Best Beard Dyes for Sensitive Skin

beard dyes for sensitive skin

If you didn’t already know – beards are back, in a big way. Well groomed (or ironically unkempt) facial hair has once again become a popular and stylish feature for many gentlemen. Everyone from business professionals to hipsters, middle-aged dads to college freshmen (if they can) are growing out their stubble and donning beards.

As a stylish accessory, beards can make younger guys look older and older guys look younger. They can add a level of sophistication to more casual dudes and provide a more laid back look to formal gentlemen. You could say that beards are the great equalizer, leveling the playing field and uniting guys everywhere through their love of whiskers.

Beard Dyes Are Not Just For Older Guys

So many of us see our beards as an important element of our style, perhaps even our defining feature. It is for that very reason that we meticulously groom, that we condition with oils, that we take care to do everything in our power to make sure our bristles are perfect. One of the biggest ways we do this is with color, dying our beards to get the exact shade we want.

It’s not just older guys who are coloring their beards but young gentlemen as well. Yes, most men who are dying their facial hair are the more aged among us, trying to mask grey hair to look a bit younger. However, many younger guys are doing the same thing for the opposite reason – to look a bit more distinguished. Others still, are dying their beards a shade darker or lighter or a different color altogether to give an overall more stylized and unique appearance.

Choosing The Beard Dye For Sensisitive Skin

No matter what your purpose is, the most important thing to consider is the dye itself, the actual product. So many products out there are subpar, losing their color quickly or experiencing discoloration or even chemically harming our beards and skin. One of the most common complaints about beard dyes is their tendency to cause skin irritation.

Anywhere else a little irritation and discomfort would only be a minor issue, but when we are talking about our faces the stakes are a bit higher. Facial skin irritation can cause an almost debilitating level of discomfort and redness. It can leave us reaching for lotions, oils, even foundation, or in extreme cases, making us not even want to leave the house.

For guys with sensitive skin this can be a much more common, much more serious issue. This is why it is so important to know what is in your beard dye, to know what to look for, and to know what to avoid.

The most common problem for guys with sensitive skin is the redness and irritation caused by some ingredients in the dyes, this is called “contact dermatitis”. C.D. can be caused simply by over-sensitive skin or by an actual allergic reaction. Most severe reactions (particularly allergic reactions) are caused by an ingredient called paraphenylenediamine (or PPD for those of us without degrees in organic chemistry). While this is the most common disagreeable ingredient some others include aminoaniline, peroxide, diaminobenzene, ammonia, and phenylenediamide although many more exist.

There are two main types of reaction that guys experience because of these harsh ingredients. The first is simply a sensitivity issue. Some men have overly sensitive skin caused by anything from an abundance of surface capillaries to good old genetics. Reactions of this type are usually mild and result in redness, minor swelling, and itching. These symptoms can be treated by washing out the irritant with warm water and a mild soap and applying a soothing balm like aloe vera to the affected area.

The second and more severe of the reactions is allergic in nature. These are actually caused by your immune system which sends out antibodies to your cells, your cells then release histamine. The histamine causes your blood vessels to expand; other chemical reactions also take place within your body as a result. Side effects from an allergy can be as minor as swelling, itching and redness (similar to a sensitivity reaction), to reactions as serious as anaphylaxis, nausea, vomiting and trouble breathing. To treat an allergic reaction you can rinse the affected area with mild soap and water and then apply an antiseptic such as hydrogen peroxide. Topical treatments such as corticosteroids can help with the swelling, itching and pain; internal treatments such as antihistamines can also help to reverse the reactions.

Obviously, the best thing to do though is to avoid the harsh chemicals that would cause the reaction in the first place. With so many guys sporting beards, commercial companies have pounced on the beard-care industry, flooding the market with countless hair dyes and colors for those whiskers you love so much. So we unwrapped the hype and seperated the good from the ugly picking out our favorite beard dyes for guys with sensitive skin.

Grizzly Mountain – Beard Dye

Grizzly Mountain is definitely one of our favorites when it comes to coloring your facial hair while avoiding any damage to your sensitive skin. This dye is 100% all-natural and organic forgoing the harsh chemicals so commonly found in hair color for naturally occurring ingredients. Grizzly Mountain is also hypoallergenic and will be gentle on your face.

Neem tree extract, emblic, false daisy, indigo and henna are some of the natural ingredients the guys over at Grizzly Mountain put together in their formula. Indigo and henna are popular gentle dye alternatives for guys with skin more prone to irritation.

A suggestion when using this product is to also buy the Grizzly Mountain Beard Base as it will help prep your whiskers to better absorb the color. Some users report a greenish tint directly following use, this is completely normal and will fade in a few hours after oxidation. That being said, this is a dye best used at night before bed so the color can properly oxidize before you go out in the morning.

Grizzly Mountain comes in multiple colors and shades so you can make sure to get exactly what you are looking for in a dye.

Blackbeard – Moustache and Beard Dye

Another perfect choice for guys looking for a beard dye that won’t irritate skin and cause unwanted reactions – a perfect but unique choice. Think of Blackbeard as more of a long lasting mascara for beards. It even comes in a container very similar to a mascara case.

This is a particularly perfect option for guys with sensitive skin that are looking to touch up greys in their moustache or beard, allowing you to leave in or take out as much or as little grey as you want. It also works for thick, full beards, providing a rich and deep color that is often hard to come by especially when forgoing more traditional, chemical-rich dyes.

Blackbeard comes in a few different varieties based on what color you are looking for, if you are just touching up a moustache, or dying a full blown birds nest. All of the Blackbeard products are hypoallergenic and completely free of harsh chemicals.

The Purazon Co. – Wolfshead Beard Dye


A manly name for a manly product Wolfshead is another great beard dye for guys with sensitive skin. Unlike more permanent dyes that may leave you with an undesired color and stuck with it for the next month, this coloring agent is slightly more temporary. This allows you to tweak your application method and frequency to find that perfect combination that gives you the exact color you want.

Purazon’s beard dye comes in a container similar to a tin of shoe polish. It is also a solid and comes pre-mixed. These all make Wolfshead perfect for traveling and for guys constantly on the move.

Wolfshead comes in brown, dark brown, black, light brown and auburn and is super easy to apply. Simply apply straight out of the tin using the included application brush, let sit for about 15 minutes and then remove with a dry towel.

Our suggestion is to take a shower or wash your face BEFORE applying the dye and not washing your beard directly after application allowing it more time to be absorbed by your hair.

The Henna Guys – Beard Dye

As we mentioned, henna is a wonderful dye that has been used for centuries to treat and coor skin and hair. It is all-natural and hypoallergenic and will not irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction.

Another positive about The Henna Guys’ product is it is extremely cost effective and can be bought in larger amounts for very cheap. This product is a powder and requires mixing prior to application so get ready for a little science project. This method of application can get messy and takes longer than some less permanent variations but is a small price to pay to protect your sensitive skin.

Our only caution is to be aware that, if applied sloppily, the henna dye can color your skin too (as anyone who has received a henna tattoo will tell you). This is easily avoidable if applied properly and precisely to your beard hairs. To protect your surrounding skin from the dye you can use petroleum jelly, or for more precise protection use chapstick which is our recommended method.

The Henna Guys provide products in a variety of shades and colors so you can achieve that desired look. Letting the henna dye set in for a shorter or longer period of time can also affect the shade outcome.

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