There comes a time in every man's life when he comes to the dreaded realization that he's getting old. For many, their first inclining is the sight of gray hair. Going gray can bring an air of wisdom and experience but it can also be a little defeating, feeling like the last bit of your youth is fading away. To regain that confidence, you may choose to dye your hair or shave it off all together. But when it comes to your beard, we suggest putting the clippers down and preserving its natural glory with a little beard dyeing.
And whether you're approaching the hill or way over it, in reality, gray hair isn't just about getting old. After all, this natural process can also happen to the genetically unlucky ones who are barely sipping their first legal alcoholic drink when they catch a pesky gray poking out.
Here at Zeus Beard, we understand your need to keep your youthful spirit and preserve your feeling of attractiveness. There's no reasons to let grays get in the way. Beard dyeing from home can be easy if you just follow the right steps.
Why do we go gray?
Photo via Instagram / @sir_ndrewsilver
As we reach our 30s, the pigment cells on our hair follicles start dying off. Without these cells, the hair follicle is less able to create melanin and give the hair its color.
Over time, this process transforms hair from its deep tone to a shade of gray, silver or white.
Typically gray hairs start popping up around age 30 for men and age 35 for women, but the numbers vary from person to person depending on genetics.
Choosing the right color
Photo via Instagram / @kafgrooming
The biggest mistake when it comes to beard dyeing is choosing the wrong color. We totally understand that you'd love to blast these irksome grays into next Tuesday, but drowning them in the darkest color you can find isn't the best way to mask them. A bold color like black lacks in variance and will end up looking totally unnatural and jarring.
Instead of going too dark, just focus on mirroring your natural color.
Even letting a few grays still poke through will keep you from looking like Santa Claus but it won't make you look like Billy Mays either. The goal is to make you look a little younger and more fresh, not like you're a 50-year-old man attempting to look 21.
Instead of just grabbing a normal hair dye meant for the hair on your head, look for hair dyes tailored to your facial hair. Just For Men offers two beard dyeing products designed for gray hair in a variety of natural shades. Its site recommends, "when in doubt, go a shade lighter."
Making sure you're prepared
Photo via Just For Men
While the Just For Men dye kits include latex gloves, not all brands follow suit. It's important to read the box to find out what's included and if you need to additionally buy gloves, a dyeing comb or mixing trays.
Dyeing your hair isn't the neatest project in the world. You don't want to get dye on your clothes or on your bare skin either. Opt for an old t-shirt that you don't mind if it gets some colored splotches on it. Extra towels are also helpful if your beard dyeing journey is taking place in the bathroom so the sink and counters don't get dyed too.
Another thing to consider is a gentle or color-treated conditioner. Some boxes include an after-dyeing care product, but if it doesn't offer one, it's worth investing in to put moisture back in your sensitive facial hair.
If you have long hair, you'll also want to pull it back so it doesn't get touched when beard dyeing.
Beard dyeing steps
Beard dyeing doesn't have to be done by a barber or stylist. Dyeing your tresses from home can save some time and money for more important things. You know, like watching Sunday football and drinking beer.
You've got your dye kit in hand. Here's what to do next:
1. Skip the shower.
Whenever dyeing hair, it's actually best to work with dry, unclean hair. Skipping the shower the day of allows your hair to grip the dye better. It also causes less damage to your hair and skin because the hair's natural oils aid and protect it.
Instead, just start with a trimmed, combed out beard. Adding a little vaseline on the skin around your beard will help the dye resist sticking to your face.
2. Follow the instructions in the box.
It may seem obvious but following the instructions is important especially if you're working with a new brand. Not all hair dyes have the same mixing or suggested time instructions.
However, so you have a better idea of what you should see, typically, a hair dye will come with the dye and a color developer that will need to be mixed together. Don't be alarmed if the mixture comes out looking lighter than you expected. After a minute or so, the mixture will darken as you apply it to your hair. For beard dyeing, most kits call for about a five-minute application.
Following the time instructions closely is also important to achieve the intended shade. Leave it on too long and your hair will come out darker than expected. Leave it on not long enough and you may be left with more spotty gray zones and light coverage.
3. Avoid hot water when washing out the dye.
It's never great to put hot water on your hair, especially the sensitive zone on your face. While it may seem easier to get the oily texture of the dye out of your hair with hot water, refrain from the temptation. A lukewarm shower will be just as effective at removing the dye and it will better preserve your locks.
4. Use a softening conditioner.
Beard dyeing uses chemicals that can dry out your hair. To avoid this, after washing the dye out of your beard, run a softening conditioner through the strands.
The Zeus Softening Conditioner (8 fl oz / $16) is perfect to maintain the moisture in your hair and won't leave it dry or itchy like some drugstore products. The vegan-friendly conditioner uses an antioxidant blend of pro-vitamin, aloe vera, and green tea products.
5. Use beard oil after the shower.
In addition to adding moisture, the Zeus Beard Oil with Organic Oils (1 fl oz / $32) will help reduce beard dyeing itch.
Good or bad, eventually you'll have to dye it again.
Whether you hate or love your new look, the good and bad thing about hair dye is that it doesn't last forever. Your beard will maintain its new color for about two to three weeks.
If you love it, after two to three weeks you can just touch up the roots. On the other hand, if it came out too dark or you just totally hate your new style, you can change it up pretty easily.