The only way to get your color to lighten is by using bleach. Using a lighter hair color does have some bleach in it to lighten, just a lower level of it. If you were to use a hair color (and you'd have to use either a medium or light blonde haircolor) you would probably only lighten to a dark strawberry blonde.

If you want actual blonde highlights you would definitely need to bleach it first. It may even need 2 bleach processes and you'd most likely need to leave it on for at least an hour

Also remember that any time you lighten or highlight, yyou will need to repeat this process once roots grow in.

I'm totally a DIY hair colorer, but even I would suggest going to a salon if you're going to do highlights.

Good luck!

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Originally Posted by iroc

This! I have a TON of experience with DIY coloring too (including dark brown to blonde color corrections and vice versa) and the one the thing I would never even try to do myself is highlights. Because with most color processes, it's mainly about the chemistry, mixing, timing, etc. But with highlights, it's all about the technique, the placement of the highlights and a lot of things that would be very difficult to do on yourself, even with tons of coloring experience. As far as damage goes, my hair has never gotten very damaged from just highlighting. I'm sure others might beg to differ, but I think as long as you take proper care of your hair a few highlights (if done correctly) shouldn't wreak too much havoc.