Agree you can only go lighter with peroxide/ bleach - honey is a very mild source of peroxide, box dyes also contain peroxide. In and of itself lightening from dark blonde to honey blonde should not be that damaging because it's only a few shades.

The problem comes when the damage is compounded, hair down at your waist may have little to no cuticle left simply through the passage of time, hair that is straightened either by heat or chemicals will also be damaged, if you intend to have more streaks later to hit your roots there is every chance some of the hair will get double processed.

I highly recommend you buy a 'sacrificial' blonde box dye and do strand tests on shed hair to see what colour you might expect and how damaged the hair becomes. When you have the hair lightened, flat iron it a good few times, if indeed that is how you currently straighten, then see how strong it is. You may not go strawberry blonde, you may not have much red undertones in your hair, many dirty blondes do not we are cool/ ashy/ mousey.

The least damaging way of lifting is to bleach over coconut oil soaked hair. This is actually beneficial for any damaged or porous hair but may not absorb if your hair is coated in silicones.
Originally Posted by Firefox7275
thanks for the info and the coconut oil tip, ive always wanted to try coconut oil.
also, i take REALLY REALLY reallyyyyyy good care of my hair. i almost never use heat. like maybe once a month i used to straighten with a flat iron but ive stopped that because ive figured out a way to straighten without heat. ive never before used chemicals on my hair and i deep condition every week. im super super gentle with my hair and i snip off the few split ends and fairy knots that show up. so i think maybe a few highlights wont be that harmful. i just want the least damaging...so i think i'll maybe just go with semi-permanent dye? because its inserting pigment instead of taking it out. thats my theory so far anyway. but im still kinda on-the-fence because i'll have to keep getting them redone with semi-permanent dye, but with bleach, you do it once and you're done. and you can always just bleach the roots as they grow, i dont plan on bleaching already-bleached hair haha.
another thing...my hair actually has red undertones in it. its like a dingy reddish dark blonde. like the color of an old penny haha. but when it gets sun-bleached, its honey, sometimes strawberry-honey. if that makes any sense.