15 Best Hair Developers For All Hair Colors, As Per A Hairstylist (2024)

Treat your hair with these hair care essentials for long-lasting bleaching and color.

Reviewed by Jill Turnbull, Hairstylist Jill Turnbull Jill TurnbullHairstylist facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature) Sakshi Bahal MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness Aditi Naskar MA (English Literature), Diploma In Health & Wellness linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
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If you love coloring your hair and going to the salon seems like an expensive affair, doing it at home is more practical. But before you do so, having the right products at your disposal is essential. The best hair developer out there will not only match your hair needs based on your shade selection but also prevent complications such as burning your scalp. One thing you must keep in mind is that choosing the right developer and hair coloring agent, and knowing how to use it is important to give your hair the color of your choice. We have made a list of the top hair developers suitable for all hair types you can pick from!

Top PicksCheck Price
Best Coverage:Global Keratin Pro Line Hair Taming SystemPrice on Amazon
Best Moisturizing:Yutika Professional Hair DeveloperPrice on Amazon
Best Non-Irritating Formula:Salon Care 20 Volume Creme DeveloperPrice on Amazon
Best Affordable Option:Wella Koleston Perfect 20 Volume Creme DeveloperPrice on Amazon
Best Non-Dripping Formula:Marianna Super Star 40 Volume Creme DeveloperPrice on Amazon
Best Color Retention Formula:Satin Haircolor DeveloperPrice on Amazon
Best Easy To Apply:Super Star 20 Volume Cream Peroxide DeveloperPrice on Amazon
Best Budget-Friendly:Pravana Creme DeveloperPrice on Amazon
Best For Sensitive Scalp:Ion Sensitive Scalp 30 Volume Creme DeveloperPrice on Amazon
Best For Quick Results:Clairol Professional Pure White 30 Volume Creme DeveloperPrice on Amazon

What Is A Hair Developer?

A hair developer is an oxidant product that contains hydrogen peroxide. It opens the hair cuticles, allowing deeper penetration of hair color into your bleached hair. This gives vibrant color results and helps the color last long. It also oxidizes hair to a lighter shade. Without an oxidative hair developer, you might need multiple dye applications to reach your desired shade of color.

Which Developer To Use For Your Hair Type?

While hair developers come in a recommended volume or strength, you need to choose based on your hair type:

  • If you have fine or thin hair, opt for a low-volume hair developer or use lower
  • For normal hair, you can use the recommended volume as it will react normally.
  • Thick or coarse hair is difficult to dye. So, you would probably benefit more from a developer of higher than recommended volume for highly textured hai

What Level Developer Should You Use With Bleach?

Choose your hair dye activator, considering the results you expect. Darker hair requires more lifting and lightening, which implies the use of a higher level of developer. Blonde shade hair or light hair does not need a high-volume hair developer. Here are the most common levels of peroxide hair developers available on the market.

  • 20 Volume Developer / 6% Peroxide

It provides lifting up to 2 levels and is most compatible with temporary dyes that require weak developers. It is also the most common strength for at-home hair color.

  • 30 Volume Developer / 9% Peroxide

Depending on your hair type and texture, it can lift your hair to 3-5 levels. It is more suitable for permanent dyeing or lightening. Make sure that you have some experience with hair coloring before using a higher strength developer.

  • 40 Volume Developer / 12% Peroxide

This is the strongest volume that can lift your hair up to 7 levels. It is ideal for lightening or bleaching hair and requires experience in developer application techniques to handle it safely. It is also recommended to conduct a sensitivity test for such hair developers.

Now that you know how to choose the most suitable hair developer, check out our compilation of the 15 best hair developers for all hair colors and types, including straight as well as textured hair.

Top 15 Hair Developers For All Hair Colors And Types

1. Best Coverage: Global Keratin Pro Line Hair Taming System

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4.5
Global Keratin Pro Line Hair Taming System Image: Gk Hair

The Global Keratin Pro Line Hair Taming System provides the power to bleach or tone your hair. Its professional developer cream ensures maximum durability and 100% coverage, as well as a non-drip consistency that gives you great control over the color and keeps it bright and long-lasting. It contains juvexin that offers hair restorative care and protects it from environmental damage. To get the best hair toning, use the Global Keratin developer with professional hair color. This hair developer for color correction minimizes the water level in the developer volume, preserving the hair’s natural moisture and balance. With these toner developers, you can give your hair dye a beautiful, shiny finish.

Hair Type:Hair Coloring Bleach | Product Dimensions: 3.15 x 3.15 x 11.42 inches | Weight: 2.11 Pounds.

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Easy to apply
  • Budget-friendly
  • Can be used with all GK hair colors and lighteners
  • Stabilized formula
  • Not tested on animals

Cons

  • None

Our Tester's Experience

"This hair developer is great for those with sensitivities. It causes no burning or itching, and has a milder scent. It mixes well with colour dyes and toners, giving you true-to-tone hair hues. The before-and-after results truly highlight its effective lifting capabilities for roots."


protip_icon Pro Tip
Always use a scale to measure your hair dye and developer before mixing. Make sure you set the scale to zero and then transfer the product slowly into the bowl.

2. Best Moisturizing: Yutika Professional Hair Developer

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3.8

The Yutika Professional Hair Developer offers 100% gray hair coverage with even tones, long-lasting, stunning, and consistent color results. This hair developer for bold hair color gives off a brilliant shine and makes hair smoother and silkier because it contains Macadamia oil. The nutrients in macadamia oil keep hair healthy and maintain its attractive appearance. This oil formula is all you need to maintain moisture in your hair. It adds gloss and shine to your natural hair while moisturizing dry, brittle, and damaged hair. It is available in 31 gorgeous shades.

Hair Type: Hair Color Lightening | Color: White | Product Dimensions: 9.45 x 3.15 x 3.54 inches | Weight: 13.83 Ounces

Pros

  • Easy to apply
  • Stabilized formula
  • 100% grey coverage
  • Non-drying
  • Non-irritating
  • Long-lasting
  • Affordable

Cons

  • None
Our Tester's Experience

"I tried this hair color because I wanted to go from brunette to red. It was a no-commitment option for me as it faded after about 5-7 washes. I'd say if you're someone looking for a temporary color change, pick this one."

3. Best User-Friendly Application:Parallel Products Cream Developer

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4.4
Parallel Products Cream Developer Image: Parallel Products

The Cream Developer by Parallel Products is a flexible choice for many hair colors and appropriate for a wide range of tints, including dark, light, and medium. The product also helps you enhance your hair color by sticking to your natural shade or tone. This formula opens the cuticle layer of the hair and allows the color to penetrate deeper into the hair shaft for long-lasting results. However, conduct a patch test on a small area of your skin before using it.

Benefit: Color Protection | Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.25 x 1.25 inches | Weight: 1.76 Ounces.

Pros

  • Nourishing formula
  • Easy to mix
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • None

Our Tester's Experience

"I've explored numerous brands but this particular hair developer truly impressed me, mostly because it's so easy to use! While it may not be the most long-lasting option, it's a good choice for those with sensitive skin, as it does not cause any adverse reactions."


Global Keratin Pro Line Hair Taming System
Best Coverage
Yutika Professional Hair Developer
Best Moisturizing
Parallel Products Cream Developer
Best User-Friendly Application
Hair TypeHair Coloring Bleach Hair Color Lightening-
Dimensions 3.15 x 3.15 x 11.42 inches 9.45 x 3.15 x 3.54 inches 6 x 1.25 x 1.25 inches
Weight 2.11 Pounds. 13.83 Ounces 1.76 Ounces.
Color- White-
Benefit-- Color Protection
Rating
Reviews---
Price$17.9$19.99$9.4

4. Best Affordable Option: Wella Koleston Perfect 20 Volume Creme Developer

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4.7

The Wella Koleston Perfect 20 Volume Creme Developer has a gentle creme formula. It maximizes the full potential of the hdc molecules, especially when used in conjunction with koleston perfect colors increasing the longevity of the hair developer.. The developer ensures intense blending potential, helping you achieve the hair color you desire. The reviewers share that after mixing the developer with color, the mix does not dry or drip.

Pros

  • Suitable for all hair types
  • Non-drip consistency
  • Easy to apply
  • Gentle, creme-based formula
  • Provides great control
  • Affordable

Cons

  • May irritate sensitive skin.

protip_icon Pro Tip
Hair developers contain peroxide, which may not be suitable for people with sensitive scalps. So, be careful and conduct a patch test before applying the product to your hair.

5. Best Non-Dripping Formula: Marianna Super Star 40 Volume Creme Developer

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4.6
Marianna Super Star 40 Volume Creme Developer Image: Super Star

The Marianna Super Star 40 Volume Creme Developer is a stabilized cream peroxide developer and one of the best hair developers for natural-looking results. It has a thick consistency that does not drip, making it easy to handle. It helps you achieve quick and precise multi-dimensional shades easily. You can also use this product as a substitute for liquid peroxide with gel consistency. The developer effectively bleaches your hair or lifts colors in it to help the desired color formula work better.

Item Weight: 2 Pounds | Hair Type: Normal | Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 9.49 x 3.5 x 3.46 inches | Weight: 2 Pounds

Pros

  • Stabilized formula
  • Can be used in place of liquid peroxide
  • Non-dripping
  • Thick consistency
  • Easy to apply
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Inconsistent results

Our Tester's Experience

"This hair developer creates a thick, non-drip mixture which makes it easy to handle during application. I also made sure to follow the said directions closely to avoid mishaps like chemical burns. I also understood the product well before using it and it gave me good results."


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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product is so liked by shoppers that it has gained over 1,358 great reviews on Amazon.

6. Best Color Retention Formula: Satin Haircolor Developer

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4.4
Satin Haircolor Developer Image: Satin Smooth

The Satin Haircolor Developer is the perfect choice for achieving professional color results at home. The unique formula is designed to give you maximum color results with minimal damage. It offers your hair a natural shine and a deep moisturizing effect to your hair. This hair-moisturizing product creates a color-protecting barrier that protects the hair fiber’s color and makes the color last longer. Combine the Satin Developer and Satin Color to produce a rich, creamy mixture that doesn’t drip and remains in place.

Hair Type: All | Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 7.01 x 1.89 x 1.81 inches | Weight: 7.1 Ounces

Pros

  • Offers shine and moisture
  • Provides color retention
  • Non-dripping formula
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Strong fragrance

Our Tester's Experience

"I recently switched to a 10% bleach for managing my grey hair and experimenting with new colors without overly damaging my hair. My usual 20% was too harsh, but this lower strength developer has been gentle yet effective. It paired well with a semi-permanent gloss, meeting my needs perfectly."


protip_icon Pro Tip
If you want to keep your hair color intact for a longer time, make sure you are limiting your use of heating tools and avoiding shampoos with sulfates and alcohols.

7. Best Easy To Apply: Super Star 20 Volume Cream Peroxide Developer

The Super Star 20 Volume Cream Peroxide Developer has a non-drip, thick creme consistency, which makes it comfortable to handle. The stabilized cream peroxide formula provides effective coloring and lifting as expected. It helps you get highlights quickly and with precision. You can get the color you have been dreaming of with this developer. It can also be used in place of liquid peroxide. This 20-volume cream formula will bleach your hair or lift color as needed, so pick the volume and strength based on your hair needs and achieve the beautiful look of your dreams!

Used for Hair Coloring | Number of Items: 1 | Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.5 x 10.5 inches | Weight: 2.1 Pounds

Pros

  • Stabilized formula
  • Easy to apply
  • Non-dripping
  • Can be used in place of liquid peroxide
  • Thick consistency
  • Affordable

Cons

  • May not work well for root touch-ups.

Our Tester's Experience

"Everytime I use the Superstar Creme Developer, it consistently offers me good results. Its 32-ounce size is practical for repeated applications, and the consistency works well with various bleaching agents. Moreover, it leaves my hair with a vibrant touch, which suggests the formula quality is top-notch."


protip_icon Pro Tip
Hair developers come in different intensities, also known as “volumes, ” ranging from level 10 to 40, with 40 being the strongest. Choose a developer based on what you want to achieve with your hair color.

worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

Almost 1,584 happy users have mentioned the value and quality of this product.

8. Best Budget-Friendly: Pravana Creme Developer

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4.6
Pravana Creme Developer Image: Pravana

The Pravana 10 Volume Creme Developer will offer you the best results if used along with the Chromasilk Hair Color. It offers one of the most effective hair coloring and processing formulas. This developer is enriched with a nourishing blend of ingredients that help protect and condition the hair shaft while providing a gentle and controlled lift. Additionally, it moisturizes your hair while giving it the necessary processing without overdrying it. It can help boost the color of dyes and lighten hair color.

Color: White | Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 3.9 x 8.1 inches | Weight: 2.38 Pounds

Pros

  • Non-drying
  • Free from many harsh chemicals
  • Affordable
  • Enhances the color of dyes
  • Lightens hair

Cons

  • Contains sulfates

Our Tester's Experience

"I used this hair developer with the Pravana Chromasilk color. It gave me no unpleasant odor or any negative reactions on my hair. The application process was pretty easy and I definitely see myself using it again."


9. Best For Sensitive Scalp: Ion Sensitive Scalp 30 Volume Creme Developer

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4.6

The Ion Sensitive Scalp 30 Volume Creme Developer is ideal when you need lightening up to 3 levels. It mixes well with your preferred hair coloring products and is easy to apply. The formula is enriched with wheat germ protein that conditions the hair and ionic buffers to protect the sensitive scalp against irritation. The refreshing fragrance creates a pleasant experience, whether at the salon or home.

Color: brilliance | Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 9.5 x 3.25 x 3.25 inches |Weight: 2.3 Pounds

Pros

  • Gentle on sensitive scalp
  • Easy to apply
  • Value for money
  • Non-drying
  • Refreshing fragrance

Cons

  • The color chart can be tricky to figure out.

Our Tester's Experience

"As someone who often experiments with hair color, I'm glad I found this bleach. It has proven effective for achieving a near-white shade, which is not so easy on my coarser hair type. It is quite potent so I'd suggest using less product to avpid damage."


10. Best For Quick Results: Clairol Professional Pure White 30 Volume Creme Developer

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4.6
Clairol Professional Pure White 30 Volume Creme Developer Image: Clairol Professional

The Clairol Professional Pure White 30 Volume Creme Developer has a nourishing formula enriched with emollients and conditioners. It is compatible with permanent hair color as well as powder and liquid lighteners of all types. The creamy consistency is easy to apply using a bowl and dye brush. You can also pour the solution into an applicator bottle to make the application process even more easier. You can get amazing lightening results on dark black or brown hair with this developer. The developer can be used for intense highlights or white blending to avoid frequent hair color sessions. The reviewer’s experience shows that it can be easily applied and commended it for its affordable price.

Hair Type: Gray Coverage | Color: White | Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 2.6 x 8.2 inches | Weight: 1.1 Pounds

Pros

  • Provides even color results
  • Non-irritating formula
  • Delivers quick results
  • Available in 4 strengths
  • Value for money

Cons

  • May cause dryness.

11. Best Hydrating:Schwarzkopf Professional BLONDME Premium Developer

The Schwarzkopf Professional BLONDME Premium Developer works wonders when it comes to achieving maximum performance and hair care. The product offers 9 levels of lift without compromising on the hair quality. It helps in deep toning, pastel toning, and neutralizing brassy tones. Its bond protection system minimizes hair breakage and stabilizes your hair structure. Its oil-based formula offers long-lasting shine, making it a fantastic option for preserving healthy and vibrant blonde hair.

Pros

  • Premium quality
  • Highly effective
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Only recommended for use with BLONDME color products

12. Best Refreshing Formula: Ion Sensitive Scalp 20 Volume Creme Developer

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4.6

The Ion Sensitive Scalp 20 Volume Creme Developer provides quality lightening for up to 2 levels. You can easily mix it with any of your chosen hair color products and apply it without too much hassle. The nourishing formula of this developer for sensitive scalps contains wheat germ protein, which deeply conditions your hair, prevents it from drying out, and gives it a reflective shine. The hair developer also has ionic buffers to protect your scalp against irritation from chemicals.

Hair Type: Normal | Number of Items: 1 | Hair Type: Normal | Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.2 x 1.97 x 1.89 inches | Weight: 0.01 Ounces

Pros

  • Refreshing fragrance
  • Non-drying
  • Value for money
  • Easy to apply
  • Does not irritate sensitive skin

Cons

  • The color chart is not user-friendly.

Our Tester's Experience

"Having sensitive skin, I've struggled with finding hair dyes, but this one is surprisingly gentle as I experienced zero scalp irritation. It even blends seamlessly, especially with certain toners and leaves my hair feeling soft. I'm not really a stylist or a pro, but I achieved a light blonde shade with no discomfort."


13. Best Conditioning Formula: Salerm 20 Volume Cream Oxidant

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4.5
Salerm 20 Volume Cream Oxidant Image: Salerm

The Salerm 20 Volume Cream Oxidant is a hair developer that works particularly well for oxidative dyes. It is suitable for both lightening and coloring needs. You can pick from 4 strengths of the hair developer that best suit your requirements. The product contains aloe vera, a natural ingredient for moisture, and other intense conditioning agents that protect the hair from damage and dryness. When done, this deep conditioning formula will leave your hair feeling intensely soft and brilliantly shiny.

Hair Type: dry or dullness | Item Weight: 8.1 Ounces | Product Dimensions: 2.25 x 2.25 x 5.85 inches | Weight: 8.1 Ounces

Pros

  • Conditions hair
  • Non-drying
  • Provides brilliant shine
  • Suitable for coloring and lightening
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Not easily available.

Our Tester's Experience

"I got this hair developer for lightening my hair and I'm glad I did. Unlike other hair lightening products I tried, this one didn't dry out or damage the hair. Most of the credit goes to its conditioning formula that is infused with natural ingredients. I'd say go for it!"


14. Best Odorless Formula:  Da Vinci 20 Volume Creme Developer

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4.3
Da Vinci 20 Volume Creme Developer Image: Da Vinci Haircare

The Da Vinci 20 Volume Creme Developer comes in a blendable formula that mixes well with coloring products for maximum color deposit and gives you the desired shade of color. It provides high-quality, even results without damaging your hair. The odorless, cream-based formula is available in a variety of strengths, ranging from volume 10 to volume 40, along with semi-permanent and gray eliminator versions.

Hair Type: All | Color: Grey | Package Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.26 x 1.65 x 1.61 inches | Weight: 5.93 Ounces

Pros

  • Easy to blend
  • Odorless
  • Cream-based formula
  • Available in different strengths

Cons

  • Expensive

15. Best Fade-Resistant Formula: Wella color charm Cream Developer

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4.4
WELLA Color Charm Hair Developers for Hair Coloring & Long Lasting Color Cr?me 32 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) 20 Volume Image: Wella Color Charm

The Wella color charm Creme Developer helps cover white and gray hair and lighten your natural hair color. It deposits color uniformly, conditions your hair, and ensures long-lasting color results. The gentle formula is fade-resistant and imparts a fruity fragrance to your hair.

Hair Type: colorcharm hair color, toners and lighteners | Color: 20 Volume | Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 3.3 x 9.7 inches | Weight: 2.2 Pounds.

Pros

  • Long-lasting
  • Fade-resistant
  • Gentle formula
  • Pleasant fragrance

Cons

  • None

Our Tester's Experience

"This hair developer worked great without causing damage to my hair. The color is true to its description, a rich dark cherry. I found it useful for my shoulder-length hair, offering enough for multiple uses."


*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Infographic: Hair Developer: Buying Guide And User Manual

Changing your hair color is exciting, but you need to find the right developer to lift the existing one. This is why you have developers that help you prep your hair to receive a new color of your choice.

The infographic below will give you an account of some ingredients that can make your developer harsh. There’s also a section on how you can use a developer correctly. Check it out!

Hair Developer: Buying Guide And User Manual

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

If you love to color your hair frequently, you need to get your hands on the best hair color developers that will save you time and money! You can increase the color intensity with hair developer usage as it allows deep penetration of color pigment. It gives vibrant color results and helps the color to last longer. The Global Keratin Pro Line Hair Taming System is an excellent choice for those who want to get voluminous locks, while the Pravana Creme Developer is an effective hair coloring formula that also helps you reduce dryness and get moisturized locks. But if you are looking for a formula that delivers superior lightening results, try the Clairol Professional Pure White 30 Volume Creme Developer. The ones reviewed above have a long-lasting, cream-based, fade-resistant formula that is easy to blend and apply. With the right developer-to-color mixing ratio of coloring products, you can easily achieve Instagrammable shiny locks at home without splurging on salon appointments.

Why Trust Stylecraze

Sakshi Bahal, the author of this article, is a hair care enthusiast. Her detailed research and thorough understanding of the products used in hair care bring the best compilation for the readers. The list of the best hair developers is curated after thorough exploration and reading much feedback from trusted online forums. These developers complete your hair color and add a shine to your hair. They also help in the retention of hair color.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I use a 20 or 30 volume developer?

A 20 volume developer is the highest level that should be used for lifting. It can also be used for gray coverage while prepping for a new dye or to lift old color. However, a 30 volume developer can lighten up to three levels, but it can damage your tresses.

Is hair developer a bleach?

No, a hair developer is not the same as bleach. They are coupled together to create a perfect product for lightening the tresses. A bleaching kit contains bleaching powder and developer mixed and applied to the hair.

How long can you leave a 30 volume developer in your hair?

If you are using a 30 volume developer on your hair, make sure to leave it for 15 to 20 minutes. It is recommended to wash away the product as soon as possible.

How long should I leave a 20 volume developer in my hair?

A 20 volume developer works wonders for lighter hair colors if kept for 10 minutes. For darker hair colors, keep it for 15 to 20 minutes to achieve desired results.

Do you need a hair developer for black hair?

Yes. Black hair needs a 30 volume hair developer to lighten darker tresses. However, using it a lot can damage your tresses and make them dull.

Can I dilute hair developer with conditioner?

While there is no clear evidence that it works, you can try to dilute hair developer with conditioner. The mixture might offer your hair better nourishment while you lighten the tresses.

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Jill Turnbull

Jill TurnbullHairstylist

Jill Turnbull is an internationally acclaimed freelance hairstylist, colorist, and makeup artist with over 47 years of experience. She founded her own beauty brand and her work has been featured in editorial magazines worldwide. Jill is also a highly sought-after educator, renowned for her direct, meticulous, and modern approach to hair, makeup, and styling for fashion shoots and advertising campaigns....read full bio

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