top of page
Copy of NEWcmbd logo (Logo).png

The benefits of LOW and SLOW

when lifting, of course.

Listen, I am the type of stylist that believes in the mentality of "WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU, KEEP DOING YOU"

With that said, there are many lessons that I have learned and that have helped me excel in my career and be a better colorist.

Today I want to share one of those lessons with you, and why I feel like it has made all of the difference for my blonde clients.


Let's break down what this means and more importantly WHY its beneficial when we are lightening hair.

LOW= Low volume of developer.

SLOW= Lifting through the hair SLOWLY.

Before we talk about the benefits of using a lower volume of developer, I want to share with you the KEY role of developer in the bleaching process.

Developer, more importantly the strength of the developer used, in the bleaching process is directly correlated with TIME. That's it. Developer strength has nothing to do with the POWER of lifting ability.

Remember this, the POWER is in the POWDER. Last week, I went into detail about different bleaching options and can read more about it here.

So when it comes to achieving maximum lightness with bleach, the strength and power is in mostly in the powder. The developer you choose will only determine how FAST you will get there.

This journey to lift is what matters most.

Let's talk hypotheticals...Let's say you choose a lightener that has 9 levels of lift..serious lifting power. 10 volume, 20 volume, 30 volume and 40 volume will all get you to the same destination..what will differ is how FAST you get there and in turn, the condition of the hair once you are there.

So, initially you might think ok great, then I'll use 40 volume so I can get this done and over with as quickly as possible, right?

Right but...wrong.

Here's why: 40 volume will get you there quicker, yes, but the quicker you get there, the more damage you will cause AND the more uneven your lift will be.

Think about it this way...let's say you're driving a car and you need to get from point A to point B. The faster you accelerate, the faster you will get to point B IF it was a straight shot. BUT...along the way, there are trees and bushes and speed bumps and turns and curves and hills and random animals and potholes.

If you are speeding through trying to get to point B ASAP, the speed bumps can mess up your cars frame and alignment, the trees and bushes can scratch and dent your car, you take a corner too fast and you loose control of your steering. How many obstacles will you encounter? Several. make it to point B. You make it to point B with a messed up, scratched up, dented up car.

Now if you take the alternative, and go slow...all of the catastrophic damage would be avoided and you would arrive at the same destination, just..a tad bit later. You, and your car will be intact.

Why is this relevant to lift? Because the same idea applies to the hair. When you use higher volumes and SPEED through the lightening are creating catastrophic damage. Add heat and you can kiss the healthy hair goodbye. The issue is, we don't have the equipment to examine the hair afterwards to see all of the damage we created. We just see that the hair is blonde so it must be ok!

Higher volumes not only create more damage because you are forcing the hair to lighter much mora rapidly, you will also achieve a more uneven and sometimes brighter and warmer lift than if you were to go "low and slow".

The benefit of using a lower volume of developer and lifting through the hair slower is that you are allowing the lightening process to happen gradually, decreasing the potential of serious damage and getting a cleaner, more even lift.

I know there are some of you that will disagree with this, #40volumeforlife...and that's fine. Like I always say, do what works for YOU. I'm just here to offer some perspective and maybe a different approach.

I have found that even on the darkest of hair, I won't use higher than a 30 volume but I typically will opt for starting with a 5 volume and ending with 20.

This helps me not only achieve a clean lift, but the hair stays healthy and manageable. I don't create insane amounts of porosity and it makes toning the hair a hell of a lot easier.

You know this, damaged hair is a bitch to work with, period. I sure as hell don't want to be the cause of the damage, do you?

Here's what I recommend. Have different lighteners in your arsenal and use them accordingly.

You do not need a 9 level beach with 30 volume on someone who is a natural light brown with fine hair.

You cannot achieve maximum blonde on someone with a natural level 2 with a balayage bleach and 10 volume, open air.

Know your canvas.

Know your clients hair history.

Know WHAT your clients hair is going to do BEFORE you mix any chemicals.

Understand Melanin.

Understand Texture.

Understand Porosity.

Know your chemicals.

Know your products.

Understand your color theory.


This is what matters MOST when working BTC. Techniques and placements are AMAZING..but you gotta know your FUNDAMENTALS.

If you want to dive deeper in learning, go to

Use code "COMBIES50" for half off!

Your future self just might thank you for it!

Until next time,

Happy Haircoloring!


32 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page