John Frieda Controlled Lightening Spray on Brown Hair Review

About a year ago, I had went to the hairdressers to ombre my hair. The hairdresser refused to use bleach on my hair so I ended up leaving the salon with a color I definitely did not want! Luckily there was a smooth transition so at least I didn’t have to worry about that! But I really hated the color so I was determined to find a cheap way to lighten  the color. I ended up purchasing the John Frieda Controlled Lightening Spray even though the instructions strictly said the it was for natural blondes only and I was naturally a brunette… oh well it worked out. It was $14 at a Shopper’s Drug mart, so it was a tiny bit more expensive than some other hair lightening products, but I heard great things about i so I decided the extra few dollars were worth it, and it still cost way less than getting your hair done again by a professional.

I followed the instructions and used it a total of 10 times. After washing my hair, I would spray a generous amount on the part of my hair that I wanted to be lighter and then I would blow dry it. Sometimes I used a round brush but when I didn’t have lots of time I just quickly dried my hair while ruffling it with my fingers, I don’t think it matters how you dry your hair as long you do apply heat.

controlled lightenimg hair spray

After about 4 uses, my friend told me she could really see a difference but I honestly thought it looked the same. I kept going and around the 7 use I started to notice that my hair really did get lighter, especially if you compare photos ( down below). I used it a total of 9 times and I still didn’t get the honey blonde color I wanted, but it was definitely better than what I had so overall I was satisfied with it, although there are a few cons that I will list below.

The difference in these photos looks tremendous but I can assure you that my hair wasn’t that blonde by the end (I really wish it was!). The pictures were taken in completely different lighting conditions which makes a huge difference but nevertheless there still was a pretty big difference. My old hair color never would’ve come out that blond in a picture, no matter how well lit the place was.


It is true that it left my hair a bit bronze colored but it wasn’t too bad so I just left it alone. Although if you can’t stand a bit of bronze/ orange tint, a toner should do the trick and fix it.

It is all chemicals so it is a given that it will ruin your hair. It gave me quite a few split ends but it wasn’t too bad (unfortunately my hair was pretty ruined beforehand..).

Lastly, it wasn’t a very pleasant smell. Not that it was really bad but it would take away all the nice smells from your shampoo and leave y0ur hair with a very faint chemically smell, or no smell at all.


This is definitely not a miracle worker, but it does work pretty well so I do recommend it. Also, if you are a natural blonde that would like to go blonder, it works amazing! One of my blonde friends tried it out and after 3 uses her hair turned almost 3 shades lighter, it was amazing!

That’s it for this review, let me know what your experiences were like with drugstore hair lightening products!


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15 thoughts on “John Frieda Controlled Lightening Spray on Brown Hair Review

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  8. You hair looks so beautiful! I’ve been trying to do the same thing, but with Sun-In, which has a similar process. I’m at 4 applications and my ends are just barely light brown, but my hair started to feel too dry so I’m on a deep conditioning break! I hope I get as nice results! 🙂

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