Whether you’re dying your hair at home or getting it professionally colored, it’s inevitable that you’ll get some dye on your skin. In the same way that hair color will dye your hair, it can also dye your skin, which probably isn’t the look you’re going for.
Luckily, there are a few ways to safely remove hair dye from your skin, so you can just enjoy your gorgeous colored hair with no unsightly smudges.
How to remove permanent hair dye from your face and hairline
The skin on your face can be more sensitive than in other areas, so you should try to avoid any harsh cleansers if you want to remove hair dye from your hairline. Below are some gentle methods.
Soap and warm water
When you first notice that there’s hair dye on your skin, you should use soap and warm water. This can be enough if the dye is still wet and hasn’t dried properly. Just gently rub the area with an everyday bar of soap and rinse away with warm water.
If the dye has already dried and the soap and water doesn’t remove it, you may need to try one of the below methods.
Oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, and baby oil can all work to remove hair dye from your skin. These are all natural cleansers and can be a great option if you have sensitive skin.
It can take a bit of time to remove hair dye from your skin with oil. You’ll need to apply whatever oil you’re using to the area with your fingers or a cotton ball and gently rub it in. Then leave it for eight hours to work its magic before rinsing it away with warm water. If you do this method overnight, you might want to cover the area with a bandage or plastic wrap, so it doesn’t come off and stain your sheets.
We know toothpaste can remove stains from your teeth. So, it makes sense that it can also remove stains from your skin! Get a non-gel toothpaste and apply it to the stained area, rubbing it in with your fingers or a cotton ball. Leave it for five to 10 minutes to work and then rinse away with warm water.
You might already have a chemical exfoliant in your skincare routine. Products that include glycolic acid or salicylic acid can really help to gently exfoliate away the stained skin and bring fresh skin cells to the surface.
You should avoid using a physical exfoliant to remove hair dye from your face though, as this can damage your skin and cause irritation.
Rubbing alcohol is the harshest method to remove hair dye from your skin, so you shouldn’t use it if you have sensitive or very dry skin, as it can cause irritation.
To use rubbing alcohol to remove dye from your skin, pour a small amount onto a cotton ball and gently pat it onto the stained area of skin – take care not to rub too hard. Once it’s removed the dye, make sure to rinse the area with warm water and soap so no rubbing alcohol stays on your skin for too long.
How to remove permanent hair dye from your hands
The skin on your hands is tougher than the skin on your face, so it can take some harsher methods to remove dye. You can use the above, gentler methods or try these below.
Nail polish remover
Nail polish remover is usually strong enough to remove dye from your hands, although you shouldn’t use it if you have dry or irritated skin. Pour a small amount of nail polish remover onto a cotton ball and dab it over the stain until it starts to come off. When you’re finished, wash your hands with soap and warm water to remove the nail polish remover.
Dish soap and baking powder
Dish soap contains ingredients designed for strong cleansing, and baking powder acts as an exfoliant. Together, they can do a good job of removing hair dye from your hands. To use this method, combine a small amount of each ingredient to form a paste. Then gently rub the paste over the stained part of your skin and then rinse it away with warm water. You might also want to follow up with a hand moisturizer to hydrate the skin again, as dish soap can be drying.
How to remove permanent hair dye from your scalp
It can be difficult to remove hair dye from your scalp as you won’t want to also take the color from your hair. Once your skin has settled from the color, you could try using an exfoliating scalp scrub to help shift the dye.
Or you could use a shampoo that contains hydroxy acid, which can help to chemically remove the dye from your scalp. However, you should only use this type of shampoo once or twice a week to make sure your new color doesn’t fade. Using a conditioning color gloss will help to keep your color vibrant and glossy if you need to use this type of shampoo to take dye from your scalp.