Coloring a Short Hair System

As your hair system ages, it may lighten and take on red or orange tones. This process is called oxidization, and is a normal occurrence for all hair wearers. If you choose to color your system to restore its original color, we recommend you use professional hair color as opposed to over-the-counter commercial color.

Once you have your professional color kit, it’s imperative that you follow the specific instructions outlined below. For tips on how to color long hair and full cap systems, please read Coloring a Long Hair System.


  • Professional coloring kit
  • Styrofoam head and T-pins
  • Rubber gloves
  • Comb
  • Hair color brush or fine-tooth comb (for applying color)
  • Clean, dry towel (it will get color stains on it)
  • Sink
  • Glass measuring cup which measures ounces
  • 6 ounces of hot tap water
  • Shampoo
  • Glass bowl
  • Leave-in conditioner
  • Aluminum foil

Before you begin

Apply and conform a large piece of aluminum foil around your Styrofoam head to protect it. Place your system on top of the foil and and pin it down securely.

Once it’s pinned down, comb through the hair system to ensure it’s securely attached to the Styrofoam head and won’t come off during the coloring process.

Take a minute to assess the hair system and decide where you would like to apply color. For example, you may choose to keep some lighter tones in the front of your system.

Step 1: Mix the correct formula

Make sure you’re wearing gloves and follow these instructions to mix your hair color:

If you have black, dark brown, medium brown, light brown or dark blonde hair: Add 1 ounce of color solution, 1 ounce developer, and 1 ounce of hot water to your measuring cup. Then add 1/4 ounce of drabber. Lastly, pour the solution in the glass bowl and mix them thoroughly together.

If you have medium blonde, light blonde or very light blonde hair: Add 1 ounce of color solution, 1 ounce developer, and 1 ounce of hot water to your measuring cup. Lastly, pour the solution in the glass bowl and mix them thoroughly together. Do not use drabber, as this can cause too much of an ash tone and muddy the color.

Step 2: Apply color to hair

If you have long hair, please see Coloring a Long Hair System to get precise instructions.

Part your hair into small sections, as this will make it easier to work with. Because the color will be thinner than you may be used to, we recommend using a hair color brush to apply the color to one section of hair at a time.

Make sure you don’t have too much color on the brush, so you’re able to control the amount of color being applied to the hair. This will help prevent it from running down into the base.

Apply the color directly to your hair with the brush and comb it through. Leave the color on for one to three minutes. If you haven’t reached your desired color after three minutes, apply more color and check it at one minute intervals until you’re happy with the result.

Warning: Avoid getting color on the base of your system. It will stain, even if it’s on the base for a short time.

Step 3: Rinse hair

Once the hair has reached a color you like, it's vital to rinse it thoroughly with warm tap water. Carefully remove the pins and take the system off the Styrofoam head. With the base facing up, rinse the system under the faucet until the water runs clear. It’s important to keep the base side up so the color does not stain the base material. This also prevents the hair from tangling.

Step 4: Shampoo

After rinsing, shampoo the system using a mild shampoo. Rinse and shampoo again. Rinse the system well, then blot it on a clean, dry towel to ensure no color residue was left behind.

If the color is too dark

If the color gets a bit darker than you planned, don't worry. Wash the hair as soon as possible with Dawn® dish soap (or clarifying shampoo) to lighten the color. You may have to shampoo it a few times. The hair color will also naturally fade over time.

Until you determine exactly what color is the perfect match for your system, it may be a good idea to pick a color one or two shades lighter than what you’re aiming for. You can always color your system again to make it darker.

If you have problems during the coloring process, or aren’t comfortable doing it on your own, you can always send the system to us and we’ll color it for you.