Dyeing a beard should be a simple, straightforward routine you look forward to. Sure, there are pitfalls and potential mistakes, but these can be avoided. Here’s everything you need to know about dyeing your beard black.
Black hair can be a tricky thing to get right.
Too dark or too light; the risk is always going to be accidentally making it look unnatural despite your best efforts.
There’s also a risk of choosing the wrong black dye. You want one that’s best suited to your specific beard and your specific intentions.
But even once you’ve chosen the perfect product, you still need a simple step-by-step routine you can rely upon for excellent results each and every time.
You’re about to get all of that information and more. Let’s get to it.
Dyeing Your Beard Black: An Important Warning
Right off the bat, it’s important to lay out this word of warning.
You may have heard people claiming you should never dye your beard black because it always looks unnatural.
This is important advice to take on board but isn’t strictly true for everyone.
It’s true that men often overestimate how black their hair is. What men refer to as “black hair” is often just very dark brown.
In addition to this, dyeing your beard will often produce a darker result than you may have intended. This is true no matter what color beard dye you choose.
So, choosing a black beard dye may result in a uniformly jet black coating that looks quite different and significantly darker than your natural shade.
It’s usually a good idea to choose a dye color that’s a shade or two lighter than what you perceive your original hair color to be. So, for a “black” result, try choosing dark brown or brown-black.
This will most likely produce the shade you’re looking for. Having said this, some men truly do have very dark and jet black beards. For these men, a straight black beard dye would probably be fine.
How To Choose Your Black Beard Dye
When choosing your beard dye, you’ll need to consider two factors.
I’ll also give you solid examples of beard dyes you can try out for yourself.
1. Desired Shade
To produce the most natural-looking result you’ll want to produce an end result that looks closest to your original color.
If all you’re looking to do is cover up some greys, this is usually the best option.
Once again, it’s usually best to choose a dye that’s a shade or two lighter than your original color given that the end result will usually be darker than you expect.
But if your hair is truly a very dark shade of black, a simple black dye will probably be fine.
2. Temporary Vs Permanent
There is a wide range of black beard dyes available. One important way in which they can differ is how permanent they are.
Temporary Black Beard Dyes
If you’re looking for an occasional touch-up without wanting to commit to anything, a temporary dye would be better.
Temporary black dyes don’t infuse the color into the strands of hair. There are no oxidizing agents in the dye that really set the color in.
They produce what’s more like a simple paint job. A coating of black (or dark brown) color that’s easy to apply and easy to wash off.
They usually don’t last more than a day. Check the specific instructions of the one you choose to see exactly how long you can expect them to last.
Blackbeard’s Black Or Dark Brown (Amazon Link) is a good option. It doesn’t contain anything too harsh, produces natural results, and is easy to apply.
Permanent Black Beard Dyes
If you’re looking for something longer-lasting without the hassle of having to constantly touch up, a more permanent option would be better.
“Permanent” and “semi-permanent” beard dyes can last from several weeks up to a couple of months. Read your specific product’s instructions to get a proper estimate.
In general, you can expect them to last anywhere from several weeks up to a couple of months. As you can see, they aren’t literally “permanent”, but you do have to commit to sticking with the color for quite a while.
There are ways of removing beard dye but it usually isn’t all that easy.
Another important point is that many permanent and semi-permanent beard dyes contain harsh chemicals like PPD and ammonia. These are often what helps the color really penetrate the hair and last longer.
But they can be harsh on the skin and many men are looking to avoid them these days.
Simpler Hair And Beard Dye is a great company that uses much milder alternatives to these chemicals.
So, they’re able to produce long-lasting, natural-looking results with a kinder mix of ingredients. It comes in a range of colors including Natural Black, Brown-Black, and Dark Brown.
How To Dye Your Beard Black In 7 Steps
Once you’ve chosen the perfect beard dye for your desired purpose, it’s time to apply it using a step-by-step routine.
The routine will almost be the same no matter what dye you’ve chosen. However, step 4 (preparing the dye) will vary depending on whether your specific product comes mixed or pre-mixed.
What you’ll need:
- Beard Dye – Choose the right shade and type using the information above.
- Vaseline – This is going to be a “stain guard” to reduce staining of the face.
- Gloves – This is to prevent staining of your hands.
- Application Brush – Almost all beard dyes will come with one.
- Beard Comb – Not essential but great for distributing the color.
- Cleaning Wipes – Colortrak (Amazon link) is ideal but soapy water and cotton balls would also be fine for wiping fresh stains.
1. Perform A Sensitivity Test
This is always so important. Prepare a small amount of the dye and apply it to your elbow at least 48 hours before you plan on using it on your beard.
Wait 48 hours and review the area to make sure there’s no redness or soreness. If there’s any sign of a reaction, don’t use it on your beard.
If the area looks fine, you’re all set.
However, you should do this test each time you dye your beard. Just because it’s fine once doesn’t mean it always will be.
2. Trim And Wash The Beard
Although it may sound obvious, you’ll want to trim your beard the way you want it before you dye it.
That way, you’ll get a better feel for exactly what you’re dyeing.
Plus, defining the neckline and cheek lines (beard borders) will give you a defined shape within which you need to keep the beard dye.
Once you’ve trimmed your beard, wash it.
Washing your beard before you dye it is important because clean hair is easier to dye than greasy hair. The dye will absorb better and the color will distribute more easily.
You’ll want to avoid using beard shampoo at this point because you don’t want to dry the beard out too much before you dye it.
A small amount of natural sebum oil is good for absorbing color.
Once you’re done, towel-dry your beard and move on to the next step.
3. Apply A Stain Guard
The term “stain guard” might sound fancy but it’s just a thin layer of Vaseline you apply around the borders of your beard.
In other words, just above your beard’s cheek lines and just under your beard’s neckline.
This should help to reduce the black (or nearly black) beard dye from leaking out of your beard and onto your neck or cheek skin.
Be sure not to apply Vaseline onto the beard itself, because it can reduce the absorption of the dye.
4. Prepare Your Black Beard Dye (If Necessary)
As I mentioned earlier, this step will depend on the type of beard dye you’re using.
Temporary beard dyes often come premixed and are ready to apply to your beard right from the word “go”.
Many semi-permanent and permanent black beard dyes do need to be mixed, however.
They often come in two tubes – a base color and a developer, both of which need to be mixed in a tray in order to produce the dyeing paste you apply to the beard.
You can use the handle of the applicator brush (not the bristles) to do the mixing. Remember to put your latex gloves on at this point.
But there are more “permanent” dyes that are more clever with their mixing.
For example, Simpler Hair And Beard Dye comes in a very sleek bottle with two nozzles you squirt at the same time. One of them releases base color while the other releases developer.
You squirt both of them onto the brush at the same time and then apply all of it to your beard. The mixing happens on your beard as you brush it through, so there’s no need to mix it in a tray beforehand.
The cream/mixture that you apply to your beard is often a different color to the one you’ll end up with. If you notice that, don’t stress about it – it’s normal.
5. Apply The Dye To Your Beard
Whether or not your dye needs mixing, you’ll apply it to your beard using an application brush. The product you buy will almost definitely come with one.
Apply the dye cream/paste to your application brush and start applying it to your beard. Yes, it’s time to dye that beard black (or nearly black).
Apply it from the roots, starting with the grey hairs first. Then, spread the dye to the ends and tips of the hair by combing it through.
At this point, you need to decide whether you just want to touch up the greys or whether you want to coat the entire beard in the dye.
Simply touching up the greys often produces a more natural-looking result.
Evenly coating the whole beard a single color can sometimes look artificial, considering natural beards are actually a wide range of colors sitting next to each other.
This is something you’ll have to decide after taking into account your preferences and goals.
If you’re covering the whole beard, try using the tip of the brush for fine detailing the borders of the beard.
Although the brush is often enough, if you’ve got a particularly long beard, try using a beard comb afterward to really distribute the color through the deeper parts.
It isn’t essential, but often helpful. Plus, make sure it’s a beard comb you don’t mind getting stained.
6. Clean Up And Wait
Once you’re done applying the black (or dark brown/brown-black) beard dye, you’ll have to wait for the color to set.
The amount of time can vary depending on the product. The product instructions will let you know how long to leave the dye on.
Remember, the longer you leave it on, the darker the result will be. Because of this, be specific about it and set a timer.
In general, you can expect to leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes, but get the specific figure from the instructions.
If you don’t want to go too dark, you can wash it out a little sooner than the recommended amount of time.
But if you’ve got particularly tricky or resistant greys, you may actually need to leave it in a little longer.
This is why it’s common for men to not get their ideal result the first time they dye their beard black. It takes a bit of trial and error and results often improve with repeated attempts.
While you wait, look for any dye stains on your face or neck. It’s a good time to grab those cleaning wipes and remove the dye from your skin.
The earlier you remove those stains, the better.
7. Rinse And Admire
Once you’ve left the dye in for the recommended amount of time (or slightly longer or shorter depending on your preferences), rinse it out.
Rinse your beard with cool or lukewarm water until the water runs clear. At this point, a small amount of beard shampoo would be worth using.
Right – you’re done. Step back and admire your work.
It can take a day or so before you really see the end result in all its glory. Don’t get me wrong – your beard should look a lot better right after you rinse it.
But it takes a short while longer for the color to really settle. Plus, you’ll probably take a day or so to really get comfortable with the new look, particularly if it’s quite a large change.
Additional Tips For Dyeing Beards Black
You’re now already aware of the dangers of potentially going too dark and ending up with an unnatural result when dyeing a beard black.
But here are more tips to really help you get the best results.
- Experiment with different shades. Don’t go too far with it, but don’t be afraid to try a shade lighter or a shade darker if you aren’t happy with your initial result.
- Once you’ve rinsed out the dye and dried the beard off, feel free to apply products (oils, balms, pomades, etc) and style the beard as you normally would.
- If you want the dye to last longer, try using sulfate-free shampoos and only wash your beard with cold water. Also, avoid blow dryers and straighteners wherever possible, as the heat can wear out the color.
Using the information in this guide, you should be able to produce an excellent outcome when dyeing your beard black.
Although it may not be as simple as dyeing your beard some other colors, careful dye selection and proper application technique will give you the result you’re looking for.
It may not happen exactly the way you want it to the first time. But with practice, you’ll get better and better.