Don't forget to check the beauty sale pages at Macy's here and
Nordstrom here for new beauty deals plus free shipping!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Review: New John Frieda Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray

It's imperative that I begin this review by stating that, as with any product mentioned on this blog, I cannot be held responsible for the outcome if you try this product yourself. I am merely sharing with you MY experience with this product, and your results may vary depending on the color, texture, condition and porousness of your hair.

That said, the new John Frieda Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray worked exceptionally well on my hair and I'd love to walk you through my journey:

John Frieda Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray
(retail: around $9.99, 3.5 oz)

There was a $2 instant coupon on this box, which I used in conjunction with a sale at CVS, so I got this product for a real steal. Also, inside the box, there is ANOTHER coupon for $1 off your next purchase, which I very much appreciate since I intend to repurchase when I run out.

This is a controlled lightening spray, which means you will not see immediate results. As the box indicates, you will see "results in 3-5 uses." I also want you to be aware that this product contains hydrogen peroxide, and it works with HEAT to lighten your hair. The instructions do not mention sun (remember Sun-In Hair Lightener from the 80s which reacted to sunshine to lighten your hair?). This product requires a heat-styling tool to work its magic.

In fact, it recommends that you use a curling iron or flat iron after application for maximum results. Since I use neither of those tools to style my hair, I used a hair dryer (also recommended).

If you are thinking about trying this product, PLEASE enlarge the following photo and read the label carefully:

Now for the good part! First let me say that my hair is dark blonde/light brown with lighter pieces running throughout. However, my roots are a shade or two darker than the lower 75% of my hair, and that's the part I focus on when I color my hair. I also have lots of gray near my bangs, so I was REALLY hoping that using this product would eliminate my need to break out my usual box of color that I use to color my gray.

When I first decided to document this process with pictures, I thought it would be best to focus on my roots. Well, I am KICKING MYSELF for not taking a "before" picture of my new growth as it compares to the rest of my hair. I apologize, but I'll tell you more about that later on in this post.

Following the directions to a "T", I've been using this product immediately after washing my hair and applying it to my roots and bang area. I find the fragrance of this product pleasant--it smells just like a regular hairspray to my nose.

After application, I then blow-dry my hair, making special effort to apply lots of heat to my roots and bangs. And..that's it!

After the first and second applications, I was sad that I literally could not see ANY difference. But then I reminded myself that the box states "results in 3-5 uses" so I continued to use it every other day. As you can see, the change is gradual, and I actually decided to stop after SIX uses, since that's when I achieved my desired level of lightness (the box recommends up to 10 uses).

In the above set of photos, I want to point out a few things. First of all, in the first pic (with the arrow), I'm showing you that there are areas of my hair that are lighter than others. My biggest concern was that this product would turn my hair into one giant orange blog. Not the case! I still have multi-dimensional hair with darker and lighter areas throughout.

In the third photo above (with the white bar), I put the white bar across my head to indicate approximately how far down my new growth went BEFORE I started using this product. In other words, my hair was looking pretty shabby and my root color went all the down to the white bar.

The most fantastic thing about this product, for me, is that I literally cannot tell where my roots used to be--the color has blended SEAMLESSLY into the rest of my hair! I don't know exactly how this worked, but it TOTALLY worked!

My hair does not feel dry or damaged in the slightest, which I think can be attributed to the fact that this is a gentle, very gradual lightening process. Also, I stopped after six applications instead of using ten (I'm not saying that ten applications would cause damage, but since I only used six, I wasn't surprised to see that my hair felt the same as it did before I started using this product).

One last thing: after using this product six times, the bottle still feels a little more than half full. That's great news considering you only get 3.5 oz of product to begin with, so I imagine one bottle can last for two full rounds of lightening on my hair, since I only need to use it six times per round.

FINAL VERDICT: John Frieda Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray gave me the exact results I was hoping for, with little to no effort on my part. I was scared that it would dramatically lighten my hair after the first use, but it really delivered on its promise of controlled lightening. Six applications was all I needed in order to match the color of my new growth with the lower 75% of my hair. The transition looks seamless to my naked eye, which is absolutely amazing. I would say that if you're in a situation similar to mine (you have blonde to light brown hair with roots that are a shade or two darker) you might have success with this product as well. Just remember that you won't see results after the first few applications. I will definitely repurchase this product and continue to use it every time my pesky roots make their monthly appearance.

Have you tried John Frieda Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray? Do you think it sounds like a good match for your hair coloring needs? For more reviews of this product, check out the John Frieda website.


  1. What colour is your hair naturally? I've been using the lightening shampoo on my medium brown hair and I don't think it's done anything and I am almost through the bottle. I had an unpleasant result from a hair dye a couple of months back that basically turned my hair black, so I am working on lightening it now since I heard if you dye over it with brown dye it will make it green?

    I have totally heard of sun-in, I used it myself! And it wasn't in the 80s either, more like 10 years ago. :)

  2. How is it that you always come out with reviews that are *exactly* what I've been needing or considering buying recently? I think you must be stalking me. I was at WalMart two days ago with this in my hand, wondering if it was any good.

    I assume you didn't try the shampoo/conditioner along with the spray? I'm not sure if they actually have any of the bleachy stuff in them or are just formulated for blonde hair.

    Anyway, your hair looks awesome, darling! I'll be grabbing one of these next time I'm out. :D xoxo


  3. Justine: my natural hair color is the color of my new growth that you see in my "before" pic (I would consider it light brown although it looks a touch darker in the photos).

    As for your experience, the bottle clearly states that this product is "not suitable for use on medium brown or darker shades of hair". So I'm not surprised you didn't see results. :(

    Also, in the US, Sun-In was EXTREMELY popular when it first debuted in the mid-80s. Every girl (and guy) in high school was using it and I swear there was a point where half my high school had orange, sun-bleached hair. lol! But yes, I do know that it's actually still around today. I think it was just at its height of popularity in the 80s and now you can barely find it in US drugstores. :)

  4. Rach: You don't see me standing behind you right now watching your every move? LOL! ;) I haven't tried the shampoo and conditioner yet, but I'm actually very excited to see how they work! Once I spot a good sale and have some coupons, I'll give 'em a whirl and post a review. I really, really hope this works as well for you as it did for me (if you try it). Please please keep me posted? :)

  5. Thanks for this great post! I have also been using the lightening spray along with the lightening shampoo & conditioner & I LOVE it!
    I have light brown hair, which I get highlighted every 5 weeks. I hate getting dark roots, and I am so happy that this product actually works! It helps blend my roots so that I can actually go a little longer in between highlights. As you noted, it is a gradual lightener, and it will not turn your hair into platinum blonde, but instead a nice, natural looking, light blonde.
    As far as the shampoo & conditioner, I feel that it helps keep you hair from looking brassy and it helps bring out your highlights.
    I have been using the spray for almost 3 months, and I still have about 1/4 of a bottle of product left. Also, I'm not sure if you noticed, but along with a coupon, there is an insert in the box that allows you to register your bottle of lightening spray on the John Frieda website, and they will send you a free bottle of the lightening spray!! :)
    Love your blog ~ keep up the great wor!

  6. I saw a little try-me kit at Walgreens and almost bought it! It was $4.99 for a small shampoo, conditioner and lightening spray from the Go Blonder collection. I didn't buy it because I got scared of the product. I have med dark brown hair with blonde highlights, and I thought it would not blend with the rest of my hair.
    Anyways, for those of you who want to try it maybe try to find that try-me kit at Walgreens.

  7. I absolutely need this product. I have natural blonde hair that has darkened with age and of course greyed at the temples. I normally get a weave and a color to keep it looking good. I am in need of the roots being touched up right away.

    I will be picking this up and trying it out. Thank goodness you sacrificed yourself for the good of the makeup community, LOL.

  8. Great review! Couldn't agree more with everything you said. I bought this product for my dirty blonde haired hubby who looks extra beachy-gorgeous when his hair has highlights. This product is really so easy and perfect for lighter haired boys or girls who want to brighten and lighten up their locks.

  9. @G. - Oh I didn't try this product, I tried the lightening shampoo and read the back of the tube and there was nothing on there saying not to use it on darker hair. Actually I had a reader recommend that I use the shampoo since she had dark hair and used it and it did make her hair lighter.

  10. I put in for the free bottle of thr lightening spray almost 3 months ago and have not received it yet:-(. I do like the product though. Ive got some brown with my blonde highlights so i prob wont use this for a while until my brown starts to fade and ill probably just use it on my roots.

  11. awesome review! I actually just posted how this worked to REALLY lighten up my locs! I have dark brown hair and it definitely worked on my hair after only 3 uses! I love this stuff and will use it all summer to attain that blonde I once used to have :-)

  12. Love the lightening spray! I use it 2 times a week for maintenance along with the Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo and Conditioner, Tone-correcting shampoo and conditioner and the Full Repair. I rotate through them all. I got a ton of free John Frieda at Rite Aid during last months sales. I swear by the brand! My hair just looks and feels amazing. Great stuff.

  13. this is so cool! i used to use sunsilk custom highlights mousse (same as sun-in sorta thing) and i remember it making my hair an awful orange colour. im interested in this spray version though, it seems to have worked for you!

  14. OMG, I was afraid of this product because it gave me Sun-In nightmares from 1986...but girlie you worked it!

  15. Girl, you totally worked it like the other gal in the last post said. Looks amazing on you. I oh so remember the days of sun in and looking back makes me tremble in fear!! In the early 90's when I was about 12 my older and oh so cool sister decided she was going to put sun in, in my hair. I remember looking at the bottle and imagining my dark brown hair being transformed into a golden, Sexy blonde!! Well lets just say after an afternoon of two bottles and a blow dryer. I walked away looking none the less like Donald McDonald!! I was mortified and my mother still has pictures of me sporting the hair do on my first day to seventh grade, wearing MC Hammer pants to boot!! I told her if she were to ever show my husband I would kill her!!
    Well anyways your hair looks lovely as ever and my little story should be a good lesson to brunettes that it doesn't work on us!!

  16. I'm actually doing the same thing with the shampoo!

  17. Thank you for your thorough review. I have a dirty blonde that edges on being a light blonde(especially near the front, with my bangs, etc) and in the past I have used Sun-In and also a John Frieda product that was a gel you were supposed to put in the hair that would lighten it... both of those products would lighten the hair, yes, but cause breakage and be uneven.

    I like that this is a controlled spray that means it needs regular, continuous use. I think I will purchase this (hopefully I can find a coupon, too!!) and give it a shot in preparation for this summer.

  18. I tried the shampoo and conditioner, using them maybe two or three times a week (I wash my hair more often than that, but have too many shampoos in the shower), and found they brought my darkening blond/light brown hair to a lighter, more obviously blond shade, which was pretty cool. I think it took about a week to show. The results look natural, though they're not extreme (you're not going platinum this way!), which works for me. MUA reviews noted that you can only go a certain degree lighter before you stop seeing changes.

    They've repackaged the shampoo and conditioner, so I suggest checking new bottles (pinkish, I think?) for coupons, and watching clearance racks for the older, gold bottles. I ended up paying about $1.20 a bottle this way.

  19. I wish they made a version of this for red hair! I'm a natural blonde but I colour it auburn (blonde looks TERRIBLE on me, funny enough), and I have to touch up my roots almost constantly to avoid skunk-stripe. I'd love an easy-application spray bottle to keep my roots even!

  20. I saw this on the Today Show today and I am sooo interested. I am overdue to get my hair highlighted and I cant really afford it right now. I have naturally dark blonde hair and I get it highlighted a light blonde. So my hair is dimensional. I have read reviews from other people that said that they couldnt get their hair colored after this process. Do you color your hair? And if so, were you told this?

  21. I used to use the sunsilk mousse as a teenager and really liked it, natural looking and super easy. Can't wait to try this stuff. Thanks for the review :)

  22. hiii, i used to be blonde but by the time my hair turned to brown,but iam afraid of using this spray, but now i want to ask do i need to use this spray with the shampoo and conditioner or it will work by it self, and what about my old blonde hair will it come back, and can i use it on my brown hair ??

  23. Hey G!

    First off, thanks for posting this: it convinced me to buy it in the first place, and I've had great results. But a thought occurred to me and I can't find a good answer around: is it permanent? Or will I have to spray once or twice a week to retain the colour?

  24. Great review, thanks! So did this cover your gray? I'm getting gray or white hair near my temples and forehead and was hoping this would be way an easy way to cover it. It's just getting noticeable, at least to me. My hair is light brown and I was hoping the gray would turn into blond highlights.

  25. Thanks, great review! So did this cover the gray in your hair too?

  26. i first saw this at big lots in tiny bottles for like $1. and had the courage to buy 5 of them. Well, i LOVE how it has worked, and am a big fan. i used it initially after each shampoo (about 1x a week) and combed it through. I adore it and agree completely with your review.


I love and encourage comments here at Nouveau Cheap, and I do not censor comments unless they violate my comment policy, which you can view here.

Please refrain from comments that contain:
• Links to your own blog or website
• Advertisements or referral links

Thanks very much for your help in keeping this a spam-free zone.

© 2009- Nouveau Cheap. All rights reserved.