In high school I had loooong hair. And it was blonde (of course). So I decided to commemorate graduation and moving to BYU I would cut it all off and donate it. I looked to Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail for inspiration.
This is the only picture I have of me with short hair on this computer. . . (Me with my cute grandparents at Macaroni Grill)
The problem was that I cut off all my blonde. My hair naturally lightens in the summer and so my roots were a little bit darker and that's basically all that was left after cutting 13". I've never been one to mess with my hair (no dye, no perms) and so I was hesitant to highlight it. Until my mom found this awesome hair gel that would gradually lighten your hair. I used it for a couple years and then it was no longer stocked at any of the stores I shopped with. (I believe you can still buy it online) What was a girl to do? I looked at the ingredients and figured peroxide was probably what did the trick.
And since then I've been highlighting my hair with peroxide. I mix half peroxide half water in a spray bottle and I use it on my hair before bed probably once a month (more when I'm pregnant since my hair grows much faster). Also, to start out you might need to use it more frequently, and then just occasionally for maintenance. Recently John Frieda came out with a new product: Sheer Blonde Go Blonder. I checked the ingredients on the bottle, and yep! Peroxide. So for about 97 cents you can make like ten bottles of this stuff, that usually sells for like $7 a bottle. I'd say that's a good deal!