While getting a manicure and pedicure can be a relaxing treat, having nail polish end up in your hair is nothing short of stressful.
It is estimated that nail polish sales exceed $800 million each year in the United States, so it’s no wonder with that much nail polish being used, that some of it may end up in your hair.
This article will focus on how to get nail polish out of your hair using common household items.
Table of Contents
- The Best Way to Get Nail Polish Out of Your Hair
- How To Prevent Nail Polish From Getting In Your Hair
- Rehydrate Your Hair After Removing the Nail Polish
The Best Way to Get Nail Polish Out of Your Hair
While removing nail polish from your hair can be tricky, there’s no need to worry. With a few simple tips and tricks and a bit of help from some everyday items found in your home, your hair will be nail polish-free in no time. Note: These steps also work on a child’s hair.
Clarifying shampoo is always helpful to have on hand and will be of great use if you ever need to remove any foreign substances from your hair, like nail polish.
These shampoos can be purchased at your local drug store or salon supply store and are great at stripping your hair of oil and dirt. They can be harsh on the hair, however, so only use them once in a while. Overuse could cause your hair to dry out or become damaged.
Wet your hair and apply a small amount of clarifying shampoo onto the section that contains the nail polish. Massage the shampoo into your hair with your fingertips and work it into a lather. Allow the shampoo to sit on the hair for fifteen to twenty minutes and then wash it out with warm water.
All traces of nail polish will be gone. Be sure that you deep condition your hair afterward to rehydrate your hair strands after using the clarifying shampoo. This method works well if you’re dealing with hardened pieces of nail polish (that’s dried) and easily removes wet polish.
We’ll cover other common beauty products, like conditioner and hair spray later in the article.
Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover
If you’re dealing with wet nail polish, removing it should be easy. Using a tissue, clean cloth, cotton ball, or cotton swab, wet it with a small amount of non-acetone nail polish remover and carefully dab the area affected by the polish.
If need be, gently run the tissue down the length of the affected hair strands a few times to fully remove all traces of the polish. Afterward, wash your hair as usual.
Just keep in mind that you should only use a small amount of nail polish remover. Also, you should always avoid using any products that contain acetone on your hair.
This is an extremely harsh and drying chemical that could damage your hair and cause breakage. It can also be very irritating to the scalp and could cause burns or inflammation. Note: Non-acetone nail polish remover is also great for removing regular nail polish stains.
Any brand of hair conditioner that you have in your home can work to remove nail polish from your hair. Not only is this method effective, but it will also leave your hair shiny and hydrated afterward.
Using a clip, separate the affected hair. Apply a small amount of conditioner to your fingertips and gently massage it in a circular motion into the nail polish.
Working in a downwards direction, gently use your nails or a detangling comb to scrape out the dry nail polish. It should easily come out of the hair.
Don’t forget to wash your hair afterward to remove any remaining traces of conditioner and nail polish.
Using hair spray can be an effective method of removing nail polish from the hair. To do this, separate the affected section (stained area) of hair and spray a few squirts of hair spray directly onto the nail polish. The polish should adhere to the spray, and using a paper towel; the polish should easily wipe out.
Baby Oil or Mineral Oil (or Essential Oils)
Baby oil, mineral oil, and essential oils are items that many people have at home in their bathroom cabinets, and they can work extremely well at removing dried nail polish from the hair.
Apply a small amount of oil onto a cotton ball and gently dab it onto the dried nail polish. The oil will help to moisten the nail polish and will allow it to be wiped out easily.
Make sure that as you gently wipe, you don’t spread the nail polish onto other sections of hair. Use a downward motion on the affected hair stands to wipe out any remnants of the nail polish.
Ice Cube (Ice Pack or Cold Water)
When nail polish dries and then is cooled, it can become very hard and is easy to chip off, especially out of hair. Grab a few ice cubes from the freezer and apply them to the painted section of hair.
Allow the ice to sit on the affected area for five to ten minutes to allow it to reach as cold a temperature as possible.
Once the polish has cooled, carefully take your nail or a detangling comb and scrape the polish, chipping it off bit by bit. The majority of the polish should come off pretty easily this way, and the rest should be able to be washed out.
Most households have vinegar in their kitchen, which is a good thing, especially if you are trying to remove nail polish from your hair.
The best vinegar for this process is apple cider vinegar, but even the plain white variety will work well.
Separate the affected section of hair and tie the rest back. Soak a tissue, paper towel, or cotton ball in the vinegar and dab it onto the nail polish.
Allow the vinegar to soak into the area and ensure that it becomes completely saturated. After about ten to fifteen minutes, the nail polish should be easily wiped out of the hair.
Using a clean tissue, wipe the strands of hair in a downward direction. All traces of nail polish should be gone.
Note: There are other common methods that we don’t recommend, including rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, dry cleaning solvent, acetone remover, nail file, hair brush (or old toothbrush), and an emery board.
How To Prevent Nail Polish From Getting In Your Hair
One of the best ways to remove nail polish from your hair is to prevent it from getting in there in the first place! Unfortunately, accidents do happen but stopping them before they start can save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.
Here are some helpful tips to keep your hair and your family’s hair free from nail polish in the future.
- Keep your nail polish in a safe place: Many times, our children have accidents with nail polish. They are attracted to the bright, sparkly colors and just can’t resist opening up the tiny jars to take a peek. Honestly, who can blame them! Ensuring that nail polish is always put away after you use it and is kept in a safe place will keep little fingers at bay and will keep the polish from getting spilled or painted onto hair.
- Supervise: Again, it is often the kids that end up with nail polish in their hair, and many times this happens because they are left to paint their nails themselves. Make sure if your little ones are using nail polish, you are close by to supervise and make sure that they are applying it correctly. Also, purchasing peel-off nail polish that is specially designed for children can eliminate this problem.
- Tie your hair back: One of the most common reasons that nail polish will get into your hair is that it accidentally falls forward onto wet nails when you are leaning over, painting them. This usually happens with long hair and can be easily avoided by tying your hair back before getting started. A simple ponytail is all that is needed to save you from the hassle of having to try and remove paint from your hair later on.
- Hire a professional: If you are unsure about how skilled you are at applying nail polish, don’t worry. If you look around your neighborhood, you are sure to find a nail salon in almost every plaza. Visiting a professional to have a manicure or pedicure done is a great way to ensure you get the perfect job every time, and it will make sure that the polish stays on your nails and out of your hair.
Rehydrate Your Hair After Removing the Nail Polish
Depending on the method that you used to remove the nail polish from your hair, you may find that your strands are drier than usual. This is normal and is an easy fix.
A simple deep conditioning treatment will restore moisture to your hair and repair any damage that may have been caused by the nail polish itself or the nail polish removal process.
Here is a simple conditioning treatment that you can make at home:
DIY Egg and Yogurt Conditioner
- ½ cup of mayonnaise
- 1 cup of yogurt
- 1 whole egg
Combine all of these ingredients together and mix well. Once the mixture is uniform, apply it onto the hair, starting at the roots and working downwards. You can apply extra conditioner to areas that are extremely dry or to those that have been affected by the nail polish.
Comb through your hair with a wide-tooth, detangling comb, or use your fingers. Allow this treatment to sit on your hair for approximately forty minutes.
The hydrating properties of these ingredients will soak into your hair, moisturize your stands, and help mitigate any hair damage.
After the forty minutes are up, rinse your hair well and wash it with your regular shampoo.
Everyone loves a trip to the spa for a manicure or pedicure. Having freshly painted fingers and toes can leave us feeling refreshed and is a great way to embellish any new outfit for a special occasion.
Painting our hair with nail polish, on the other hand, isn’t ideal and can leave us feeling frustrated and ready to grab the scissors and chop off our locks. Luckily, we don’t have to resort to such drastic measures.
With a few simple tips and tricks and some ingredients that most of us have at home or can cheaply buy at the local drug store, we can remove nail polish from our hair quickly and easily.