The bleaching powder you use in combination with the developer raises the pH of your hair to 9 or 10, which opens the cuticle and makes it easy for the developer to reach the hair cortex. But there can be a list of reasons you may not want to use it. So, can 30 volume developer and baking soda get you the same lift as bleaching powder?
Baking soda, a household staple, is comparatively safe than bleach powder. And does almost the same thing with your hair strands as bleach when used with the developer.
When using baking soda and 30 volume developer to lift your hair color, don’t expect the same results as you would get by mixing this volume developer with bleach powder. So, it would be better to do a patch test first and then apply a blend of the developer and baking soda to your entire hair.
Further down, I have tried using 10, 20, 30, and 40 volume developers with baking soda and did a few patch tests to find how many levels of color lift you would get by employing each combination.
First, Can You Lighten Hair With Developer and Baking Soda?
I’m sometimes asked if using developer and baking soda to lighten hair really works. You can try it, but the results are unpredictable and vary quite a bit from person to person.
Some people may see a subtle lightening of 1-2 shades, while others notice a lift of 3-4 levels depending on hair type and developer volume.
The timing is also uncertain – some hair might take 15 mins while coarser hair could need 30+ mins to see any change. Leaving it on too long, though, risks major dryness.
While baking soda is very alkaline and can dry out hair, the developer helps buffer it somewhat. Still, baking soda’s abrasiveness means some tangling and frizz are likely after.
Make sure to use a good conditioner.
All in all – the developer and baking soda method is cheap and fairly low risk. But only use it if you’re okay with unpredictable results. Use an actual lightening powder instead for the best lifts with less damage.
Hair Color Lift With 20 Volume Developer and Baking Soda
When you use baking soda instead of bleach and mix it with 20 volume developer, it lifts your hair color to 1-2 levels. But you would need to leave the mixture on your hair for 40 to 60 minutes.
The results for people with textured black hair or fine blonde manes can vary. Therefore, I always suggest preparing a small amount of 20 volume developer and baking soda blend and doing a patch test first.
If you have thick black hair strands, the combo of baking soda and 20 volume developer may not lighten your hair more than one level. Textured hair resists the action of both these chemicals. So, to lift your hair tint drastically, you would need the 40 volume developer.
But if you have light brown or dark blonde hair, it is easy to go completely blonde by just using 20 volume developer and baking soda. Just mix both in the same ratio and leave the mixture on your hair for an hour.
As you may already know, bleaching your hair twice on the same day or within a week can damage it. Although it might be less damaging when using baking soda and developer, your hair can still suffer if you apply the mixture repeatedly on the same day. Or twice within just a few days.
So, rest your blonde hair for ten days before applying baking soda and any volume developer blend. For textured hair, you can reduce the time to a week.
Apply Neutralizing Shampoo After Lightening Hair with Baking Soda and Developer
Whether you are using bleach or baking powder with the developer to lift your hair color, you would need something at the end of the process to neutralize the raised pH.
Typically, people use a neutralizing shampoo to swap the alkaline pH back to normal. However, the surfactants in shampoo might go harsh on your just chemically treated hair.
Therefore, you can employ safe options like apple cider vinegar or fruit-fresh that effectively reverse the pH without causing any damage.
Using Baking Soda and 30 Volume Developer to Lighten Hair
Typically, when used with bleach powder, the 30 volume developer lightens your hair to 3-4 levels. However, mixing it with baking soda doesn’t lift the hair color to more than two levels. But if your hair type is normal or fine, the 30 volume developer and baking soda blend will change hair shade to three levels.
|Baking Soda + Volume Developer (1:1)||Color lift for textured black hair||Color lift for normal light hair|
|Baking soda + 10 volume developer||No lift just slight lightening||almost no lift but a bit lighter hair|
|Baking soda + 20 volume developer||1 level||1-2 levels|
|Baking soda + 30 volume developer||1-2 levels||2-3 levels|
|Baking soda + 40 volume developer||3-4 levels||4-5 levels|
Baking soda has several uses. In general, and with the no-poo movement, people employ it to clean their scalp and hair from buildup, dirt, and oil. So, baking soda is safe for hair when you use it once a week.
But never expect the hair lightening with baking soda to be completely free of damage because the developer has its part. Both cause your hair to get dry and prone to damage if it’s already weak.
Lifting Hair Color with 40 Volume Developer and Baking Soda
When mixed with baking soda, the 40 volume developer (chemically known as 12% hydrogen peroxide) can lift hair color to 4-5 levels. The process may go harsh for someone with weak or already chemically treated hair and can cause dry hair and breakage.
However, the damage will be minimal if you have healthy and thick hair. The results can vary as per hair texture. So, I suggest you do a strand test by applying the 40 volume developer and baking soda mixture on a patch of your hair and leaving for an hour.
Also, use apple cider vinegar or neutralizing shampoo after lifting your hair color with baking soda and 40 volume developer, which will save your manes from dryness and breakage.
Can Baking Soda and the Developer Damage Your Hair?
As mentioned, baking soda is considered safe for hair when used occasionally. The same goes for the developer. However, if you use a higher strength developer with baking soda, you should expect some degree of dryness and breakage, even if you have healthy hair.
I don’t suggest lightening your thin and fine hair with the conventional bleaching technique or using baking soda. It can cause excessive hair breakage and dryness.
Using 20 or whatever volume developer with baking soda will not get you the levels of hair color lift as bleaching powder does. The results vary and, in most cases, are not drastic. Therefore, it would be more satisfactory to do a strand test first and then proceed with the complete application of baking soda and the developer mix on your hai.