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Tints, dyes, highlights, and lowlights? For hair color newbies and novices—especially men looking to take a new shade for a spin for the first time—those terms can be downright confusing. That's why it's best to cut through the clutter and get only the facts you need to know your way around a box of hair color for men. Whether you’ve spotted your first gray hairs or just want to update your look, you can take the guesswork out of men’s hair color with the few simple tips we’ve outlined here. Keep clicking!
First things first, before we dive into those aforementioned tips, let’s answer a question we hear all too often: should men dye their hair? The answer is, if you want to dye your hair, you should—regardless of your gender! If you’re a man and you’ve been craving a way to change your look or simply think your stands would look better with a bit of dimension, it could be the case that dyeing your hair is just what you need. So, don’t shy away just because you think coloring your hair is not for you.
Are you searching high and low for the best hair color for men? Well, we’re here to suggest you stop. Looking all over for the best brown hair dye for men won’t leave you with better results than if you were to use the same brown hair color as your girlfriend or sister. The truth is, men can color their hair with the same products women can—you just might need less product to coat your entire head of hair—if you prefer to rock short hairstyles like a quiff or a short spiky hairstyle, that is.
Editor’s tip: The one exception to this rule is if you want to color your facial hair. While we totally approve of dyeing your beard and your brows, you likely shouldn’t use the same products you used on the rest of your hair. You’ll want to use a hair dye that specifically says it’s safe for use on facial hair.
If going gray is non-negotiable, the easy solution is to return to your natural hair color. You’ll look like yourself, only how you did 10 years ago. Choose a color as close as possible to your original shade to take care of even the most stubborn gray strands.
Product pick: To cover grays from the comfort of your own home, give the L’Oréal Paris Excellence Creme a shot. The non-drip creme formula comes in a variety of blonde, brown, red, and black dyes so that you can easily find your best match.
You accept going gray gracefully—but with a few caveats. Maybe you’d like less salt, more pepper. Blending is the most natural way to deal with incipient gray hairs. You can choose to minimize them by 20, 30, or even 70 percent, for a customized balance. To do this, you’ll use highlights to blend in your grays. It’s an easy, lower maintenance option than coloring your entire head of hair!
Product pick: If you’re ready to attempt DIY highlights, using an at-home highlight kit is a great option. Grab the L’Oréal Paris Feria Multi-Faceted Highlights and make sure to follow the directions.
Not everyone wants to get rid of their gray hair or lessen their grays. After all, a full head of silver makes you appear distinguished, wise, competent, and experienced. We mean, there’s a reason you see so many models—even super young ones—rocking gray strands nowadays. That’s right, you can even go gray intentionally!
Of course, to rock this look, you’ll need to make sure your hair’s condition is at its best. Use a shampoo for your hair type, like L’Oréal Paris EverStrong Thickening Shampoo, and don’t skimp on conditioner. Follow up with the L’Oréal Paris EverStrong Thickening Conditioner. A consistent hair care routine can help keep your hair looking and feeling its best, which is especially important since gray hair can sometimes become dry and dull.
Product pick: Instead of waiting for your strands to turn silver, get the look at home right now with the L’Oréal Paris Féria in Multi-Faceted Shimmering Permanent Hair Color in Silver.
Done with a light touch, highlights can leave everyone guessing where you spend your summer. These skinny, shimmering strands aren’t only suited to women—they can add depth and dimension to a manly mane just as well, and you don’t have to be going gray to give them a shot. When it comes time for dyeing, focus the formula only on the tips of your hair and around your temples. The idea isn’t to look like you’ve just totally frosted your tips (so early ‘00s) but to appear as if you’ve spent time hanging out on the beach and catching waves.
Product pick: Try the L’Oréal Paris Touch-On Highlights, using the fingertip applicator to easily customize your hair color.
Not everyone is attached to their current hair color, and there’s no reason you have to be. If you’re the adventurous type and set on a total color change, by all means, go for it. Keep in mind that if you’re going lighter, you’ll need to bleach your hair first—and the darker your base shade, the more work that may be required to reach your desired color. If you do need to bleach your hair, you can use the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Bleach to do so at home.
Product pick: Use the L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference to switch up your shade completely. Of course, if you aren’t sure about committing to a new color, you can give a temporary hair color a try first. If you think this option is better suited to you (and your slightly commitment-phobic ways), pick up a shade of the L’Oréal Paris Colorista Hair Makeup 1-Day Color or L’Oréal Paris Colorista 1-Day Spray.
Choosing to embrace a new hair color comes with a new responsibility—providing color-treated hair with proper care. That means it’s time to swap out the old products stocked in your shower. You’ll want to switch to a system containing a shampoo, conditioner, and hair mask formulated for color-treated hair.
Product pick: To keep your colored strands looking their best, use the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Color Vibrancy Intensive Protecting Shampoo, L’Oréal Paris Elvive Color Vibrancy Protecting Conditioner, and L’Oréal Paris Elvive Color Vibrancy Repair and Protect Balm. Cleanse with the shampoo, then use the conditioner to soften your locks. Once or twice a week, swap out the conditioner for the hair mask.
Women aren’t the only ones who deserve to show themselves a little love via their beauty routines. And since coloring your hair can cause damage, it’s especially important to treat yourself—and your hair—from time to time. Next time you have a night off, stay in, turn on your tunes, and use a hair mask for damaged hair.
Product pick: Give the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Repair Remedy Balm, which works to restore strength and brilliance strand by strand, a try.
Unless you opt for a low maintenance hair color technique, like balayage highlights, you’ll need to re-up your color fairly often. If you notice your roots growing in but don’t have time for a trip to see your colorist (or to the drugstore for another box of hair dye), don’t fret. There’s an easy solution: root touch-up products. You can spritz or brush on color to hide visible roots and no one has to know you’re overdue for a hair coloring session.
Product pick: If you’re a guy who’s always on the go, we recommend the L’Oréal Paris Magic Root Precision Pen, which is a temporary root cover-up product that’s perfect for covering scattered grays. It’s also super slim and can fit anywhere from your pocket to your travel bag, so you can take it with you no matter where you're headed.
Who says you can only make one change at a time? If you’ve just updated your hue, it’s not a bad idea to try a new hairstyle too. If you’re used to slathering your strands with hair gel, try loosening things up and working a little bit of a flexible hold hair cream through your hair.
Product pick: Use the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Flexible Strong Hold Cream to tousle your hair and create a lived-in look that will perfectly complement your color.
Think it might be time to cut your hair too? We can help! Check out our articles on The Best Short Haircuts and Hairstyles for Men and The Best Medium-Length Hairstyles for Guys.