A common reason for men shying away from dyeing their hair is not wanting it to look unnatural. So, why not just dye some of it and not all of it? You’re about to learn exactly how to dye your hair salt and pepper.
Some men are already blessed with it. In fact, most men who do go grey will remember a phase where there was a glorious mix of grey hair (salt) and dark hair (pepper) before it all just turned grey.
The beauty of it is that with the magic of modern dyeing techniques you’ve got the option of recreating this salt and pepper even after you’ve gone totally (or mostly) grey.
Let’s get to it.
What Is Salt And Pepper Hair?
It’s hair that’s a blend of grey hairs, white hairs, and dark hairs.
Although a lot of men choose to hide all of their greys by getting full coverage with a hair dye, there are plenty of men who choose to embrace their greys.
Or at least to a certain extent.
The thing about salt and pepper hair is that it’s a great middle path to take. Not too grey, but also not so uniformly dark that it looks unnatural.
The appearance of gracefully greying is one that a lot of men and women are drawn to. It looks mature and it looks natural.
That’s the main reason that many men want to have this look all the time and the reason there are specific dyes that aim to help you achieve it.
That’s exactly what you’re about to learn how to do.
Which Salt And Pepper Dye Should You Use?
Now, I’m assuming you’re a guy that’s gone grey and wants to be less grey, as opposed to a guy that’s not grey and wants to go greyer.
But assuming is never wise. If you do happen to be a guy that’s not grey at all but just wants a scattering of greys because you love the aesthetic, a temporary dye like Mofajang (Amazon Link) would be your best bet.
But most men are looking to get that salt and pepper look by coloring some of their greys dark, not vice versa.
To do this, a popular product out there at the moment is Just For Men Touch Of Gray (Amazon Link).
The reason it works well is that it’s designed to give you a salt and pepper look in the easiest way possible.
It consists of two parts – a tube and a comb. Once the comb is connected to the tube and the tube is squeezed, the dye squeezes out between the teeth of the comb.
This leads to the hairs that come into contact with the tips of the teeth getting dyed, while other hairs are left alone.
In other words, it gives you a salt and pepper finish.
A couple of things to note about this dye:
- It comes in multiple shades and colors – choose the one you find matches your natural color best.
- It contains PPD. This chemical can trigger skin reactions in some, so a patch test is crucial beforehand – I’ll be going through this in the tutorial.
- You can expect it to last around 6-8 weeks, so it can confidently be labeled a “semi-permanent dye”.
Let’s go through how to use this dye in the most effective way possible.
How To Dye Men’s Hair Salt And Pepper (5 Steps)
Here’s a simple, step-by-step routine you can use to get semi-permanent salt and pepper hair.
What You’ll Need:
- Just For Men’s Touch Of Gray – As I mentioned above. It comes with a pair of gloves for application.
- An old towel
- A timer
1. Patch Test
Before you apply the dye to your hair, it’s crucial to read the safety warnings. In addition, read the ingredients list to ensure there’s nothing you know you’re allergic to.
Then, read the allergy testing instructions.
Essentially, you want to apply a small amount of dye to a discrete part of your body such as the back of the elbow. Leave it there and review the area after 48 hours.
If there’s any evidence of redness, irritation, or inflammation, do not apply it to your scalp. You may well be sensitive or allergic to it.
If the area looks fine and you’ve read and are happy with the safety warnings, you should be good to go.
2. Prepare The Kit
Put on the pair of gloves that came with the kit before you prepare it. Place an old towel over the bathroom counter to avoid unnecessary staining.
As I explained in the previous section, the Just For Men Touch Of Gray dye consists of a tube of dye and a little wide-toothed comb head to attach to it.
There’s no mixing necessary.
Remove the cap and safety seal from the tube of dye and then attach the comb to it. Once it’s firmly attached, squeeze the tube and watch as the dye comes out from in between the teeth of the comb.
It may come out darker than the color you thought you’d bought – don’t worry about this. It always looks darker than the end result and this won’t be the color of your hair after you’ve finished applying it.
3. Apply The Dye
Apply it to dry and unwashed hair. Although some men choose to rinse their hair beforehand, there’s a theory that the natural buildup of oil will help absorb the dye better.
Start combing the dye through the greyest parts of your hair first. Comb backward, before combing side-to-side. Don’t forget the back of the head.
Comb through the areas you want to be peppered – again, you’ve got a lot of control here. You could just apply it throughout and it’ll most likely look natural as you won’t get full coverage with the dye.
Some hairs will be dyed and some hairs won’t. It makes you look younger and subtly “greying” as opposed to completely grey.
Once you’ve applied the dye through, you may worry that you’ve applied too much as the coverage will look darker and thicker than you may expect.
But again – don’t worry. A lot of this is excess and will rinse out when the time comes, leaving behind a salt and pepper appearance.
4. Set The Timer And Wait
The instructions say you should leave this dye in your hair for 5 minutes – for the first time you do it, this is absolutely fine.
You may find that this is the right amount of time for you to achieve the look you want. Set your timer to it and play the waiting game.
Once it’s all done, you may find that the end result is a little too dark or simply not quite dark enough.
If you find that it’s a little too dark, try rinsing it out after 4 minutes instead of 5 and see if you prefer it.
If you think it’s not dark enough, leave it in for a minute longer to see if it’s dark enough afterward.
Once you’ve left it in for long enough, it’s time to rinse it out and review the end result.
Rinse it thoroughly with lukewarm water and watch the excess dye clear out. Once the water runs clear, apply a dab of shampoo and work it through your hair.
Rinse out once more. At this point, you’re done.
Wash and rinse your shower after using it to prevent staining it.
Towel-dry your hair and admire your work. The results are immediate but it may take an hour or so for you to really visualize your new hair.
But what you should see is a glorious blend of grey hair and dark hair; one that looks natural, sleek, and effective.
Additional Tips For Salt And Pepper Hair
The tutorial you’ve just read through should be enough to get you good results. But here are a couple of additional tips you should be aware of:
- If you aren’t a fan of the result, Color Oops (Amazon Link) is a hair color remover that can help clear even permanent and semi-permanent dyes. Be sure to give the new look a chance to grow on you. If you really aren’t into it, just know there’s a way of undoing it.
- If you’ve got a beard, you may want to dye it salt-and-pepper to go with that hair. A matching pair can be pretty appealing to some men. If you’re interested, check out this article.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a couple of FAQs on men’s salt and pepper hair to really round things up.
Is Salt And Pepper Hair In Style For Men?
Salt and pepper hair is becoming increasingly popular as it’s seen as a more natural-looking alternative to dying hair with a uniform color.
While it won’t produce quite as youthful of an appearance as dying everything one color, the salt and peppered appearance is definitely worth considering if you want don’t want to lose all of those greys.
Overall, it’s definitely in style.
Can You Get Salt And Pepper Hair With Long Hair?
It’s definitely possible, although you’ll need more dye to achieve it, of course. The appearance of long salt and pepper hair has an unmistakably distinguished aesthetic to it.
The same technique detailed above can be used to achieve a salt and pepper look with long hair.
There you have it. When you’re using the right product, dyeing your hair salt and pepper really doesn’t have to be complicated.
The silver fox aesthetic isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It oozes sophistication and a distinguished edge.
If you’re still on the fence, it’s worth trying out. Even the most anti-dye men are drawn toward the natural-looking blend that you’ve just learned to create.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.