Ah, the armies of aging. They march down your street and right into your life, and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it.
You see their influence everywhere: gray hair on your heads, wrinkled skin and, yes, gray hair on your beard. While a little gray may signify wisdom and experience – and isn’t necessarily unattractive to others – it isn’t always a welcome sight.
All of which brings us to beard dye – the stuff that can take the gray out of your beard, give it a more youthful appearance, and temporarily slow the onslaught of aging. The best beard dyes – like Godefroy Color Tint Kit – are often a godsend for men looking to stop the spread of gray on their lovingly-tended beard.
That’s why we’re devoting this post to the best beard dye for 2018. There are plenty of beard dyes to choose from, but we’ve chosen what we think are the very best available.
Along with our product reviews, we’re also providing a beard dye buying guide, a tutorial on how to apply beard dye, and a look at how beard dye is different from hair dye.
In the end, we hope you’ll find a dye that works best for you and gives you the confidence to approach the world while knowing that the signs of aging have taken a respite.
- Before you buy: 4 Things to consider when purchasing beard dye
- 5 Best beard dyes 2018
- How to make your beard to dye for (Dying your beard – A simple, 10-step illustrated guide)
- What’s the difference? Beard dye or hair dye?
- How we chose the best beard dyes for 2018
Before You Buy: 4 Things to Consider When Purchasing Beard Dye
Buying the right beard dye for you doesn’t have to be complicated but it is a process you need to handle with some care. Let’s face it, the evidence that you’ve chosen the wrong dye color is there for everyone to see.
True, you can wash the dye out with products made for the task; your only other options are to wash it out gradually over the course of a few weeks, or shave your beard.
Of course, the last thing we want is for you to shave your beard. So, consider the following factors when buying a beard dye and you’ll not only rock a nice-looking beard, you can keep it where it belongs: on your face, not in your bathroom sink.
1. The Color
It should come as no surprise that choosing the right color is the most important factor when buying beard dye. But choosing the right beard dye colors isn’t as easy as it sounds and a bad color match is often a bit off-putting, i.e., “Wait, the hair on his head is light brown but his beard is black?”
The standard beard dye colors are black, brown, blonde, and red, but there many shades and tints that are part of those basic colors. And what color you choose also depends on your intent: are you simply looking to cover up a few scraggly gray hairs, or are you aiming for a completely different color? Either way, here are some guidelines for choosing your color:
- Your natural hair – both on your beard and on your head – is composed of different colors. The color variations are, in most cases, subtle, but the different shades work in concert to create an overall “color.” That makes it tricky to choose the right beard dye color because you can easily pick one that makes your beard look too dark.
- The appearance of gray in your beard may cause you to overreact slap on a too-dark dye that obliterates gray hair but looks unnatural. So, choosing a color that’s a few shades lighter than your natural beard is a general rule of thumb. A beard that has a slightly lighter color won’t look as unnatural as one that’s too dark.
- Men with black hair should try a dark brown dye. Other men with dark hair should opt for a shade that’s a bit lighter than their natural color, while blondes are best-served by choosing one that’s close to their natural color.
- When in doubt, simply try to match the natural color of your hair as closely as possible. Remember the color you choose is going to be with you for a while. Trust your instincts while being wary of buying a dye that’s too dark.
The problem with many beard dyes is that they include ingredients that sound toxic and, in some cases, are toxic. That’s why we always prefer natural ingredients and there is a variety of beard dyes with natural and organic ingredients.
Ammonia is an ingredient often used in beard dyes to open the hair cuticle, which allows the dye’s color to penetrate the hair follicle. Be careful, however, because ammonia can cause skin and eye irritation in too large of doses.
When in doubt, choose dyes that are considered hypoallergenic.
3. Permanent or non-permanent
Make sure to check a beard dye’s package to see if it’s permanent or non-permanent. “Permanent” dyes will last for several weeks, or even months, which isn’t a good thing if the color isn’t a good match for your beard.
Permanent beard dyes are handy in that they don’t require as much re-application, so there is the convenience factor.
Other types of dyes include semi-permanent – they’ll last a couple of weeks – while others are best for touch-ups and wash out easily.
What type of dye you choose is a matter of personal preference. When you’re just starting out and are unsure of what color best suits your beard, a less permanent beard dye option is probably your best option.
4. Ease of application
The ease of application varies from beard dye to beard dye. Take a close look at everything you have to do to apply a dye; you may need gloves, mixing bowls, and a whole bunch of other stuff that makes it seem like you just purchased a do-it-yourself chemistry kit. On the other hand, those types of dyes are often of better quality and last longer.
Next, let’s dive into our best beard dye reviews.
The 5 Best Beard Dyes 2018
It’s easy to like a beard dye that’s good for touch-ups (when you just want to get rid of a few gray hairs) and for covering your entire beard if you so desire. That’s why we like Godefroy’s Color Tint Kit so much; it’s versatile enough to take on any beard dye job while giving you a natural look.
We like it for many other reasons, too. For one, it has a lot of natural ingredients and doesn’t include ammonia, which can damage hair and cause skin irritation if used in excess. For another, it’s long-lasting and considered a “permanent” beard dye with one application easily lasting you several weeks. Hey, you can even use it on your sideburns or shorter beards such as a goatee.
When you consider that one Godefroy Color Tint Kit comes with 20 applications, it’s a bargain at any price, if not a superb long-term investment.
We also like the fact that you can adjust the kit’s natural brown coloring simply by how long you leave it in. The longer the duration, the darker it appears on your beard. It even works on the most color-resistant of beards and applies evenly, not patchy.
Your color tint kit comes with both color capsules and developer. You simply mix the capsule powder and with developed and let it sit for a few minutes before applying it on your beard.
- Ammonia-free and natural
- Each kit comes with 20 applications
- Good for spot coverage or for dyeing your entire beard
- Formula feels a bit thin and may drip
Godefroy’s Color Tint Kit is the choice of many barbers and is good for any dye job, big or small. It’s easy to apply and a single application lasts a long time.
RefectoCil is a versatile dye that works well on eyelashes and eyebrows, but also on beard hair. It’s also less irritating than most other beard dyes, so this is a good choice if your skin tends to be sensitive. But you should still do a patch test with RefectoCil just to make sure that you don’t have an allergic reaction to it.
Another important thing to know about RefectoCil is that it’s a more permanent option than other dyes. One application should last six weeks, which means you get the convenience of not having to frequently re-apply it.
For this review, we’re talking specifically about RefectoCil’s natural brown dye No. 3. It’s a versatile brown that’s good for most natural brunette hair colors.
RefectoCil recommends that you let its dye set for 10 minutes before you jump into the shower. That’s a bit longer wait than with some beard dyes, but it’s worth it for the kind of natural brown look it brings to your beard. And, again, one application will last you several weeks, if not more.
One other point about RefectoCil, you have to purchase the dye and developer separately because they don’t come in the same package.
- Long lasting
- Easy to apply
- Causes less irritation than other beard dyes
- The tube is rather small (but you only need to apply the dye every several weeks)
RefectoCil’s Natural Brown No. 3 is good for almost every natural brunette hair color and is versatile enough to work on eyelashes and eyebrows. It’s also long-lasting and doesn’t need to be re-applied that often.
A couple of things to keep in mind about Henna Guys Dark Brown Henna Hair Color – it doesn’t lighten your hair color or work on black hair. OK, so much for the negatives.
What you really need to know about this hair dye is that it works exceptionally well to cover gray hair for folks with brown to dark brown coloring. You also should know that it contains no harmful ingredients such as chemicals, metallic salts, pesticides, and is alcohol-free.
Instead, Henna Guys Pack of Dark Brown Hair Color has a host of natural ingredients that protect your hair (and skin) from damage, including indigo powder, henna powder, neem, and false daisy.
But the marquee ingredient is Henna, which is an herb grown in India that’s used for a variety of purposes and that has other medicinal uses.
None of Henna Guys powders are older than 12 to 18 months, which makes them very potent with strong stains. They even triple sift their powders after production to ensure the finest, smoothest texture.
And there’s more to like: it’s versatile enough that it’s usable on your head hair and mustache hair, and it’s good for men and women.
Henna Guys’ Dark Brown Hair Color Powder comes in a 5.3 oz aluminum foil bag that’s sealed for the longest shelf life. Each pack comes with 100 grams of dark brown henna coloring and 50 grams of pure henna.
To get the best results, leave the Henna dye in your beard for two hours after application before rinsing your beard.
- Natural ingredients
- Excellent value
- Contains no fillers
- Not as easy to apply as other dyes
This product is certainly near the top of the list when it comes it to natural beard dye and is certainly the best henna beard dye available. It’s a one-of-a-kind dye that works wonders.
Like the producers of Henna Guys Dark Brown Hair Color, the folks at Grizzly Mountain like to set themselves apart regarding ingredients.
While you’ll find chemicals and another synthetic additive in many beard dyes, Grizzly Mountain’s Organic & Natural Beard is just what its name claims.
The Grizzly Mountain beard dye herbal powder is an excellent alternative to harsh chemical dyes that may irritate the skin. That makes it a top-notch hypoallergenic beard dye as well as the best beard dye for sensitive skin.
It’s also easy to apply and leaves your beard with various shades of brown that respect the natural coarseness of your magnificent mass of facial hair. Some other things you should know about Grizzly Mountain’s Organic and Natural Beard Dye include:
- It’s a permanent beard dye. In other words, it won’t come off unless you shave your beard. That’s different than many other beard dyes that are similar to mascara that’s easily washed off.
- It’s permanent but it doesn’t smudge or create an unnatural look. The color remains on your beard’s surface instead of going deeply into your hair follicles where it may cause irritation.
- It doesn’t apply uniformly, which sounds like a bad thing but isn’t. Instead, it adapts to the coarseness of your beard so the color sets in various shades that look natural.
- The beard dye doesn’t expire so you must seal it at room temperature after opening the package.
- You apply it with the applicator brush included in the beard dye kit after mixing the dye in a bowl with boiling water. It’s ready to apply when you’ve mixed it into a toothpaste-like consistency. Leave it on your face for up to 30 minutes depending on how your beard reacts; the longer it stays on the darker it gets. It will continue to darken for the next day or two. Make sure that you wash it with hot water after you’ve finished the application process (it’s waterproof).
- Organic and natural ingredients
- Coloring looks natural
- There’s very little chance of irritation
- Some say it takes too long to take effect
There are a lot of beard dyes available but not all of them can claim that to be made of natural ingredients. Grizzly Mountain is making serious inroads in the world of men’s grooming with their hypoallergenic beard dye.
Technically, this isn’t a beard dye. But it works like a beard dye and, in many cases, works better. What Blackbeard for Men Formula X is, however, is an instant brush-on color that saves you the time and hassle of mixing up and applying beard dye.
It’s like a mascara, but not mascara. So, there you have it. Simple enough. OK, maybe not, but we’re only interested in how Blackbeard for Men Formula X works on your beard to remove signs of aging. And it works well enough that plenty of reviewers on Amazon gives it a solid thumb’s up.
Blackbeard for Men is versatile enough to use on your beard, sideburns, and mustache; in fact, it’s specially designed for a man’s facial hair. But you can even use it on your eyebrows if you so desire.
The philosophy behind Blackbeard’s products is admirable enough – it develops men’s coloring products without loading them with harsh chemicals (such as ammonia). The ammonia smell from many dyes is a turn-off to some users, while the chemical base can result in itchy, irritated skin. With Blackbeard for Men Formula X, there’s no need to take all the pre-application precautions that you do with chemical-based dyes.
Plus, Blackbeard for Men’s products are simple and easy to apply. The Formula X coloring brushes on in seconds and you can use it for touch-up work to cover a few gray stragglers, or to cover larger patches of your beard. It doesn’t take a too-big chunk of time out of your morning routine while giving you the freedom to cover as much gray as you want. Some men prefer to leave a touch of gray in their beard for a more “natural” look, but to each his own.
Blackbeard for Men Formula X also dries quickly and is water resistant – a nice feature to have when you’re out in the rain. You can even use it to fill in gaps in your beard, which makes it ideal for men with thinner beards or stubble.
Of course, without harmful chemicals and other nasty stuff, Blackbeard for Men Formula X is ideal for men with sensitive skin or men who are prone to skin allergies. Blackbeard also comes in four colors: light brown, brown/auburn, dark brown, and black.
Blackbeard Formula X is for daily use and one application should keep you covered for up to 12 hours. It works best after you’ve showered and completely dried your beard although it is water-resistant once it’s applied.
- No chemicals
- Applies quickly
- Good for touch-ups and more extensive coloring
- Fades quickly compared to more permanent dyes
Blackbeard for Men Formula X is a one-of-a-kind (it has a patent) beard coloring product that gets the job done quickly and efficiently. It’s a no-hassle way to color your beard and give you a more youthful appearance.
How to Make Your Beard to Dye For
Now that you have your favorite beard dye in hand, it’s time for the true test – applying it to that magnificent mass of facial hair you’ve lovingly grown and nurtured. Is dyeing your beard rocket science? No! Is it simple? Well….not necessarily.
There’s a lot to think about, and precautions to take before you slap some dye on ye olde’ beard. Let’s break the process down into easy steps that will help you to avoid making your beard look like it’s randomly splashed with paint.
1. Choose the Right Color
If it’s beard dye, it’s all about the color. Makes sense, but choosing the right color may be challenging and may take a bit of trial and error. If it helps, remember that your beard hair may look a bit darker than the hair on your head because of its thickness – although not by much.
A good place to start before choosing your color is determining what your overall mission is; are you just doing a touch-up? If so, then choose a color that matches your natural hair color, or at least comes close.
If a full dye is in order, then the world is your oyster when it comes to choosing a color. Most men will select a color that matches their natural hair color, but nothing is stopping you from getting all crazy and choosing a color that stands on its own. It’s up to you.
2. Do a Sensitivity Check
Because some dyes may irritate your skin, it’s important to do a sensitivity check before you dye your beard. Place a small amount of the dye on your inner forearm or behind your ear and keep it there for 24 hours. If you don’t see any redness or inflammation after you’ve washed the dye off with soap and water, then you’re good to go.
3. Wash Your Beard
4. Guard Against Staining on the Other Parts of Your Face
Place a thin layer of Vaseline or another type of petroleum jelly on the skin around your beard to prevent the dye from staining it.
5. Prepare the Dye
“Follow the instructions” is always good advice when mixing up your beard dye. In some cases, you’ll need to mix the dye with water or oxidant and it’s important to mix it in the proper proportions. Also, just mix enough to cover your beard once.
6. Applying the Dye
Most dye kits come with a long-handled applicator that enables you to layer the dye on your beard evenly. Use up-and-down strokes while making sure you’ve covered all visible patches, including your mustache and sideburns. It’s important to work the dye deeply into your beard but avoid letting it come into contact with your skin.
If your kit doesn’t come with an applicator, feel free to use a toothbrush or mascara brush to apply the dye. No, don’t use the same toothbrush you use to brush your teeth.
Note: It’s a good idea to wear rubber gloves or another type of protection when applying beard dye. Doing so protects your hands from staining and irritation.
7. Leave the Dye in Until it Reaches The Desired Color
The dye will begin to work within minutes after application. It may take from 20 to 40 minutes for the dye to “set,” so be patient. You may need a second application to get the right depth of color for darker beards.
8. Rinse Out the Excess
Once you’re satisfied with your beard’s color, rinse out the excess dye with cool water. This helps create a more natural tint.
9. Shampoo, if Needed
If your beard comes out too dark, you may want to shampoo it while the dye is still fresh. Just be careful that you don’t scrub away more color than you want.
10. Handle With Care
You don’t want to handle your newly-dyed beard too much as excess friction may rub off the coloring. Rinse it lightly when you shower and then comb it out lightly with your fingers or a good beard comb to keep the color intact (and your beard looking good).
A couple of additional points to keep in mind: 1) Rinsing your beard with hot water is more likely to cause the dye to fade, and 2) Wait until your beard is dry before applying other products such as lotions or oils.
What’s the Difference? Beard Dye or Hair Dye?
The answer is “not much.” Many of same chemicals you find in beard dye also are in hair dye, but there are some subtle differences. Otherwise, what’s the point of using beard dye when hair dye works the same?
Well, for one, most beard dye formulas are semi-permanent, meaning that they wash out rather than grow out. The beard dye color gradually fades with each shampoo, but you can extend the life of the color by rinsing – rather than shampooing – your beard. Of course, you don’t want to give up shampooing your beard altogether.
While some say temporary hair dye is OK to use on your beard, it does have the tendency be runny when wet, which is a hassle you probably want to avoid.
Here’s another thing: your facial skin is more sensitive than the skin on your scalp, so avoid getting beard dye coloring on your skin. While you want the dye to penetrate deeply into your facial hair, there’s no need to scrub it into your skin as you would a beard shampoo.
Finally, the hair on your beard is more coarse and resistant than the hair on your scalp. Beard dyes make a note of this fact and use a different set of chemicals to bring the same coloring effect of hair dyes.
How We Chose The Best Beard Dyes For 2018
Any in-depth research on the best beard dyes will lead you to a couple of conclusions: dyeing your beard is often a complicated process, and if it’s not done right the unnatural look may drive you to drink faster than a few gray hairs.
So, we took a lot of factors in deciding what the best all-around dyes for 2018 are – factors such as ease of use, ingredients, how long they last, and the reviews of others, particularly the reviews of users who boldly face the bathroom mirror each morning.
In many ways, beard dye is an inexact science that requires a bit of finesse and a good eye for color. But the dyes which we present here should make your job easier.
And, as always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions. Do you use beard dye and what product or products do you prefer? Have you tried any of those we list here? Let us know!