The DO’s and DON’TS of Santa Beard Bleachings- Part 3

The DO’s and DON’TS of Santa Beard Bleachings- Part 3

by Susen Mesco, Master Santa Claus Trainer- 
Professional Santa Claus School, Denver, CO USA
May 11, 2011

Continuing Educations and Information
for serious New and Veteran Professional Santas 
based upon level 1 core curriculum from 
Professional Santa Claus School (PSCS) of Denver Colorado.
Founded in 1983
to support great men with great hearts (Real Santas!)
in maintaining the greatest of all holiday traditions.

Santas bleaching their beards for the holiday season is the most misunderstood, most talked about fears of being a professional Santa Claus. Bleaching your hair or beard can be a frightening, repulsively smelly and dangerous activity for any Santa who deems his beard as his crowning glory of his Santa brotherhood. I have seen some major disasters, blonde bearded Santas, purple bearded Santas, and have had to provide designer beards to and cried with many Santas who endeavored to do this at home without proper information, who apply products hastily without reading directions or have not the knowledge needed...

Santa Billy.... (PSCS Grad. 2011)  BEFORE and AFTER....

Here are some tips to help guide you through this scary process. It CAN be done properly! The DO’s of Santa Bleaching
  1. Eat the proper diet and take the HNS supplements recommended and available through Pro Santa School of Denver, to work internally to stimulate quality hair growth. (Only .46 cents a day!) Drink lots of water… Remember? Your body weight divided by 2 = ounces per day.
  1. Use the NHF topical liquid available at Santa Claus School 2-3 times a week to nourish the follicle and stimulate growth & wake up the dormant follicles. (2 minutes, $3.42 per treatment.)
  1. Start shampooing your beard every other day with the NHF shampoo that cleans the pores and nourishes the follicles to stimulate growth & healthy hair & skin.
  1. Use the RNHMask (also available at Pro Santa School) at least once weekly during the off season. More often before and after bleaching session(s). Apply and leave on for 20-30 minutes. Rinse out! It’s pure heavenly magic – just ask all the Santas now using it!
  1. Trim hair 2-3 weeks before you plan to bleach. Continue deep conditioning with the hair mask!!
  1. About a month before you schedule your bleaching, visit a local hair academy and speak with the instructor. Ask her/him about her/his experience with color & chemicals before taking any advice too seriously. They may offer to do your bleaching and tinting for you. Thank them very much, but you are just there to gather info on your hair type and suggested bleaching products.
  1. Find a local SALLY BEAUTY SUPPLY or other professional supply store. Speak with the head manager. Have her/him look at your hair/beard for a second professional opinion. If this is different from the opinion you got at the beauty school, go ask another experienced professional. Get 2-4 opinions until YOU ARE COMFORTABLE with professional consensus for YOUR hair type!
  1. Avoid products with ammonia if at all possible, for your hair type. Often, you can use an ASH or super white blonde "shampoo IN" hair color rather than bleaching. Putting color IN is ALWAYS better than trying to bleach color out! DO A PATCH TEST UNDER YOUR BEARD FIRST! My favorite is L'OREAL! Look for products with NO AMMONIA!
  1. Ask about the tints for silver hair. (Bleaching is step 1, tinting is the necessary step 2, to close the cuticle, protect the hair strands and put white/silver pigment back into your hair. (Almost every Santa I’ve ever met, who bleaches his hair himself, has skipped this important step, because they didn’t know to put color & protection back on!)
  1. OR Ask about Demi Permanent Brilliance Glossers (clear color) to use as your tint or after you bleach.
  1. Ask about DEVELOPERS for sensitive skin (3%). This is also gentler on your hair! Adding a packet of articifial sweetener such as Sweet-N-Low will take some of the "burn" out of the bleaching.
  1. Get a quality PH neutralizing shampoo.
  1. If you are planning to bleach and tint yourself, buy enough developer and solution for your ONLY your test patch. Save the packaging so you can buy more of the EXACT same product that works, later if this is the right product for your hair.
  1. Depending upon your current growth until the Trim your beard 2-3 weeks before you plan to bleach and tint.
  1. ALWAYS do a test patch in a hidden area 2 days BEFORE you bleach your entire head or beard. Do NOT EVER RISK A DISASTER, by "testing" the product on your entire beard!
  1. Use gloves, wear old clothing, have old towels handy, use shower cap- if noted in instructions, goggles and cotton nose plugs to protect yourself when you do the bleaching and tinting process.
  1. Immediately after bleaching, use the PH neutralizing shampoo to STOP the oxidation process.
  1. Immediately after rinsing out the PH neutralizing shampoo, apply RNHM, let sit for 60 minutes.
  1. If you have to do a second bleaching, wait 7-10 days after your first attempt.If you bleach again any sooner, there is very good chance you will ruin your hair. Yellow often appears because you left the solution on your hair a bit too LONG. Thus bleaching again will only increase the yellow. It depends on your hair type.
  1. Remember that some yellow may be natural. If you feel you need to bleach more than twice, after you have tried the bluing rinse, consult a professional for additional treatments. DO NOT CONTINUE ON YOUR OWN unless you want to risk your Santa season!
  2. For "off season" gigs, like a 3 hour July appearance, try a super high quality whitening spray. The stuff you buy at Halloween for $1.99 is NOT good! It will flake all over your suit after an hour or so! This "quick fix" is not an everyday, permanent solution, but will work in a pinch and save your beard & wallet from a harsh and expensive, unnecessary treatment!
The DON’Ts
  • Don’t buy your hair care or bleaching/coloring product from a department store. (DO buy the proper developer (3%?) and bleach product, in separate containers, from a professional supply store, under the guidance of an experienced professional.)
  • Do not leave the store without proper written usage instructions from a qualified professional.

  • Do not use any metal mixing bowls or spoons to mix your "bleaching" and "tinting" products.

  • DO NOT SKIP DOING A TEST PATCH in a hidden area. The biggest mistake Santas make is mixing up a batch and applying to your entire beard! Pick a 1 inch section well hidden, underneath, near your neck/chin. If the test goes poorly, you haven't lost your entire beard!

  • Do not apply product directly onto skin or scalp.

  • Do not massage product into your skin or scalp.

  • Do not save any unused product. It will not work and most likely will explode.

  • DO NOT ever leave the product on longer than instructed, to try to save money, with the thoughts of only doing your bleaching once. Disaster!

  • After you have bleached, NEVER COMB / BRUSH your hair when WET. The bleaching makes the hair strand more porous and delicate. Stretching it with comb or brush, when wet, will destroy the cuticle beyond repair. 
  • Rather than using the "purple shampoo" which can be expensive, try this time tested trick your grandmother used to whiten grandpa's Sunday shirts... Mrs. Stewart's Liquid Bluing.  Wait a day or two after you bleach, and put 3-4 drops of Mrs. Stewart's in a quart of water and rinse your hair with this. You should see WHITE! NEVER APPLY DIRECTLY TO YOUR HAIR! Another trick is to put a few (3-4) drops into your conditioner and let this sit on your beard or hair for 5 minutes. RINSE WELL! Then rinse AGAIN! And AGAIN! (Mrs. Stewart's works well on your white dogs, horses or cats who will bathe!) One bottle of Mrs. Stewart's will last 4 lifetimes! A little DAWN dish soap or ammonia will take excess bluing off your fingers.
  • Don’t skip the tinting step! At very least, put a demi permanent glosser on your bleached hair to give it shine, strength and protection! Wait 2-3 days after you bleach, to tint. Condition beard with deep mask conditioner (30 minutes NO HEAT!) on days between bleaching and tinting or glossing.
  • Don’t play with your beard, touch it, pull it, etc. Constant handling will break your hairs whether it has been processed or not.
  • Do not hesitate to interview hair care professionals until your find one you are comfortable with their expertise for guidance. Listen to them but listen to your gut feelings before taking any action with your Santa beard.
  • Don’t panic! Losing your beard to chemicals can be tragic if done improperly. Children love Santa unconditionally. Many Santas have been wearing designer/embellished beards for 100 years… the children are so excited they won’t notice the details. The TEST PATCH is your key to not ruining your beard.  
Contact us for an informational sheet of wholesale professional grade hair and beard care products available to our Santa students who demand excellent results. These items are NOT available over the counter or at beauty supply stores.


Susen Mesco
Master Santa Claus Trainer since 1983
Denver, Colorado USA


  1. Curious if anyone had had any success using a cream facial hair bleach like the ones that women use to whiten their stache?

  2. Instead of Bleach, use white Mascara or Temporary white hair wax or White hair spray. Beny Nye Makeup Compaby has White Masscara.. Other Stage Makeup supplies are at Amazon. I have been a MakeUp Artist for Theater for 60 years
    Michael E. Simonds

  3. Looking for advice I'm nota professional santa I just do a couple of dates at my work for the local kids,Co workers kids and for charity do not wanting to bleach my hair for so few appearances and also don't want to be seen by the local kids with my hair white out of costume any advice on a good product for temporarily colouring my hair and beard tried a few things like spray on hair dye and coloured hair wax but nothing seems to work well any help would be appreciated


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