Post date: July 12, 2021 | Blog

Beard Dye vs. Beard Color

The difference between beard dye and beard color may sound like a funny question. After all, beard dye technically is beard color, right? Well…kind of.

The truth is, there are plenty more options on the market than only beard dye when it comes to coloring your beard. (Emphasis on the “dye”). There are now dye-free options for coloring your beard in a way that is less messy, more natural-looking, and customizable. These dye-free options are what we are going to refer to as “beard color” or, more specifically, “temporary beard color.”

The main difference is rather simple. Beard dyes stain your hair. Temporary beard color will tint your hair by coating it rather than penetrating the hair itself.

In this article, we are going to discuss the differences, benefits, and disadvantages of beard dyes and temporary beard color options. Hopefully, after reading this article you’ll have a better idea of the best product for you and how you can get started coloring your beard naturally and easily.

We’re going to break down this comparison into general categories related to beard colors/dyes. Here’s a quick overview of each of the categories that we’ll be using to compare the two to each other.

  1. Ease of Application: How easy is it to use the product. Is it messy? Does it take a long time to apply? Etc.
  2. Skin Safety: Are there harsh chemicals? Potential allergic reactions? etc.
  3. Customizability: How customizable is the color? Can you apply it where you want? Rock different styles? etc.
  4. Longevity: How long does the color last after it has been applied?
  5. Natural-Looking Results: How natural do the results look? Would anyone guess that you colored your beard?

Beard Dye vs. Beard Color

Many people are familiar with beard and hair dyes. Few people are familiar with or aware of temporary beard color, so let’s describe it and begin the comparison.

Put simply, temporary beard color tints your hair instead of staining it permanently as dyes do. It is applied with a brush and comes in a small tube that can be used anywhere and at any time. No shower or prep is needed. Here is an image of the temporary beard color.

Volt Instant Beard Color

Without further adieu, let’s begin the comparison by discussing how simple and easy it is to apply both beard dyes and temporary beard color so that you can choose the right one for you.

Round 1: Ease of Application

So, What are the steps involved in applying beard dye, specifically? Let’s go through the steps one by one so that we can make an accurate comparison. For reference, I’m reading the application instructions off of the packaging of the market leader in beard dyes. This will give us the most accurate reflection of the steps required to apply beard dyes as opposed to temporary beard color.

Beard Dye Steps:

  • Preparation: You need a timer, towel, and beard wash/shampoo, preferable for color-treated hair. Protect your clothing and surfaces, and put on gloves.
  • Color: Take your color base and squeeze a line into the included mixing tray.
  • Developer: Squeeze an equal amount of color developer into the mixing tray to maintain a 1:1 ratio.
  • Mix: Mix the product with the plastic handle of the included brush until blended thoroughly. Be sure NOT to mix with the bristle end of the brush. Clean the brush handle off and replace the caps on the tubes of the respective product.
  • Apply: Use the brush to apply the product quickly to your facial hair, do not massage the product in with your hands. Apply only to dry beards. Start applying where hair is the greyest. Brush up and down to thoroughly cover hair evenly. Prepare more product if needed.
  • Wait: Wait for 5 minutes after evenly coating your hair. DO NOT GUESS. Waiting longer than 5 minutes will cause the color to become darker than anticipated.
  • Rinse and Wash: Rinse out the product thoroughly until the water becomes clear. Apply beard wash/shampoo, lather thoroughly, and rinse. Do not use bar soap.

Now that we know what steps are involved in applying beard dye, let’s take a look at the steps involved in applying temporary beard color. I’ll be writing the exact instructions written on the instruction card added to the product for an equal comparison.

Beard Color Steps:

how to

  • Shake: Ensure the product tube is closed. Shake for 20 seconds.
  • Unscrew: Twist off the cap and remove the brush from the tube. Dab excess liquid on the top of the tube.
  • Brush-On: Brush the color into your beard where desired.
  • Go: Dries completely in 30 seconds.

Round 2: Skin Safety

It is important to note that many beard dyes require that you spot test a portion of the dye on an inconspicuous place on your body (usually the crease of an elbow) for two days before applying the color. This is to test for adverse reactions or effects that the dye may have on you based on the sensitivity of your skin or allergies.

Temporary Beard Color is hypoallergenic because it does not contain any PPD or other harsh chemicals like hydrogen peroxide or ammonia. These are all common ingredients in beard and hair dyes in general. Here is an article on about the effects of PPD.

PPD – PPD is short for para-phenylenediamine. It is used as a dye for dark color shades and is made from coal tar, a petroleum-derived chemical that includes benzene, naphthalene, phenols, aniline, and other chemicals. It is also used as a wood preservative, and contact with skin is best to be avoided. Research states PPD in combination with Hydrogen Peroxide is very toxic and can lead to cancer.” –

Temporary beard color, on the other hand, contains only natural oils and ingredients that tint your beard hair. Temporary beard color uses alcohol as the base that transfers the color to your beard and evaporates, leaving the color behind.

With regards to sensitive skin or allergies, you really can’t get much safer than temporary beard color.

Round 3: Customizability

Rock Ithoriz2 3

With regard to customizability, there are a few key things to consider.

  1. Can you control the color placement?
  2. Can you control the color intensity or saturation?
  3. Can you remove the color?

Think about it this way, a beard coloring product that allows you to control the placement of the color, the intensity of the color, and remove the color will also allow you to rock any beard style you want. You can choose to rock the salt & pepper look, you can choose to fully color your beard, and you can choose to touch up specific spots. You can also choose to remove the color when you want and try again or try a different style. This is why being able to remove the color is important for customizability.

So, that begs the question, how customizable is beard dye vs temporary beard color? Let’s start with color placement.

Color Placement

First of all, both beard dyes and beard color allow you to control the placement of the color in your beard, but in very different ways. Beard dye requires that you brush in the mixture of dye and developer into your beard. This allows you to choose where to place the color, but also means that you will have to be very careful not to get that mixture anywhere else, because dyes are permanent.

Temporary beard color is a brush that allows you to accurately place the color where you want it in your beard. In this way, the two are identical.

Color Intensity

Technically, you can control the intensity of the beard color with beard dyes. You just have to be very careful to time the dye correctly before washing it out. The longer that a dye-solution sits in your beard, the darker it will stain your hair. This can make it quite difficult to get the color intensity you want, simply because you won’t know what the results look like until you’ve washed away the solution from your hair.

Temporary Beard color on the other hand presents a more gradual way of controlling color intensity. The lighter you brush the color into your beard, the lighter the effect will be. Temporary beard color also allows you to see the final result of the color the moment you brush it on because it is instant. Meaning that you don’t have to sit and wait the perfect amount of time before washing out a solution like a beard dye.

Removable Beard Color

Last but not least, can you remove the color if you dislike it? With beard dyes, the answer is certainly NO. Dyes stain your hair, and the only way to get rid of a result you don’t like is to shave or dye it a darker color.

Temporary beard color (because it is alcohol-based) can be removed anytime you wish by simply washing your beard. This gives temporary beard color the edge when it comes to customizability.

Round 4: Longevity

So, how long do these two products last? Well, here’s where things get interesting.

It depends on your definition of longevity. For example, beard dyes will permanently stain your beard hair, leading people to believe that they will last forever. However, this is an issue as your beard grows and displays grey roots within a week of applying the beard color.

This means that the natural look of your beard will last only a week or two with beard dyes, depending on how quickly your beard hair grows. After that point, you’ll have to apply more dye, which will also darken the previous dye and still cause unnatural-looking results.

Temporary beard color lasts up to 2 days, depending on the work you put your beard through before it needs to be applied once more. This is because the tint naturally wears off, revealing the color underneath. Although it doesn’t last as long as beard dyes do, temporary beard colors will look more natural because they can cover roots consistently without re-coloring the existing dye.

Also, consider that there are 30 applications of color in every temporary VOLT beard color vial, this will also depend on the coverage type you choose (salt & pepper, full coverage, etc.)

Overall, this is a tie between beard dye and beard color in terms of getting a long-lasting and natural result.

Round 5: Natural-Looking Results

Arguably one of the most important factors is how natural the results look in your beard.

Beards naturally have variations in hair color and texture depending on the length of your hair, age, genetics, and more. So, for the most natural-looking results, you want to avoid completely coloring your hair all the same color. This is what we call a typical “Shoe-polish” beard.

In this case (and for simplicity) the most natural beard color is going to be the one that is most customizable, allowing you to match the color with your beard in the places you need it. In this case, Temporary beard color like Volt Instant Beard Color is the answer for you.

Beard Dye vs. Beard Color: Conclusion

All in all, most of these categories are dominated by the temporary beard color for its simplicity, safety, customizability, and natural results.

If you’re interested in picking up your own Volt Instant Beard Color, click HERE. And if you’d like to order a sample pack of 2 different beard colors so that you can find the right shade for you, then click HERE.

Take the following quiz to find your perfect beard color shade!


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