Dyeing a beard is a lot like cooking. There will be times when no matter how much preparation and effort goes into it the result just won’t look quite right. At this point, you’ll want to know what your options are. You’ll want to know whether you can wash out and remove that beard dye.
Beard dyeing efforts aren’t easy to reverse. It’s designed to stick – if it washed off with every shampoo you can guarantee it would be taken off the shelves.
But sometimes, it isn’t as hard as you might think. There are certain factors that make it easier for beard dye to be removed.
These include the time since application, the type of beard dye used, and the porosity of your specific beard hair.
For instance, semi-permanent beard dye is (as you’d expect) much easier to remove than permanent beard dye.
What I’m going to teach you in this article are several methods for washing out and removing beard dye. I’ll tell you right from the outset that not all of these methods will work for you.
But there’s a good chance that one of them will.
Experimentation is necessary, so consider this a guide as opposed to anything else.
By the way, if you’re interested, check this article out to find out my most recommended beard trimming and grooming products of the year.
But now, let’s get to work.
How To Wash Out And Remove Beard Dye In 5 Steps
This step-by-step routine is pretty much the same no matter what removal agent you choose to use. You may need to test several of the products I mention to find one which works for you.
You may notice that the removal agents I mention are naturally-occurring or household items you’ll probably already have lying around.
I do prefer these DIY options because I find them more effective. However, here’s a commercially-available hair dye removal agent you can check out on Amazon if you wish to.
1. Make your removal mixture in advance
Your removal mixture will consist of your usual beard shampoo mixed with one of several possible items or products.
Consider the beard shampoo a “vehicle” for delivering this additional product into your beard. Overall, this additional product or item will be doing most of the work.
In general, you’ll be mixing a quarter-sized amount of your usual beard shampoo with any of the following options:
- An equal amount of baking soda. Baking soda is a natural cleaning agent and will also fade the beard dye if massaged in properly.
- Or an equal amount of plain white vinegar. Beard dye is pretty good at handling alkaline shampoos. But acidity can often be its weakness.
- Or four drops of dishwashing soap. It can be particularly drying on the skin, so be sure to moisturize well after you’re done. This one may also need repeating daily for a few days to get the desired effect.
You can choose to mix the ingredients in your hand, or in a container. I’d go for a container because it can be hard to get the smell off your hands, depending on which option you go for.
You could argue that you’ll be massaging into your beard with your hands. But it’ll be in contact with them for less time. Plus, you can keep the mixture ready for when you need it and won’t be forced to use it immediately.
Once you’ve made your mixture, keep it by your side and move on to the next step.
By the way, I’d always recommend doing your own “patch test” before rubbing it into your beard.
The day before you want to use this mixture, apply a very small amount on your elbow (or another inconspicuous body part).
Then, after 24 hours, review the area. If you notice any sort of rash or irritation, don’t use it.
Chances are you’re sensitive or allergic to the ingredient and you just saved your face from some discomfort and needless embarrassment.
But if it’s all good, proceed, my friend.
2. Rinse and shampoo your beard
This is a useful step. It may remove a small proportion of the beard dye, and if it’s done very soon after application it may be all that’s necessary.
Just to clarify, you’ll be shampooing your beard with beard shampoo alone and not with the removal mixture you’ve just expertly made.
Yes, in essence, this does mean you’ll be shampooing your beard twice. I usually advise against this, as over-shampooing can be overly drying on your beard and skin.
But when the main objective is to remove the ever-resilient beard dye, give yourself a hall pass and make sure you moisturize thoroughly afterward.
Use beard oil too if you have some.
But it’ll also help to clean and untangle the hair before you do anything else. Doing so will ensure that the maximum number of hairs will come into contact with the removal agent in the steps to come.
Either over your sink or in the shower, rinse out the beard with lukewarm water. Run your fingers gently through the strands to help untangle it.
If you’ve got one, running a beard comb through it would be even more effective.
Then, apply a quarter-sized amount of beard shampoo to your palm, rub it in to form a lather, and massage it into your beard.
If you need one, here’s a great beard shampoo you can buy on Amazon.
Let it sit for 30 seconds or so before rinsing it out.
3. Massage the removal mixture into your beard
No matter what you chose to use, this step will be the same.
At this point, your hair will be washed, soaking wet, and detangled. Without allowing enough time for the hair to start drying, lather the removal mixture into your palm and start working it into your beard.
Try to ensure that you massage it in evenly and don’t neglect any portion of it.
Try to coat the entire hair shaft from the root to the tip, and use your fingers to maximize coverage. Run them through the strands cautiously but firmly.
Once you’re happy you’ve coated the beard completely, let it sit for approximately 10 minutes. This should be enough time for the mixture to start fading the dye.
4. Rinse it out
Once again, gently rinse out the removal mixture with lukewarm water. As always, wet hair is particularly vulnerable to breakage and premature loss.
So, be gentle.
Towel-dry it until it’s damp and then assess the results. The effects may not be immediately noticeable until the hair is drier.
If you’re disappointed with the removal, don’t be tempted to keep repeating this process again and again on the same day. These ingredients aren’t exactly great for your skin.
They’re drying, irritating, and make the beard and the underlying skin look weak and brittle.
Sure, you’ll fade that color away over time. But it’s not worth damaging the integrity of the beard hair over.
If you want to repeat the process, or try a different mixing agent, wait at least 24 hours before doing so. This should give the skin enough time to recover before going for Round 2.
5. Moisturize afterward, each and every time
As I said, it’s super-drying on the skin. Moisturizing afterward is a good way of countering some of the damage.
Irritated skin needs moisture.
Skincare is an important yet often forgotten aspect of beard grooming. A phenomenal, Viking-esque beard can be made to look very unimpressive due to dry and flaky underlying skin.
Beard dandruff is objectively unattractive, and moisturizing after shampooing will help to minimize it.
Hopefully, you’ll find these methods of removing beard dye effective. But always remember that your beard and skin health needs to take priority.
Beard Dye Removal – Essential Facts
If you want to wash it out, remove it, or lighten it, it’s a good idea to have a better understanding of what it is.
Ideally, you’d be reading this before you apply it. But I know this is very rarely the case – and it’s fine. No point crying over spilled milk, as they say.
1. Not all beard dyes are made equal
The main difference to understand here is between semi-permanent and permanent beard dyes.
Most beard dyes are considered “semi-permanent”, which means that over time they will fade. In general, you can expect them to last 4-6 weeks, but even longer if you rinsed rather than shampooed during this period.
Permanent dyes are, as you’d expect, much harder to remove. It’s generally understood that if you choose a permanent dye you’ll be growing out and then trimming off the dyed hair as opposed to trying to actively fade, wash out, or remove it.
So, if there’s a chance you may not like what you see or if you’re a beard dyeing beginner, I’d highly recommend you choose a semi-permanent option.
2. The sooner you remove it, the better
If you’ve literally just applied the dye and you realize it’s not what you want, seriously, just wash it out. It’ll be much harder to do so in a few days.
So I generally don’t recommend waiting to see if you’ll “grow to like it” over the course of a few days.
In general, go with your gut and remove it while you still have the opportunity to do so fairly easily.
But even if a few days have passed, it’s better than a week, or two weeks. The point I’m getting at is the sooner you decide to remove the beard dye, the easier it will be.
3. You may not be able to remove it completely
Unfortunately, the resilience of beard dye can be difficult to combat.
You may find that despite the methods I’m about to teach you working to a decent extent, there may be a hint of residual dye that just won’t budge.
You may have to just wait it out and know that over time it will fade out. Your natural hair color will return, and you’ll be free to choose whether or not you want to give beard dyeing another go.
Ultimately, you’ll always have the option of trimming down or even shaving. However, knowing my audience I’m guessing this is most likely not an option. So, I’m going to move swiftly on before I lose you as a friend.
4. Certain colors are harder to remove than others
It’s true. Red, for instance, is a menace. There are many reasons a man may choose to dye his beard red. The most obvious would be to match the hair on his head.
But red is a notoriously difficult dye color to remove. If this is relevant to your specific problem, do your best.
You’ll definitely be able to remove a good proportion of it. But there’s a high likelihood you won’t be able to remove every last hint of it.
5. Check the dye packaging
Many beard dye manufacturers acknowledge this issue and do try to provide some helpful advice in their packaging.
It would be foolish of them to expect every customer to be 100% satisfied with their results. They know their product better than anyone, including the best removal techniques available to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
These are some common questions about beard dye removal that I wanted to address.
Will washing beard dye out with shampoo alone work?
It might. Especially if you do it almost immediately after applying the dye. But, in general, if you’ve left it for even a short amount of time you’ll most likely need an additional ingredient to get an adequate removal.
Can’t I just use Color Oops?
Sure you can. For those of you that don’t know, this is a commercially-available product designed to remove hair dye. There isn’t a specific beard dye removal agent that I know of just yet.
But it doesn’t mean that it won’t work. As I mentioned earlier, I do prefer the DIY alternatives I’ve taught you in this article because I find them more effective.
But a ready-made option may be exactly what you want. If so, try Color Oops (Amazon Link).
As you’ve hopefully come to realize, it isn’t as easy as you may have liked. But it is possible to remove beard dye.
With the vast number of beard grooming products available today, it’s highly likely you will try some that just don’t fit quite right with you.
Beard dye is one of the products that’s harder to reverse. So, to play it safe I’d always go for a semi-permanent option until you were more experienced with it.
Try these methods out, but be safe and always prioritize the health of your skin and beard. Beard dye will fade over time regardless of whether you choose to speed things up or not.