So your beard and mustache grow in light and you would like to make them darker.
Well, you’re in luck. Today we are going to look at six simple tricks that you can use to effortlessly bring your beard down to a shade or two darker at home.
Some of these tips work directly to color and cover your existing light beard color, but we also look at some more time-consuming things like transitioning non-pigmented vellus hairs to terminal beard hairs with pigment, and using beard products with darkening effects for some quick and easy result.
In other words, you will be learning everything there is to know about how to darken a light beard.
Why Some Beards Grow in Light
While there is nothing wrong with light brown, blonde, or ginger beards, most guys would still want theirs to grow in a little bit darker.
But why is your beard light in the first place? Well there are really two main reasons for this.
- Genetic factors, which means that you have simply gotten your facial hair pigment from the genetic pool of either your mother or your father.
- Your beard has vellus hairs, which means that some or all of your beard hairs are still in their undeveloped non-pigmented state, also known as peach fuzz. Usually this happens to beard hairs that don’t get enough exposure from the two key male hormones (testosterone and DHT) that regulate facial hair growth.
While there is nothing you can do to change your genetics, there are still ways to change your natural beard color into a darker shade (with dyes, natural colorings, fillers, etc).
You can also work on helping those little vellus hairs develop into proper terminal thick beard hairs with pigment (which we also discuss more below).
How to Darken a Light Beard
1. Use Dark Beard Dye
Let’s start from the easiest way of darkening your beard.
That’s beard dye.
Sure you might be thinking:
“Dyeing facial hair at home is a huge hassle? Or do I need to go to a professional and get my beard dyed in hair salon?”
The answer to both of these questions is: No.
These days dyeing your beard and mustache can be done in about five minutes, with products such as Just for Men.
Simply get a package that is a shade or two darker than your own beard color (they actually have a virtual color picker on their site), inside are two smaller packages (color base and developer) and a mixing tray, mix the contents together in the tray and use the included brush to brush the color into your beard and mustache.
Wait 5 minutes, rinse with shampoo, and you’re done.
Here’s a video tutorial that shows exactly how it’s done:
This type of beard color lasts about a month before it starts to gradually fade out, but that’s not bad, considering how easy it is to reapply.
NOTE: The thing with synthetic beard colors like Just for Men is that they can cause allergic reaction on the skin and you don’t want to take this warning lightly. Always test on small area of the skin first, and follow the allergy information leaflet provided in the box, you’ll thank me later.
2. Mature those Light & Thin Vellus Hairs
Facial hair grows and matures in response to androgenic hormones like testosterone and DHT.
Those hairs that haven’t properly matured yet, are short, thin, and light (sometimes lacking pigment completely).
You might know this type of hair as peach fuzz, but it’s also called vellus hair.
If your light beardedness is partially caused by these pesky light vellus hairs, one way to make your beard darker is to help your body naturally convert them to thicker terminal beard hairs (we have a full post about converting thin vellus hairs to terminal beard here) by the way).
For a quick primer, here’s how you can help your body mature the vellus hairs:
- Use minoxidil on the facial hair.
- Use derma roller on the beard.
- Apply some 3% diluted peppermint oil to the beard.
- Make sure you’re not deficient in any vitamins and minerals.
3. Darken Beard Naturally with Coffee
This might sound too simple to be true, but I can assure you that coffee can be used to darken your beard, and the results last quite a bit too.
So if you get allergic reaction from synthetic beard dyes, natural alternatives like this coffee beard dye might be the best bet for you.
Here’s how to darken your beard and mustache with coffee:
- Put 2 tablespoons of dark roast coffee into a coffee maker and brew it with 1 cup (236 mL) of water.
- Pour the coffee into a big container. Once cooled, add 2 more tablespoons of coffee grounds and stir it in.
- Add 1 cup (236mL) of any kind of conditioner designed for either hair or facial hair and mix it in with your coffee.
- Next take a shower and wash your beard thoroughly with shampoo. Towel dry your beard so that it’s not wet or dry, but slightly damp.
- Start applying the coffee + conditioner mixture into your beard hairs, it’s best if you can use both your fingers and a small brush for complete coverage.
- Once applied, wait for at least one hour (the more you wait the darker the result). Finish off by washing the coffee out of your beard hairs with some shampoo.
That’s how you use coffee to naturally dye your beard. Trust me, you will be blown away by the results, as this actually makes your beard noticeably darker, and the results will last for weeks before gradually fading off.
Quick tip: You can adjust the darkness either by leaving the mixture in your beard for longer or by adding more fresh dark-roast coffee grounds to the mixture.
4. Use Dark Shades of Henna Beard Color
Henna dyes originate from India and are used primarily for dyeing the skin or hair. Henna coloring is completely natural and it’s derived from herbs and plants.
What most people don’t realize is that there’s also Henna beard dye available, and it works surprisingly well without causing any skin burning or allergic reactions.
Here’s how to use Henna beard dye to darken facial hair:
- Take out the Henna color packet and mix the contents in a bowl with hot tap water
- Take a shower, using a towel dry your beard so that it’s not wet or completely dry, but damp.
- Start applying the Henna coloring from the bowl into your beard, use fingers and small brush for best results.
- Let the Henna beard dye sit in your facial hair for 1-2 hours (different brands recommend different time, so make sure to read the package).
- After the time has passed, rinse out your facial hair and wash it with shampoo. You’re done.
Henna colors are not permanent, but as long as you don’t go crazy with the beard washing routine, you can expect the color to last for about 2-3 weeks before gradually fading away.
5. Use Beard Products with Matte Finish
By far the fastest way to make your beard appear darker and less shiny in mere seconds is to use some beard products that have tan or matte finish in them.
It doesn’t even need to be a beard product. I personally like to use some matte finish hair wax on my head, and I use whatever is left of that in my fingers to style my beard.
My beard is light brown, and with the added matte effect from the wax, it looks couple shades darker, especially in low-light conditions.
Sure, you can’t expect to turn your blonde beard into jet black with some darkening beard balm – but hey, if it takes a few seconds to make it a bit darker, why not seize the opportunity?
6. Try Darkening Beard Fillers
Last but not least, you can turn to darkening beard fillers if you want to quickly make your beard appear darker.
What do I mean with beard fillers you ask?
- Hair building fibers (Toppik, Boldify, etc) which are synthetic fibers that latch to your existing facial hair making it appear thicker and fuller, these come in various different color shades.
- Beard and mustache pens which can be dubbed as the mascara for men, as they come in applicators that look just like women’s mascara does, you use the applicator to brush the color into your beard. This makes it look fuller, and also darker if you go with a darker shade
- Beard and mustache pencils, which look just like a thick pencil would, and they work in a similar manner as well. You simply use it to “draw” beard on yourself in patchy and thin areas to make it appear fuller. As a side-effect, it can also make your beard appear darker if you go with a shade that is one or two steps darker than your natural color.
Interested in learning more about all the different beard fillers and how to use them? Then take a look at our complete beard filler article here for much more detailed answers.
As you can see from the above pointers, there are many different ways to darken a beard at home.
You can use synthetic beard dyes like Just for Men, or go the natural route with making a DIY beard dye from coffee, or you could just get some ready-to-mix Henna beard coloring.
Dyes are not all there is to darkening a beard though, as you can also help your body to naturally convert those thin non-pigmented vellus hairs into thick pigmented kind, use beard fillers with dark shades, and finish it all of with a little help from beard styling products that have matte finish.