A goatee can add a touch of sophistication to a man’s face. But as he gets older, he’ll notice his once revered beard start to gray. For you, this may simply be unacceptable. You’re about to learn how to dye a goatee like a total professional.
Dyeing a goatee doesn’t just hide those tell-tale grays. It also makes the beard look thicker and fuller.
There are also plenty of men who aren’t gray but want to dye their goatee to make the color more even and uniform.
Although dyeing it seems like a simple solution, it isn’t without its pitfalls. There is a technique to it. Trying to “wing it” often produces subpar and sometimes unusual-looking results.
This tutorial will teach you how to do it effectively while minimizing the staining of your skin.
The aim here is to do the job at hand while keeping it looking natural. Overdoing it risks making it look obvious, which is exactly what we’re trying to avoid.
You’ll first learn what types of dye are available for you to use. Believe me, they aren’t all the same. Then I’ll talk you through how to do it – an easy step-by-step walkthrough.
Choose Your Dye
There are two broad categories of dye you need to know: permanent and temporary. The category you choose depends on factors including your intentions and your experience.
If you’re just starting out and looking to “dip your toes in”, I’d always recommend trialing a temporary dye first.
Temporary dyes last for around 12 to 24 hours and are fairly easy to wash off from the beard. The dye is simply coated onto the hair shaft, a little bit like painting.
Unlike with permanent dyes, there isn’t any oxidizing reaction to infuse the color into the hair shaft.
This makes it easy to wash off, which can be thought of as a significant benefit for men who just want to try it out, or who aren’t looking for anything permanent.
A lot of men simply want to touch up their grays before special occasions.
It’s perfectly fine to start out with temporary dyes and then transition into semi-permanent or permanent dyes once you’re more experienced. Or, you could simply stick to temporary dyes for the long haul.
Here’s an example of a temporary beard dye you can check out on
Permanent dyes are sub-categorized into “semi-permanent” and “permanent”. Semi-permanent dyes last for around 4 to 6 weeks, whereas permanent dyes are built to last for several months.
They’re pretty difficult to remove once applied, although it can be done. As I mentioned earlier, the coloring agent includes an oxidizer. This reaction infuses the color onto the hair shaft, making the outcome more “permanent” as a result.
This makes the dye more resilient against physical removal, including washing, shampooing, rain, wind, and so on.
With a more permanent option, you won’t have to go through this process as often. You can “set it and forget it”, to an extent.
I’d still recommend going for a semi-permanent option, just because it gives you more scope for error.
“Just For Men Mustache And Beard” is a famous name in this space and will last around six weeks. It isn’t entirely natural, but at least it’s ammonia-free. Check it out on
“Grizzly Mountain Beard Dye” is a natural alternative. It won’t last as long – usually only around 2 weeks. But that may be more than enough for your needs. You can find it on
When choosing the color be mindful of the fact that men often underestimate how dark the dye will be. The picture on the product box is often inaccurate.
Choose a color that is one or two shades lighter than the one you really want. Surprisingly, this little trick works pretty often.
If you don’t get it exactly right the first time, don’t worry. Your choices will get better with experience. That’s another benefit of using temporary dyes to begin with – it gives you more flexibility when it comes to trying color shades.
Another tip – the longer you leave the dye on your goatee, the darker the shade will be.
So keep a close eye on the amount of time you’ve left it on, and don’t let it linger.
However, if you’ve got a lot of gray goatee hair, you’ll want to leave it on for a couple of minutes longer than the average.
How To Dye A Goatee In 8 Simple Steps
Here’s a simple walkthrough. Of course, the exact method will really depend on the product you choose to use.
For example, some dyes come pre-mixed, whereas others don’t.
However, this broad, general, step-by-step routine will be extremely useful regardless of what product you use.
What You’ll Need
- Dye. As per the previous section.
- Latex gloves. Don’t dye your goatee without protecting your hands. Removing staining can be a pain.
- Applicator. Most products will come with their own applicator. Usually, it’s just a little brush. If you don’t have one, a small toothbrush should do the trick.
- Towels. It can get messy. Spread some old towels over whatever surface you choose to do this over.
- Vaseline. Apply it to the borders to minimize dripping. More on this later.
- Alcohol wipes. The easiest time to remove skin stains is immediately after it happens. Keep them handy throughout the process.
1. Always start with a patch test
No matter what dye you choose to use, it’s important you do a “patch test” before applying it onto your goatee.
Your product instructions will almost always include this in the instructions.
48 hours before you choose to apply the product onto your goatee, rub a small amount onto your elbow and let it sit.
It doesn’t have to be your elbow, but this seems to be a popular place considering it’s pretty easy to hide.
Review the patch after 48 hours and assess the surrounding skin. If there is any significant rash or irritation, don’t apply to the dye to your goatee. There’s a chance you may be intolerant to it.
Try a different product. You may have just saved your face from some embarrassment.
2. Trim your goatee
Before you dye it, you’ll want to make sure it’s sculpted the way you want it. This isn’t a tutorial on how to trim your goatee. I’ve written other articles on that topic.
Here’s one if you wanted to check it out.
The reason you want to trim your goatee before dyeing is that you don’t want to apply the dye to any part of your face that isn’t the goatee. It seems basic when I say it out loud but it’s a simple mistake a lot of men make.
3. Apply Vaseline to the borders
This might seem strange, but it really does work. It isn’t perfect, but it does help to keep the dye within the borders of the goatee as you’re applying it.
Some dyes are “drippier” than others, and these are the ones that tend to leak out of the borders of the goatee onto the surrounding facial skin.
Before you apply the dye to your goatee, apply some Vaseline around its borders. It doesn’t take very long at all – a maximum of 20 seconds.
4. Prepare the dye
The title of this article does suggest that minimizing the staining of your skin should be minimized. This is true.
It’s something that puts men off dyeing anything, but it’s something that can certainly be minimized.
Vaseline is one way of doing it. At this point, however, it’s important to pop on those latex gloves and wear an old T-shirt you don’t mind getting stained.
Although it is possible to remove dye from skin, it’s a problem you’d rather not have.
As I mentioned earlier, some dyes come pre-mixed. This is often the case with the temporary dyes. If this is the case, you can ignore this step.
But the semi-permanent and permanent dyes usually need to be mixed. It doesn’t take much effort, however.
You’ll usually get a coloring agent, a developer, and a mixing tray. Mixing the two components together in the tray produces an easy-to-apply paste.
What you use to do the mixing depends on the product. Often, the handle of the applicator brush is what you use.
The amount you’ll need depends on how much hair you’ve got. Mix enough to go over it once, knowing you can always mix more if you need to.
Goatees are small and compact, and so you shouldn’t need much to cover it in dye comprehensively.
5. Apply the dye to your goatee
Dip the applicator into your mixed dye and apply it onto your goatee using up-and-down strokes.
Be sure to make a note of the time you start applying it.
It can be tempting to use light strokes to try and minimize skin staining, but this is often ineffective. You’ll need to apply at least a moderate amount of pressure to dye the roots as well.
Apply the dye to whichever areas of your goatee you want altered. You may be looking for a more salt and pepper look where grays are blended with dark hair for a more natural look.
In this case, you wouldn’t want to get rid of all of your grays.
Some skin staining is natural, but try not to worry too much about it. Remove any surrounding stains as soon as they form with an alcohol-based wipe.
Mild staining is normal, and after a couple of days is hardly noticeable due to the top layer of skin shedding.
6. Make a color judgment
The product you use will tell you how long they recommend leaving the dye on your goatee. Hopefully, you’ve been keeping a close eye on the time.
It’s usually around five minutes. After five minutes, take a cotton wipe and remove some dye from your goatee.
If it isn’t dark enough, apply a little more dye and give it another 2 minutes. Repeat this process until you’re happy with the color.
Again, the product will specify how long you should leave it on for. However, I find my technique more effective and proactive.
Leaving it on for 15 minutes and then being disappointed that you’ve made it too dark is never fun.
Remember, the longer you leave it on, the darker it will be. You shouldn’t have to leave it on for longer than 10 to 15 minutes.
Minimizing the amount of time you leave the dye in contact will also minimize any potential skin irritation as well.
But please read the product instructions for specific instructions on the length of time. Last time I mention it, I promise.
It’s quite natural to feel as though it’s too dark. But once you’ve washed it and towel-dried it, the color will fade a little. So don’t worry.
Also, the mild skin staining beneath the goatee will also make it appear darker for the first couple of days. This will also settle down – just give it a few days.
8. Wash the goatee
If you’ve just used a temporary beard dye, you’ll probably want to skip this step. Washing your goatee will remove all of your hard work.
Hop in the shower and rinse it out with lukewarm water. You’ll definitely notice the dye running out with the water. Eventually, the water will start to run clear.
Once you’re happy you’ve washed it thoroughly, towel-dry the goatee. You want to apply some good pressure here without being too rough. Being firm, however, should help to remove some skin staining under the goatee.
Reasons Men Might Choose To Dye Their Goatee
With the goatee being one the most popular beard styles on the face of this Earth, the vast number of men who dye it may surprise you.
Here are a couple of reasons why they might choose to do it.
1. Reclaiming some youth
Gray hairs can send a shiver down a man’s spine when first spotted. Floods of thoughts rush through their minds, and they start to painfully long for the past.
Getting old isn’t fun, but the grooming industry has at least made the process a little less painful.
Dyeing a goatee is a relatively quick and straightforward way to reclaim some youth. If the silver fox look isn’t for you, darkening it up won’t take too long – trust me.
2. Patchy goatees
Patchiness is a struggle many bearded men face. There isn’t really a miracle cure, unfortunately.
Creativity is often what gets people through. Growing a goatee is a phenomenal way to fix the problem of patchy cheeks – you simply shave them.
But what if the goatee itself is patchy? Well, dyeing your goatee reduces variation in color. Lighter hair and gray hair sitting next to darker hair is often what brings about the illusion of patchiness.
Making the goatee more uniform in color by dyeing it can often make it look thicker and less patchy.
Hopefully, this article doesn’t come across as “anti-gray”. A gray goatee can actually look very sophisticated when trimmed neatly.
But it’s no secret that many gray-bearded men are looking to change things up. Men with patchy goatees or goatees with uneven colors may also be looking for a solution.
Hopefully, this article has taught you how to dye your goatee in style. If you don’t get it exactly right the first time, try not to get too upset about it.
You’ll get better and better with experience. The steps you’ve just learned will have dramatically increased your chances of success.
Have fun with it.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.