Beard Dying Basics
Dying a beard at home is becoming increasingly popular, as many men are looking for a tasteful way to maintain their facial hair. Although the age-old practice of handling beard dye has been around for centuries, modern-day advances in hair care have made the process much easier. Whether you’re hoping to cover some gray hairs or transition to a different color—or simply looking to keep your beard up-to-date with the latest trends—dying your beard at home provides a relatively inexpensive and convenient way to maintain your desired look.
Before you start, make sure you’re ready for a commitment. Depending on the type of dye used, the process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, and the dye is likely to remain in your beard for a few weeks. It’s also important to recognize that the resulting color may not be exactly as you expect. It’s always a good idea to conduct a patch test to identify any potential allergic reactions to the dye—or to possible skin staining—before you start.
Most of the tools required to dye your beard at home are pretty straightforward. Non-metallic bowls, tint-specific brushes, rubber gloves, and a clip for sectioning your hair are all must-haves. After-dye conditioning creams and wipes are also helpful for keeping the color looking fresh. There are a variety of beard dyes available online, and it’s best to buy a dye that’s made specifically for facial hair. Many facial hair dyes are specifically formulated for sensitive skin, and are promoted as being non-irritating.
It’s also important to be aware that dying your beard will involve bleaching. This process is necessary if you’re hoping to lighten your beard more than a few tones, or achieve the lightest of ash colors. Blondes, greys, and bright whites are difficult to produce naturally—although they may be achieved easily with the help of a bleaching agent.
Preparing the Beard
Before you start applying dye, there are a few steps you can take to make the process easier. Wash your beard with warm water and a mild soap, as this will help the dye spread evenly. If you’ve previously conditioned your beard, rinse the product out entirely. Similarly, if you’ve previously used styling products, such as mousse, beard balm, or styling oil, be sure to remove those as well.
Once you’ve washed your beard and allowed it to dry for about an hour, brush your hair to section the strands. Make sure your beard is completely dry, as organic dyes won’t take on wet hair and could produce a blotchy result. For sectioning, use a clip to keep the lower part of your beard away from the dye—or have a friend or family member help you separate the hair.
Applying the Dye
Now you’re ready to start applying the dye. Use a non-metallic basin, such as a ceramic bowl, to mix your dye according to the product’s instructions. Then, grab your tint brush and start painting the mixture through your facial hair in short and gentle strokes, being careful not to dip too far down the shaft of your hair with the brush. It’s important to spread the dye evenly through your entire beard, working against the grain of your hair and not skipping sections.
When placing dye at the roots of your beard, make sure to coat the top of your skin as well. This will help the dye blend into your skin tone, prevent the appearance of streaks, and produce a more natural look. After you’ve completed the process and you’re satisfied with the coverage, follow any further instructions provided by the manufacturer on the dye pack. Then, allow the tint to sit for about 30 minutes, being careful not to move your face or touch your beard.
Caring for Your Beard
Once the dye has saturated into your facial hair, you can use a wet towel to remove the excess. Afterwards, use a conditioner to add moisture and shine to your hair. Don’t worry if you still see some dye rinsing in the sink—this is common and likely won’t last more than a few washes.
After your beard is towel-dried, use a comb to separate the strands and make sure that the color is evenly distributed. Now, you’re ready to style as desired. Over the next week or two, steaming your beard and using a deep conditioner can help preserve that just-died look. Most importantly, make sure you avoid using too many products and stay away from harsh products, especially sulfate-containing shampoos. In addition, minimize your contact with styling tools, such as blow dryers, curling irons, and flat irons—as these can all damage the hair and strip the previously applied color.
Types of Beard Dyes
When it comes to beard dyes, there are a variety of products available to suit different needs. Organic dyes are made with natural ingredients, such as henna, and may not lighten hair. They’re generally best for darkening natural facial hair color or masking gray strands. Oxidation dyes, on the other hand, are the most popular and versatile types of dyes. Compared to organic dyes, they are slightly more expensive and less prone to fading. Oxidation dyes typically cover gray hairs and can easily lighten hair several shades.
For those who are looking for something temporary, there are also a handful of semi-permanent dyes available. These dyes are great for subtle highlights and for people who are looking to test out a new color before committing to a permanent look.
Cost of Dying a Beard
The cost of dying a beard at home depends on the type of beard dye you choose. Most dyes designed for facial hair are relatively affordable, ranging from $10-$25 per kit. Oxidation dyes usually come with an activated-vitamin base and conditioning serum, while organic dyes are generally weaker in terms of lightening power.
You can also look into professional dyes, which typically range from $30-$50. These dyes contain more intense pigmentation, so they tend to produce better results with fewer applications. However, professional dyes are designed to be used in a salon, so it’s important to do your research ahead of time to be sure you know how to apply them safely.
Beard Dye Alternatives
For those who are looking for an alternative to dyeing their beard, there are a few other products available. Henna is a popular choice for coloring facial hair naturally. Henna is a plant-based powder that can be mixed with water or herbal ingredients and used to dye the beard. It’s important to note that henna doesn’t lighten hair, so it’s best used on darker beards.
Color depositing conditioners are also a good option, as they work to tint the beard while nourishing the hair shaft. These products are designed to freshen up and refresh your color every few weeks, so they’re great for maintaining the look between dye jobs.
Pros and Cons of Dying a Beard at Home
When it comes to dying a beard at home, there are a few positives and negatives to consider. On the plus side, dying a beard at home is usually very affordable and can help you achieve a polished and professional look without breaking the bank. You’ll also save time by avoiding a trip to the salon and instead getting the job done in your own bathroom.
On the downside, DIY dye jobs are often less reliable, and there is a greater risk of staining your skin or accidentally over-bleaching sections of your hair. There’s also the potential for uneven coloring and doesn’t provide the same level of accuracy as a trained professional.
Best Practices for Dying a Beard at Home
When dying your beard at home, it’s important to take your time and avoid rushing the process. Make sure you read all of the instructions on the dye pack, and use a reputable brand that is specifically designed for facial hair. Always conduct a patch test first to identify any potential allergic reactions or skin staining.
In addition, make sure you prep your beard properly before applying the dye and follow the manufacturer’s instructions exactly. Finally, it’s a good idea to limit the frequency with which you’re dying your beard—most experts recommend waiting at least four weeks between applications to give your skin and hair time to recover.