How to Make a Realistic Beard

By Bayard Tarpley ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Crepe hair
  • Iron
  • Liquid latex or medical adhesive
  • Scissors
Making a realistic fake beard requires time and skill.

Making and applying fake beards can be done in a number of ways. You can glue cotton wool to your face, or gently stick on grains of cocoa or coffee. These techniques are not realistic, however, which is why they are not used in professional settings such as films or stage productions. Instead, actors in these productions will use crepe hair, or in some cases real human hair.

Shave your face where you plan to apply the fake beard. Having natural facial hair will make it harder to adhere the beard to your face but easier to remove afterward. Clean the face. A clean face will make the fake beard stick better. If you are applying any makeup to your face, do so after the beard is applied so that it does not interfere with the adhesive.

Prepare the beard. Crepe hair comes in braided segments. Unbraid the hair so that it is in long, straight lengths. Iron the crepe hair to smooth it out. Even after you unbraid and iron the crepe, it will be in bunches. Separate the hair as much as you can so that it is thinner. Don't worry about the thinness of the hair; you will be applying it in layers, so thickness can be added.

Lightly brush a layer of liquid adhesive on your face. In most cases, liquid latex will be sufficient. If you will be performing in a very hot environment, whether outdoors or on a heavily lit stage, consider using a stronger medical adhesive that will survive the heat. Apply the adhesive in small patches, starting with the chin.

Apply thin layers of the crepe to the adhesive. Start from the bottom and work your way up in layers. If you will need to add other colors, such as gray, to make the beard more realistic, make it appear random so that it is not obviously patterned. Trim the beard as necessary as you put it in place. Work in patches, starting in the center and working out, adding adhesive as necessary.

About the Author

Bayard Tarpley began writing professionally in 2006. He has written for various print and online publications, including "The Corner News," specializing in health and computer topics. Tarpley majored in English at Auburn University.