Should I Dye My Beard?

Smiling man with a dyed beard.

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Every man deserves to feel good about their beard. Whether you’re growing a well-kempt goatee or working on a Gandalf-length wizard’s beard, you should be happy with the hair on your chin. While you can certainly switch up styles to find your favorite look, there’s only so much you can do about the color without reaching for a box of dye. 

So should you dye your beard? It’s a big decision, one that could cost you your facial hair and your happiness if you aren’t careful. So take your time and consider the costs — as well as the benefits — before you commit and go through with it. 

You Get to Pick the Color, But It’s Semi-Permanent

This might seem rather obvious, but dying your beard allows you to completely change its color. You don’t have to pick a shade that matches your hair. In fact, it’s more fun if you don’t. Always wondered what you’d look like with a red beard? Grab a box of dye and find out! Not sure what your friends would think about a blonde beard? Now you can know for sure. You can even dye your beard rainbow if you want!

The only potential downside is that the color is semi-permanent. It’s stuck with you until your beard grows back. That means if you pick a completely different shade, you could end up with a two-toned beard after a few weeks. In other words, you’ll be able to see your roots. Whether there’s a harsh line between the colors or an embarrassing fade, you’ll want to dye it ASAP. 

Couldn’t you simply dye your beard back to match its roots? Sure, if you can find the right color. The problem is, there are only so many different shades for us guys to choose from. While hundreds of boxes line the womens’ hair section, there are only a few options available to men. If you can’t find the color, you’ll reach a very troubling impasse. 

Because beard follicles grow one-third to one-half inch every month, you might have to dye yours once or twice a month, if not more, to keep it all the same color. If you’re not ready for the upkeep or the cost, this routine could become a bit too much. Then, you’ll have to decide whether to live with the weird roots and keep on trimming or shave your beard off completely. Choose wisely. 

It’s Tricky, But It Might Be Worth It

If you’ve never seen a girlfriend, mom or stylist dye hair, you’re in for one eye-opening experience. Sure, the process seems simple enough. All you have to do is put some goo on your beard, right? How hard can it really be? 

Well, it turns out that achieving the perfect look isn’t always as simple as it sounds, especially if you’re a complete beginner. For starters, your facial hair is dryer, rougher and coarser than the strands on your head, so applying an even layer of dye could be tricky. If you don’t coat every strand, you could end up with a patchy, disappointing dye job that you’ll either have to live with or pay a stylist to re-do. 

Some hair dyes may also contain chemicals like p-Phenylenediamine. This ingredient can cause skin reactions in some people, including swelling, skin irritation, blisters and burns. Severe reactions can even result in anaphylaxis, so it’s important to choose all-natural dyes or ones that are free of potentially harmful ingredients like PPD. Because there are so few brands to choose from, many guys end up going to a salon instead. 

Those who can’t afford a stylist will have to assume all risks and responsibilities and settle for boxed dye. If all goes according to plan and you pull through without any reactions, doing it yourself may very well be worth it. On top of saving a few extra bucks, you’ll have a handsome mane to show for all your hard work. Plus, you’ll practically be a pro the next time you go to touch up your roots. Just don’t mess up!

Making the Best Choice

All things considered, should you dye your beard? Ultimately, the choice is yours. However, weighing the pros and cons will help you make the best decision for your lifestyle. Whatever you do, remember that your beard will keep growing, whether you dye it or not. Nothing is forever and, in this case, most guys can probably find a little solace — and maybe even courage — in that. 

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