I'm a beard-grooming enthusiast who writes about beard products, styling and other related facial hair trivia I also sport a beardstache.
If you have a beard that is fairly light in color and you want to give the look of a fuller and thicker beard, a great way to do this is to simply darken the beard. It’s quite simple as to why this works so well.
Those who have a darker beard tend to have less visible gaps than those with lighter ones — hence giving the appearance of a thicker and fuller beard — despite there probably being the same amount of facial hair, all things being equal.
Firstly, we urge you to embrace the one you’ve got and quash any potential beard envy you might have. A lighter-colored beard is something to be celebrated not frowned upon—after all, it is quite rare. So this account is more intended to make the most of the beard that you’ve got rather than to completely change it.
So let’s examine how you can go about darkening the beard you’ve got to give the look of a fuller and thicker beard.
10 Grooming Tips for a Darker Beard
- Apply Beard Oil Daily
- Prune Your Beard
- Separate the Hair Follicles
- Don’t Dry Out Your Beard
- Wear Darker Clothing
- Use Beard Styling Products
- Shape and Style Your Beard
- Grow Out the Beard
- Limit Sun Exposure
- Die Your Beard
1. Apply Beard Oil Daily
Using beard oil is something that any guy sporting a beard should be carrying out. It’s got a tonne of benefits, including ensuring your beard hair remains strong, keeping your skin supple and leaving you smelling awesome.
Of course, just like dampening your hair, moisturising your beard with oil creates a darker look. You might even want to get a specialised beard-darkening oil. Either way, we suggest investing in a high-quality oil. If you are looking for a particular brand, we advise looking into the Beardbrand range, as they have a really high-quality level of beard oil production.
The best time to apply beard oil is just after a warm shower, when your beard is slightly damp. This is because your facial skin pores are more exposed than usual due to the heat, allowing the oils to seep in better.
2. Prune Your Beard for Split Ends
Split ends are the fuzzy curly bits at the end of the beard that look lighter than the rest of your beard. Firstly, you want to be preventing these anyway by regularly dousing your beard with a quality oil to prevent it from becoming overly dry.
You also want to make sure that when you find a split end, however, that you deal with it when you can with a pair of dedicated beard scissors. Don't just use any old scissors though, as this will likely cause more damage than the original problem you are trying to solve.
Snip it just under where you can see the breakage happen. Otherwise, it is just going to grow out again. Refrain from going snip-happy though. Be conscious in the snips you decide to take. If you are really unsure, we recommend that you visit a beard barber to help advise and take care of the issue for you.
3. Separate the Hair Follicles
A classic grooming aspect that many beardsmen forget to work on is simply combing out their beard. Sure, using oils and balms will do a great job for the health of your beard, but that’s only half the equation. Actually, ensuring your beard looks good is the other half.
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This is where combs and brushes come in. Not only do they help to naturally spread the oils that reside on your face around the beard, but they also help to make sure it looks good. Plus, it prevents the beard hairs from becoming intertwined. This intertwining can lead to a patchier, lighter-looking beard.
Make sure you brush or comb your beard once or twice (and no more) every day. This will ensure your beard doesn’t create knots and will prevent it from getting split ends too.
4. Don't Dry Out Your Beard
This ties into the first point somewhat, as well as the sixth one. When looking after a beard, the main point is to try and prevent it from going scraggly and wiry.
This means that the beard is supplied with plenty of moisture, including from beard oil to top it up. You also want to ensure that you don’t dry out your beard through overexposure to heat. This typically comes in the form of guys using a hair dryer on their beard or, worse still, a hair straightener.
Why this works against you is that you are stripping the oils that reside on your beard strands. These oils help to give the appearance of a thicker and darker beard, as they lie on the hairs throughout. Ensuring that you are giving your beard the proper treatment and respect will do wonders for its overall look and health.
5. Wear Dark Clothing
Wearing a black or dark grey top—as opposed to a light-coloured or white T-shirt—is also a great way to ensure the look of a darker beard. Of course, it won’t make the beard actually darker. But the gaps between your beard will be less obvious when someone is looking at you.
Conversely, a white or light top makes the gaps pop in the beard, which can lead to it appearing thin and light — especially if light is shining at you and the color reflects this. A darker color will blend the gaps and make them harder to perceive at first glance.
What's the best color? The one that matches your beard. Though we’re not sure that many of you want to be rocking a dark brown T-shirt, so a black one is always a good alternative.
6. Use Beard Styling Products
Just as you can get conditioning products for your hair and the equivalent for beards, you also get styling products for your beard, much in the same way you would for your hair. These are typically known as either a beard styling balm or beard wax. Both are made of waxes and contain conditioning properties too.
What makes them different to a standard beard conditioning product, though, is that they offer a hold to them. This then allows you to style your beard and make the hairs lay flat and prevent them from sticking out.
They actually create a matte texture effect to your beard too. This allows the beard to look darker, as opposed to shiny, which is the appearance that beard oil can give.
7. Shape and Style Your Beard
We would also recommend that you head to your local beard barber and see what recommendations they might have for you to achieve the appearance that you want. They might be able to craft a certain style that complements your overall look and gives the appearance of a darker, fuller and thicker beard by focusing on where it grows best.
Plus, there are other aspects that you can undertake as well to give the look of a fuller beard with regards to styling. With the use of a beard brush and comb, you can ensure that the shape of your beard is styled and plays to your advantage too. Start to brush your beard inwards towards your face, giving it a darker appearance.
8. Grow Out the Beard
By growing out the beard further, of course, you are going to create the look of a naturally fuller beard (because you actually are). It will also allow the beard to appear darker. You can see this type of effect with a lot of beard time-lapse videos created over the course of several months. The beard starts off relatively light, but as more and more hairs start to grow and intertwine with one another, the hairs appear darker.
This gives you the look of a fuller and darker-looking beard. Just make sure that you up the quantity of oil that you are applying to your beard as it grows out.
You could even start to grow out your head hair as well to combine the look—especially if your head hair is darker than your bear— and to give the overall impression of darker facial hair.
9. Limit Sun Exposure
When you stay out in the sun for a long period of time, your hair starts to lighten up. Even my typically dark brown hair has attempted to go blonde. The same thing will happen to your beard. When exposed to the sun for a long while, it is naturally going to start to lighten up.
You can protect yourself against this by simply remaining in the shade and making use of a range of beard-grooming products to try and reduce the impact. The best course of action though is to just stay out of the sun for long periods of time if you can.
10. Dye Your Beard
Of course, if you really want to darken your beard, dyeing it is the most effective route. I just want to express caution about this method, however, as the result can be sometimes disappointing if you don’t carry it out correctly. Although darker, the beard can look somewhat unnatural, like you just have on a beard wig.
Make sure you invest in a quality product, such as natural henna beard dye. You might even want to consider a professional carrying it out first, then you practice further when you get home.
Be sure to check out some of the comparison before-and-after shots for people who have actually used the range of beard dyes. Then you can ultimately decide if it is for you or not.
If you do have any questions or additional tips about darkening a beard, then let us know in the questions and answers section just below. We would love to hear them.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Jonathan Lees