Generally speaking, hair dye is often the road less traveled in typical men’s fashion. However, that is becoming less and less the case as hair care expands.
Dyeing your hair is an optimal way to customize your appearance to your liking and reclaim a sense of agency over how you’re perceived by others – and yourself.
There is a wide assortment of different hair dyes, ways to dye your hair, and important details to keep in mind throughout the process.
It is imperative to do your research when putting dye in your hair and handling chemicals.
You want to make sure you’re going to get the results you desire. Here, we’ve compiled the most important information regarding hair dye so you can do just that.
Table Of Contents
- What Features Should the Best Hair Dye for Men Have
- Types of Hair Dyes
- Hastening or Slowing the Dye’s Duration
- How to Choose Your Color or Shade
- What Ingredients You Need to Watch Out for
- Types of Applications
- How to Choose the Best One for Your Needs
- 7 Best Hair Dyes and Colors Reviewed
- Step by Step Guide on How to Dye Your Hair
- Differences Between Hair Dye and Hair Color
- Men’s Hair Dye is for Everyone
What Features Should the Best Hair Dye for Men Have
It can be challenging to find the best hair dye, but there are definitely ways to spot reliable options.
Naturally, one of the first things to do is to use a hair dye that is produced and sold on a commercial level.
Dyes are powerful chemicals, and just because you want to support your friend Sarah’s dream of making accessible hair dye in her garage with coolant from her car, doesn’t mean your hair or scalp would exactly come out unscathed.
There are plenty of house-name, dependable brands that produce a wide variety of products, including hair care, and those are the dyes you’re going to want to pursue in your venture for different hair.
It says a lot about a company if they manufacture a variety of colors, even if you only need one. Also, be sure to check the labeling for any mention of applicators.
Utensils such as plastic gloves and applicator nozzles make a clean dyeing process much more easily achievable.
Types of Hair Dyes
Ultimately, there are three major kinds of hair dyes that last for a variety of durations. Think deeply about the kind you want, as they can also vary in application.
This typically lasts up to a maximum of six weeks. Temporary dyes are common when it comes to dyeing your hair unnatural, “out there” colors such as blue, pink, neon green, or anything else.
These dyes can often be found in boxes sold at drug stores, but there are also hair chalks and spray-in dyes that can wash out after one shower for extra temporary measures.
This type is thought to last up to eight washes, which is why using dry shampoo is vital (more on that in a minute). It is also the variety you most commonly find in drug stores for at-home application.
No professional barber chairs needed here – you can do this in the comfort of your very own bathroom.
This dye is a lot stronger and requires things like pre-mixing ammonia and peroxide in order to activate the colors. This is almost always done at the salon by a professional, and for good reason.
Hastening or Slowing the Dye’s Duration
To quicken the process of washing out your hair dye, there are numerous home remedies you can try that work differently depending on your hair, the dye you have applied, how long it has been in your hair, and how long it is supposed to last.
Household ingredients like diluted vinegar, vitamin C tablets, and baking soda have all been known to hasten the process of washing dye out of your hair.
Conversely, to retain your hair dye as long as possible, consider using dry shampoo as opposed to frequent showering.
This keeps your hair looking fresh and smelling nice without depleting it of its essential oils – or color, for that matter. Throw it on with your best pomade, and you’re as ready as ever.
Many people are under the impression that dry shampoo results in dandruff. However, dandruff and dry shampoo are entirely unrelated.
If you happen to suffer from dandruff, you can find the best anti-dandruff shampoos without putting your newly dyed hair at risk.
How to Choose Your Color or Shade
The most common and agreed upon way to determine your hair color option is to first determine the undertone of your skin.
Typically, your skin can be of warm, cool, or neutral undertones. You can also specify between colors within those parameters, but for our sake, we’re just going to discuss the three listed.
A good rule of thumb is that your skin’s undertone and your hair’s undertone should always match. Cool skin tones usually go with cool colored hair, warm skin tones usually go with warm colored hair, and so on.
If you are a blond trying to go darker with warm toned skin, consider a honey blond or a chestnut brown, as these as warmer natural colors.
As far as color goes beyond that, it’s entirely up to you, you can go with something natural or something bright and intense.
Don’t fret too much about if your ideal color exists because nowadays, they usually do.
What Ingredients You Need to Watch Out for
Unfortunately, some ingredients have become normalized in hair care that really have no business being anywhere near your body.
If the back of the product box lists persulfates, resorcinol, or especially PPD (formally paraphenylenediamine), do some extra research or consult with a stylist before making your final decision.
These “bad” ingredients may cause scalp irritation, itching, flaking, and blisters, and if they last for several days, you should see a doctor.
These chemicals can be highly irritating to your skin and result in symptoms such as itching, breaking out in a rash, or even blistering.
This depends upon your skin and the level of exposure to these chemicals you receive.
Ammonia and peroxide are often used in permanent hair dye because of their properties that break apart hair structures so as to allow the color in.
However, they are dangerous to both your hair and well-being if applied too frequently.
Unless you are using a dye that is applied straight to the hair in a solid form, you can expect the presence of these chemicals. Just be smart about them.
Types of Applications
There are many ways to apply the hair dye you have for yourself, and all of them transform your look completely.
Your basic options include an ombre, balayage, high lights, low lights, or just your roots. The latter is usually the most popular and most beneficial for those trying to hide any gray coming in.
However, the benefit to any one of these is that they can also be a fun artistic choice. An ombre refers to dyeing the ends of your hair a lighter color than the rest of your hair.
This trend was one of the most popular among black men just in the last couple years, often seen with blond tips at the end of brown hair or brown tips at the end of black, but they can take many other forms as well.
A balayage is simply high or low lights with the intention of looking natural. A balayage with highlights is especially popular as it gives the impression of being effortlessly tinted by the sun.
A common look would be highlighted at the ends, but with layers, so the hair seems to be “sun-kissed” on the edges.
Meanwhile, highlights and lowlights are simply blanket terms that refer to the lightening or darkening of portions of your hair, though always referring to the use of natural colors.
How to Choose the Best One for Your Needs
When deciding upon the best application for your dye, you must define the look you are going for and the circumstances under which you are doing it.
If it is for a Halloween costume, consider spray-in dye or hair chalk. These are both efficient, affordable, and very temporary means of altering your hair color.
If you thought you wanted general highlights but didn’t realize how fashion-forward a balayage was, consider the latter.
You also need to take into consideration the hairstyle you’re working with. As much as you may be committed to your favorite crew cut hairstyle, it may be difficult to dye your whole head without some professional assistance.
Additionally, if you are dyeing on your own, make note of the parts of your hair you want to be dyed before you get into the thick of things.
If separating the locks with clips and combs will help you, be sure to take the necessary steps.
7 Best Hair Dyes and Colors Reviewed
1. Just for Men Autostop
Easy application with a screw on comb and autostop formula that shuts off at target color after ten minutes in Just for Men Hair Dye allow you to use only a small amount to color your whole head.
The color you’re going to get looks very natural and after the use of the product, your hair feels stronger, softer and more manageable.
With no peroxide, ammonia and other bad, harmful ingredients in the formula, it’s pretty safe to use. Just remember to do a skin allergy test at least 48 hours before an actual application.
It’s noteworthy to mention that if you’re allergic to one of its ingredients, you can experience an allergic reaction, which in some cases can be quite severe.
Also, if your scalp is damaged in any way, gets easily irritated or it’s sensitive in the first place, look for some other options. Because it’s air activated, make sure to seal it or the product will be unusable after 10-20 minutes.
- Natural looking color
- Doesn’t contain peroxide, ammonia and other harsh ingredients
- Comb included for easier and even application
- Very affordable price
- Causes allergies to men with sensitive, damaged and irritated skin
- Doesn’t last long after the first wash
2. Clairol Natural Instinct
For the guys who are seeking a dye primarily to cover the stubborn grey hairs, Clairol Natural Instinct is a great semi-permanent solution.
This is especially true for the dark brown formula that makes your hair look as natural as possible. The product takes only 10 minutes to apply but lasts for 28 washes.
Even when it fades, it does this in a natural way, without leaving the harsh root lines in the process.
Infused with aloe, vitamin E and antioxidants, the dye doesn’t contain ammonia and is also made to protect and condition your skin and hair.
Although the color lasts for long and you also get a pack of three, don’t rush to use the item without testing it on your skin because it can cause you itch, redness and swelling if you’re allergic.
- Color looks completely natural
- Fades naturally, without harsh root lines
- Long lasting formula without ammonia
- Comes as a pack of 3
- Causes redness, swelling and itchiness if you’re allergic
- Slightly on the expensive side
3. Just for Men Control GX
As the first shampoo that decreases grey hairs with each wash, Just for Men Control GX, in addition, cleans and revitalizes your hair.
Usually, it takes between two to four weeks to see the first results. How fast you’ll see the results depends on how often you use it.
The great news is that the product works on all hair colors and types, except on a damaged, irritated and sensitive skin or if you’re allergic to some of the ingredients.
The color will look really natural and subtle and one container should last you for around 2 to 3 months.
Some men noticed that it turns their nails more and more black with each use, but if you carefully apply it with your palms instead, everything should be fine.
- Reduces grey hairs gradually over time
- Gently revitalizes and cleans your hair
- Big, 5 oz container that lasts for 2-3 months
- For all hair types and colors
- Not for men with sensitive, damaged or irritated skin
- Some men have noticed their hair falling after the use
4. Bigen EZ Color
Minimal dripping and non-messy application of Bigen EZ Color will make it your next favorite hair dye.
Unlike some other dyes that become unusable after you leave them opened for some time, with this one you can save the unused product and store it for another time.
Easy comb-in application and the fact that the color lasts for a very long time are certainly something you’ll appreciate.
With no hydrogen peroxide and ammonia, this product is pretty safe to use for men who aren’t allergic to any of its ingredients.
To establish whether you’re one of them, run a skin allergy test at least two days before coloring your hair. If it doesn’t itch or cause redness, go ahead and apply it.
- Color lasts for very long
- No ammonia and hydrogen peroxide
- Non-messy application
- Good, low price
- Causes allergies and other side effects to men sensitive to some of the ingredients
- Slightly itchy feeling right after the application
5. The Henna Guys
Manufactured with only the natural ingredients and entirely chemical free, The Henna Guys Dye doesn’t contain pesticides, metallic salts or other harmful components.
Whatsmore, none of the ingredients is older than one year, with the henna and indigo plants being completely naturally grown.
That way, you get a fresh powder that leaves your hair perfectly dyed in the color of red. Because it’s not tested on animals, the product is also vegan-friendly.
Although you might notice that the color is more on the orange side, with each application, it will deepen and become more red.
This happens because the color takes a few days to oxide. The head cap and gloves are included in the pack which makes this item a great deal for the price.
- Color lasts for a long time
- Completely natural and chemical free
- Suitable for vegans
- Gloves and a head cap included
- Can color your nails and fingers if you don’t protect them
- Comes in a small pack
A formula that works in between 5 to 10 minutes makes Redken Hair Dye very easy to use by just mixing the developer at 1:1 and rinsing from your hair after the specified time.
The color you get is pretty natural looking and it also fades gradually over time. In other words, if you wash your hair every day, the color will fade in about a month or so.
If you’re not used to doing this every day, your color will last slightly more.
Somewhere around half a bottle per one application will suffice if your hair is shorter. This being said, you’ll get two application per one bottle of 2 oz.
It’s important to mention that most users didn’t have an allergic reaction to this product, but nevertheless, make sure to do the skin allergy test before you use it for the first time.
- Starts working after only 5 to 10 minutes
- Natural, subtle looking color that fades gradually
- Doesn’t stain your skin
- Relatively cheap
- Can paint your fingernails if you don’t use gloves
- Doesn’t last for very long
In less than five minutes after dyeing your hair with RefectoCil, you’re going to get a natural looking brown hair color that lasts for several weeks.
Providing that hydrogen peroxide is included in the formula and used as the activator, make sure to do a patch test before you use it for the first time to ensure it’s safe for you.
The color is waterproof and the dye won’t stain your skin. You only need a little bit of product to get the full coverage.
Note that you don’t get a developer along with the dye, so you’ll have to buy it separately. To get the desired color, leave it no more than 5 minutes on your hair.
Anything longer than that can make it too dark or even black. Also, it can start burning your skin.
- Color looks completely natural and is waterproof
- Color lasts more than a month
- Starts working almost immediately
- Fairly priced
- Developer needs to be purchased separately
- Not for men allergic to one or more of its ingredients
Step by Step Guide on How to Dye Your Hair
There are plenty of safety measures to uphold when dyeing your hair, and if you’re doing it yourself in the bathroom of an apartment you’re renting monthly, it’s imperative that you stick to procedure.
Here is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide on how to dye your hair properly:
For one, dyes are very strong chemicals. This is especially true with bleach if that is something you also choose to use. As such, wearing gloves is absolutely imperative for the application process.
Not only is it simply cleaner, but you’re not exposing your bare skin to extremely powerful toxins that could semi-permanently discolor your skin or do irreparable damage.
On the topic of toxins, the smell that dyes omit is particularly daunting. It would be wise to wear a facemask to dilute the fumes that linger as long as the dyes are out.
This is a useful tool that will seldom be provided in the box dye itself, so prepare to supply those yourself.
If you plan on grooming, snag some durable hair clippers. A nice pair will help keep your hair properly maintained, especially if you need an emergency cut.
Always invest in top safety razors blades. With your new look, you’ll need to adjust your facial hair accordingly. A quality razor is the best way to maintain your look.
Additionally, consider not shampooing a day or two before you color – this will help hold color better as well as strengthen your hair with its natural oils so as to protect against damage.
Differences Between Hair Dye and Hair Color
It is imperative to remember that even though you may dye the hair you have, so long as your follicles are still working, that hair is going to grow. As such, those roots are going to require attention.
This means a couple things:
Pay attention to the dye and color you are buying. Once your roots need to be redone, you are going to want to recreate what you have on the rest of your head.
If you accidentally apply a dye a shade darker on your first reapplication, it may look passable. However, if you go a shade lighter on your second reapplication, and your hair continues to grow out, you will eventually resemble a monochromatic rainbow.
If you’re going on any long trips, be sure to bring your dye with you for touch-ups. Your hike through the Swiss Alps won’t be as impressive on Instagram if your four-month-old roots are making an appearance.
While this fact can mean keeping up with a new color, it also means that you always have the freedom to maintain your color, switch it to something else, or resume to your original.
This is one benefit of changing your hair that many forget – if anything goes awry, it will always grow out, and you can always start again.
Men’s Hair Dye is for Everyone
The most important takeaway from all of this is one simple fact: If you want to dye your hair, dye it and don’t look back. Often times, things like hair care, skincare, and beauty are stigmatized to be “feminine” and “for women only.”
However, this has never been true, and more and more are people coming to terms with that knowledge.
Altering your hair color can be incredibly liberating. It can give you a new outlook on the way you view yourself.
Appearance is a big part of how we understand ourselves and one another, and undergoing a physical change can heighten your relationship with yourself by undergoing a new aesthetic completely.
If you have any reservations about dyeing your hair, you always have the option to pursue a temporary option. Assistance for more specific questions can be found at salons and beauty stores.
We have also a comprehensive guide to dyeing and coloring your facial hair which will teach you everything you need to know.
Hair grows, decisions can be made differently or repeated as you please, and the agency over your appearance ultimately belongs to you. The choice is always yours.