Beard Dye Guide: How to Use Facial Hair Colours + Best Beard Dyes to Get the Job Done Smoothly

| 16 minute read
man with golden beard dye on his face
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So you want to add some color to your beard, or maybe fight back the grey? But you have no idea where to start learning about dyeing the beard and mustache. Maybe you already have the dye but the package wasn’t thorough enough.

Well, you don’t have to look any further. We have compiled you this amazing guide to beard dyes, how to use them, what to expect, what to avoid, and what are the best & safest brands to look for.

It’s a long one, but please don’t rush it when colouring the facial hair. There’s huge potential for error with this stuff, and simply choosing the wrong shade can make your beard look weirder and more unnatural than you ever thought possible.

Although dyeing the facial hair is far easier than adding color to scalp-hair, it’s still something you should approach with caution, especially if it is your first time working with beard tints.

Let’s begin. ↓

What Exactly are Beard Colouring Products?

hair dye in a bowl at barber shop

There are many different beard dyes and tints available today and as the beards grow ever so popular, the possibilities keep on increasing.

The most popular kind currently is the Just For Men Beard Dye, which comes in various different shades, and are really quick and easy to apply with the brush that comes in the package.

Their ingredients are often: water, some fatty acids, alkalizing solvents, antioxidant preservatives, trisodium, and polymers, but then the reactive coloring agents they use p-Aminophenol and p-Phenylenediamine are known for causing allergic reactions and problems with men who have sensitive skin.

This is why it’s crucially important to always test a small amount of the dye on your forearm to make sure you’re not badly allergic to it.

If you have sensitive skin under the beard, then synthetic beard dyes are something you shouldn’t be using often or should just completely avoid.

And although most effective; the Just for Men beard dyes are not your only choice. There are many natural – even organic – alternatives.

Like the Grizzly Mountain organic beard dye, 100% chemical free but still effectively color your facial hair. Or the Henna Guys beard dyes, which are also all natural but get the job done.

Some men also opt for the popular Refectocil cream tints, which are originally designed for women to be used as eyelash and eyebrow tint. However, these reportedly work really well for facial hair too and are much gentler on your skin than Just for Men is.

Note: There is a small allergy risk to even the most natural products. And it’s always best to do a 48-hour allergy test on small area of the skin away from the face (like the forearm) before jumping straight into dyeing the beard.

Permanent Vs. Temporary Beard Dyes

man with colored beard and skin paint

Most hair dyes are permanent, and there are permanent beard dyes as well, meaning that once applied, they will simply not wear off.

Which means that as your beard grows (about 1/2″ inch per month) the new roots will be your old color. So you will have to either shave the beard off or keep recoloring it ever so often.

That’s why we don’t recommend permanent beard dyes. We think they’re only viable for guys who regularly visit a salon/barbershop and can pay for an expert to keep up with the coloring process as often as necessary.

A much better alternative would be temporary and semi-permanent beard dyes. Depending on the brand used, most temporary beard dyes will last for 3 to 6 weeks at most, and the color disappears gradually, making it less noticeable that you had any on.

Bottom line: We don’t recommend permanent beard dyes. Those should be only done by professional barbers and the upkeep is too much effort. Temporary beard dyes are much better – natural-looking – alternative that gradually loses the color in 3-6 weeks and can be easily reapplied.

How to Dye your Beard in 7 Easy Steps

As you can see from the above video, using at least the Just for Men beard dye can be a ridiculously simple process.

Let’s break it down in more detail and give you a couple of important tips. So you don’t mess anything up.

Here’s how to go about dyeing your beard at home with any product:

  1. Preparations: Don’t have your best clothes on, you may accidentally stain them, and if you’re doing this first time, make sure you have some dye removal shampoo at hand. At this point, you should also have done the 48-hour allergy test on your forearm.
  2. Prep the skin: To prevent staining the skin, it’s best to use vaseline on your cheek line (where there’s no beard) and on the neckline. This creates a protective layer and makes sure you’re not tinting the skin instead of your beard.
  3. Mix it up: Most beard dyes come with two different pastes and a mixing tray. So in the tray, stir together the color paste and the color developer. You usually don’t need to use all of the paste, so be sure to make a small batch first.
  4. Applying the beard dye: Using the provided applicator brush or any other tool provided, apply the facial hair color product into your beard. If your beard has bald spots, you may be tempted to paint them in, but please don’t.
  5. Wait a bit, then rinse: Different products have different amounts of time it takes for the beard dye to work its magic on the mane, and usually; the longer it’s on, the more it dyes you up. When you’re done, rinse the dye off in the shower.
  6. Washing the beard afterward: If the beard dye product you used was not permanent, then with each and every wash of your facial hair some of the colors are gradually lost. Different types of shampoos can impact this too.

Bottom line: Applying beard dye is a relatively simple process. Much easier than hair dye, and it usually takes just 5-10 minutes to get the job done.

Helpful Tips & Tricks for Facial Hair Color Use

man getting his short beard dyed at salon

There’s a lot that can go wrong when dyeing a beard.

Often times, you have to mess up before you even realize it, and when tinting the facial hair, the end result might be you cutting off the beard completely.

To prevent that from ever happening, here are some tips and tricks:

  • Permanent color is permanent, so the new growth will be a different color, and you will have to recolor often or cut it off completely.
  • You can’t change the color multiple times. There’s a finite amount of color that can be applied to the delicate facial hair shafts.
  • Don’t wash your beard immediately before application. Some recommend this, but it strips off all the natural oils that would help the dye to get in.
  • Unless you’re professional, the permanent beard color should be applied by a barber or hair salon worker. The change of error is just too high.
  • Temporary beard dye is often the more natural looking choice, as washing the beard will naturally make the color blend into your own color, creating shade differences.

Last but not least; always, always, always remember to do the 48-hour allergy test by mixing up a small batch of beard dye and applying it to your forearm to see if you react badly to it. You may have heard some crazy horror stories about women who get insane reactions from hair dye, expect the same to be possible with beard colors as well.

Best Dyes for Blonde Facial Hair

blonde beard

If you’re looking for a blonde beard dye, that’s usually much harder to find than darker shades of brown and black (which most people are keen on using).

However, I managed to find blonde beard dye from Just for Men, which should result in a color resembling somewhat of the natural color of the guy seen on the image above.

If you currently have a blonde beard and are looking to color it darker, your best bet would be the light-brown shade or normal brown.

Again, most men jump shades too quickly and try to get their beards as black as possible. If you have a blonde beard, seeking black facial hair dyes is one of the worst mistakes you can make. It will just look absolutely unnatural.

So if you currently have brown, ginger, red, or light brown beard and want to dye it to blonde color, try Just for Men’s blonde shade.

If you’re looking for non-allergenic natural beard dye in the blonde shade, there’s one brand of natural plant dye available, although men report mixed reviews on its effects.

For men with blonde beards who are looking to go into darker shades, consider Just for Men’s light-brown, it’s likely the easiest route.

For a natural alternative, the Grizzly Mountain organic light-brown shade should do the trick. For something in-between, RefectoCil also has a light-brown shade available.

Different Options for Brown Shades of Beard

light brown beard

Different shades of brown are the most common facial hair color there is, and if you want to make your beard appear thicker or darker, you should simply move up one shade from your current color and see what results it brings.

For example, if you’re currently at light-brown, try medium brown. If you’re at medium brown, try dark brown.

What you shouldn’t do is jump from brown beard dye to black. It’s one of the most common mistakes you can do, and the results are as unnatural as it gets.

Don’t believe me? Try black mascara on your beard and see what that looks like. My friend did it as a joke in part of his Halloween costume, on his light-brown beard, and I could barely contain myself from laughing at how unnatural it ended up looking.

Again, the easiest route for dyeing a brown beard is to find your perfect shade from Just for Men beard dye products. If that’s a no-no for you, consider either RefectoCil brown shades or the Organic Grizzly Mountain beard dyes.

If you’re looking to add some blonde to your current brown beard, you can definitely do that with some of the options presented in above subheading, but I’d recommend applying it gradually instead of going all-in immediately.

Best Beard Dye for Dark and Black Beards

man with thick dark beard

For guys with dark brown or black beards, there are several options to choose from.

Whether you’re fighting back the grey or looking to add fullness to your already black beard, or simply trying a darker shade, then know that for you, the beard coloring process will likely result in the most natural look.

Just for Men has two shades of black specifically for beards, the lighter and natural looking real black and the less natural looking really dark jet black, which will result in more of a Billy May’s looking beard color.

Another popular option is the Black Beard temporary beard tint, which is quite literally like a black mascara for beards, even the applicator is exactly like that.

Again if you’re looking for a more natural allergen-free product, Grizzly Mountain has an organic black beard dye shade as well.

Dyeing a Red Beard or Ginger Beard

man with thick orange beard

Having red or ginger shades in your beard? I’d say to just own it, but if you want to dye it, know that it’s gonna be tricky to find the right shade that matches the skin type and your eyebrows/hair.

The only good color shades that work well for ginger beards are the light-brown or blonde beard colors. And these are the ones you should be experimenting with if you ever want to dye a red or orange beard in the first place.

Some say that women dislike the ginger beard look, but do they really? Think of Prince Harry, I don’t see too many women hating his looks, and many say that the beard and hair are his best assets.

And yes, there are ginger and red beard dyes out there, but I think the end result will be so unnaturally bad (if you’re not really born with those genes) that I won’t even link the products.

Grey Beard Dyes for that Salt & Pepper Look

Fighting the grey is one of the most popular reasons men dye their beards. Maybe you just don’t want to show the signs of age, or perhaps it’s a tad bit too early to start having grey hairs on your beard.

In that case, consider using any of the above recommendations that suit the beard/hair color you normally have under that grey hair. It’s the fastest way to the most natural looking results.

But what if I want to dye my beard grey?

Some barbers or salon workers may be able to fake the salt & pepper look for beards, but other than that, there appear to be no beard dyes for gray color out there on big online retailers.

Maybe you’ll just have to wait until the gray facial hair creeps up naturally. And consider yourself lucky as most men have the reverse problem, they want to get rid of the grey, not add more of it.

Frequently Asked Questions about Beard Dyes

bearded man thinking

What is the best beard dye?

It depends. Overall I’d say Just for Men is the easiest and simplest of them all, but if you have a sensitive skin or are prone to allergies, then the Refectocil or Grizzly Mountain brand might be a better fit for you.

Will beard dye make my patchy beard thicker and fill it up?

To some extent, yes. You can use the dye to color light non-pigmented vellus hairs into the same color as the rest of the beard, which makes it instantly appear fuller, but just don’t expect it to paint a seriously patchy beard into full one completely. In order to fill it up naturally, you can refer to our list of 10 effective methods of fixing patchy facial hair.

My beard is light-brown, why can’t I just dye it black?

Most men are tempted to just go to the darkest shade possible when coloring their facial hair, and who can judge them, that’s probably the most liked natural color there is and makes your beard look instantly thicker.

However, if you’re naturally light-brown, or even brown-bearded, then jumping straight up to black beard dye is going to make your face look like an unnatural mess. Don’t believe me? Go buy dark mascara and try painting your beard with that, you’ll see for yourself.

Can I use regular hair dye for the beard?

Of course. Although it’s not designed for that, the actual hair strands on your face are not terribly different from scalp-hair (other than that the growth of facial hair is triggered by hormones, and the growth of scalp-hair is not).

There are lots of guys who use normal hair dye products from brands like L’oreal to dye their beards, and if it works for you, go for it. However, remember that using hair dye is going to be far more time-consuming than using something like Just for Men as an example.

Is beard dye safe for eyebrows?

As long as you avoid it from getting to your eyes, then yes, you should be able to use it on your eyebrows as well. Actually, the RefectoCil product mentioned above is designed to be used on eyebrows and eyelashes.

How to get beard dye off my beard?

In case you overdid it or ended up with a terribly unnatural looking beard, then there are some ways that help get the color of your beard.

For temporary dyes, each wash will result in a gradual loss of the color, and if you want to get it out even faster, there are special dye removing products. You can also mix white vinegar with water, or baking soda with water to remove some of the colors effectively.

As a last resort, some women recommend mixing small amounts of bleach with water to get rid of the hair dye. I don’t recommend this for your beard, but know that as a last resort, it’s probably the most damaging, yet most effective method of stripping the dye from your facial hair.

How long does beard dye last?

Permanent beard dyes last, obviously, as long as the hair is on your face.

For temporary and semi-permanent beard dyes, the color should last 3 to 6 weeks, depending on how often you wash the facial hair.

Conclusion on Beard Dyes

Whether you’re trying to fight back the grey hairs, fill up the patchiness, or just looking to go one shade darker on your facial hair, then using beard colors can help.

There are lots of brands to choose from, ranging from synthetic to all natural beard dyes, and it’s highly dependant on the person’s skin sensitivity and the effort you’re willing to take to choose which product to use.

As a rule of thumb, Just for Men makes the most effective, easy to use beard dyes, but they are also synthetic and most likely to cause an allergic reaction for guys with sensitive beards.

That’s that for coloring the mane, thanks for reading and keep on beardin’.