrogen peroxide, what happens is that hydrogen peroxide enters the hair cuticle, releases oxygen and thanks to this the color pigments are permanently fixed on the hair.

What is the ratio of hydrogen peroxide to tincture?

For a dye we must use the same proportion of dye as oxygenated. That is, a measure of dye by one of hydrogen peroxide. What we normally see represented as 1:1 in hairdressing.

As I told you in the article about what hydrogen peroxide to use for bleaching, if we mixed hydrogen peroxide with bleach, in this case the ratio would be 1 measure of bleaching agent to 1.5 of peroxide.

The reason is that in that case our priority is to lighten many tones, not to apply a specific tone of color (for that later we will have to nuance the wicks).

However, to mix a dye, the ratio of dye to hydrogen peroxide is 1 to 1.

How much oxygenated for 60 ml dye?

For a 60 ml dye, the standard size, we will need 60 ml of hydrogen peroxide.

For half a tube of dye, how much hydrogen peroxide, then? Well, if a bottle is 60 ml normally and we have only half, we will need that measure for water too (30 ml).

We will always need the same amount of ml of hydrogen peroxide as dye to make the mixture.

Unmixed dye with hydrogen peroxide

What happens if I apply a dye without putting hydrogen peroxide? Without hydrogen peroxide, the dye would not fix and we would not achieve lasting effects.

As I mentioned before, hydrogen peroxide is good for two things. First, it serves to open the cuticle and allow the color to be fixed. Without hydrogen peroxide, the color is not fixed. The dye fulfills the function of providing the color molecules in the hair. But in order for dye molecules to be deposited in the hair we need to use hydrogen peroxide. The color could, in certain cases, be applied, but would disappear in a few washes.

Secondly, hydrogen peroxide serves to lighten the hair and allow the hair color to be changed to a lighter one. If we use a dye without hydrogen peroxide we will not be able to lighten the hair at all.

This is why semi-permanent dyes (those that do not carry hydrogen peroxide) are temporary and do not serve to lighten the hair.

What if I put less hydrogen peroxide in the dye?

As you can imagine, if without hydrogen peroxide we can not clarify and we can not set the little color we apply, if we throw only a little hydrogen peroxide we will begin to see that the hair levanata a little tone and color can last somewhat.

However, this practice is not recommended. If we want acceptable results we must use the normal ratio of dye and perioxide, which is 1 to 1. Any measure below that is not going to guarantee us anything.

What hydrogen peroxide is used for dyeing?

The hydrogen peroxide to dye will depend on the effect we want to achieve. The volume of the product you choose when you dye your hair will determine how light or dark the color will look.

As I told you, one of the two functions of hydrogen peroxide is to lighten the hair. The more we have to clarify, the more volumes we will have to use.

10-volume hydrogen peroxide for hair dyeing

What is 10-volume peroxide used for? Well, this type of hydrogen peroxide is used for dark colors mainly. Why? Because we do not need to lighten, the function of peroxide when we apply a dark dye, (dark brown or black) is simply to make the color permanent. Nothing else.

The water of 10 is also used for hair with few gray hairs that want to dye dark. The reason is that the gray hair has no color, so it is not necessary to lighten, it is only necessary that the color is permanent.

As 10-volume water to dye the hair I would definitely recommend the Igora Royal Color from Schwarzkoft. The reason is that it helps to fix the color pigments very well. And when we are applying a water of 10 we are usually working only the color, not the rinse. That’s why this Schwarzkoft seems to me the best option:

20-volume hydrogen peroxide for dye

The 20-volume peroxide lightens hair more than the 10-volume peroxide and is the most standard hydrogen peroxide. The one they sell in common supermarket dyes. Normally you can lighten up to 4 shades, but if the hair is very dark the color result will not be the best.

That is, if you have dark brown hair and you apply a supermarket 11.1 with water of 20, yes, it will lighten you a little, but it will be orange. And you’re certainly not going to get to the gorgeous Nordic blonde that comes in the box.

Hydrogen peroxide of 20 volumes (6%) covers gray hair well, not because it clarifies, but because it fixes the color better than water of 10.

To use as water of 20 volumes for a dye, the Revlon Techniques that I leave below can be a good option. Basically for the same reason as before. It helps the color to be applied very well to the hair.

30-volume hydrogen peroxide for dye

The water of 30 raises more tones than the 20. And its effect, as you can imagine, is exponential. It can lift between 4 and 5 shades.

Does 30-year-old hydrogen peroxide cover gray hair? Yes, it sets the color very well, but the problem appears on the other hand: and it lightens the hair.

Therefore, the grace (and the beauty of the hairdresser) is to find the perfect balance between a water high enough to fix the color to the gray hair, but low enough so that it does not lighten the hair more than we want.

Come on, that’s why it’s so difficult to apply a dark color to a full head of gray hair.

As hydrogen peroxide of 30 volumes the one I would recommend is Welloxon from Wella. Here we already need the water to work a little more to lift the color. Therefore I have chosen this water, because it protects the hair fiber while lightening the hair:

40-volume hydrogen peroxide for dye

40-volume hydrogen peroxide is not usually used with dyes, but with bleaching agents. However (and I have, I have to confess), pouring water of 40 volumes to a super lightening dye makes color rise great and super fast.

It is advisable to lighten very dark hair to light blonde is to use bleaching. And do it well so as not to mistreat the hair excessively. When we deal with dyes we should stay at most with a water of 30 and that’s it.

Why do I say that? First, because when we use a hydrogen peroxide of 40 in a dye, yes, it lightens a lot, but the color is distorted. We return to the terrible world of yellow chicken and tangerine orange. And then we have to go around fixing the color using nuances.

The second reason I wouldn’t recommend using 40 water in the dye is that it’s messing up the hair unnecessarily.

If you are going to use water of 40, do it with discoloration and thus lighten well. And then it is easier to tint a white discoloration than a yellowish tint. Come on, that’s my opinion at least.

Regardless of which hydrogen peroxide is used to dye the hair, in any of the four previous cases the exposure time is between 30-40 minutes. But better to follow the instructions of each brand.

As 40-volume hydrogen peroxide, we definitely have to choose one that will protect our hair. That’s why I chose Schwarzkoft’s Blondme Premium Care Developer as a recommended product. It is a hydrogen peroxide that in addition to being top in terms of effectiveness repairs the hair fiber. It is one of the best products on the market as far as bleaching is concerned. Although, of course, it is still high discoloration, and we must be careful when using it.

What hydrogen peroxide is used to nuance

As a general rule, we can use a dye of few volumes to nuance, such as 10 or 20 volumes. The reason is that we only want a very soft dye tank. We don’t want anything that will cover the color underneath. Either wicks, or whatever.

Then I leave the Schwarzkoft option that I mentioned before:

What hydrogen peroxide is used to cover gray hair

As a general rule, water of 20 is usually used in dark hair with gray hair, and water of 30 in lighter tones with gray hair.

I tell you that the complicated thing is to find the ideal point between a water high enough to fix the color to the gray hair. But low enough so that it does not lighten the hair more than we want.

This Revlon that I leave here below seems to me a balanced option for those hairs that want to cover the gray hair:

What hydrogen peroxide should I use to darken my hair

To darken the hair, since we do not need to lighten, but simply that the color is fixed to the hair, we can use a hydrogen peroxide of 10 volumes.

Hydrogen peroxide for black dye is usually 10 volumes except if the hair has a lot of gray hair. In that case we have to use something higher so that the dye covers the gray hair well. A trick? If neither the peroxide of 10 nor 20 are perfect, mix half and half.

Another trick for the dye to fix well in the hair is to rinse the hair with a cold water to seal the cuticle.

Pharmacy hydrogen peroxide for hair

If you are worried that hydrogen peroxide will damage your hair, there are pharmacy alternatives that carry ingredients to make the formula somewhat gentler with the hair. I haven’t tried them, honestly, but I know there are.

Consequences of hydrogen peroxide on hair

Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical, and it damages hair. We must also bear in mind that in the case of dyes we apply it on the scalp, but so far no long-term negative consequences have been observed after the continued use of hydrogen peroxide.

I personally have been using hydrogen peroxide since I first dyed myself when I was 14 years old. I’ve never stopped dyeing. I just love it! And so far I have not observed any negative effects, beyond the deterioration of the hair fiber.

Expired hydrogen peroxide for hair

Don’t do it. Why? Hydrogen peroxide is already a fairly aggressive chemical with hair. It is not necessary to gamble using an expired hydrogen peroxide. In addition, hydrogen peroxide is quite economical. My personal recommendation is to buy a new boat.

Expired cosmetics do not have any kind of guarantee. Not only at the level of effectiveness, but they can also cause negative reactions in the skin and hair.

I hope it has become clear to you what hydrogen peroxide is used to dye the hair in each case. You already know that it depends on the color you want to achieve and if you have gray hair or not, mainly.

I leave you a video in which I explain my color routine. That is changing the truth! But hey, to give you ideas, my darlings.

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A hug,


Deliria Rose