How to Dye a Theatrical Beard

Written by sandra rousseau
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How to Dye a Theatrical Beard
Fake beards can be dyed to suit multiple theatrical characters. (Bob Carey/Photodisc/Getty Images)

If your theatrical production calls for beards in its costuming, you can save money and resources by reusing beards from the costumes of past productions. If you need to change the colouring of a beard to suit a character in your current production, follow these wig-dying techniques and your fake beard will soon be a realistic addition to the costuming of your play.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Scissors
  • Hair dye
  • Soft brush

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  1. 1

    Examine your fake beard and determine what it is made of. If it is made of human hair, use any drugstore hair dye. If it is made of synthetic hair, you may also use normal hair dye, but the colour will probably turn out darker than the shade pictured on the box. In this case, choose a dye that's a shade lighter than the beard. Light colours being dyed darker will work better than vice versa.

  2. 2

    Trim the beard, if possible, with scissors and reserve the trimmings to test the dye before applying it to your fake beard.

  3. 3

    Put on the gloves that are included in the hair dye kit.

  4. 4

    Mix the hair dye according to package instructions. Test the dye on the trimmings by wetting the trimmings with water, then brushing on the dye with a soft brush. Follow the dye manufacturer's instructions as to how long to leave the dye on and when to rinse it out. Let the trimmings dry and observe their colour.

  5. 5

    Wet the fake beard with water and place it beard on a protected surface. Use a soft brush to "paint" the dye on. Leave it on and rinse it off per the dye manufacturer's instructions.

  6. 6

    Hang the beard in a natural position over a spot where it is safe to let it drip dry.

Tips and warnings

  • If the beard is a synthetic, wash it as little as possible because the dye can fade more quickly on synthetic hair.
  • If you need a very specific, unnatural or offbeat colour and have time and patience, you can use a permanent marker to colour strands individually.
  • You can also try using diluted acrylic paint to dye a wig. Acrylic paint colours can easily be mixed to get just the colour you'd like. Add a few drops of paint to a pint of warm water and stir thoroughly. Paint this onto the wig, let it dry for three or four hours, comb and then rinse with cold water.

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