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How To Remove Hair Dye from Skin After It Dries: DIY Guide

A cute white girl got a traditional hair color installed and ended up with hair color stains on her neck and cheek.

If you’re like most people, you’ve dyed your hair at least once in your life. And if you have, chances are you’ve also experienced the frustration of trying to remove hair dye from your skin after it dries.

It can be a tricky process, but with a little patience and detailed dye removal instructions, you can get the dye off without a lot of effort or skin irritation! This article will discuss how to remove hair dye from skin after it dries. 

How To Remove Hair Dye from Skin After It Dries

The longer the dye is in contact with your skin, the more the pigments will settle. So, if you are in the process of dyeing your hair and notice that some dye has gotten on your hand, neck, or forehead, wipe it away immediately.

Once it’s dry and has had time to set, the dye will be nearly impossible to get off without special methods. In the next section, we’ll discuss the methods that we recommend to remove hair dye stains from the affected skin areas.

Hairdresser applying modern hair dye to a client while carefully trying to avoid stubborn stains and dyed skin.

Use Household Items to Remove Hair Dye From Skin After It Dries

If the dye has already dried on your skin, don’t worry! There are a few household items that can help remove the dye within minutes. We’ll get into them below:

Soap and Water

This is usually the first method people try, and for good reason – it’s simple and effective! All you need to do is wet a washcloth, add soap, and gently scrub the stained areas.

Rinse with clean water afterward. You can use any skin-friendly soap you have at home. Some ladies have also mentioned experiencing good results from using liquid dish soap.

Young female with dye-stained skin after getting her naturally blonde 1B hair strands dyed professionally.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural cleansing agent and exfoliator, which makes it an effective hair dye remover for the skin. Create a paste by mixing baking soda and water.

Only use enough water to turn the baking soda into a slightly wet paste. Then apply it to the stained areas of your skin and let it sit for up to 10 minutes before rinsing it off. 

Another option is to combine soap and baking soda together to remove the stains from your skin; just be sure to gently rub your skin instead of scrubbing.

Lemon Juice

Another common kitchen ingredient that can help remove hair dye from the skin is lemon juice (a natural cleanser)! Its acidity acts as a color stripper, removing the dye within minutes.

Mix equal parts lemon juice and water, then apply it to the stained areas with a cotton ball. After 3-5 minutes, rinse it off with clean water. 

A local hairdresser in Birmingham, Alabama, conducts a professional dye removal to prevent hair color stains.


Like lemon juice, vinegar’s acidic nature can remove the pigment from your skin. Create a mixture of one part vinegar and two parts water, then apply it to the stained areas with a cotton ball. Rinse your skin after about 5 minutes. 


Believe it or not, toothpaste (non-gel) can help with your hair dye stain. Just apply a small amount of non-gel toothpaste to the stained areas and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off with clean water.

A young lady with naturally brown hair getting a haircut and pink hair color by a professional colorist.

Rubbing Alcohol

If you’re out of other options, rubbing alcohol can be used to dissolve the hair dye on your skin. Soak a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol, then rub it onto the stained areas. It should come off right before your eyes!

This is not an exhaustive list of remedies, but one or more of them is sure to eliminate your hair dye stain. 

White lady with hair dye stains on the right-side of her neck that was removed with a makeup remover pad.

Use Commercial Products to Remove Hair Dye From Skin After It Dries

When household items just won’t do the trick, you can try using a commercial product specifically designed to remove hair dye from the skin. In this section, we will review some of the most popular hair dye removal products on the market.

Hair Dye Removal Wipes

Hair dye removal wipes are cloths pre-moistened with an effective hair dye remover solution. They are generally safe for all skin types and can be found at most drugstores.

Framar Kolor Killer Wipes – Hair Dye Remover
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Curl Centric may receive compensation if you make a purchase using this link, at no additional cost to you.

All you need to do is wipe the stained area with a wipe. The dye should come off within seconds. You can then wash the area with soap and water to remove any chemical residue.

A lady has her hair dyed with pink and blonde hair dyes creating a unique style finished with olive oil.

Hair Dye Removal Creams

When removing hair dye from skin, hair dye removal creams are a beast. These creams typically contain alcohols and other color lifters to lift those pigments fast.

Roux Clean Touch Hair Color Stain Remover
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Curl Centric may receive compensation if you make a purchase using this link, at no additional cost to you.

To use creams like these, simply apply the cream to the stained skin with a cotton ball and rub it around. You should see the color start to lighten within minutes. Wash the area with soap to remove any leftover chemicals.

Nail Polish Remover – Acetone

If you’re in a pinch, you can try using nail polish remover or acetone to remove hair dye from your skin. This method is a bit harsh on your skin, so it’s important to use the product sparingly.

Pronto 100% Pure Acetone - Professional Nail Polish Remover
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Curl Centric may receive compensation if you make a purchase using this link, at no additional cost to you.

Apply the nail polish remover to the stained area (best used on hands and arms) with a cotton ball and let it sit for a few minutes. Cleanse the area with soap immediately afterward, as acetone is known to be drying, and you don’t want to ingest it.

Professional hairstylist cutting a lady's hair after using liquid laundry detergent and a cotton pad to remove dye stains.

All of the above items can be found at most beauty supply stores, department stores, or online. Just be sure to follow the instructions above carefully, as some of them can be harsh on your skin if used incorrectly. 

Which Dye Removal Method Is Best?

The best method for removing hair dye from your skin will depend on a few factors, such as how long the dye has been on your skin and how sensitive your skin is.

If the dye has only been on your skin for a few minutes, you can probably get away with using soap and water. If it’s been on longer, you may need to try one of the other methods listed above.

And if you have sensitive skin, you’ll want to be extra careful when using any products with chemicals in them.

Professional colorist using gentle pressure to blow dry a client's hair after a hair coloring session.

In general, the best way to remove hair dye from your skin is to act quickly. The sooner you can get the dye off your skin, the better.

And if you’re unsure which method to use, it’s always best to start with the gentlest method (soap and water) and work your way up.

Quick Tips for Preventing Hair Dye Stains

Once hair dye has dried on your skin, it gets harder to remove with gentle methods. That is why we always recommend taking steps to keep hair dye from staining your skin in the first place. Here are a few tips to help you avoid this issue:

A cute white girl getting her hair blow dried with a diffuser to dry hair dye after undergoing a hair coloring treatment.
  • Use petroleum jelly around your hairline before coloring. Doing so will create a barrier between your skin and the hair dye, making it less likely to stain.
  • Put a towel across your shoulders. This will help catch any hair dye drips before they can dry on your skin.
  • Wear gloves. This is probably the most important tip, as it will help keep the hair dye off your hands and prevent you from accidentally transferring it to your skin.
  • Never wait to wipe dye from your skin. As soon as you see it, wipe it away with your towel or a piece of tissue. Even if you don’t have time for a full skin cleaning session, wiping it away with whatever you have will help.  
A beautiful white lady showing a before and after photo after using dish soap and baking soda to remove stains.

Related Articles

There you have it – several ways to remove hair dye from the skin after it dries. Before trying any of these methods on a large area, be sure to test a small area first.

If the hair dye doesn’t come off after trying all these methods, we recommend consulting a professional in your area. They will know exactly what to do. That said, we hope you found these tips helpful – here’s to dye-free skin!