Theory of developers regarding low and slow

satchel

Active Member
#1
Aside from this board, I've rarely read about low and slow method with developers in bleach. In school I was taught 6% - volume 20 gives 2-3 levels of lift. 9% - volume 30 gives 3-4.

And it's fairly safe to say none of my salon colleagues would foil or apply to root with only 3%. I only do root applications with 6%, but I know several hairdressers I work with regularly use 9% on scalp with clients.

Is the theory that 3%, 6% , 9% and 12% all work the same, but the lower the strength the longer it takes? Thinking that's why when bleach dries, you can reapply over it towards end of development. And yes, I have noticed on clients that 6% on lifts cleaner than 9%. 9% even at times more orangey, brassy.

I'm trying to understand 100% what exactly low and slow means. I don't want to get into a debate with my colleagues, but if the topic ever comes up, I'd like to explain it to them.
 
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#2
Hey,

The levels of lift you've given there are for peroxide when mixes with an oxadative tint so we work on

3% going darker
6% same/1 level/ white hair
9% 2 levels
12% 3 level (or upto 5 levels with a highlift)

When you mix peroxide with bleach the above doesn't apply. You can mix 3/6/9% with bleach for foil work or 3/6% for scalp.

The higher the peroxide the quicker it lightens so first it reduces the melanin (black/brown pigment) then leave the pheomelanin (red/yellow pigment). The high peroxides mean a quicker development but they break through the pigment and struggle when you get onto the gold scale and often leave a brassier tone, the condition is compromised, and toning or recolouring can be difficult.

Low slow means leaving a lower strength on the hair, it may take the full development time to lift the same but it reduces the pigment a lot cleaner, the condition is better and re colouring is easier.
 
#3
Very interesting! I have always been interested in "low and slow" too!
 

#4
When I see people using 9% with bleach on here I die a little bit! Highest we ever get taught to use was 3. I ONCE used 6% and that's it! X
 

satchel

Active Member
#5
Thank you very much for explaining x. And yes my colleagues and I see eye to eye with peroxide and tint.

But many of them still think the same when peroxide mixed with bleach. Many rarely use volume 20. Foil highlights I would say 60% of them use volume 30. Because they say it's faster. So in theory it is faster, but not as clean.

So am I correct when I ask this: Developers mixed with bleach are all the same?? Simply the higher ones lift faster, but then stop.

I understand clearly what you said, I think I'm trying to figure out if indeed they really are all the same when it comes to peroxide and bleach.

Hey,

The levels of lift you've given there are for peroxide when mixes with an oxadative tint so we work on

3% going darker
6% same/1 level/ white hair
9% 2 levels
12% 3 level (or upto 5 levels with a highlift)

When you mix peroxide with bleach the above doesn't apply. You can mix 3/6/9% with bleach for foil work or 3/6% for scalp.

The higher the peroxide the quicker it lightens so first it reduces the melanin (black/brown pigment) then leave the pheomelanin (red/yellow pigment). The high peroxides mean a quicker development but they break through the pigment and struggle when you get onto the gold scale and often leave a brassier tone, the condition is compromised, and toning or recolouring can be difficult.

Low slow means leaving a lower strength on the hair, it may take the full development time to lift the same but it reduces the pigment a lot cleaner, the condition is better and re colouring is easier.
 
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satchel

Active Member
#6
I will say I work with 6% often. A friend of mine who is also a hairdresser recently used 9% on a new client for bleaching all over roots. That's why I wanted to clearly understand the theory behind developers and bleach. And I do understand higher the volume, the more it destroys the hair.

(And she's a sweet friend. I don't want to get into an argument with her.)

And I started using a new L'Oreal bleach, but that particular line does not have a 3% developer to go with it.


When I see people using 9% with bleach on here I die a little bit! Highest we ever get taught to use was 3. I ONCE used 6% and that's it! X
 
#7
I always use 3% with bleach, it's lifts just aswell as anything higher, but I have found it's better for the hair, and have not had any problems. It really all depends on the clients hair.
 

emmalou061987

Active Member
#8
Iv used higher % in the past but I have lately started using the lower ones instead. Generally for foils I do 3% and then 6% on the top half if it's a full head. Much better to get a cleaner colour. I haven't even got 12% in at the minute as I haven't brought my highlift colours yet


Emma-Louise @ALittleLuxury
 

littlemissm

Active Member
#9
And I started using a new L'Oreal bleach, but that particular line does not have a 3% developer to go with it.[/QUOTE]

I also use loreal bleach I just water down the 6% to make 3%.
 

#10
Someone who I work with in my salon uses 12% on roots with bleach .... Never ever once seen roots washed off looking a nice blonde alwAys orange and brassy .. It never gets given it's full development time either
 

#11
I often use 3% sometimes 6% never 9% . I have a new member of staff who trained elsewhere with older hairdressers I m really struggling with breaking her bad habits of thinking its better using 9% . Blows the hair and leaves it brassy .
 

satchel

Active Member
#12
It is difficult losing habits you were taught with. One lady had me completely scared of bleach. And colleagues past and present see nothing wrong with volume 30 on roots.

And thank you, I hadn't thought of diluting. I've not done that much. So with my calculations it would be one part volume 20 and one part water for 3%.

And when you all talk about using 3% the most and loving it, is that true even on darker roots? Say a base 4 or 5?? Is it usually in foils which help retain heat or is it also on roots and length without foils?

I'm going to do a few strand tests in the next week.

Thank you fro advice and weighing in. I appreciate it.
 

#13
This is a great thread x I've always used 6% mainly and had lovely results but haven't really used 3%, but like idea of using it on the back for full head foils 👍 x
 
#14
I always use 1.9% or pastel toner/3% for bleaching now.... Only rarely will I use 6%.
I was always taught to never go above 6% otherwise you lose the clean look and hair becomes a lot more damaged.

I use Schwarzkopf Vario bleach powder and personally I find that stuff lethal lol which is why I use such a low peroxide. But it gives amazing results, the condition of hair is still good, the blonde is a lot cleaner looking and hair still has a natural shine and not dry looking. Xx
 
#15
I love fudge speed cream bleach only ever use 3% always lovely colour. Sometimes use blondor with pastel which always amazes me how lovely it lifts. Low and slow every time. I'm an older hairdresser and where I trained hair was bleached to death with 12% and hairbrush was full of hair after blowdry also clients we're put under dryer to develop quicker. Unbelievable really.:suprised:
 
#16
I can remember my college tutor saying to us at college in japan it's illegal to use 12% they can only go upto 9%
 

satchel

Active Member
#17
Schwarzkopf Vario is the devil :twisted: lol xx The swelling.

I can tell it's bothering me. 2 nights ago I dreamt about asking what everyone loved for favorite bleach to use with 3% and reading thread now, someone stated.

Not sure why the theory of this bothers me, but it does and (in a good way!) I will have to test strand for myself.

Could be why there are cleaner blondes in the UK, parts of Europe, and Nordic countries. (I read an interesting NYT article about a colorist in NYC who Swedes will only visit because she gives a good Nordic blonde. Not a USA blonde. I'll post again when can find.)

Thank you everyone. You have my brain working. Even in my sleep.
 

#18
Kimmi1101 has a good explanation, along the lines of:
A cake mix has instructions to bake for one hour at 200. If you try and cook it at 300 would it take less time? No, it would be raw in the middle, and burnt on the outside.

With bleach, it's not illegal to use 30 or 40 vol, just not recommended for general use. For ordinary work, especially if you're not particularly fast at foiling, 10 or 20 vol is fine.
With regards to the 'older hairdressers' comment, bleaches back then didn't contain as much ammonia, and cap highlights were common, and required higher volumes, as the head heat was limited. Products and methods evolve over time.
30 vol, and even 40 vol have their uses, and in the correct circumstances, shouldn't be regarded as 'illegal'. If you're just doing normal clients, you may not have a huge use for them, but for high lift blondes, high lift reds, and high lift browns, they are indispensable.
 
#19
For highlights I always use 20vol unless I'm using 30vol in a colour too or highlift. Though goldwell high lifts you can go up to 40vol.
I remember when training, a salon I work in had 60vol in liquid form... And yes they did use it!! I never went near the stuff... Seemed almost barbaric to use that in foils :-/
 

#20
I have tried to explain low and slow to the women I work with, they tell me why would I want to waste time using bleach & 6% when I can use 12% and will get results quicker - bleach high lights still turn out a nice colour with 12% - if we have a base 5 client then my boss will even use 18%! Surprisingly enough the condition of their hair after is still good. After reading many posts on here about low and slow I now use 6% with my bleach high light clients
 
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