The Gay Man’s Guide to Just for Men
I started using Just for Men in my early forties when it first came on the market and cost just four bucks (now you’re lucky if you can get it for seven bucks on sale). My objective was to cover up the gray in my beard which l had grown twenty years before to look older – l know, go figure. Anyway, l’ve had enough experience in using the stuff l should have bought stocks in the company, so for those of you new to the trying to stay young game or who have been disappointed in your results, here are a few tips l’ve learned over the years:
- Use the Just for Men product designed for mustache and beards for facial hair; The Just for Men designed for head hair will not work on short hair. I avoid using products like A Touch of Gray or the Just for Men that comes in an applicator since you’re forced to use the whole box in one application.
- Always start with a shade lighter than you own. Better to have a poor covering than come out looking like you dipped your beard in an ink well – do you young guys know what an ink well was – or can of paint.
- Sometimes l find a more natural look is to dye your beard before you trim it, then do your trim. Some gray will show but again as an older guy you’re trying to achieve a natural look, not try to resemble a twenty two year old.
- Unless you’re doing it in a place that’s easy to clean up, throw an old towel or newspaper over your sink. It’s even a good idea to tape the newspaper to the walls immediately surrounding your sink since no matter how careful you think you are there will always be splatter. Should that occur on your sink, line your sink with paper towels, soak the towels with hydrogen peroxide and let it sit overnight, re-soaking the towels periodically. The HP does a good job in removing dye stains, much better and easier than cleanser.
- The gloves that come with the stuff are usually loose and can lead to a sloppy job. I find one time use latex gloves available in any drugstore like Walgreen’s or CVS fit better and prevent what l call “nail dyeitus.”
- If the shade you’re looking for is somewhere between the two available, buy a box of both and do a half and half. For example, l normally use light medium brown. If l want it slightly darker l might mix part of the product l’m using for an application with a bit of medium brown. Or if they have a sale going and there’s no light medium brown left, buy a box of the light brown and the medium brown and do the mix.
- For a freshly trimmed or grown out beard where there’s lots of gray, l recommend two lines, (not the kind you snort silly), using the raised line in the application dish as your guide. For a mid week touch up a line should suffice. And don’t believe the bullshit about it lasting six weeks unless you’re a eunuch. I have fast growing hair and l often need a mid week touch-up between major dunkings.
- Just for Men designed for head hair will not do a good job on short beard or facial hair but can be used for you hairy gorillas like me who want to deaden the gray in your chest hair. But all you’ll need is a tablespoon of each ingredient for a single application mixed together in a nonporous dish. I use an old glass ashtray. Using the whole box is overkill and a waste.
- Whatever the application, beard, head or body, apply the product evenly over the desired area, rub it in with your gloves, then use an old comb – not the shitty little brush they give you – to insure thorough coverage to the roots by combing in the product in a circular fashion. After that, re-rub in using your gloved hand. It’s okay to go over the beardline without worrying about dyeing your skin. You’ll see why in a second.
- After letting it “set” for about three minutes or so, go back and remove any excess dye on surrounding skin. How? Throw a few hits of Comet cleanser – l found Comet works the best – in your sink or separate receptacle – and with a two inch strip cut from an old abrasive sponge gently but briskly rub the cleanser into the “dyed” skin, leaving the wet cleanser on a few more minutes before showering.
- In the shower, this is a good time to use dandruff shampoo and conditioner. I always follow this with a liberal smear of Noxzema on the dyed area that l leave on while finishing up my shower. It helps lessen any skin irritation caused by the dye.
- If the results are too dark, trim your dry beard on the low setting; if there’s a spot or two where the dye didn’t take or you missed, take a smear of the mixed product, apply and comb in and wait another 3 to 5 minutes before rinsing in the sink. Do the same if there are edges of skin still darkened by the dye by following the “cleanser” instructions.
Whether in the end to dye or not to dye or continue to dye is a personal decision. I find letting some gray showing helps me in my new career as a daddy, but if you’re a fifty-something competing in today’s workforce you may feel differently.
Whatever works for you.