A Travel Hair Hack for Blondes: John Freida Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray
There is nothing I detest more than going to the hairdressers. I don’t like people touching me, I don’t like idle chatter and I don’t like sitting there for hours leafing through page and page of the inane drivel that is NOW magazine.
Thus far in life, I’ve managed to sustain the fairly acceptable standard of hair maintenance – a twice annual salon visit, in which I have bleach highlights added to my naturally dark ash-blonde hair, followed by a cheeky trim. However, this procedure has proved more and more difficult now that I spend 90% of the year outside of the UK.
For those of you who don’t know; there are some countries where blonde hair dye does not even exist. There are some countries where to have highlights done you have to surrender your better judgment at the door and pray this isn’t the first time your Chinese-speaking hairdresser has handled blonde hair.
After the unfortunate hair disaster of summer ’15, upon which I foolishly used a Groupon voucher in Toronto, and some unqualified idiot fried my hair to the point of no return, I was naturally dubious. And so I’ve been looking for some miracle that could mean I could forego these tumultuous salon visits, and be the master of my own destiny.
Magic in a Bottle!
Enter.. John Freida’s Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray. Now, I’m sure anyone reading this remembers the retro delight that was “Sun-In.” You actually can’t buy it anymore in the UK – which probably says it all. Either way, it’s a hair lightening product of similar classification, and when you were 15 it was the shit. Fast forward a few years and John Freida is perhaps the slightly more demure older sister of Sun-In – one that’s been away to university, spent a month in Paris, and now shops exclusively at Mango. I’m fairly certain the main difference is the percentage of hydrogen peroxide involved (that stuff that bleaches your hair.) Sun-In has a whopping 6%. I can’t find exact details for the percentage of John Freida, but if I had to guess I would say its at least 50% less, which also equates to 50% less damage. You’ve probably heard hairdressers tell horror stories about Sun-In, or at least I had. So I was naturally fearful of accidentally ruining my already damaged hair. So far I have found John Freida to be a far less damaging product, even compared to my previous professionally administered bi-annual bleach highlights.
How it Works..
The way the product works is by spraying on to washed, towel dried hair. I’ve been doing it twice a week, and wouldn’t recommend doing it any more frequently than that, as your hair needs time to recover; it will be dried out slightly by the peroxide. Simply spray on to damp hair over the course of a few weeks, blow drying/straightening after use to activate the product, or even just plonk yourself in the garden in the sunshine! You will need several applications to see a noticeable effect. Progress will be slow to start, but after 2 applications you should start to notice the difference – the bottle states 3-5, but depends on what you’re after. The bottle recommends not using more than 10 times in-between colourings, but when spraying on to virgin hair, this would likely not be an issue. This product states it’s only for use on blonde hair but I’ve read several reviews of it being used on darker hair – the results will, of course, be different and I wouldn’t be surprised if it went a bit ginger – but potentially still a viable option. It’s absolutely ideal for anyone with dark blonde/mousy hair colouring that needs a lift, in my opinion. Get that beach look without ever leaving the duvet – an introverts dream! Or just my dream, anyway.
So, why is this so great for travel? Well, for starters it comes in a 100ml bottle. I have a soft spot in my heart for anything which already comes in a 100ml bottle as it means it saves me ever having to decant the fucker. On top of that, it’s light and slim, easy to throw into your luggage without hassle. I have found that even using it twice a week for a few weeks at a time only uses up a small amount of product, so each bottle could potentially last you several months depending on how you use it. For that much use, the price really can’t be beaten. I paid £11/$14 for a bottle here in Colombia (yes, I found it in Colombia!) but I’m pretty sure you can get your hands on it for a much more reasonable price elsewhere in Europe or N.America – probably more like £5/$7. So you can pick this product up before you leave, or potentially even find it in selected stores on the road.
How I Use it..
Just to give you an idea here is the most recent picture I could find of me before I started using it and you can see my roots fairly clearly – my hair is naturally blonde anyway, so it’s not a huge difference. But, at this point, I hadn’t had highlights for about 8 months!
I only wash my hair twice a week to reduce damage, and also because I’m a lazy piece of shit who doesn’t leave the house that often. So I’ve taken to using it after every wash, but if you wash more frequently I would still only use it a few times a week as it can cause damage. I use a deep conditioner with my hair every time I wash it, this is simply because I have very dry hair from the previous bleaching. You could easily just use deep conditioner selectively, or once a week if you have normal hair, but good to add into your routine if you are using this product. After washing I towel dry lightly and then spritz with detangling/conditioning spray – again, this is because my hair is damaged and dry, you can skip this step otherwise. I then go ahead and spray my virgin roots (hair that has not been colour treated) with the spray. I put it into sections and use 2-3 sprays on each but, then working through with my fingers before brushing out (I plan to try spraying all over my hair once my roots get to the right shade.) I then immediately dry with hair dryer on medium heat. The product states you can get more dramatic results by using straighteners on it also, but I don’t have any with me currently, so a moderately warm travel-hairdryer had to suffice, and seemed to be fine. You can also skip the step of hair drying for a less damaging and slightly weaker result. My travel hair dryer broke this week and I had to leave my hair to air-dry but can still notice the colour had lifted, so it might all be nonsense anyway about “needing” heat to activate.
I’m so pleased with the results I may give up on bleach highlights completely as they have ravaged my extremely fine hair, and simply using the spray I get a beautiful natural colour with slight highlights which is perfect for the “more mature” blonde look I’m trying to ascertain now I’m a “woman”.
And there you have it, a travel essential which will save you a small fortune in money, time and anxiety. I would perhaps recommend to maybe keep it in a ziplock bag when you’re traveling as if it were to leak it could potentially do some damage. Oh, and it smells great too!
Happy blonding, people!
Please note: If you put this on dark hair, you are taking a risk as you may well end up with some kind of unplanned ginger catastrophe. Also, there are many reviews online of people destroying their hair by using this far too often. Using twice per week and integrating a weekly intensive hair mask would be an ideal way to use the product for minimal damage, paired with a leave in conditioner to use in-between applications.
It is now several weeks on since I started using this product, and I am absolutely amazed by the results. Amazingly natural, beautiful colour AND zero damage. I’m not sure if it’s just because of my hair type and the fact I’ve only been using it twice a week with deep conditioner in-between, but my hair actually seems to be in better condition for it miraculously?! Also, the colour is lovely, I am for certain going to give up on highlights altogether and just use this product continually over the year and see the results. Amazing. It’s an extremely rare occurrence when cosmetic goods actually do what they say they will, and well, without causing other issues. So bravo to John Freida as they seem to have revolutionised lightening sprays. Fair play!