Growing a beard can be full of surprises. Facial hair can grow in different places than expected or different colors. Beard hair is frequently lighter, redder, or greyer than hair on the head. Sometimes this can be very attractive, adding distinction or a unique look. Other times, the beard can appear patchy or add unwanted years to your appearance. When shaving just isn’t an option, it’s time to take action. Get great results with this beard coloring guide.
All beard dye formulas are semi-permanent, meaning they wash out
rather than grow out. The color will gradually fade with each shampoo so
extend the life of color by simply rinsing the beard. Some people may
recommend using regular hair dye for beards but permanent dye will grow
out, requiring meticulous attention to the roots, ultimately taking more
time and effort than re-applying one of the following best beard dyes every 4-6 weeks.
Just for Men
is the most well-known and popular brand. You’ve probably seen the row
of dark beards at the grocery store. It comes in 11 colors ranging from
dark blonde to jet black and comes in an easy to apply gel formula.
RefectoCil Cream Hair Dye is
a professional grade product commonly used in salons to dye eyebrows,
eye lashes, and “delicate areas.” It can be a more sensitive option for
beards. Combine colors to make your own shade.
Redken For Men 5 Minute Color Camo is
a formerly professional-only product now available at home. A 5-10
minute application covers grey effectively but not completely, upping
the pepper so salt ratio. If you don’t want to dye your beard at home,
this service is available at some salons.
2. Choosing a Beard Color
As you’ve noticed during an idle chin stroke, beard hair is a
different beast than hair on top of the head. It’s coarser, rougher, and
dryer. Therefore, it is more difficult for dye to absorb. Some men
swear by using a color lighter than the desired result and applying it
twice. However, the best strategy is to use a darker dye for less time.
The color will hold better, especially to grey hair, and last longer.
In general, using a jet black is never a good idea, even if you have
hair to match. Black hair dye is obvious and also makes skin appear
pale. Instead, opt for a dark brown that will add flattering warm tones
and won’t overwhelm your face.
3. Getting Ready to Dye
Drugstore hair dyes contain ingredients that can irritate skin. Some
men have reported reactions from mild rashes to chemical burns. To find
out how you are allergic, do this simple patch test.
Apply a small amount of dye, about a half teaspoon, to the inside of the
arm near the elbow. Wait 48 hours to determine if there is a reaction.
If skin is red, itchy, or irritated in any way, remove the dye
immediately and choose one of the gentler options (see #5 below).
If the patch test was a success, it’s time to get ready to color your
beard. First, avoid shampooing or conditioning right before applying
the dye. Residues left behind will block color absorption.
Next, apply a light layer of Vaseline around the beard on the neck
and cheeks to protect from dye and staining. Your kit should have
supplied plastic or rubber gloves but if not, wear some to keep dye of
fingers. Dish gloves will work as well but can limit dexterity and
sensation in finger tips, potentially leading to a sloppy dye job.
Most beard dye kits will provide an application brush. If you don’t
have one, a toothbrush is excellent tool to brush dye through beard
hair. The goal is fully cover the beard without coating the skin as
If you’re going with the lighter dye option, follow the instructions
and remove dye at the indicated time. Assess the results and re-apply,
checking the progress after a few minutes. The second application is
likely to take more quickly than the first so monitor it closely.
For the darker dye option, check every few minutes by removing dye
from a small area with a damp paper towel. Keep checking vigilantly
until you’re happy with the color. It’s okay if hair is a touch darker
than anticipated, the dye will fade after a wash or two.Checking on the
color is also important with multiple applications. Over time, the beard
may take on color more quickly.
When done, rinse the beard until water runs clear.
If you are unhappy with the results, a clarifying shampoo will strip the color.
5. Natural Beard Dye Options
If didn’t pass the patch test or are concerned about chemical dyes,
there are excellent natural beard dye options. Henna is a plant-based
dye that has been used for centuries and comes in a wide range of
colors. Look for natural formulas free of unnecessary and irritating
chemicals. It is not as effective at covering grey and doesn’t last as
long but that’s a small price to pay for healthy, blister-free skin.
Henna also softens and thickens hair, resulting in an all around better
To apply henna beard dye, start with a clean, dry beard and apply
Vaseline around the beard and put on gloves to prevent staining. Mix the
powder with warm tap water to form a paste. Aim for a 2:1 powder to
water ratio. Thoroughly coat the beard with the paste, making sure no
hair is sticking out. The paste will cover hair in a thick layer. Let
the dye soak in for at least an hour.
Warning: Applying black or brown henna to a white or grey
beard will turn it green! This is just a phase and the dye will take.
Leave on the dye all day or overnight for best results.
Henna should last 4-8 weeks. Extend the color by rinsing rather than
washing the beard. If it fades faster, re-apply more often. Fortunately,
the gentle formula means reapplications, even day after day to achieve
the right color, won’t harm skin. Some of the best henna dyes for beards
Manly Guy is all natural and comes with everything you need to dye your beard.
Surya Henna comes
in an easy to apply cream but has chemical additives that may irritate,
although the majority of users reported no problems.
Harvest Moon is ultra fine for a smooth paste and 100% henna.
6. Moustache Wax
For men looking for just a touch of color, the easiest, no commitment way to go is tinted moustache wax.
The formula uses henna so will get darker over time while the wax
softens and thickens hair. Simply apply the wax like any hair product,
rubbing it between hands to heat it up and work it through the beard
evenly. Use a beard brush or comb, like this hand made version from Kent, shape the beard as desired. Add more wax to get creative.
Dandy Candy Tinted Moustache Wax
comes in light brown, red, and jet black shades with natural oils to
add shine, moisture, and conditioning. Repeated wax use can cause
buildup that shampoo doesn’t wash out. Wicked Cookie Duster Moustache Wax Remover & Conditioner will keep your beard fresh.
7. A Healthy Beard
Hair color is known for drying out hair. Keep your beard healthy by following these beard tips.