Difference Between Clear And Cream Developer? (Pros & Cons)

Difference Between Clear And Cream Developer

Hair developer has to be used with color or lightener if you want to change the color of your hair. Mainly, you can find clear and cream hair developers in the market.

In this article, you will find out the difference between clear and cream developers. Which is best to use and they are pros and cons. So let’s get started.


Hair developer: What it is and why use it?

Before talking in detail about the clear and cream developer, first, you need to understand what hair developer is and why it is used.

It is an oxidizing agent used with hair color or lightener to lift the cuticle, the outermost layer of hair, so that color can enter deep inside to give a permanent result.

It comes in various strengths. Volume 10, 20, 30, and 40 are common strengths of hair developers available in the market. The higher the strength, the more hydrogen peroxide is available.

That means stronger developers open more cuticles and create more lightening in hair. You need to also remember that the higher strength of higher volume developers causes more damage to hair.

Why you should use it?

  • To remove the existing hair color and lightens the hair
  • To help color penetrate deep inside hair by opening the cuticle
  • It is a must for the coloring process as you can’t dye the previously dyed hair


Hair developer is available in cream, liquid, and powder form. Now let’s talk about the clear and cream hair developer and its difference.

Clear Vs Cream: Difference between the clear and cream developers (Pros and Cons)

One of the main differences between the clear and cream developer is their consistency. Cream hair developer is liquid available in a bottle whereas cream developer has a thick consistency and you need a bowl to use it.

Besides that, here are some of the main differences that you should know about the clear and cream developer.

Cream Hair Developer

Clear Hair Developer

Easy to apply and control Best for bottle application
Having a buffer thus requires more processing time Work faster as it does not have any buffer
Added ingredients such as glycerine help in conditioning and pyrophosphate increase the penetration and protect from damage Cover more hair in a short period of time
You need a bowl and brush to apply it; it stays on the hair for a longer and does not drip from the head Constantly dripping from the head


In short, both cream and clear hair developer has the same base ingredient which is hydrogen peroxide, an oxidizing agent to lift the color. However, the cream developer has an additional ingredient for the conditioning and protection of hair.

Both help in lifting the color but the way you apply them is different. And cream hair developer requires more time and effort than a clear hair developer.

Which one is best?

Both of them have the same ingredient and do their job perfectly though one takes a long time to do it.  You can choose any developer you want in your coloring process.

However, it is advised to use a hair developer based on the instruction of the color line you are using. Read the instructions in the color you have purchased and use the hair developer as it has suggested and works best for that color.

Mixing clear and cream developer: Is it a good idea?

It is not a good idea to mix cream and clear developer. It might lead to predictable results.

When you mix them both, you will have different levels of hydrogen peroxide resulting in inconsistent and ineffective lightening or coloring. It may cause damage to your hair.

What are clear developer and bleach and their role? (Developer Vs Bleach)

A developer is an oxidizing agent, containing hydrogen peroxide, that is usually used with hair for its activation. Its role is to lift the cuticle of the hair so that dye enters inside it thus giving vibrant color to hair that lasts for 3-6 months depending on the color line.

You can find developers in two forms: Cream, clear and powder. There are also different strengths or volumes of developers available.

Now, let’s talk about bleach.

It is also hair lightening product. It is also used to remove the color from your hair and it, too, contain hydrogen peroxide, which lightens the hair by breaking down the pigments in the hair shaft.

Main differences between developer and bleach are:

  • Bleach can be used alone to lighten the hair.
  • Bleach lifts the hair to a higher level: 5-6 levels in a single use. That means more lightening of hair to color hair with light color.
  • Hair developers can lift the color but it should be left on the hair for a longer time. But, it does not lift the color to a higher level than bleach does.
  • Mainly, hair developer is used as an activator and combines with hair color to help it enter inside the cortex of the hair.


Can I use clear developer with bleach? (Answered)

Now, you know that bleach and developer are different entities that do similar things to lighten the hair. But, hair developers have other tasks also that is to activate the hair color.

Can you then mix developer and bleach without any side effects?

You can mix both clear as well as a cream developer with bleach without any effects or damage to your hair if you do it in the right proportion.

In fact, it is recommended to use developer and bleach together to lift the color to a higher level. The developer helps bleach to enter inside the hair by lifting the cuticle, the outer layer of hair.

The right proportion to use bleach and developer is 1:2. You can safely use both bleach and developer to lift the color of hair.

However, there is always the risk of damaging hair if you use a high amount of bleach and developer together. So, be cautious about it. Read the instruction on the color line you have and use them accordingly to get the best result without damaging hair.

Bottom Line

Clear Vs Cream Developer: the main difference is their consistency.  Both of them have the same ingredients and do the same work: to lift the color of hair before dyeing hair with a new color. You can choose any of them but read the color line you have purchased and used the developer it has specified.

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