Beard dyeing is very popular in this day and age. There’s no doubt about that. But many men long for a dye that isn’t infused with ammonia, PPD, and other chemicals. In other words, they want natural. Well, what about coffee? Can you really dye a beard with coffee?
Dyeing a beard with coffee is becoming more and more common. People are drawn to the fact that it’s natural, mild, cheap, and relatively harmless. Plus, it’s quite a fun and quirky habit to integrate into your routine. It’s most useful for men with darker (brown or black) beards who are looking to make it even darker and a more even color.
Beards in which the color is uniform look thicker and fuller. Coffee can do this without needing to oxidize the hair fibers.
However, because of this, it’s a temporary beard dye. Although the results aren’t long-lasting, its temporary effects are very appealing to some men.
What I’m going to teach you is how you can dye your beard with coffee using an easy-to-follow routine.
Also, check this article out if you want to find out my most recommended beard trimming and grooming products of the year.
Let’s get to dyein’ that beard.
How To Dye A Beard With Coffee In 6 Steps
It’s beautifully straightforward and doesn’t take long to execute. However, the more you do it, the quicker you’ll get at it.
If you’re nervous about trying it on your actual beard, test the mixture out on a tuft of trimmed beard hair first and assess the results.
1. Don’t wash your beard
It might seem strange to start a tutorial with something you shouldn’t do, but hear me out.
I always advise not washing your beard with shampoo before any dyeing session. Try and keep your beard “unwashed” for 48 hours. Shampooing the beard will strip the skin of its natural sebum, and that stuff is valuable when it comes to beard dyeing.
The logic behind this is two-fold.
For one, a healthy layer of natural sebum oil will help to retain the dyeing effects of the coffee’s tannins. This means better results in a shorter amount of time.
The second reason is that natural sebum is protective. One of its main functions is to protect the skin and to act as a barrier against irritants and toxins.
Although coffee is relatively mild, it can still be irritating to the skin, especially if used inappropriately. Having a nice layer of sebum there will minimize this.
Having said this, feel free to rinse your beard with water only as this is unlikely to aggressively remove the sebum.
To learn more about why you shouldn’t wash your beard before dyeing it, read here.
2. Prepare your coffee dye
So, you’ve not shampooed your beard and you’re ready to take the next step – preparation of the mixture.
Coffee is one of many natural beard dyes that are increasing in popularity, and their preparation is in many ways quite similar.
This is what you do.
- Brew a cup of dark roast coffee.
- Let it cool.
- Then, mix this with 1 cup of your usual beard shampoo. Here’s a good one on Amazon if you don’t have one.
3. Patch test
As always, perform a patch test 24 hours before applying the dye. This does mean you’ll have to store the mixture until the next day. Alternatively, just make another batch – it doesn’t take long.
Rub a small amount of the coffee dye onto an inconspicuous part of your body such as your thigh or elbow.
Leave it for 24 hours and review the area. If there are any signs of irritation or any other rash, don’t apply anymore. The coffee dye isn’t for you, as there is a good chance you are intolerant to it or even allergic.
Instead, try one of the other natural beard dyes I’ve talked about.
But if the area looks fine, you’re all set. Let’s start the dyeing process.
4. Create a Vaseline barrier
This is a way of preventing the dye from staining your skin.
Rub some petroleum jelly (Vaseline) or heavy moisturizing cream in a line immediately beside your neckline and cheek line.
What this does is create a barrier that should reduce seeping and leaking of the coffee dye onto the face and neck. It helps to “contain” the dye within the beard.
It isn’t perfect, but it’s better than nothing.
Also, use disposable latex gloves to minimize staining your skin. Ultimately, it’s just coffee and does wash off easily. That’s one of its benefits. But, this saves you the trouble and leads to neater and sharper results.
Plus, stains can become harder and harder to remove with repeated application over time.
5. Apply the coffee dye
Take your coffee dye mixture and start rubbing it into your beard hair. Do it over a sink to minimize the mess. Also, wear old clothes you don’t mind staining.
Massage the dye into your beard hair and work it into the roots. Be gentle, to minimize tugging and pulling.
Try to evenly distribute the dye throughout the beard. A beard comb comes in useful here if your beard is long enough.
Leave the mixture in for at least an hour to allow enough time for the tannins to dye the fibers. It’s a fairly long time, but it’s a safe bet.
You can leave it to hang or wrap it with a shower cap to prevent dripping and spillage. I’d try and let it hang free to avoid inadvertently wiping the coffee paste off.
Rinse your beard out with lukewarm water over a sink or in the shower. This should remove any excess mixture and leave the end-result.
Towel-dry it gently, and you’re done.
Reviewing The Results
As with most natural or DIY beard dyeing options, the results are mild but can be exactly what you need. Review the results with decent lighting, and ask your friends and family to give their opinion as well.
Multiple applications are often necessary to achieve the desired effect. Try to allow at least 24 hours in between applications to give the skin a chance to rest.
It can be tempting to repeat it on the same day, but this can be too much irritation for the underlying facial skin. Plus, it’s also a time-suck. Give it a day and go for Round 2 if you need to.
How Exactly Does Coffee Dye A Beard?
Coffee does tend to cause staining. If you’ve ever spilled it onto your favorite shirt or noticed how they can cause your teeth to become darker over time, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
The principal dyeing agents in coffee are tannins. They tint the hair fibers and give them a darker hue.
But as how it works would suggest, it is temporary. This dye is pretty easy to wash off with beard shampoo for instance.
This is, in fact, one of its benefits. Many men do prefer a less permanent way of dyeing their beard on special occasions, etc. They aren’t ready to commit to a semi-permanent or permanent option.
These commercially-available, artificial options usually depend on oxidizing reactions involving ammonia and other compounds.
Dyeing a beard with coffee usually seems mighty appealing to the man who prefers natural.
Benefits Of Dyeing Your Beard With Coffee
- It’s cheap. Coffee isn’t free, of course. But it’s relatively inexpensive compared to repeatedly buying artificial beard dye. Plus, as with most DIY options, you’ve probably got it lying around the house anyway.
- It’s temporary. We’ve discussed this already. It requires minimal commitment, which means minimal anxiety. Don’t like it? Wash it out.
- It’s natural. Go a step further and make sure it’s organic.
- It’s mild. A problem with many of the artificial beard dyes on the market is that the results can be quite obvious, especially if you’re inexperienced at applying it. Coffee provides that little boost – a darker shade or hue. It’s subtle and elegant.
Is Dying A Beard With Coffee Safe?
Yes. But as I outlined above, always perform a patch test before performing the full dye. That way, if you’re intolerant or allergic, you’ll be saving your face from irritation or a rash.
Even if you’re not allergic, applying anything on to your beard has the potential to irritate. This is especially the case if you don’t give the skin a break in-between applications.
Coffee may be natural and mild, but does contain some acidic compounds and so shouldn’t be taken lightly.
For the most part, it’s very safe to use, but perform the patch test, allow enough time in between applications, and moisturize the skin well after dyeing.
Coffee. It tastes phenomenal, keeps us alert, and makes our beards dazzle. Greatest concoction known to man? Possibly.
If you aren’t sure about coffee and want to explore some other natural or DIY options, check out this article.
But if you’re intrigued, try it out. The worst-case scenario is that you’ll have to wash it out. The best-case scenario is that you find a natural, mild, simple dyeing method that you love.