Beards come with dilemmas sometimes, and one of those dilemmas is wanting to dye your beard but keeping it short enough, or even at stubble length.
Not everyone prefers the big, bushy beard styles, the ones we often associate with dyeing. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t get to have a piece of the…. Color cake.
How To Dye Very Short Beard
Men prefer to dye their beards for different reasons, some are starting to get a little gray and want to darken them to look young again, which is the most common reason.
Some men have patchy beards that look better and fuller with a bit more color to them, and some men just want to rock a different color out of nowhere, which also counts (Remember Chris Hemsworth’s bleached beard and eyebrows in Thor? Why not go for that, you do you).
CAN A SHORT BEARD BE DYED?
With modern technology and advancements in beauty products, pretty much anything is possible when it comes to hair and grooming now.
While a long beard is generally easier, and more common to dye, that doesn’t mean it can’t work with a short beard or stubble.
Although it’s trickier and riskier, it’s not impossible, it just needs some skill. The downside to dyeing your short beard or stubble is that you could end up unintentionally staining your face, which wouldn’t be very ideal. Another downside is the general difficulty of dyeing, for which you have to be extremely careful.
You have two or three options when it comes to dyeing your beard: You can go all-in with a permanent or semi-permanent beard dye, use a temporary beard dye, or use brush-on beard colors or beard pens.
BRUSH-ON BEARD COLORS
This is perhaps the safest, easiest, and most temporary option if you want to dye your stubble or short beard.
Think of it as a kind of beard mascara, that you’ll use to highlight or color your short beard and then wash it off, you’re looking at about a day’s worth of color. The process is simple:
Choose The Right Color
That would be the one closest to your own hair color, but bear in mind it’s hard to get it 100% perfect. You’ll usually only find a selection of black and browns.
Prep Your Face
You want your face to be as clean and dry as possible. The oil could deter the color and make it more difficult to adhere to your hair. Wash your face or take a shower, dry up, and you’re ready to go.
You want to go as light as you possibly can. Start brushing upwards to get the color all over the hairs, and go evenly. You don’t want any darker spots, specially if it’s a grey beard.
Go Over It
To lock the color in, you want to use a comb or beard brush to brush the color all over the beard. This time, go downwards.
Wipe Any Excess
It’s possible to get it on your skin, or cheeks, so just make sure you use some alcohol wipes to get any small stains out.
Oil It Up
You’ve got the color, not you want the shine. Rub some beard oil in to give your stubble or beard that glossy smooth look.
HOW CAN I DYE MY BEARD STUBBLE?
Maybe you don’t want a quick daily option, but you want the real deal. For this, you’re looking at actual beard dyes.
Stubble is no different from a beard when it comes to dyeing, but because it’s much shorter, you need far less dye and less pressure. Here, you have two options: A temporary dye, and a permanent dye.
A temporary dye will likely last you a couple of days until it fades out. It’s obviously the safer choice, as you won’t be stuck with a color you don’t like for a few months in the permanent dye.
You can also easily wash it out. A permanent dye will go for a few weeks or months, but it’s also riskier. Any error and you could panic. All in all, the steps for using either a permanent or temporary dye are pretty much the same:
Choose A Different Color
What?! Yeah, just bear with us. Remember when we said that the color on the packaging is never accurate? Well, the same applies here.
You’ll want to aim for a shade or two lighter than what you see on the box. This will be closer to your actual desired color, as it will look darker once it mixes with the hair itself.
Also, make sure it’s beard dye, never normal hair dye because your face is more sensitive than your scalp and requires different formulas.
Don’t Prep Your Face
What?! Bear with us, when you wash your face or beard, you remove natural oils that could actually help the dye adhere to your beard.
In that case, skip the wash and wait a bit for your oils to accumulate then start dyeing. You’re going to wash it in 5 minutes anyway.
Prep Your Stuff, though
There are some essentials for dyeing. Because it’s stubble or a short beard, you should use a shorter brush to be more detailed and controlling.
You’ll also need some latex gloves, Vaseline to cover up the exposed areas so you don’t get any stains on your face or neck, as well as some alcohol wipes to wipe off any excess. Make sure you’re not wearing your favorite T-Shirt, either.
Now you’re ready to go, unlike the brush-on one, start going downwards and upwards with only the tip of the brush.
The deeper you go, the darker it will get, and the more likely you could stain your skin, that doesn’t mean you should only touch it since the dye does need to adhere.
Just apply some medium pressure and find that sweet spot. If you notice your skin getting colored underneath, don’t panic, it’s natural and it will go away with time.
Wash It Out
Beard dyes usually give you a countdown of 5 minutes before you need to wash it. Remember, the more you leave it, the darker it will get, so time yourself.
You can test by wiping a small area first to check the desired color, then go in with lukewarm water to rinse as much of it as you can, before shampooing for the final result. The more you wash it, the lighter it will get.
HOW LONG DOES A BEARD HAVE TO BE TO DYE?
While you can dye stubble, short beards, and long beards, it’s best to let it grow to around an inch (2.5 cm) to start dyeing, though you can get away with half an inch, the shorter it is, the harder it is to dye, and the more likely you can stain your skin underneath. The longer it is, the more the color will stick and stay.
Recommended: How to remove beard dye from skin.