Best Hair Dye for Beards and Mustaches

Every man wants to achieve a balancing tone to their look when coloring, tinting or dying their facial hair. Perfect results can be hard. Often the goal is to have the facial and head hair match. It would seem to be common sense that  this would be easy to do, but, often the results can be disappointing for may reasons.

1.  Men that want to color their facial hair and their head hair with the same product.

Although regular hair dye can be used on facial hair, it is not formulated for courser, more difficult to color, facial hair. Although it would be logical that your head hair and beard hair would end up the same color if you use the same product, this is often not the case. Because the hair dye will have a better uptake on the head hair than the facial hair, the facial hair can end up looking lighter than the head hair, which is opposite of what many men are trying to achieve.

Beard and mustache color from dyeing and tinting will also fade much more quickly than dyed head hair. A few weeks after coloring, the head hair will essentially be the same color, while the facial hair will have faded. This can create the opposite look of the desired goal in coloring facial hair. 

2. Some men want to let their head hair grey naturally but want to cover up the grey in their beard or mustache.

They purchase head hair dye that matches their head hair only to find when they use it on their facial hair the end result does not match their head hair. The result can create an odd look. If you are using hair dye to dye your beard, a better result may occur if a shade darker than your head hair is used for facial hair.

3. Hair dyes are unforgiving and stain everything they come in contact with.

This includes clothes, carpets, towels and skin. With head hair dyed skin this is usually not an issue unless it extends past the frontal hair line or ears. Facial hair dyed skin that extends past the beard or mustache onto the cheeks is not the look men are striving for.

All of these factors can produce a look that "announces to the world" that you just colored your beard.

The Men's grooming products market has grown significantly in recent years. Preventing and decreasing the signs of aging has become a major objective in our competitive world. There are a number of facial hair dyes, colors and tints now available such as specific beard dyes, hair mascaras, temporary beard tints, etc.

So, how to choose the best hair dye?

With so many options available in the market, it can be a challenge for men to choose the right dye product and shade for a beard or moustache.


Choosing the right hair dye for a beard

  • Know your beard style

In order to select the right hair dye for your beard, you must decide on which beard style you want to go for. Determine what style of beard you want to keep for a while, such as a short beard, long beard, or groomed beard, before choosing facial hair color. Are you in your 20s? Maybe you are greying in your 30s? Is your beard too short to effectively color it with a dye?

  • What color will work? 

The color choice can vary depending on the natural color of your facial hair. If you are a guy with a head full of jet-black hair, full coverage of your beard with a solid color can be a good fit. However, it would not suit everyone. If full coverage of one color is not right for you, then go with a product that will not provide as complete of coverage.

It is possible to go " a little lighter" than the color of your beard with some products. The hair dye will layer over the color of the hair. The dye over hair process can allow for a subtle lightening of the color of the hair, but it will not turn a brown hair to blonde. Head hair can be lightened dramatically by bleaching out the original color and then layering on the dye. If most of the head hair is already grey it can then have darker colors layered over it. If the natural hair was dark brown or black then the coloring over the grey or white hair may then be lighter then the original color without a bleaching agent needing to be used.

  • Get a low contrast dye

Matching hair and beard color can be a complex process to get a natural look, especially as you age. Rather than focusing on the hair color shade, it is recommended to select a shade of dye that best matches your natural beard color, especially if you have some gray patches sporadically. Often the color of a beard or mustache will not be exactly the same as head hair. The beard hair and mustache hair may not even match each other on some men.

  • Determine the gray hair density

Determining how much gray hair you have in your beard and mustache will help with deciding whether touching-up with hair mascara is the best solution or using a full coverage dye application.

Grey hair has a different uptake of dyes then the original hair. Facial hair has a different color uptake than head hair and fades faster. It may take trial and error to find the look that is desired. As more grey grows in, the process and products may need to be changed to get the desired look.

Because grey vs non-gray hair in your beard and mustache will uptake dyes and tones differently this will help your beard have a more color dimensional look, which looks more natural. When all the facial hair looks like it is the same color it is referred to as a "shoe polish" beard because it looks like the beard has been colored by shoe polish.

If you have a modest amount of grey, it may be a better option to use a temporary hair mascara to cover the greys until the grey density is at the point it makes sense to dye the whole beard or mustache. 

When dying facial hair the process may need to be repeated every few weeks as facial hair does not hold the color like head hair does. The greys will not go back to looking as they naturally did; but, the color will be faded and not as vibrant.

  • Choose if you want an instant or gradual result

There are products available for beards and mustaches that change the color more gradually.  

There are beard shampoos and washes on the market or some comb-in beard colors to gradually change your facial hair color. With repeated application, your beard and mustache shades change with each use. 

  • Choose between permanent and semi-permanent dyes

Hair dye for beards can be permanent or semi-permanent. Permanent beard dyes fade after a few weeks but do not completely "wash out" of the hair. The colored hairs remain colored but they are not as dark or as vibrant as when they were first colored.

Semi-permanent facial hair formulas wash out usually within a few days and the hair is back to its original color.

  •  Check the ingredients

Generally, the ingredients used in hair dyes, whether permanent or temporary hair colors, are quite potent. It is important to do a skin patch test before using the products. If your skin reacts after a small amount of product has been left on for 24 hours it is not the best product for you.

There are many natural and organic non-GMO hair color products available that do not have unhealthy side effects for you, or the environment. When evaluating a beard hair color product try to avoid parabens, sulfates, glycol, ammonia, silicones, coal tar, phthalates, alcohols, triclosan, benzene etc.

Choosing the best facial hair product for you will likely take some trial and error. As time rolls by the products and process may need to be continually changed to provide the grey coverage and look that you desire. 

See this article for more info: Beard & Mustache Care: The Definitive Guide

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Consumer Notice lists 17 dangerous ingredients that should be avoided in hair care products:

1. Sulfates
2. Parabens
3. Formaldehyde
4. Silicones
5. Mineral Oil
6. Coal Tar
7. Phthalates
8. Alcohols
9. Chemical Dyes
10. Fragrances
11. Para-phenylenediamine (PPD)
12. Polyethylene Glycols (PEG)
13. Triclosan
14. Retinyl Palmitate
15. Benzene
16. Resorcinol
17.Selenium Sulfate

Choosing the best dye for mustaches follows the same steps (outlined above) as picking the best coloring products for beards.

Decide how much grey needs to be covered?
Is a temporary or permanent color wanted?
What is the color end result desired?

See this article article on what causes premature greying and how it may be influenced.

See this article article on how nutrition affects grey hair.

Using a hair mascara like Grey Disappear is the fastest way to get rid of unwanted grey hair. It is the no grey quick fix preferred by professional and celebrity hair stylists for head hair and as a men's beard mascara.

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