How to Remove Hair Dye from Skin

staff writer
How to Remove Hair Dye from Skin

Dyeing your hair is fun, but figuring out how to remove hair dye from skin is a dilemma that can hamper your efforts to dye your hair at home. Changing your hair color is one sure way to update your look and give your face a lift. With the abundance of home-dyeing kits now available on the market, it should be easy, right? Well, yes. But mistakes and accidents do happen. Hair dye on the skin is especially obvious and embarrassing. So when you start to dye your hair, it’s best to be careful and to be ready for accidents.

The important thing to remember is to treat the drips or spills as soon as you notice them. Don’t allow the dye to be absorbed into the skin. Otherwise, it will be harder to remove.

    1. Water. If you’re using temporary or semi-permanent hair color, the dye may be easy to remove with a wet cotton ball. Before dyeing your hair, prepare a cotton ball by wetting it with water. Use this to wipe off any color that strays on to your skin. You may have to rub it vigorously until it comes off if necessary.

    2. Toothpaste or baking soda. Next to water, the easiest thing to reach out for may be toothpaste since you’re probably dyeing your hair in the bathroom. Put a small dab of toothpaste on a cotton ball – not on your finger. The dye may stain your finger as well. Use this to rub the color off. Toothpaste has enough abrasive ingredients to take the stain off, but is gentle enough not to harm the skin. As an alternative, you can use a paste made of baking soda and water.

    3. Hydrogen peroxide. This is also a mild remover and works very well. Wet a cotton ball with it and rub on the stain until the color comes off.

    4. Oil-based removers. Petroleum jelly (Vaseline), baby oil, and even olive oil may be effective on demi-permanent and permanent dyes. Since these dyes are strong, they may not respond to the simpler treatments above, especially if the stain is not addressed quickly. Several drops of oil-based remover on a cotton ball, rubbed vigorously and repeatedly over the stain, will remove even the most stubborn dye.

    5. Nail polish remover. This remedy is rather harsh, so use it with caution. Don’t use it at all if you have strong reactions against acetone or nail polish remover. If your skin tolerates it well and you use it regularly without adverse side effects, then this is a simple and quick solution. Be careful when using it around the eye area, though.

    6. Turpentine and kerosene. This is pulling out the big guns. These solvents are used by painters to remove oil-based paints from their skin. They work on hair dye as well. But do not use them on the face, especially around the eye area. They burn. Use them only when you’ve tried all the other methods and failed, and the stain is on a very conspicuous area. In addition, use them with extreme caution, in a well-ventilated area. If your skin is sensitive, you’re much better off hiding the stain.

It goes without saying that, before putting any dye on your hair, you should put a “color boundary” – a hedge, if you will – on the area between the hair and bare skin. This refers to the area around your hairline, and to your earlobes, nape, and jawline. Put petroleum jelly or conditioner on these areas so that if any dye ends up there, the color won’t stain your skin. Note, however, that dye could still drip down to your face, shoulders, or arms. This is when you will need to do take quick remedial measures. At least one of the above steps will serve you well when you try to determine how to remove hair dye from skin.

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