Color Short Grey Hair

Woman with super short buzzed hair
Photo: Deman/Shutterstock
Q: I recently had all my hair buzzed off for a cancer research fundraiser at a local school. I actually challenged the kids to raise over $1,000 and they did it!
My hair is now about 1/2 inch long, but coming in very gray. I would like to put some color on it. How do I go about coloring such short hair without also coloring my skin?

A: Congratulations on your commitment to helping fund cancer research and for inspiring your kids to participate. There aren't that many women with the courage to do what you have done. That being said, let's look at the problem of coloring the hair with a minimum of risk of staining.
Well, the best method is to enlist the help of a friend and go with the brush and bowl method rather than the applicator bottle. You simply brush the hair with the color much the same as if you were painting. You still may get some color on the scalp (you do want to color the hair all the way down, after all) but the brush will give you more control than using an applicator bottle.
Even if you do get some color on the skin, it will usually wash away (if you're using permanent color) in a day or two. If you use demi-permanent color, it may not stain at all or will be gone with the second shampooing.
If you do have a problem with staining in patently visible places, there is a product you can get to remove hair color stains from skin and clothing. Just ask a clerk at your local beauty supply for it. There are several different products by different manufacturer's that all work basically the same way. The one that is available in your area will depend on regional marketing.
The big factor here is going to be enlisting the help of a friend. Standing behind a person's head allows for much better control of what you are doing than working on your own head.
You may also discover that your gray hair is less receptive to the hair color than your naturally pigmented hair. You should also look for an additive available at your local beauty supply called "Gray Magic". This generally makes hair color penetrate better into gray hair. Gray hair is typically possessed of a more compact cuticle layer which makes it resistant to color and other chemical services.
See also:
How to dye your hair
Cover gray hair with hair color