How to get hair dye off skin, fast! | What really works.

get hair dye off skin!

Welcome! You’re here to find out how to get hair dye off skin. (Oh dear).

There’s nothing like spending precious time applying a fabulous new colour to your hair only to find after 45 mins that it’s dyed everything within a three-metre radius too.

You forget to put gloves on, or the application process went horribly wrong. Either way, your skin is now stained with hair dye.

The perfect hair colour looks great on your hair, but not so much on your face, ears, neck and hands.

We’ve all been there!

how to get hair dye off skin funny tweet
how to get hair dye off skin funny tweet

It doesn’t matter how careful you are, accidents happen. You might have dyed your hair at home or in a salon, but either way, if the colour has stained your skin then there’s only one place to turn for help – this article.

We’re going to show you all of our tried and tested methods for removing dye from sensitive parts of the body such as face, ears and neck. So read on…

How can you get hair dye off skin?

Hair dye is a pretty big deal. It can be expensive, it’s messy, and you have to get it just right or else you look like a div.

We’ve all seen the memes about how bad hair dye is for your skin. The chemicals are harsh, they can burn your scalp and discolour your skin if not washed off properly.

This guide will help you remove hair dye that has stained so fast that you don’t have to worry about embarrassing marks for weeks after colouring!

In How to remove hair dye at home we showed you how to remove hair dye from your hair.

Here we are with the top tips and tricks that will work to get those stains off your skin!

What immediate solutions can I try at home?

Hair dye stains can be hard to remove the stain from skin, especially if it’s been there for some time or you’ve used something like henna hair dye which can give you a tattoo!

You might have given up trying to remove it, or just accepted that this is how you look today. But there are many things you can try at home to remove hair dye with products and potions you have in the house.

How effective they are depends on how much hair dye you need to remove, what type of hair dye you’ve used, how well ‘set’ the dye is and how much your skin is stained.

You could have a go at using:

  • Non-gel toothpaste – rub it gently on the dye patches with cotton wool or a cotton ball and rinse it off with water.
  • Bicarbonate of soda – make a paste of bicarbonate of soda and some water and use it like an exfoliator on the trouble spots. Baking soda works too. Rinse it away with warm water.
  • Olive oil – or baby oil. Rub it on the affected area and leave it in for a few minutes to soak before wiping away. Repeat the process if neccessary.
  • Nail polish remover – This can work well, although we don’t recommend using anything this harsh on your face!

Here’s a great ‘How to’ film that shows you how to use these tips and tricks to get dye off your hands (ever forgotten to wear gloves?). These methods can be used to remove the dye from anywhere on your skin too.

Should I use alcohol to get hair dye off my skin?

Search the t’internet and you’ll discover many articles will suggest using rubbing alcohol – don’t do this! It’s super drying and could give you sore patches and even a nasty reaction. Dish soap won’t do a lot either other than dry out your skin.

These are great solutions if you’re trying to get hair dye off your walls, but your skin and hair? Not so much!

There are plenty of products available that aren’t as harsh and will remove your hair colour mishaps from your face and hands without removing your skin.

What really works to remove hair dye?

The safest and most gentle way to remove stains from your face and hands is to use cleansing products that will remove the dye while being kind to your skin.

Some are specially formulated to remove hair dye stains from your skin and are used in salons and by hairdressers in the know. Some are ‘normal’ cleansing products that are gentle but effective at removing hair dye as well as things like make-up.

We recommend:

  • Hair dye stain remover products – these are made for the job and typically what colourists and hairdressers use to remove the odd splat.
  • Water-based makeup removers – these are especially safe and effective for removing hair dye from your face as well as your makeup!

Get some of the following products stashed in your bathroom cabinet so you have them to hand whenever a dyemageddon emergency arises. 

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Best hair dye stain removers.

#1 Dy-Zoff Hair Dye Stain Remover Pads

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B0006Q01WK&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBDy-Zoff Hair Dye Stain Remover Pads

They say:

  • Save a towel. Use a wipe!
  • Water-based, ammonia-free Dy-Zoff formula instantly whisks away stains
  • Soft, cotton-blend fabric feels luxurious
  • Dy-Zoff pads remove even the darkest hair color stains without harsh rubbing
  • Stay-fresh, single-use disposable use are economical and easy to store
  • 80 Pads

Reviewers say:

“Very good product. I use to remove stains on my forehead around my hairline. Works a treat!”

“I dye my hair black so I’m always left with stains on my face no matter what I do! I use these and they get rid of it straight away. Very happy with this product.”

We say:

These nifty little pads are what salons use, they also come as wipes if you need more coverage! They work much like nail varnish remover pads and you do need to gently rub a little in a circular motion to remove darker hair dye.

They smell a little chemical-like but they don’t contain any nasties. We only needed to use two so in a 80 pad pot to remove the colour stains from our face and hands, that’s a good 40 times you can dye your skin and use these to get it off. Well worth it!

#2 Denman Colour Off Hair Colour Dye Remover

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00V166HXG&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBDenman Colour Off Hair Colour Dye Remover

They say:

  • Wipes safely remove unwanted stains, salon tested and approved.
  • Contains 100 lightly fragranced wipes.

Reviewers say:

“A must if you dye your own hair! These wipes are fantastic, they remove all stains on your skin and any other surface really easily. I had some stains on our bathroom worktop that have been there for over a year and these wipes removed them straight away. Highly recommended.”

“Absolutely amazing! I showed them to my hairdresser and she is going to buy them too! All the dye just came off my face so easily no rubbing. Amazing!”

“Used these before and they are great. Tried other makes in the past, but never as good as these.”

We say:

These are strong. So be careful if you have sensitive skin, and don’t put them near your eyes. But because of this, they really do the job.

The wipes themselves are a good size for good coverage, so we only needed to use one. They’re also pretty handy for wiping down any surfaces, hands, arms and other stained areas we unintentionally splattered!

#3 Wella Invigo Color Stain Remover.

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07H6QPM4W&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBWella Invigo Color Stain Remover

They say:

  • This Color Stain Remover is a lightweight after-color treatment.
  • Removes any colour stains that appearing during hair colouring procedures (can be used with demi, semi and permanent colouring).
  • It protects and enhances oxidative colour results.

Reviewers say:

“This product has worked wonders for removing hair dye from my face, neck and shoulders after an at home dye job! I keep a bottle of this stuff around just in case… you never know when you’re going to need it!”

“I often don’t have any gloves when dyeing my hair so I keep this hair dye remover as a back up to get colour off my hands!  It works great on the ears, neck and face also. It will also work on walls, counters, and floors if you get splatter!”

We say:

This one is made by those hair colour experts at Wella. It’s a spray so you’ll need to spray the remover on to a cotton wool pad and then apply it to the stain. (Don’t apply directly from the bottle).

It smells a little strong but it really works so it’s forgiven. It got rid of our red hair dye residue but we did need to really saturate the cotton wool pad to do it.

Best water-based make-up removers.

#1 Garnier Micellar Water Facial Cleanser.

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B01M6UUOY2&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBGarnier Micellar Water Facial Cleanser

They say:

  • A water-based cleanser for sensitive skin
  • A gentle cleanser dedicated to drawing out dirt and impurities without over-drying.
  • Banishes make-up without rubbing or rinsing so you can experience soothed, clearer skin with no uncomfortable tightness.

Reviewers say:

“I’ve only just started trying Micellar water, but this is literally amazing! Super versatile, you can use it to clean makeup brushes, remove makeup, wear it as a toner, the list goes on!!”

“I literally can’t live without micellar water, and this is my favourite by a mile. It’s so hydrating and my skin is so much clearer since using it. It feels soothing on the eyes aswell, as I have used a few that sting a little when removing my mascara – 100% recommend.”

We say:

This micellar water is much more than a make up remover. We know it would work well after removing our waterproof mascara with it!

Pour some on a cotton wool pad and dab all over your face, as well as the affected area. It does take a few swabs to remove the dye stains but your skin feels so clean and refreshed afterwards.

#2 NIVEA MicellAIR Professional Micellar Water Make-Up Remover.

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07H1RRX8S&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBNIVEA MicellAIR Professional Micellar Water Make-Up Remover.

They say:

  • Specially developed to require no rubbing or rinsing and to leave 0% residue anywhere.
  • The micellar gel works gently to remove make up, like a magnet, catching dirt and sebum.
  • Skin is left looking beautifully clean and healthy and, because there’s no rinsing or rubbing necessary, delicate areas stay protected.    

Reviewers say:

“I got this to try out and I just love it so much, makes your face feel so clean and fresh!”

“I’ve used other Micellar water cleansers but I’ve found them to be been very oily on my face but this is not oily in the slightest. I couldn’t recommend it more!”

“Such a great product. Removed my stubborn eye makeup effortlessly after a night out. Not harsh in the delicate area around the eyes. Highly recommend.”

We say:

This is a gel rather than a liquid and the instructions say to put a few drops on a cotton wool pad and let the gel sink in to work so you don’t have to rub.

Well, we still had to rub our skin to get the light brown streaks off but that’s expected as this is not really what this is made for! A little goes a long way, as you only need to dab a few drops onto the cotton pad and it covers quite well. Doesn’t leave a greasy residue either so a fab remover overall.

#3 Neutrogena Hydro Boost Triple Micellar Water.

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07N7HFJ59&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=GB&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=colouredhairc 21&language=en GBNeutrogena Hydro Boost Triple Micellar Water.

They say:

  • A unique formula infused with hyaluronic acid and three types of micellar molecules.
  • Helps draw out dirt and oil while boosting hydration.
  • 94 % of women agree skin felt deeply clean after use.

Reviewers say:

“My skin reacts bad to any other micellar waters but not this one. I’m on my second bottle and I love it. I can see a huge difference.”

“I use this after washing my face as a toner at night and I also use this in the morning instead of a face wash. It leaves my skin feeling really refreshed and clean.”

We say:

This has a lovely scent, smart packaging and is a generous size. We only needed to dab a small amount on the cotton wool pad for it to get to work.

It removed the dye around our hairline well but our neck and ears took a bit of scrubbing. We found it slightly drying so you’ll need to moisturise after you use it too. It smells the best of the bunch though so we loved it for that.

How can I stop getting hair dye on my skin?!

Of course, the best thing to do to stop getting hair dye everywhere is to focus on prevention, not cure!

The gloves that come with hair dye can be flimsy and split, putting dye over your fingertips and under your nails and hands which is a pain to remove.

Get yourself a box of disposable gloves that are more durable to protect your hands.

Make sure you protect the skin around your face by putting a barrier cream around your hairline, ears and neck. We’re fans of good old petroleum jelly, Vaseline!


Always wear gloves and wash your hands after applying hair dye.

Always use barrier cream around your hairline, ears and nape of your neck.

Keep the application process as tidy as possible, using only enough product for what you need at a time so there’s less chance of spilling or over-application.

Use a tint brush if it makes sense – this can often be easier than trying to apply with your fingers and may reduce staining on your skin too.

This blog has hopefully helped you avoid some of the most common hair dyeing mistakes and given you a few tips on how to remove hair dye from skin when accidents occur.

Good luck!