Q: I am a qualified mobile hairstylist and have been doing it for a few years now, the main problem I find is finding out
about latest products. A lot of companies won't reply to me because I am a mobile. Anyway, hoping you can help. 3% peroxide, is this
for depositing tint now instead of the norm 6%? Also, the latest trend I see is the really white splices. Is this achieved just with
12% bleach or is there a special product out there which I can't find. Really, really appreciate your help.
A: In the U.S. our measure of peroxide developer strengths are different, but I do know the conversions. 3% peroxide solution is
called ten-volume peroxide because each percentage of peroxide releases 3.3 volumes of oxygen during decomposition. This means a
rough translation of percentage to volume measurement as follows:
The common formula for depositing tint is 10-volume peroxide (or 3%) this is because 10-volume
peroxide offers no lift to the existing color, but simply softens the hair shaft to allow the color molecules to penetrate and be deposited.
The 6% solution (20-volume) peroxide is the most commonly used peroxide formula because it offers
an average of one-level of lightening before the color is deposited (more if heat is used during processing) and allows for even
coverage of grays and uniform coloring on resistant hair.
9% (30-volume) peroxide gives 2-3 levels of lift and is good for subtle hair color changes.
12% (40-volume) peroxide gives 3-4 levels of lift and is good for bringing hair from one general color range to another (dark to
medium, or medium to light). As always, application of heat can maximize the amount of lift from a particular peroxide formula.
The very light highlighting that is now popular these days is achieved by using a bleaching agent
in combination with peroxide developer. These bleaching agents are intended to be used “off-the-scalp” and can only be used through a
highlighting cap or with the foil technique. The mixtures using the bleaching agent (usually a powder) are very harsh and can burn
the scalp if allowed to come into contact with skin.