New York 2023
Tips for men to look good, feel good and be their best selves

August 29, 2023

How to Dye your Hair at Home

How to hair

If you’ve had apprehensions about using a male hair dye, whether it be at home or in the salon, you certainly aren’t alone. Unfortunately, there’s a stigma around the idea that dying your grays isn’t masculine or tasteful, but we couldn’t disagree more. There’s nothing quite like the power of hair dye for men to transform their look and reverse aging. Yet it can be intimidating to attempt this at home. Follow our guidelines and tips below to easily get natural-looking results, without the mess. 




1. Think about your desired end result and how you want to get there, as different products cater to different needs:


Do you want full coverage hair dye for men or a salt and pepper hair dye? Do you want immediate results or a more gradual process, so that you discreetly cover (or diminish) grays over time? Do you want just to cover your First Grays?


2. Once you know what end result you are going for, pick the right product:


If you want to cover a specific spot in your hair or dye your beard, multi-use solutions will be a much better choice. For an all over hair solution (whether it’s full coverage hair dye for men or salt and pepper hair dye) a single use option is fine as you’ll need more quantity. Online direct to consumer options, like Cleverman, will help with this process by using a short quiz that allows them to customize the right solution for you.


3. Select the right shade:


Selecting the right shade of hair color is a crucial step in achieving the desired look. When searching for a match for your hair color, it's important to consider your skin tone and undertones. Opting for a shade that is slightly lighter than your natural hair color can often yield more flattering and natural-looking results. When trying to find a match for your hair color, it’s always safer to go lighter.




4. Once at home with your selected products


  • You always want to read safety warnings and do the recommended patch test 48hs before you dye, especially if this is your first time. 

  • Start with dry, unwashed hair. This will allow natural oils to build on your skin, reducing potential itching or sensitivity to the product. 

  • In order to prevent stains on your skin, you might want to apply a barrier cream to your hair line (if the product you selected does not include one, you can use petroleum jelly or just a moisturizer). 

  • Always wear gloves (most box color kits include them, or you can just purchase some latex ones at your local pharmacy), not only to protect your hands, but also because your fingers can be a key tool when applying dye successfully. 

  • Always start with the areas where you have more grays, like roots or sideburns, particularly if you have stubborn grays. That way the dye will stay on those areas a bit longer.


  • Even if you are just covering roots or a specific spot, always run the product with a comb through the rest of your hair, to ensure no line and an even look. To prevent color going too dark, just do this when there’s about 3 minutes left of the recommended timing. So if your product says to leave color on for 10’, you would run it through with a comb after 7’. 

  • Before you rinse, damp your hair a bit and massage for a minute or so (easier to do this, and then rinse, in the shower). 


What to do if there are stains on your skin?:


If there are stains on your skin, you might want to use a cleansing wipe (if not included with your kit, you can try soap and water, rubbing off stains with a washcloth or old towel). You can also use the wipe to quickly clean up any drips on your bathroom counter or sink.



How Long Does It Take to Dye Your Hair at Home?


For guys, it only takes 15-20 minutes to use a hair dye for men at home with a brush-in application kit. That timeframe can vary depending on how much hair you have and how much gray you want to cover. But rest assured you’ll complete the whole process in 20 minutes or less.


Not convinced? Let’s break down how much time each step takes with a custom Cleverman hair dye kit.


Prep: 1 minute


Before dyeing your hair, you’ll put on a pair of gloves and apply barrier cream around your hairline to reduce the possibility of staining.


Mix: 2 minutes


To create the product you put in your hair, you’ll mix two liquids:


  • A developer to open up your hair shaft 
  • A colorant to coat the outside of your hair shaft


Shake them thoroughly together to mix.


Apply: 10-15 minutes


This is when the action starts. You’ll start by dispensing the dye into a tray, then use the applicator tool to apply it anywhere you want to eliminate grays, such as your temples, sideburns, or roots.


Once you get your desired coverage, leave the hair color on for your customized exposure time (5-10 minutes).


The specifics of the process can vary depending on your goals. Some guys prefer the “salt and pepper look” while others want to eliminate every last gray hair on their heads. Either way, Cleverman gives you a mens hair dye kit with the exact products and instructions you need to get your desired look.


Clean: 2 minutes


To wrap up the process, rinse the product out of your hair and massage your scalp to remove any residue until the water runs clear. Lastly, wash your hair with your custom shampoo/conditioner, leave it in for two minutes, and rinse one last time.


That’s it—all done in 20 minutes or less!


Dyeing Your Hair at Home vs. Dyeing Your Hair at a Salon


Dyeing your hair at home is almost always faster and more affordable than going to a salon, especially if your goal is to get rid of grays. 


An appointment with a professional colorist can run you anywhere from $50 to $200 and take an hour or longer to complete. Salon treatments may be ideal if you want to permanently dye your hair. But if you simply want to conceal your grays or quickly touch up a small area, dyeing your hair at home is the way to go.


There’s a catch though—not all at-home mens hair dye kits are created equally.


The most important part of dyeing your hair at home is matching your precise hair color. When you buy a mens hair dye kit off the shelf at a supermarket, you’re forced to buy a product that doesn’t exactly match your true hair color and texture, leading to results that look unnatural and cheap. Think of it like covering a scratch on your car with a magic marker instead of professional paint.


That’s where Cleverman comes in.


Every Cleverman hair dye kit is informed by a comprehensive questionnaire that accounts for the shade, level of gray, texture, and condition of your hair. This ensures results that are virtually indistinguishable from your “real” hair color. With more than 10,000 potential color combinations, we have you covered (literally).


Ready to make your selection? You can either run to the store or try a direct to consumer service. These usually help with selection via a short quiz and ship discreetly to your home. Try Cleverman, Spy Magazine’s top choice for male hair dye, a fully customizable solution that works with professional-quality dyes. Our kits come with everything you need for natural results at home (color, application tools, customized instructions, hair or beard care… even a barrier cream and a stain removal wipe to care for your skin). They are easy to use and work fast, usually in 5-10 minutes. And they are 100% vegan and enriched with organic oils. Plus we are so certain you’ll love it, that they’ll give you your money back if things don’t work out for you! 

Jorge Buccio
Celebrity hairstylist Jorge Buccio is Cleverman‘s Senior Colorist. He has over 20 years of experience in Hollywood, including celebrities Salma Hayek and Matthew McConaughey, and has worked with industry giants such as Schwarzkopf Professional and Revlon Professional. His avant-garde approach further aligns with Cleverman‘s commitment to style and personal taste.

Find a custom dye kit with us