We’re talking about some of the most striking shades in existence. They’re bold, they’re attention-grabbing, and they should be flaunted. You’re about to learn everything you need to know about dyeing your beard ginger or red.
Right from the outset, it’s worth pointing out that these two broad colors include many, many different shades.
This is a guide to choosing the right shade for you and then dyeing that beard to perfection.
Choosing the right dye isn’t just about color. You need to think about how permanent you want the end result to be too.
Once you’ve chosen the perfect product, you’ll then have an easy, step-by-step routine you can follow for fantastic results each and every time.
Let’s get to it.
How To Choose Your Red Or Ginger Beard Dye
Essentially, when choosing the perfect dye for you and your beard, you need to consider these three factors.
Once I’ve talked about them, I’ll list several dyes you can potentially choose from after taking your personal preferences into account.
1. Desired Shade
This is probably the most crucial.
You don’t want to go through the hassle of dyeing your entire beard only to be left with a color you’re not impressed by.
Within the “red” and “ginger” categories there are a whole bunch of shades to choose from including copper brown, strawberry blonde, medium-brown, auburn, and so on.
You need to ask yourself what you’re trying to achieve here.
Are you a ginger or red-bearded man looking to cover up some greys? In which case, you’ll want to try and match your existing shade as best as possible.
Or, are you looking for a different shade of ginger or red altogether? A change is never a bad thing and can keep a bearded journey interesting. In this case, you can be a little looser with your selection and experiment a little.
It’s usually best to choose a color that’s a shade or two lighter than your natural one or the color you’re aiming for because results are often darker than you expect.
In other words, don’t trust the bearded man on the dye product box.
Just remember that if you’re dyeing your hair from a completely different color to red or ginger, expect the end result to look even more different from what you see on the box.
You do need to think of color mixing here and results can be a little unexpected when you’re completely transforming your color. Just something to bear in mind.
Finally, you also need to consider what dyes are actually available to buy. Red and ginger aren’t the most common dye colors and so the selection is a little limited.
Read on – I’ll soon list a few examples you can choose from.
2. Temporary Vs Permanent
How permanent do you want your new ginger or red shade to be?
They aren’t truly “permanent” in that they won’t exactly last forever. Eventually, the color will fade and your natural shade will reveal itself.
But “permanent” and “semi-permanent” beard dyes can be expected to last for weeks or even months. The instructions for the specific product you choose should tell you.
They achieve their long-lasting effects through the use of oxidation to really infuse the color into the hair.
In order to do this, ammonia or hydrogen peroxide are sometimes used. This may not be ideal for those looking for a more natural approach to dyeing (which I’ll be talking more about soon).
Permanent and semi-permanent dyes will also usually require pre-mixing which may be a bit of a pain for some men. A color base and developer will need to be mixed together and then applied to the beard.
These don’t involve any sort of chemical reaction to infuse the color into the hair. Think of it more like a paint job.
The color is simply coated onto the hair and that’s it.
It’ll wash out pretty easily and will need to be reapplied very frequently – probably daily.
It’s a great option if you’re not looking for anything “permanent” and just want to touch up those greys now and again.
It’s also great for experimentation because you can try out different shades without having to commit to one or the other.
3. Natural Vs Artificial
This will definitely be more important to some people more than others.
As I mentioned earlier, the more permanent red/ginger beard dyes will usually contain some ammonia or peroxide to really instill that color.
This may not be acceptable to people who prefer an all-natural coloring method.
For example, henna is great for producing shades of red or orange and has the benefit of being natural. Check out the “Henna Guys” on Amazon by clicking the image below.
There are a couple of great companies out there who specialize in henna dye products. They often last around 4 weeks before fading which is a pretty good outcome for a natural product.
But it may not be as effective or powerful as one of the more permanent dyes, simply because it doesn’t contain the artificial ingredients.
It can be a difficult compromise.
What some men do is choose a dye that isn’t entirely “natural” but doesn’t contain any harsh PPD either.
Examples Of Red And Ginger Beard Dyes
After taking those three factors into consideration, you should have a pretty good idea of what you want.
As always, do a patch test before trying any of them out on your beard. I’ll be going through this in the step-by-step routine later on.
As I mentioned, there isn’t a huge range of dyes to choose from, but there are definitely some you should check out.
- Discovery Naturals Ginger Henna (Amazon Link) – Natural and lasts around 4 weeks.
- Schwarzkopf Copper Blonde (Amazon Link) – Bold, striking, semi-permanent. It’ll last several weeks. The results are natural-looking but the dye is artificial.
- Blackbeard’s Auburn (Amazon Link) – A temporary beard dye that isn’t all-natural but is effective and doesn’t contain anything too harsh. The results are natural-looking and are great for grey touch-ups.
- Red Color Wax (Amazon Link) – It’s fun and obvious. It doesn’t look natural but that’s the point. It’s in-your-face and great for making statements. Plus, it’s very easy to wash out. A nice and temporary option for specific occasions.
How To Dye Your Beard Ginger Or Red In 7 Steps
Having a step-by-step routine to follow each time you do this will make things a lot easier, more efficient, and more effective.
This tutorial is going to assume that you’re going for a permanent or semi-permanent beard dye. These usually require mixing and are a little more technical than simply applying a temporary beard dye.
If you’re looking for a tutorial on applying temporary red color wax, just follow this tutorial on applying silver color wax. It’s the same deal.
I figured a tutorial that included mixing the color base and developer would be more helpful.
What you’ll need:
- Beard Dye – of your desired shade. Each product will have its own instructions – make sure you read them!
- Vaseline – apply to the borders to reduce leaking of dye outside of the beard.
- Gloves – you don’t want the beard dye to stain your hands. Latex will do.
- Application Brush – this should come with the dye. If not, a toothbrush will do.
- Beard Comb – not essential, but great for evenly distributing the color through the beard.
- Cleaning Wipes – for stain removal. Colortrak (Amazon link) was made for this but cotton balls and soapy water should work on fresh skin stains.
1. Perform A Patch Test
This is really only necessary the first time you apply the dye. However, it’s definitely essential.
It’s important to ensure you don’t have a reaction to it when you do finally apply it to your beard.
Do this by applying a small patch of the dye to a more hidden part of your body. The elbows are a good option as they don’t draw too much attention.
So, apply a small amount of the red or ginger beard dye to your elbow and leave it there for 24 hours.
Then, review the area and make sure there isn’t any redness or inflammation. If there is, don’t apply it to your beard as you’ve most likely had a reaction to it.
If the area looks alright, you’re good.
2. Trim And Wash The Beard
It’s time to prepare the beard for the coloring process.
You’ll usually want to trim the beard the way you want it before you dye it. This is mainly because neater and well-groomed hair is easier to dye effectively.
It’s also because it’s useful to see your beard at its tidiest while dyeing it.
Once you’ve trimmed it, wash it with lukewarm water. Clean hair is easier to dye than oily and greasy hair. The color will distribute better.
Avoid washing with beard shampoo immediately before dyeing it. There’s a theory that natural sebum will help absorb the dye better. Shampooing the beard beforehand may just dry this out too much.
Washing with water alone should be absolutely fine.
3. Apply Vaseline To The Borders
Apply a small amount of Vaseline to the borders of the beard (above the cheek lines and below the neckline).
It isn’t perfect, but it should reduce leakage of the red/ginger beard dye out of the beard and onto the cheeks/neck.
At this point, you’ll also want to start preparing yourself in other ways as well.
For example, place old newspaper on your bathroom floor to protect against spillage. Don your gloves to prevent that dye from getting on your hands.
Finally, wear a T-shirt you don’t mind getting stained. Dyeing can be a little messy, particularly the first couple of times you do it.
4. Prepare Your Red Or Ginger Dye
As I mentioned earlier, temporary dyes are usually going to be ready to use right out of the box.
But let’s assume you’ve got an oxidizing agent that requires the mixing of a color base and a developer. As always, remember to read the instructions for the specific product you’ve chosen.
Your product should make it absolutely clear if mixing and preparation is required.
It’ll come with a tube filled with the color developer and another filled with the base color. It’ll also come with a small tray or dish for mixing the two together.
The product should also come with a small applicator brush which you can use to apply the mixture to your beard. But you can also use the handle (non-bristle) side of this brush to mix the two together first.
Of course, the amount you’ll need to mix does depend on how much beard you’ve got to dye. Try and prepare enough to cover the beard once.
Each time you buy it, you should have enough in there to allow for several applications. Don’t overdo it. As always, start low and go slow.
Use the minimum amount to achieve the desired look.
5. Apply The Dye To Your Beard
If you were using temporary red or orange color wax, you’d be able to use your fingers. After all, it washes out easily.
But permanent and semi-permanent beard dyes are a bit of a pain to remove from the skin, although it’s certainly possible.
Remember, fresh stains are easier to wipe off than stains that have set. So do have some wet wipes or soaked cotton balls ready to wipe off cheek and neck stains as you go along.
You’ll want to use the applicator brush the product came with to apply the dye at first. If you don’t have one, a new toothbrush will do. Keep the gloves on as well.
Here are some key points when applying the dye:
- If all you want to do is cover up some greys, just focus on the grey areas and don’t try to get a blanket coating of the red or ginger dye throughout. It’ll look less natural. Real beards will have many different shades of ginger or red within them.
- If you’re “transforming” your beard color (eg. from quite a different original color), you’ll want more of an even coating throughout.
The applicator brush will help to apply the initial coating but you can use your (gloved) hands to really work it in.
Beard combs are also great for distributing the ginger or red dye because the long teeth are able to penetrate into the deeper parts of the beard.
Plus, they can detangle any tangles that may have formed.
A boar bristle beard brush is less suitable for distributing the dye because it tends to paste the color onto your facial skin. This can lead to hard lines of color that aren’t ideal.
6. Play The Waiting Game
Once you’ve applied the dye, it’s time to wait for the recommended amount of time specified by your specific product’s instructions.
The longer you leave it on, the more the color will be absorbed, and the darker the end result will be. You may end up with a much darker tone of ginger or red than you’d initially wanted.
So, use a timer and try to be accurate about it.
Once you’re reaching the recommended amount of time, use a bit of paper towel to wipe off some of the dye.
If it’s not dark enough, apply a little more and wait a couple more minutes.
If you feel that it looks too dark (a common scenario), don’t panic. This is pretty normal and just know that it’ll look lighter after a few washes.
That brings me onto the final step quite nicely.
7. Rinse The Beard
First, rinse out any excess color using water only. Once you feel as though there isn’t much color rinsing out anymore, apply a dab of beard shampoo to the beard, and work it in.
Then, rinse once more.
If you want to try and prevent the beard dye from fading with repeated washes going forward, try and limit using beard shampoo to once a week only.
Plus, it’s usually best to use a shampoo that’s color-safe as well.
Now would also be a good point to deal with any ginger or red dye stains that may have formed on your cheeks or neck.
If you feel as though the color didn’t turn out quite the way you wanted it, give it a couple more days and a couple more washes.
For one, you may just not be used to it. In addition, once it’s faded a little you may find that you actually do end up with the shade you initially had in mind.
Additional Tips For Dyeing Beards Ginger Or Red
- If you really aren’t a fan of your new ginger shade and don’t want to wait for it to fade out naturally, check out this article on how to remove beard dye from your beard.
- Experiment regularly. It’s a little harder with permanent or semi-permanent beard dyes. But remember, “permanent” beard dyes do still usually fade out after several weeks/a couple of months. Try out different shades.
- Always expect that you’ll end up with a red/ginger color that’s a couple of shades darker than the one on the box.
- If you’re starting out with a color that’s very different to the ginger or red dye you’re applying, never expect the end result to be what you see on the box. Color mixing will take place. For example, blonde hair plus auburn dye won’t lead to a pure auburn shade.
Whatever your main goal was here, hopefully, you found this helpful. There’s more to it than people might initially think.
Different dyes, different beards, different objectives.
In the end, having the right technique and knowledge will always serve you well going forward.