We all know that beard grooming culture is popping off right now. And not without reason. There are many studies to suggest that beard colour, length and shape can all affect how we perceive a man’s age. So, whether you’re aiming to shave years off your appearance or to simply freshen up the look, you’ll want to know how to dye beards in the most effective way to achieve a natural and attractive finish that will have the ladies – and, let’s be honest, lads – in your life nodding in admiration.
But before we get to our 6-step recipe for success, let’s take a deep dive into why colouring your beard might be the best thing you never considered until now.
Why dye your beard?
It’s true, there can be baggage attached to a patchy beard that just keeps coming up salt and pepper grey. No need to worry though – there’s absolutely no shame in going grey. In fact, it’s a normal part of the ageing process that begins at the age of 35 on average, so you’re not alone.
That being said, it’s hard to shake off that sense of loss when you look back to the years when you had a full beard of consistent colour. Sometimes dyeing your beard can be about reclaiming the younger you, trying out a new aesthetic, taking one step closer to trendy or simply matching your facial hair with the locks on your head!
Whatever the motivation, we find that an effective and consistent beard grooming routine can do wonders for your self-confidence. Your reasons are valid, and we wish you the best of luck with your beard colouring journey. Here’s to an exciting new mane!
How to dye beards: 6 years younger in 6 steps
When guys ask how to dye beards, they can sometimes overcomplicate the process in their heads. When you do a bit of research, you’ll find that it’s an easy and quick process that anyone can do, no matter the size or type of beard. And generally, it’s all in the preparation.
Step 1: Pick out the right dye
With so many new products springing up left and right, it can be difficult to find the right type of beard dye that meets your needs.
One of the annoying problems associated with beard dye is its tendency to contain chemicals that can lead to irritation and itching. Fortunately, there are many alternatives such as henna for men’s hair, which are now far more readily available.
Henna is completely safe and provides natural and long-lasting results as dazzling as any traditional box dye – it just has the added bonus of being fully organic and healthier for both beard and planet.
Regardless of the dye you choose, ensure that you check the ingredients list and conduct a patch test before you go putting the dye on your beard (every time).
Step 2: Choose a colour
The next decision is one of colour. You’ll want to get this right the first time, and particularly with a darker shade as it will take a long time to fade and/or grow out. At this point, there’s nothing you can do – save the one thing every bearded guy has nightmares about – shaving off their beard.
We recommend taking a look at some colour charts, checking out reviews and looking at some inspirational pictures online.
Step 3: Prep your face
Once you’ve settled on the type and shade of your beard and your package is with you, it’s time to prepare for the beard dyeing sesh.
Start by prepping the room (ideally a bathroom) by laying down a towel over the sink or whatever space you are using, you don’t want to stain your lovely tiles. Same thing goes with your clothes – put on an old T-shirt before you get on with things.
Now you’re sure you're not going to get any dye anywhere besides your face, it’s time to prepare your hair. Clean your face, wash the hair with a beard shampoo and dry yourself off and then apply some balm, Vaseline or oil on your neck, cheeks, ears, or otherwise any skin you want to avoid staining. We suggest brushing it along the natural outline of your beard for a subtle yet clean look.
Step 4: Mix your beard dye
First off, read the instructions on the packet carefully!. For plant-based dyes such as henna, you will need to leave the mixture for a significant amount of time to allow it to stew – this helps the colour develop and saturate (check out our full tutorial for more detail). If you’re going with box dye, you may have to mix bleach with a toner.
Step 5: Apply and allow it to process
When the mixture is ready you can apply the dye. Preferable with gloves on, dip a small brush into the dye (you can use your fingers if you can’t find one!) and work your way across your beard, starting with the more grey areas. Fully coat the hairs and make sure it’s an even coverage.
Once it’s nice and even, you can set a timer for however long the dye tells you to. Usually, 10-15 minutes for box dyes and 1-4 hours for henna based dyes.
Step 6: Clean up!
By now the colour should have done its magic. All that’s left is to wash off the substance, give your beard some moisture with a conditioner or beard oil – and you will look as good as new!
FAQ: What you need to know about before & after dying your beard
Before you brave the dye, here are some final tips to see you on the way to bearded brilliance.
How do you colour a beard naturally?
If you want your beard dye job to look as natural as possible, here are some key pointers. First up, it’s worth noting that one of the reasons that beard dyes can come across as artificial or uncanny is that if you accidentally go too dark it’ll look like it’s drawn on with Sharpie.
Your beard is full of diverse hairs with a variety of shades and undertones. Covering them in one uniform colour can take away some of that natural depth and texture. The best thing to do is perfect your timing – you don’t want the colour to become too saturated, sitting there longer than necessary.
Another thing to consider is mixing your chosen beard dye with some conditioner to dilute the colour a teeny bit. This will ensure the end result isn’t too bold and that your hair is gorgeously soft to the touch.
What maintenance is required post-dye?
To avoid any unnecessary fading, it’s advisable to do a little simple maintenance. On the whole, harsh and excessive washing can remove the colour earlier, especially with semi-permanent dyes. This is less of a problem with more long-term options such as henna that penetrate into the hair strands, but even here you will benefit from a colour-fixing shampoo from time to time. Finally, you could treat your face to some essential oils to keep the hair fragrant as soft as anything.
How long does beard dye last?
How long is a piece of string? Sorry!
As you will have gathered, how long it takes for your beard dye to wear off can vary significantly. Usually, this depends on facial hair growth and the type of dye you choose. Temporary dyes won’t stick around for much longer than a handful of washes and permanent dyes will only disappear when your roots grow out.
How do you get beard dye off your skin?
Sometimes prevention is better than the cure – yep, make sure you’ve prepped properly in advance of slapping that beard dye on your face. Balms, Vaseline or mineral oils all work well to stop the colour from sticking to your skin, so make sure you’ve oiled up your neckline and ears before you get started.
If worse comes to worse and your skin looks somewhat stained, try washing it away with soap and warm water. If that fails, micellar water or other makeup-removing lotions are also a great shout.
Can I dye my beard if I have sensitive skin?
Absolutely! Just because you have sensitive skin doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun. Fortunately, there are plenty of hypoallergenic hair dyes out there that are perfectly suited to those with delicate skin. Henna is one of them, and it makes a brilliant alternative down to its antifungal and pH-balancing properties. Say hello to a refreshed beard and glowing skin!
Is henna dye good for beards?
It’s 2023, and henna is seldom marketed to men – what a travesty! All people can benefit from this natural, plant-derived dye, no matter their gender or their hair texture. Not only does it create a wonderfully natural result across the colour spectrum, but henna reinforces your follicles’ natural defences by fusing to the cuticle and infusing them with moisture.
It’s time to brave the dye!
Now that you’re all clued up on how to dye beards, it’s time to get out there and put all of that knowledge to the test. Remember: it’s all in finding the right product. Then it’s a matter of plopping the mixture in the right places and letting it do its magic. Now, what colour will you choose…?