There’s been much discussion surrounding whether beards should stay or go—and fellas can’t decide what to do. Perhaps I’m biased, but I don’t foresee the scruff fading from chins anytime soon. For some guys the simple upkeep of trimming and general grooming of a beard isn’t enough. I’ve tinted my beard for the past year because my stubble is a swirl of red, gray, blonde, and brown tones, making my beard seem a bit patchy and flesh-colored in spots. Like tinting your brows, coloring your beard gives you a fuller, more youthful look sans Botox or even beard-hair transplants—yes, that is a real thing.
Before you slap dye on your cheeks, there are a few things you need to know. This is beard tinting, not witchcraft. You’re not going to magically develop thick facial hair with some color. If you’re working with sparse whiskers, tinting won’t change that—you’ll want to look into hair transplants. If you have small spots of lighter-colored hair, I recommend using an eyebrow pencil to fill them in.
“Choose a color that is one shade lighter than your natural tone,” says Redken hairstylist Brian Bowman. “If you go too dark you run the risk of looking like Groucho Marx. Always do a test patch on your skin before administering any chemical product. There is nothing worse than a skin reaction on the face. And if you’re blending with gray hairs, put your product onto a wide-tooth comb first and then comb it in.”
So the next time you want to add a color to your look, consider beard tinting. It’s a simple solution that won’t take too much time and energy, and if you do it right, you won’t look anything like Groucho Marx. We promise.