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How to Get Hair Dye Out of Skin: The Best Tips & Tricks

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You’ve just called the salon and the all-around color appointment you wanted is just a little bit of your budget range. Naturally, you think that a good bit of dye, a coloring brush, and some gloves are all you need to do the job yourself. After all, just how messy could it get? 

Do it just once, and you'll see it's a lot messier than you initially expected. While box dyeing your hair at home is indeed cheaper and potentially faster, the stains it leaves behind will seem downright impossible to get out. And while the counter and the shower will be stain-free after one clean-through, the hair dye on your skin won’t be leaving any time soon.

Here are the safest ways to remove hair dye stains from skin, with as little damage as possible. 

Table of Contents:

  1. How to Remove Hair Dye Stains from Your Face
  2. How to Remove Hair Dye Stains from Your Body
  3. How to Prevent Getting Dye on Your Skin

How to Remove Hair Dye Stains from Your Face

Your face and hairline are some of the most sensitive areas of your skin – so they should always be given extra care. As not all stain removal methods can be used to get hair dye off your face, here are the safest ones: 

Cleansers or Face Washes

Cleansers and face washes are the go-to for a safe, thorough cleansing experience. Alternatively, a bit of warm water and regular soap or even a makeup remover can remove the hair dye from skin just as well.

Note that this method should work only if you're removing hai dye shortly after getting it on your skin. If it’s already had a little time to process and stain your skin, you will have to try something else. 

Toothpaste

Since it does a good job at keeping teeth clean, the fluoride in toothpaste might be able to remove hair dye stains from the skin too. Apply it on the stain, massage it a bit, and leave it for up to 10 minutes. Remove with lukewarm water. 

Natural Oils 

Certain natural oils, such as olive and frankincense, are good cleansers that soak the stain and get rid of it through a little massage. This method is especially good for those who stained their face and have sensitive skin, as there are no harsh chemicals in organic oils. Let the oil rest on the stain for as long as needed, then easily remove it along with the hair dye stain. Just make sure you dilute the essential oil properly and use a 100% pure product to avoid chemical burns.

Rubbing Alcohol 

Because of its strong chemicals and its intensely drying effect, we advise anyone with sensitive skin not to use the rubbing alcohol method. 

On the other hand, it can prove a highly efficient stain remover for those same reasons. Put some on a cotton pad and dab the skin until the stain is removed, then rinse and clean the area. 

Face Scrubs 

Face scrubs can efficiently work to get hair dye off from skin because they literally rub off the dead skin cells containing the chemical dye. There is no harm in using scrubs as long as they are formulated for the face, or at least for sensitive skin. Be careful not to rub the area vigorously, as you can easily get it irritated. 

How to Remove Hair Dye Stains from Your Body

The methods mentioned above might work on the rest of your body as well, but if you’re facing a particularly stubborn hair dye stain, here are some additional ways you can try to get rid of it:

Baking Soda 

It’s a wonder chemical used in cooking, but you might have already heard of its abilities as a cleaning agent as well. Mixing a little bit of dish soap and baking soda can create a scrub that will lift off the dead skin and the dye molecules.

Acetone  

A chemically harsh product used to remove nail polish, acetone’s intensity could be just what you need to get rid of the stains on your body with little to no effort. Put a little amount of the nail polish remover or acetone on a cotton ball and rub the area until you get hair dye off skin. It shouldn’t take too long before the stain is gone. 

Hydrogen Peroxide 

This is as chemically intense as we can get. Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic that is usually used to prevent the infection of small cuts, scrapes, and burns. Because of its aggressive foaming effect, it should only be used as a last resort to remove only the most difficult stains from your skin.

Book an Appointment with a Hair Dye Specialist

If none of the above solutions work, and you do not have the time to wash the hair dye from skin several times before it goes away, it’s best to book an appointment with a hair dye specialist at your nearest salon. The issue of permanent hair dye getting on the skin is not an uncommon one, which is why hairstylists use products with dedicated formulas to combat it.

How to Prevent Getting Dye Stains on Your Skin

Why clean it when it could just not exist in the first place? Here’s how to prevent stains from appearing in the first place: 

Keep those Gloves On

Most people who choose to box dye their hair immediately toss away the gloves – it’s already hard to dye your own hair, let alone doing it with gloves on your hands, right? Wrong. 

They are there for very good reason: wear gloves to protect your hands from not only getting stained, but also attacked by harsh chemicals. Keep them on throughout your entire dye job!

Always Stay Moisturized

Moisturized skin is the secret to avoid getting dye around your hairline and ears. Since the skin will present no dryness whatsoever, the viscous dye will have no surface to stick to, and it will be much easier to wash it off once you’re done.

For that, a moisturizing shea-butter lotion offering continued hydration is exactly what you need. Alternatively, using other products with similar consistencies should result in the same effect. Make sure that whatever product you choose, you apply it generously and consistently. 

moisturizing shea-butter lotion


Cover Up Your Skin

Wear an old t-shirt that you do not mind getting dirty and, for some extra protection, use a towel or other material around your neck. This way you are preventing hair dye from getting on the rest of your body. 

See it? Wipe it

Always wipe off any dye the minute that you notice it! Do not let it sit on your skin thinking that you will wash it when you are done, because chances are that it will have already made a stubborn hair dye stain by the time you get there. 

Marius Capra

Charismatic copywriter, intrepid linguist, and advertising aficionado. To make a long story short, writing has always been both my greatest passion, and the one thing that would always bring me comfort - whether it was in the form of short stories, poetry, or academic writing. I love to write because I live to express myself as authentically as I can, and I am a firm believer in the fact that words can always do you justice… if you choose the right ones of course.

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