Recently I took a gigantic leap of faith and dyed my brown to blonde ombre-d hair, a beachy blonde. It was something I'd wanted to do for a while now because I have such a hard time sticking to one solid color. I love change and certainly welcome it, as long as it's not platinum blonde or purple. (Some people can pull it off, but it's just not for me) anyways, I thought that while I did my experiment I would document the results in case anyone else was wanting to take the same leap of faith.
First off, I started slowly because I was terrified of negative consequences. So instead of going straight blonde, I began using Sun In: Hair Lightener. It smells amazing and brings out subtle blonde streaks. It's perfect if you don't want to go completely blonde, and it's gentle on your hair. I didn't see any extra damage (extra, because my hair is already slightly damaged after the ombré) during or after any use and I played around with it numerous times, not to mention, a bottle is quite cheap. 3-5$.
However, once I'd used quite a bit and didn't get the desired dramatic blonde results... I began to search a bit harder.
Next I came across John Frieda Sheer Blonde Lightening Spray. This product was a bit more what I was looking for. After the first use, my hair was noticeably blonder. It does however, give a warning not to use on natural brown hair or darker shades of hair, as well as platinum blonde hair. As for myself, I have never been a natural born rule follower and I felt the urge to pursue it even though my roots are natural darker brown. To be honest, I saw no harm in using it afterwards and I have used it numerous times since and my hair hasn't suffered. Also, I will tell you, the lightening doesn't stop the first day. My hair continued to change colors over the couple days after use, so don't give up the first day. Also, this isn't super expensive either. 8-12$
After using both of the products quite a bit, I realized that I wanted to go even lighter, maybe even have a few nearly platinum highlights... And so that's what I did. I went to Sally's Beauty Supplies and told the lady about my predicament and she recommended using Loreal Quick Blue. And I know what you're thinking... I told her I wanted to go blonde not navy, but she responded saying the blue is the base color so it doesn't turn orange, it stays colder instead of warmer because a yellow base would turn it orange. (I don't know if that makes sense to you guys, I don't explain things very well) but I agreed to give it a try and I did!
The first time I used it my hair was dry and I just wrapped the coated strands in the special foil and waited about half an hour.... Zip. Nada. Zero. Nothing. I washed it out and I was disappointed that my hair looked exactly the same. Then, a few days later, I tried the same process but with my hair wet. (It specifically says NOT to do that but I was getting desperate. Another leap of faith) and that was when I say a DRASTIC difference. I left it for the same amount of time but I actually had results following, and they were what I had in mind. Another good thing is that this product isn't very expensive either. With the packet and the primer (I cannot think of the word for the life of me) it's about 10$.
I realize that if there was a place such as Hair Hell, I would be going there for the torture I put my locks through, but I must say, my hair was a champ. I wouldn't recommend doing it on a regular basis but once in a grand while it may not be as awful as you've heard. My hair is a bit more dry but I've been using good conditioners and coconut oil on it and it has helped immensely. It's all about how desperate you are to dye your hair.