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The ultimate guide to men's hair dye: how to choose & how to use

07 Dec 2022 • 2 min read


Whether you want to change up your look or cover greys, dyeing your hair is a great option. But if you’re new to it, don’t worry. We'll talk you through everything from choosing a dye to using it on your hair, moustache or beard – we have all bases covered.

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How to choose the right hair dye

So, you’ve made the decision to dye your hair, but how do you know which one to go for? Ultimately, you need to identify why you’re doing it. Is it to cover greys? Is it to try out a new colour? Or are you doing it for the short term? These are all the questions you need to ask yourself before picking a dye. Here's what we recommend:

  • If you’re aiming to cover grey hair, opt for a dye that’s specifically designed for this reason.
  • If you want to change your shade, you could try a semi-permanent dye that will wash out while you decide which is the right colour for you.
  • If you’re set on the colour, go for a permanent type as it will last longer.
  • Or if you’re looking for a quick root fix, opt for a root touch up product.

How to use hair dye for men

Thankfully, dyeing your hair at home is easy – just be careful of staining your clothes or carpet! Here's a step-by-step guide to get you started:

  1. Get prepped – have a timer, protective gloves and a clear space in front of a mirror so you’re ready for the application.
  2. Protect your clothes – whether it’s bleach or dark dye, you don’t want it staining your belongings. Wrap an old towel around your neck so that it covers your shoulders to keep any drips from marking your clothes.
  3. Make sure your hair is ready – while you don’t want your hair to be super dirty, shampooing it on the day you dye it isn’t recommended as it can affect how the dye takes to your hair.
  4. Avoid face staining – keeping your clothes and carpet protected is one thing, but it’s worth applying a barrier of petroleum jelly to your hairline so it doesn’t leave a harsh line.
  5. Crack open the dye – fully reading and understanding the instructions is key to a successful home dye. Follow all the steps in the box, which usually includes wearing gloves, mixing the components together and then applying it to your hair.
  6. Keep it even – for full coverage, start at the front of your hair and work your way back. Do the opposite if you’re dyeing it to cover greys for a more natural finish. Make sure your whole head is fully saturated before setting your timer to the recommended waiting time.
  7. Time for rinsing – once your timer has gone off and your hair has taken to the dye, hop in the shower to rinse it until the water runs clear.
  8. Use a conditioner – a lot of box dyes come with a nourishing conditioner, so be sure to use this once the dye has been rinsed away.
  9. Finishing touches – dry as you normally would, assess your hair for any missed patches (these can be touched up with leftover dye) and you’re good to go!

Top tip: if you’re using a dye for the first time, remember to conduct a patch test on your skin to avoid any sensitivity.

Can you dye your beard?

Not happy with the colour of your beard? Not sure what to do about it? Whether you want to cover greys or refresh your facial hair, you can actually dye your beard with standard box dye or specific men’s beard dye.

However, be aware that the skin on your face may react differently to how it does on your scalp, so remember to do a patch test beforehand. Also, make sure to be as precise as possible when dyeing your beard to limit any potential reactions.

Want to give it a go? Here are a few tips and tricks so you can get the best finish:

  • Choose a dye that matches your hair colour to avoid it clashing
  • Make sure your beard has enough length for it to pick up the colour
  • Use a brush with a long handle to neatly apply the dye to your beard
  • Don't forget to apply it to your moustache and sideburns to keep it looking natural
  • Try not to press too hard to avoid it staining your skin
  • If the colour comes out a little too dark, shampoo it straight away to try and lighten it

How to use moustache dye

Similarly, you might be rocking a moustache that needs a little revamp. Fortunately, you can pick up dye that is made specifically for your moustache for a much smoother process. In fact, it often comes as a 2-in-1 moustache and beard dye format.

Wondering how it works? Essentially, it works in the same way as dyeing the hair on your head or your beard. You’ll need to:

  1. Prep your moustache by washing it so it’s free from oil and dirt
  2. Dry it so there’s no moisture left
  3. Use a small brush to apply the dye to your moustache hairs
  4. Leave it on for the amount of time specified on the instructions
  5. Rinse until the water runs clear and then pat dry
  6. Style as you normally would

Best hair dye for men for covering greys

Just because there’s a woman on the packaging doesn’t mean that men can’t use it. So if you’re looking for a natural, high-quality dye that will help you cover your grey strands, we’d recommend the Naturtint permanent and semi-permanent dyes.

The final say

Ready to get salon-fresh in your own home? We hope you found our tips and tricks about using hair dye for men useful. But if you’re looking for more, check out our hub dedicated to male grooming.


Author: Michelle KempRegulatory Affairs Associate

Joined Holland & Barrett: Aug 2005

Michelle joined Holland and Barrett in 2005 as a Customer Services Advisor where she worked for a total of 6 years.

She left H&B to pursue a career within the public sector and later returned in 2013 where she continued to support the Customer Services department and further developed by qualifying as an advanced product advisor working alongside a team of nutritionists.

She then moved to buying as a FNSS Raw Materials Coordinator before joining the Regulatory Affairs Department in 2017 as a Regulatory Affairs Associate. After 3 years in this role, she then moved to the Beauty team where she expanded her knowledge to focus on the beauty industry.

Michelle is now working on both own-label and branded beauty lines, ensuring that these products and all relating marketing material comply to the EU, UK and International Cosmetics Regulations.

Michelle has 3 children who take up a lot of her time, but when she has a few spare minutes she enjoys walking, fitness and cooking.

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