How Long Does Hair Dye Stay on Skin? How to Remove Dye from Hairline, Hands & Nails

Hair dyes work by penetrating through the outer cuticle of the hair follicle and infusing it into the hair shaft causing a long-lasting coloring effect on the hair. Be it you’re dyeing at home or at the salon, it is quite obvious that excess dye will stain your scalp and skin afterward. Staining is an issue you have to fix especially if you are DIY enthusiast.

Owing to the fact that healthy skin cells naturally turnover, hair dye lasts between 7-14 days to disappear on itself. To remove hair dye quickly from hairline, neck skin, hands and nails you can use soap and water, toothpaste, rubbing alcohol, lemon juice, nail polish remover, and other chemical solutions.

The following is a detailed discussion on what will determine the duration dye will last, how to get it off fast when wet and dry, best natural hair dye removers from skin, tips to prevent the stains plus dangers of dye.

What Determines How long Hair Dye Stays on Skin

If left alone, dried hair dye lasts for about one to weeks. If you’ve washed off the dye and the tint is still there, you will have to wait for your skin cells to naturally regenerate for it to shed the pigment and leave your hairline looking clean and free from the dye.

The duration may however vary depending on the type and strength of the dye

  • Type of dye – natural dyes such as henna, indigo, and hibiscus last shorter than store chemical dyes.
  • Strength of the dye – there are temporary, semi/demi-permanent, and permanent dyes. They have different depths of color, as such, permanent colors will last longer on the skin compared to temporary dyes that simply wash off after a few washes.

Some simple techniques such as how fast you wash off the stain from the skin can also contribute, since the longer the dye remains on the skin the more the pigmentation.

Also without protective measures such as spreading powder or an occlusion around the area, your skin will more likely stain as long as you are applying the dye.

How to Remove Hair Dye from Skin Around the Hairline

You get hair dye stains off skin around the hairline and neck using simple DIY solutions or store-bought chemical solutions. Let’s begin with DIY solutions

Best DIY hair dye removers for skin include;

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Water and Liquid Soap
  • Toothpaste

Rubbing Alcohol

Lastly, you can use rubbing alcohol. Dab a few dashes of alcohol on a cloth or a cotton pad and wipe off the stained hairline. Use a circular motion for less irritation. Once done, follow up with a gentle cleanser, warm water, and a moisturizer.

Another alternative to alcohol is lemon juice, baking soda, and nail polish remover.

The acidic properties in lemon juice and baking soda work well to remove the basic hair dye stuck around your skin and the hairline. Using the same procedure.

Simply apply a small amount of the two, wipe gently, rinse and moisturize to combat dryness.

As for the nail polish remover, get an acetone-based remover and add a few dashes to a cotton ball. Wipe off the area and rinse it off.

If you have hydrogen peroxide with a low concentration of 3% and below. Use it as well.

Hydrogen peroxide is known for removing all kinds of stains plus such low concentrations shouldn’t cause any side effects.

A Soap and Water

Your first line of defense should be soap and water or a facial cleanser and water. Simply wet the face/skin around the hairline including the forehead, ears, neck, and back of your head. Apply your cleanser, rub gently and rinse with water.

Avoid using harsh cleansers as they may irritate the skin. Also, don’t rub vigorously as a gentle rub will equally remove the stain. Gel and foam cleansers are best as they penetrate the skin better.

You can also use chemical exfoliating ingredients such as glycolic acid, mandelic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, and much more. Numerous cleansers will include such agents, opt for either of them.

Lastly, scrubs with scrubbing granules can also be great for exfoliating and getting rid of dead, stained skin from your hairline. Remember to wash it off completely to avoid leaving irritants on your skin. Repeat the procedure at least twice a day till you get desirable results.

Toothpaste or Tooth Powder

Toothpaste and tooth powders have whitening agents such as silica and hydrogen peroxide that are used in whitening brown teeth. You could use it on your hair dye stain as well.

Apply a coin size amount of paste around your hairline and wipe it off with a cotton pad or cloth wrong with warm water. Wipe off the paste gently to avoid irritation and excess rubbing. Apply a moisturizer soon after for soothing effects.

While toothpaste has been known to work as effectively as other home remedies, it’s not recommended for acne-prone skin as it may be very irritating and cause contact dermatitis. It’s also not a good option for dry skin as it will cause the skin to be even flakier.

Cleansing Oils

If you have sensitive skin, cleansing oils would be your best solution. They’re gentle on your skin and rarely cause any irritation or dryness of the skin no matter how often you cleanse. Examples of oils you can use include;

  • Olive oil – has antioxidant properties as well as hydrating and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Baby oil – very gentle and light on the skin.
  • Coconut oil
  • Argan oil

Begin by gently rubbing a few drops of your chosen oil on your hairline using a cotton ball or pad. Gently massage the stained region in a circular motion to allow the oil to penetrate the skin. Do so for about 60 to 120 seconds. Wipe off the oil and repeat after a few hours.

If your face or skin gets inflamed, apply aloe vera gel to cool and soothe the skin down. It’s the perfect natural anti-inflammatory product.

You could also use an occlusive such as Vaseline, petroleum jelly, and kinds of butter to massage the stained region. This, however, isn’t a good option for oily and acne-prone skin as the oil blocks your skin pores.

Other Hair Dye Remover Chemical Solutions

Chemical agents work fast as they react with the hair dye to clear any pigments. Here, we have three options;

  • Use a hair tonic – tonic water is acidic while the dye is basic, this ensures the two react to remove dye from the outer cuticle.
  • Use a makeup remover or chemical exfoliating agents – cleansing agents such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid work by exfoliating and shedding the stained skin cells allowing for new cells to grow.
  • Use a hair dye stain remover – more hair brands now have chemical dye/ stain removers which work just like make-up or nail polish removers, except this works with hair dye stains.

How to Remove Hair Dye from Hands and Nails

To remove hair dye off your hands and nails try an of the following DIY solutions

  1. Use of soap and water
  2. Use of cleansing oils
  3. Use of toothpaste
  4. Use of rubbing alcohol or lemon juice

Check instructions above.

For dried hair dye on nails, you can also a nail polish remover to get rid of it. Here are the steps

  1. Apply 1 tbsp. of a nail polish remover containing acetone to a soft cloth or rag.
  2. Rub the hair dye stains gently with the nail polish remover-soaked cloth or rag.
  3. Rinse your fingernails with lukewarm water from a sink.
  4. If the dye hasn’t faded, repeat the process.

How to get Hair Dye Off the Scalp

How to remove dye, hairline and scalp
Dealing with dye on scalp

Getting dye off from your scalp can be quite challenging because you wouldn’t want to use a strong agent that equally removes the dye from the hair shaft. In that case, you have two options;

  • Use a scalp scrub
  • Use an exfoliating shampoo

Both these options have to be used post dye to ensure the new dye has fully settled and infused into the hair shaft. Using either the scalp scrub or the exfoliating shampoo, wet your hair and gently use it on your hair with the main focus on your scalp.

Massage and rub the scalp gently to ensure you remove the stains from your scalp. Do that for about five minutes and rinse it off with enough water. Let not any product remain in the hair.

Great shampoos for exfoliating will have salicylic acid and hydroxy acids. Limit your washing to only twice a week maximum to avoid stripping your hair off the dye.

What Removes Permanent Hair Dye Stains from the Skin in just 2 minutes?

The fastest way to remove hair dye from skin is to wipe it off immediately before it dries. If it has dried off use rubbing alcohol to get rid of it quickly.

Side Effects of Hair Dye-Is it Dangerous to Skin?

While most hair dyes from reputable brands is safe, particular chemicals found in some cheap and unknown hair dye brands may get into your body through the skin and lead to health complications.

Some of these harmful chemicals include lead, mercury and PPD (paraphenylenediamine). Other known unhealthy substances include aromatic amines and phenols.

Side effects of unsafe hair dye include;

  • Allergic reactions including rashes
  • Hair fall/loss
  • Skin diseases
  • Respiratory complications.

Tips to Prevent Dried Hair Dye Stains on Skin

  • Apply an occlusive such as Vaseline or a thick butter around the hair before the dyeing process to protect the skin from any stain. Apply around the hairline, neck, back of the head, and behind your ears.
  • You can also apply coconut oil, a heavy conditioner, or powder around your hairline. That should offer the same protection as the occlusive.
  • Be extra careful when applying darker shades of a dye such as dark brown and black. These shades tend to stain more easily than lighter dyes and beaches.
  • Wipe off any stains as you go. The moment you realize a stain on the skin, wipe it off with a damp cloth or cotton ball. The longer the stain rests on the skin, the more it gets absorbed into the outer layer of skin.
  • Always wear gloves to prevent stains on your hands.
  • Use hydrogen peroxide or more dye to remove any stains from the skin. Just add more dye to the area and wipe it off immediately.
  • Place a headband around your hairline to separate the areas where you dye. If you don’t have a headband, an old towel can easily do the job. Any dye that drips will be absorbed by the towel preventing the dye from reaching the skin around the hairline.

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