15 Amazing Hacks to Remove Hair Dye From Your Skin

It’s always a bummer when you get that icky feeling of hair dye on your skin after a hair coloring session. Whether it’s your hands, neck, or even your face, the dye can ruin an otherwise perfect hair day. It can also stain your skin and leave your bathroom sink looking like a crime scene.

Getting hair dye on your skin instead of your hair can happen either by accident, or because you did not follow the directions correctly. You might even think this won’t cause any other problems, but it can actually lead to skin irritation and sensitivity.

The truth is, the sooner you can act on a dye stain, the better it’ll be for your skin. So whether it’s a weekend-only brunette or just a touch-up before a big event, follow these simple hacks because nobody wants stained skin.

How to Remove Hair Dye From Skin

how to remove hair dye from skin

1. Protect Before You Begin

Trust me; prevention is way much better and easier than cure.

To prevent hair dye from getting on your skin, use Vaseline or petroleum jelly to cover the skin that will come into contact with the dye, such as your hairline, forehead, or neck.

This will create a barrier between your skin and the dye, making the removal process much easier.

Second, never apply hair dye directly onto the scalp or roots. Instead, apply the color to the length of the hair and work from there. This way, you can control how much dye you will apply to your scalp.

Lastly, always wear latex gloves when applying hair dye—this way, the dye won’t come into contact with your hands at all.

SEE: 16 Skin-Popping Hair Dye Color Ideas Ideal for Your Skin Tone

2. Wipe As You Go

Did you dye your hair and spill it on your skin? You don’t have to panic.

All you need to do is to wet a towel with some water and wipe off the stain immediately. Doing this will prevent the hair dye stain from setting on your skin, making the removal much easier.

3. Soap and Water

To remove hair dye from the skin, wash the affected areas in a sink with soap and water. Keep in mind that this will only work if there are not too many dye stains on the skin.

  • Wet your skin with some water and make sure the hair dye is completely submerged.
  • Add some soap to the wet area and rub it in.
  • Rinse your skin until the water runs clear, and you have washed away all the dye.
  • Scrub the area with a damp towel to remove any remaining residue.

4. Vinegar


Vinegar not only works as a natural disinfectant by killing germs on the skin but also acts as an acid that will break down the dye molecules and remove them from your skin.

  • Put a small amount of vinegar on a cotton pad and dab it onto your skin.
  • Gently scrub the stain for some minutes to absorb the dye.
  • Rinse with water, and pat dry with a towel.

Vinegar works because it contains alcohol, which breaks down the bonds of protein in the hair dye. Be careful not to use vinegar too often, as it can lighten your natural complexion over time.

5. Rubbing Alcohol

This hack is a lifesaver. It speeds up the process, and it doesn’t make a mess like when you scrub at your skin with soap or shampoo.

This method should also work for removing any other types of dyes from your skin, such as nail polish.

To use it, apply an even layer of rubbing alcohol to your skin and let sit for about 10 minutes. Scrub away the hair dye with a cotton ball and rinse with warm water.

6. Baking Soda and Liquid Soap

Another way to remove hair dye from the skin is by using baking soda. The baking soda will act as an exfoliant and help get rid of any dye buildup on your skin.

Take a small amount of baking soda and liquid soap and mix thoroughly. Apply the mixture on the spot where you have hair dye and gently rub the spot until the color fades.

Be careful not to use this mixture on areas around your eyes. In case of irritation, rinse thoroughly with water.

You can use this trick for all colors of hair dye; it will also help remove any stains from clothes you wore while dying your hair.

7. Apply Shampoo

If you mix some shampoo with water and apply it to your skin, you can remove hair dye from your skin. That is because shampoo has cleansing ingredients in it that act as detergents to remove dirt, oils, and sweat from your skin.

Once you have figured out how much shampoo you’ll need, prepare a small bowl of water and pour in enough shampoo to create lather with your hand.

Apply this mixture onto your skin and scrub thoroughly for about 5 minutes. Rinse with water and pat dry with a towel.

You may also want to use some conditioner as it will help break down the color in the hair better than shampoo would.

SEE: Use These 12 Best Shampoo and Conditioner Sets for Better Hair Care

8. Olive Oil

Olive oil is a natural and effective way to remove hair dye from your skin. It contains properties that are nourishing for the skin and helps break down dyes quickly and with ease.

Using olive oil to remove hair dye works well on both light and dark hair colors. You don’t need much of the oil, just enough to cover the stain or area where the hair is touching your skin.

  • Pour some olive oil on your finger or use a cotton pad.
  • Rub it on the stained area and leave for some minutes.
  • Rinse off with warm water and pat dry with a towel.

9. Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum jelly is not only good for preventing hair dye stains; it also works to remove them.

Apply some petroleum jelly on the stained area and rub in circular motions. Rub thoroughly until you see the color of the petroleum jelly changing to your hair dye color.

Wash off the stained area with mild soap and warm water. Take a clean towel after and pat dry.

10. Toothpaste


The fact is, you don’t need any special chemicals—our old friend Mr toothpaste is also fantastic when it comes to removing hair dye stains.

With a little bit of rubbing into the skin, the hair dye stain will come out for sure.

Start by adding a little water to your skin and then squeeze a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on it.

Next, apply a little pressure and rub thoroughly until there’s no stain left. Rinse with water and pat dry.

11. Use a Makeup Remover

The fun fact is you can also make use of your makeup removal to remove hair dye stains from your skin.

Apply the makeup remover on a cotton pad and rub it in for about 3-5 minutes. Wash off the spot with lukewarm water and pat dry with a clean towel.

12. Dishwashing Liquid

To remove hair dye stains from your skin, mix dishwashing liquid with water and apply it to your skin.

To do this, start by mixing equal parts of water and dishwashing liquid. Massage the mixture onto the stained area and leave it on for 10-15 minutes. Rinse it out with water and pat dry.

13. Use a Nail Polish Remover

Did you know using a nail polish remover is also a great way to remove hair dye stain from the skin? I’ll show you how.

Squeeze a few drops of nail polish remover on a cotton pad and dab it over the stain for a few seconds. Then, wash your skin with water to remove the nail polish remover. 

Nail polish remover tends to dry out the skin, so make sure to apply a moisturizer to prevent your skin from drying out.

14. Hairspray

To remove hair dye stains from the skin, put some hairspray on a cotton pad and dab it on the stained skin.

If the affected skin is your hands, put some hairspray on your hands and rub thoroughly. Do this until the dye is completely off.

This technique works because hairspray contains alcohol which helps to break up the hair dye molecules.

 15. Use Hair Dye to Remove Hair Dye

Sounds a bit crazy right? Take some more hair dye and apply it to the stained skin. Next, rub the skin with a paper towel and wash it off with water.

Trust me, this technique works just like magic. That is because; applying hair dye over the stained area reactivates the already set dye on your skin, causing it to unset.

This process of unsetting makes it easier to remove the hair dye stains from your skin so you should definitely try this hack.

SEE: How to Look Smarter by Preventing Permanent Hair Color Fade

What Is a Hair Dye?

Hair dye is a chemical substance used to change the color of hair to something different. It can be used to cover gray hair, or simply for a fashion statement.

Hair dyes usually come in a liquid form. But can also be provided as creams, lotions, or pastes.

They are available at several beauty supply stores and can range from temporary dyes that wash out in as little as one shampoo, to semi-permanent and permanent colors that stay in the hair until it grows out naturally or is cut.


how to remove hair dye from skin

How can I get hair dye off my skin fast?

Immediately wash your skin with soap and water. This will stop the hair dye from penetrating further and entering your pores.

Blot the discolored area with a wet towel or cotton ball to soak up any extra dye and rinse until the water runs clear.

Can Vaseline remove hair dye from my skin?

Yes, it can. Vaseline is an excellent resource for removing hair dye from the skin. Simply apply a generous amount of Vaseline to the stained area to absorb most of the dye and then wipe it off. This technique also has the added benefit of restoring moisture to your skin.

How long does hair dye stay on hair?

Semi-permanent hair dye is designed to last until your next shampoo (usually about two weeks), while permanent hair dye will last until you need another touch-up (about six months).


Hair dye is a staple in many people’s lives. It disguises hair that is graying, redefines your appearance, and it can give you the confidence to rock a certain style.

But as much as we love our dyes, we also know the struggle of keeping them from getting on our skin and staining our clothes.

Most hair dyes contain chemicals that could lead to skin irritation, allergic reactions, scalp irritation, and an increased chance of developing an infection.

Protecting your hair with Vaseline or petroleum jelly, using vinegar, baking soda or any of these hacks will keep you from harm’s way by ensuring you don’t end up with hair dye stains on your skin.

Thanks for reading.

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