Sun-In has its place in this world—the thousands of positive reviews you’ll find while conducting a brief survey of Google are a testament to that—but it’s not for everyone. To be more specific, that kind of DIY hair lightening situation is not for anyone like me, a person with very dark hair that very quickly turns the brassy orange-red of nightmares. (What, you don’t have nightmares about brassy hair?)
Chasing the blonde dragon is still a genuine plight, because the grass is always greener on the other side, i.e. the other end of the hair color spectrum. And while Sun-In may not be the answer—not even the fair-haired who are just out for some highlights are immune to the moisture zapping; there is no universe in which it is a good idea to let the sun and hydrogen peroxide simultaneously have their way with your hair—there are still ways to lighten that don’t end in a lengthy salon visit or a bathroom experiment involving bleach. Or squeezing lemons on your head or some shit.
These nine products exist solely to save you from yourself: They’re formulated with brightening, highlight-enhancing ingredients that can actually be found in nature, like chamomile, citrus, and honey (you learn something new every day!), and utilize the power of the sun (or a blowdryer) to lighten things up without the risk of total destruction. As long as you don’t overdo it, at least—all manners of at-home hair dyeing should still be approached with caution.