Gray Beards and Mustaches

Man with an itchy beard
Photo: Kleber Cordeiro/Shutterstock
Q: Hello. I have used {brand name omitted} for Beards and Mustaches for many years and love the ease and results. In recent years, however, they have changed the formula and it now causes me blisters around my mouth after use.
My mustache is now very grey, and I wondered if there are any other products that I could use without the blisters.

A: It sounds as though you are sensitive to the chemicals used in the new formula of the product, or that you have developed sensitivity to an ingredient that may have been in the product all along. This is something that happens to individuals who use a product over a prolonged period of time.
This is why it is very important to perform patch tests with any product you intend to use PRIOR to actually using the product. Simply dab a dime-sized area on the inside of your elbow and leave it in place for about 10 minutes, then wipe it off. Observe the area for the next 24-48 hours and look for any sign of irritation or sensitivity. If you see any change in the area, then do not use the product.
As for alternatives to the product you mention, you can simply look for any hair color product designed to cover gray hair. Use a small brush applicator (such as a toothbrush) to enable finer control over the application of the hair color.
While the company that makes the product you mention specifies that it is designed specifically for men, there is not a significant difference in the formulation between most hair colors - except for the colors which "change the hair gradually" and those should never be used interchangeably with traditional color formulas.
{*Note: The packaging of the product indicated clearly states that there is a possibility of sensitivity in certain individuals that that a preliminary test should ALWAYS be performed before using the product. This means even if you have used the product before without a problem, you should always pre-test.}
See also:
Gray hair Q&A
How to color hair
Can you recommend something to cover up the grey of my beard and sideburns?
Do you have any suggestions on how to color a prematurely gray beard?