Santa Claus with a Beard

Updated on October 09, 2010
B.C. asks from San Bernardino, CA
10 answers

I have played Santa Claus in my church for the last 6 years. I love it. I retired in Dec 2009 and have grown my own beard so I could play Santa Claus with my own beard. As my beard grew, many of my friends suggested I get a job as a Santa Claus because I love it, am good at it, and my beard looks so good.

The problem is my beard is gray and my hair light brown and gray. The company I'm going to work for wants a white beard and white hair. I've tried some threatrical make up and my beard looks very good, but the makeup is uncomfortable and rubs off on my pillow and anything I rub up against. I e-mailed Clairol and L'oreal and they said they don't have anything that will turn my gray beard white. They suggested I contacted a local salon. No one I have spoken with at salons know how to turn a gray beard white. Help! ! Does any one know how to turn my hair and beard white?

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answers from Lincoln on

Go to Sally's Beauty supply and buy some bleach powder and 40 developer. Then bleach both beard and hair (you can ask the salesperson for tips, they are very good about it), Once that is done you will need to color. You should use the same 40 volume developer and buy a white (not yellow) color. Again ask the sales person for the correct color, probably something with a blue base so you get a silvery-platinum color and not a really really blonde color.

You total cost will only be about 30 dollars for the developer, gloves, color, bleach, and bottle. Much cheaper than a salon. Although, if you have the money and a good salon near you, its easier to let them do it.

P.S. I'd like some flannel sheets and a new sewing/embroidery machine. :-)

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answers from Seattle on

If push comes to shove you could always go flock know, with the stuff you can buy to flock Christmas trees? Ha!

~I am not even sure that is the correct spelling of flock? And I was trying to be funny...which I apologize for in advance if you take offense...sadly, I am not funny...don't know why I even try:)

Good Luck Santa!

Oh yeah...I have been very good this year and would love a nice comfy pair of sheepskin slippers!

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answers from Tulsa on

But some hair color at Sally's Beauty Supply or even at Wal-Mart. They don't have to be permanent. Some wash out over about 6 weeks.

My mom used Clairol Shampoo for grey hair, it was dark, DARK, purple and it turned her hair whiter over time it made it awesomely pretty, Shimmering Lights. There are also temporary rinses you can buy too. Pantene makes a shampoo and conditioner that enhances the white blonde color too.

Link to Clairol shimmer Lights review:

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answers from Pittsburgh on

That's a really interesting question and dilemma!

And might I add, so cool that you love playing Santa so much that you even grew out a beard to do it! Fabulous!

I would assume since you've spoken to major companies, and salons, that they have considered whether bleach (as in the hair type) would work to turn gray hair white... bleach will remove color from your hair, but gray hair doesn't actually have color, per se. I'm assuming they've told you that bleach won't work?

The only other suggestion I'd have, would be to use something less permanent, like the color sprays. Perhaps you could use a little in the beard and hair to whiten it up a bit? I wouldn't suggest trying to completely whiten your beard and hair with it, because it would look odd. But if you just lightly sprayed it, to give it a dusting of white, so to speak, it might give a more realistic appearance of white hair. Worth a try, since it's not expensive, and completely washable, which is the other plus. You could shower after a job, and not have to deal with any irritation. Not sure how well it would hold up, though, and not rub off on your's or other's clothes. I'd still give it a try, if you haven't. (Not sure exactly what kind of 'theatrical make-up you've already tried.)

Oh, I just thought of another suggestion... you may have already done this, since you mention using theatrical makeup... but you might try consulting with a local university's theater department. See what they do to whiten hair/beards... just another avenue to check...

In any case, have a wonderful time playing Santa. It's so cool.

And I did find InMy30'sAlready's response to be quite humorous. :)

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answers from Houston on

I'm a stylist. They can bleach it and then tone it, though you still may end up with a more of a silvery-platinum look. Yes, we've colored beards before, one client came in every month to have his 2 foot long thin beard colored burgundy. I believe the salons probably tell you this because of the liability issue of having bleach on your face, which is understandable. Adding several packets of sweet-n-low to the color can help with itchiness, since it is a nerve agent.

And bleach will pull the gray color, though it is difficult... often times, they will need to do a short pre-bleach, sometimes in the form of a bleaching shampoo, then bleach again and then tone. You can find more about that here:

We add bleach highlights to gray hair all the time to blend it and create a nice blonde, and I had a graying client come in and get full head bleach for a lovely white color. But like I said earlier you will need to have it toned... and then some deep conditioning and a nice trim b/c you are going to have some seriously dried out hair, with frizzy ends.

Or, you can use the white color temporary spray for Halloween... much less expensive and less hassle. I was in theater as well and there are some tricks to keeping that powder so that it won't rub off as badly. Some ideas are discussed here:

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answers from Seattle on

I've gone platinum before. As Momma L said... it's typically a multistep bleaching process, and then you tone out any warmth, so it's a nice "cool" white. It's done easiest on SHORT hair, and hair that is not red (<laughing> I was very red, and it went through about a month of "food" colors to get it to platinum. Cheeto, then Dorito, Lemon, and then finally snowy white.) The closer to the root (within about an inch, would pale up the most... and the longer the hair the more it "fried").

I would suggest wearing goggles so that the fumes from your beard as the heat travels them upward (even though it should be covered for the majority of the time), don't irritate your eyes.

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answers from Boise on

Try a salon that old ladies frequent. I have seen quite a few WHITE (trying to be blonde) haired old ladies. Maybe they have a trick, because they are rarely grey.



answers from Anchorage on

Have you tried the colored hair sprays they sell for halloween?


answers from Los Angeles on

Manic Panic hair dye used to have a white color, but I think you have to bleach your hair first to strip some of the color out for it to be uniform.
Google manic panic and their website should come up.
My dad used to play santa, it was so fun getting him ready every year. =)


answers from San Antonio on

My dad has played Santa a time or two before also. He is gray too and starts growing his beard longer at the end of the summer so it'll be a little bit longer by Christmas time.

My thought is -- a "real" santa or real person doesn't have WHITE hair. The Company needs to get over it and hire you regardless. Or maybe you should find somewhere else to get hired. Sometimes companies here and there will hire you to come to their Christmas party. Last year Santa (my dad) was delivered not by sled to the party, but by Jeep. Other times, I've heard of Santas being delivered by a monster truck. Just some ideas to think of.

As for hair white -- have you tried 'powdering' it with either baby powder or flour? I like the idea of going to Sally's Beauty Supply and asking those ladies there too.

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