How To Remove Hair Dye Stains From Your Skin

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How To Remove Hair Dye From Your Skin
Self

With hair salons forced to close amid the pandemic, many people have grown accustomed to dyeing their hair and brows at home. But for those who had never done it before, they quickly learned how sometimes, things get messy.

Whether it's a hairline that gets stained with dye, a face, or even hands, it seems pretty hard to get off.

Luckily, you won't be wearing it very long once you learn how to remove hair dye from skin.

There are some tried and true tricks to removing hair dye and prevent it from staining your skin. And the best part? Many of these solutions can be found in your pantry or bathroom.

RELATED: 7 DIY Hair Dye Mistakes You're Making (& How To Fix Each)

Removing Dye from the Hairline

An at-home dye job can often result in a stubborn line of hair dye right around the hairline.

“A solution for battling this when dying your whole head a solid color, is to pinch the ends of your hair and apply them in a scrubbing motion to the hairline as soon as you see the stain,” recommends Carleta O'Neal, owner of Capelli Salon in Las Vegas. 

This magically lifts the color off the skin and absorbs into the hair follicle.

“For really stubborn stains, a beauty insider's tip on how to remove hair dye from your hands, skin and face, is to use smoke ashes!” adds O’Neal. “I know it sounds crazy, but I've worked in many salons through the years with stylists that swore by this tip because of its miraculous super power to seamlessly remove any hair dye stains."

Removing Dye from Eyebrows

To prevent streaking or staining of skin when tinting brows, begin by applying a small amount of Vaseline or lip balm along the perimeter of the brow.

“Try getting as close to the hairline of the brows as possible, without actually getting the hairs you intend on coloring,” suggests Kate Stromberg, senior makeup artist at Color Salon by Michael Boychuck in Las Vegas. This will create a barrier for the tint so it doesn’t expand to areas other than the brows. 

Be sure to wear a pair of disposable gloves before the tint application.

Adds Stromberg, “If a bit of dye ends up in a place it wasn’t intended to go, acting quickly (while the brow tint is still processing) by lightly removing it with a cotton ball or a q-tip dipped in warm water will usually do the trick.”

RELATED: How To Dye Your Hair At Home & Give Yourself The Perfect Blowout

Other Ways to Remove Hair Dye from Skin

If the tint has been removed from the brows but an area is left with a noticeable stain, there are a few additional methods to try.

1. Baby oil

Apply baby oil directly on the problem area. Then, rotate in circular motions targeting the stain, and cleanse the area.

Try: Johnson's Baby Oil

2. Makeup remover

Makeup remover is a multipurpose product that, in most cases, is able to tackle the stain. 

“Keep in mind that how easy or difficult the stain removal process is will depend on how much color has seeped, how permanent the dye is, where it's located, and how sensitive your skin is,” says Stromberg.

Try: Sephora Collection Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover

3. Additional hair coloring

Reserve at least a teaspoon of the color mixture you used. Why? Because it's the oldest trick in the book and still the best!

"From the face, color removes color," reveals Rex Jimieson, color educator and colorist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. "Before you add any water, with a gloved hand apply a little of the leftover dye to the stains and really froth it up! Don’t be afraid of the 'spread'. Get it frothy until you see the stain lifting from your face. Wipe with a towel or paper towel and, if needed, reapply." Then, rinse and shampoo.

4. Bleach

For the hands, Jimieson likes to use a little mustache or arm hair bleach, which you can find at a drugstore or beauty supply store.

"You will see it lift color from the skin and nails fairly quickly (within five minutes maximum). If it isn’t happening fast enough, you might need to wait a few days and reapply," Jimieson advises.

Be sure to wash your hands with a hardware store soap designed for getting grease and paint off your hands. 

Try: GiGi Gentle Hair Bleaching CreamGoop Hand Cleaner and Laundry Stain Lifter

5. Olive oil

Anyone with sensitive skin would do well with staying away from conventional stain-removing ingredients, like rubbing alcohol, to remove hair dye from their face. “A natural alternative is to use pure olive oil on a cotton bud,” suggests Adina Mahalli of Maple Holistics. 

This oil is a gentle yet effective solution to cleanse the skin from harsh dyes without stripping the skin in the process.

“It’s brimming with antioxidants and fatty acids to not only cleanse your face, but leave it looking and feeling better, too. Just pour a small amount of olive oil onto a cotton ball and rub it into the stained area,” Mahalli adds.

Leave it on the skin for up to 5 hours and rinse off with warm water.

6. Petroleum jelly

Petroleum jelly is a great way to prevent dye on your face and skin.

“All you have to do is just coat your hairline with petroleum jelly before dyeing,” suggests Nikki Goddard, a certified hair stylist and senior editor at The Right Hairstyles Magazine.

But if you forgot this precautionary measure, you can use petroleum jelly anyway. “All you have to do is start rubbing and massaging the jelly into your skin,” she adds. This method is very gentle for your skin, but be careful with your eyes because it can cause a serious irritation to them.

RELATED: How To Bleach Your Hair At Home, According To Stylists & Colorists

7. Baking soda and dish soap

Mix equal parts baking soda with liquid dish soap.

“Apply it to the skin and massage/wipe with a makeup removal pad,” says Dr. Adam Mamelak. “This is non-abrasive and will often lift the color out of the skin. Liquid laundry detergent rubbed in with warm water and wiped with a washcloth or makeup removal pad is another approach.”

8. Toothpaste and toothbrush

Try this method if you've gotten hair dye on your hands.

Says Goddard, “All you have to do is gently rub the toothpaste into a dyed skin and then start scrubbing it with a toothbrush. Keep in mind that a new toothbrush should be used for this purpose, and you can replace it with a makeup remover pad.”

Be sure to not use whitening toothpaste because it contains additional chemical agents that will dry out your skin. 

Additional Tips For Removing Hair Dye from Skin

As with all things, it's best to take certain precautions.

1. Always start with more gentle methods.

Yes, this can take more time, but your goal is to deal as little damage to your skin as possible. “This is why you should try more aggressive methods only if petroleum jelly, makeup remover, or baby oil did not help,” says Goddard.

2. It's always easier to prevent than treat.

Use a petroleum jelly, or a face or hand cream, to protect your skin from dye beforehand. Adds Goddard, “Washing them out with warm water is a much easier and much more pleasant procedure.”

3. Don't go too hard on your skin.

It's better to try another method or make a pause before using more aggressive methods. This will save your skin and will help you preserve its youth.

Concludes Goddard, “Remember that you shouldn't make big efforts during the process of cleaning, because your skin will not only get damaged chemically but physically.”

RELATED: 20 Best Vegan And Cruelty-Free Hair Dyes

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Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly. Visit her on Twitter or email her.

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