Dye Short Grey Hair

Man with short grey hair
Q: I am a male whose hair is thin and receding mainly at the temples. My hair is grey at the sides to about halfway up my head. I cut my hair normally to a number 2, and whilst this cut suits my receding hair, it seems to enhance the grey. Can I dye hair this short?
A: Certainly, although there are some things you'll want to remember when trying to color gray hair. In order to blend the gray for the most natural looking result, you want to select a color that is appropriate for the amount of gray hair you have.
If your hair is lightly gray (10-30%) then select a color that is one to two shades lighter than your natural color. If the hair is moderately gray (30-70% gray) then select a color around one shade lighter than your natural shade. For hair that is more than 70% gray, look for a color that is as close as possible to your natural shade.
This is meant as a general guideline, simplified for the at-home user. If your hair is unevenly gray, with areas that are more densely gray than others, you'll want to use a color closer to your natural shade on the more densely gray areas.
Be aware that you may find your gray hairs are hard to color. You can look for specific color formulas for use on gray hair, or look for additives (such as "Gray Magic") which help haircolor penetrate gray hair more easily.
You may also want, for ease of use, to try one of the gradual hair coloring agents (like Grecian Formula) to slowly blend away your gray hair, or one of the other "For Men" coloring products. Many of these use metallic based hair dyes, which are fine, but should be noted if you at any point intend to go and use another type of haircolor.
Haircolors that use metallic dyes react badly when mixed with traditional haircolors that use hydrogen peroxide as a developer. The metallic pigments react with the peroxide developer and can result in serious hair damage, and possible scalp burns, so be forewarned that you will need to be sure not to mix haircolor types, or to wait until the metallic color has grown out completely before changing haircolor types.
Photo: Studio Grand Web/Shutterstock
See also:
How to color your hair
How to cover gray hair with haircolor
Solution for color resistant gray hair
How do I go about coloring short gray hair without also coloring my skin?