When your beard inevitably turns gray, there’s no shame in turning to a beard dye to help your mane stay the same way it’s always looked. While the salt-and-pepper look has its own merits as well as the full-on gray, there’s no denying that a fully colored beard will help you retain a more youthful appearance even if your skin is starting to wrinkle and crease a bit.
That’s why we’ve rounded up a few great facial hair and beard dyes. Using beard dyes is similar to dyeing the hair on your head. You’re basically taking some kind of coloring and brushing it into your facial hair, letting it sit for a spell and then rinsing any excess. Depending on the ingredients, some beard dyes work faster than others. Generally, if the product is dyeing your hair with natural ingredients, the process takes longer. Chemical dyes commonly work much faster.
Also depending on the product, the beard dye could last a few weeks or as much as six weeks before you have to re-apply, so keeping the color in your facial hair can be as infrequent as you want it to be. We even found a more temporary coloring solution as well as a grey-reducing beard wash, in case you want to experiment with color but aren’t ready to commit to full-on dyeing.
Below, you’ll find our top recommendations for beard dyes, as well as some tips for beginners who are just starting to find those annoying gray hairs.
The Graying Man’s Guide To Beard Dye
If you’ve started to find gray hairs in your beard, then we have bad news. Take it from us, those gray hairs are going to multiply, and faster than you want them to. Your friends will tell you they like the salt-and-pepper look, but they have to say that. But where does one even begin when it comes to dyeing your beard?
Before we jump into the best beard dyes, here are a few general pointers to keep in mind:
- Read the instructions. We’ll repeat that: read the instructions, man. While hair dye is as old as hair, beard dyes are relatively new to the modern marketplace. Every product is going to have a more-or-less similar process, but each will have different best practices for best results, so don’t be a stereotypical dude and skip the instructions.
- Prep your dyeing space. Unsurprisingly, dyes can make a mess and stain surfaces. You’ll definitely want to get set up in a bathroom with plenty of counter space near the sink. You’ll also want to get a dark towel to cover any surfaces near the dye or any surfaces you’ll be standing over because there’s a very high chance the dye will drip or splash. You may also want some petroleum jelly to put on your hairlines to prevent staining on your skin.
- Go with a lighter shade at first. If you’re not certain about the best shade, go for something lighter. You can always re-apply to achieve a fuller, darker coloring, but the only way to get rid of a darker shade is by shaving off your beard or waiting weeks for it to wash out.
- Look for color developers. A color developer contains hydrogen peroxide, which oxidizes and opens the cuticle of your hair to help the color take hold. It’s typically mixed with the dye before you apply. You don’t necessarily need a color developer and a dye that has one could irritate your skin, but it’s one of those things that can really make the dyeing process shorter, and you should know what it is when looking to dye. As a heads-up, you may also see developers called dye boosters or oxidants.
- Dyeing is a harsh process. There’s a good chance the beard dye irritates your skin, especially dyes that incorporate color developers. Even if you do a test patch on other skin, there’s just no telling how a dye will react with your specific facial skin after five minutes. If your skin starts to hurt or you’re feeling too much burn, you should immediately wash and go for a more natural beard dye or try again another time. However, some coloring kits are dye-free and ammonia-free, so they’ll be more gentle.
Now, with all that out of the way, check out the best beard dyes below from some of our favorite brands and start taking control of the color of your facial hair. The worst that could happen is the dye washes out in a few weeks or you have to shave your beard. (And don’t worry, we’re pretty sure it’ll grow back.)
1. Just For Men Mustache & Beard Coloring
Sure, it’s got its naysayers, but if you want great, fast, easy results at a reasonable price then there’s really no competition for Just For Men Mustache & Beard Coloring. Not only does it work fast and great, but it’s also designed to work on coarse facial hair and has a creamy formula with biotin, aloe and coconut oil to condition your beard and keep it healthy.
All you have to do is mix the color and the developer in the tray, dip the brush in and start painting your mug. Let it sit for about five minutes and then wash.
If you want to avoid any other staining, petroleum jelly will help and a post-dyeing shower will help too. Because Just For Men uses a color developer, you won’t have to worry about the color washing out, just as long as you let the beard dye properly work its magic for five minutes.
Because the dye is so effective, it will last until new gray hairs grow in, so you should be set for at least a few weeks before you have to re-apply. Just don’t let the dye sit too long because it’s working to darken your hair as long as it’s on your face. For example, if you’re really looking for a light brown, make sure to wash it out right at the five-minute mark or even a little bit sooner. In keeping with that and our advice at the top, we recommend going for the light brown, but Just For Men also offers a deep dark brown and jet black and other shades in between.
2. Cremo No Mix Hair and Beard Color
EASIEST-TO-USE BEARD DYE
If you haven’t been watching you might not have noticed Cremo taking over the grooming marketplace. The brand’s latest offering might just be its best yet: Cremo No Mix Hair and Beard Color. What this product does that stands out from all the rest is simplify the process. There’s no mixing whatsoever for the quickest box-to-face beard dye you can find.
To begin, you snap the applicator into the color canister and give it a good five-second shake. Press the button on the back of the applicator to generate enough foam to cover the bristles. Let the foam settle and then brush away! For smaller features like the mustache, you should use the detailing tool to scoop the foam off the applicator and brush your face. Give the dye five minutes to work, then rinse. You should also remove the applicator and rinse off any residue. That’s it, you’re all finished and set for up to six weeks or until your gray hair grows back thanks to the dye and developer mix in the canister.
3. The Henna Guys Hair and Beard Dye
BEST NATURAL BEARD DYE
If you have sensitive skin, you may want to opt for a natural dye. Henna is one of the oldest dyes there is and it’s plant-based, so skin irritation is minimal or non-existent. Who better to get a henna beard dye from than The Henna Guys? The Henna Guys Hair and Beard Dye uses 100% pure henna to naturally darken and color your hair. The brand puts the henna in a foil bag to keep it dry and slaps a date on each bag so you know you’re getting fresh henna that will work.
That’s all well and good, but like all-natural dyes, there’s quite a process to get it to work. Because henna is natural, there’s no color developer, which means you literally have to sit and wait three hours for the dye to work. And that’s after you mix it up with black coffee or tea, let the mixture sit for eight hours and slather it on your face with latex gloves. And even then, you might need to re-apply the mixture again if the color isn’t dark enough or you don’t have full coverage.
Sure, the cons seem long, but ultimately the dye does work and it’s way less irritating to the skin than any chemical dyes, so we’d recommend undertaking this on a weekend when you won’t be seeing anybody. But if you’re prepared for the process, you can dye your hair a whole range of colors naturally, from reddish auburn and burgundy to shades of brown and black.
4. Godefroy Professional Hair Color Tint Kint
LONGEST-LASTING BEARD DYE
We call the Godefroy Professional Hair Color Tint Kint the longest-lasting beard dye for two straightforward reasons. First, this beard dye lasts up to six weeks. Second, the amount of beard dye you get will also last you the longest because this kit ships with 20 capsules of beard dye. Each capsule is good for one dyeing session, which far exceeds the amount of dyeing you’ll get from any other option here. This also means you’re never wasting any dye because each capsule comes with just the right amount of dye to get the job done. That’s going to save a lot of money in the long run and makes this a great value pick too.
Like other dyes that require mixing, the Godefroy set comes with a color developer that you need to mix with the dye for best results. Just mix them together in the included cup and use the included brush to paint it on. Leave the dye on for about five minutes, rinse off any excess and you’re ready to rock and roll.
The only downside really is this dye is meant more for spot treatment as opposed to full coverage — the size of the little included brush tells it all. So if you’re gray all over, you may wish to consider a different beard dye.
5. Madison Reed Men’s Hair Care
Madison Reed is primarily a women’s hair care brand, but their Madison Reed Mr. line offers a variety of hair care solutions that are specifically formulated for men. This kit is designed to work for head and facial hair, making it a good all-in-one solution for dealing with grays. Madison Reed also focuses on eliminating harsh ingredients, which is why you won’t find PPD, ammonia or phthalates. The kit is available for a variety of hair colors, and the three-stage process is designed to work for up to two weeks. Each box includes two applications, making for a month’s supply. Each packet is labeled with a number, making it easy to follow the instructions.
Read More: The Best Beard Oils Reviewed
6. My Perfect Goatee Temporary Goatee and Beard Color
BEST TEMPORARY COLOR
This My Perfect Goatee Temporary Goatee and Beard Color isn’t exactly a beard dye. Instead of going the full dye route, which will last weeks, this is basically like a makeup kit for your beard that quickly blends and washes out with beard wash or soap and water. You use a little brush and the colored powders — blonde, light brown, medium brown, dark brown, auburn, and black — in the kit to basically brush and blend color into your hair. It’s a great option for those who want to experiment with changing the color of their facial hair without jumping feet-first into the dyeing pool. You can also use this kit every day to achieve the same effect as a proper beard dye.
Read More: Best Beard Trimmers
7. Just For Men Control GX Grey Reducing Beard Wash
BEST GREY-REDUCING BEARD WASH
So you’re worried about using a beard dye and being gray one day and brown the next. We get it. If that’s the case, the Just For Men Control GX Grey Reducing Beard Wash can help you get the color you want without that “new beard, who dis” visual dissonance you might get with a great beard dye.
For best results with this wash, all you have to do is use it daily until you’re satisfied with the grey reduction. If the grey starts to come back, just start using the wash again. It works just as well for light brown beards as it does for black beards, so whatever color your hair is, you can expect a reduction of grey hair over time.
8. VOLT Grooming Instant Beard Color
If you’re looking for a quick solution, Volt’s beard color kit is made to be instant — you can quickly cover-up grays, and the waterproof formula is designed to provide coverage for up to 48 hours. This particular option is made for blonde hair, but Volt also makes instant beard dyes in a wide variety of colors. In order to use it, simply shake the tube and brush on the dye. Each tube has about 35 applications. While this product would casually be called a dye, the color is actually made without dye, making for a more mess-free and natural look.
9. American Crew Precision Blend Hair Dye
American Crew makes affordable hair care products that are crafted with average guys in mind, and this hair dye is an affordable option that’s great for travel or anyone on the go. Three tubes are included, and while it may seem like a three-stage process, all of the tubes are the same product. That means that you can pack one in your travel Dopp if you regularly fly, and keep the others at home or even your desk — with a five minute application time, this Precision Blend Hair Dye is an easy way to target grays.
10. Personalized Haircolor for Men by L’Oréal
Taking inspiration from the exploding popularity of subscription boxes, L’Oreal now offers a personalized kit for men that you can get sent directly to your door. The way it works is that you talk to a live consultant via video, and they help craft a customized color that’s unique to you. Or, if you’re shy, you can simply take the color quiz. They take into account everything from texture to density in producing a personalized dye that’s just for you. It’s worth noting that this kit is not specifically designed as a beard solution, but some reviewers noted that they got good results when used on facial hair.
11. Softsheen-Carson Dark & Natural Hair Color for Men
BEST FOR MEN OF COLOR
This solution from SoftSheen is available in jet black, dark brown and natural black, making it a great option for men with darker hair. The dye is specifically designed to meet the needs of black men, who are often left out of the conversation when it comes to hair care. It’s also designed as a permanent solution, meaning a single application can last up to six weeks. It’s not explicitly a beard care option, but some men found success for facial hair as well.