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Overdo It on the Hair Dye? Here's How to Get It Off Your Skin

Whether you dripped it on yourself or it's leftover from a salon job, hair dye doesn't come off easily. There is a way, though.

someone dyeing hair at home
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When changing your hair's hue, it's nearly impossible to avoid getting dye on your skin. After all, it's all essentially connected, and in order to properly shade your hairline — across the scalp, around your ears and back across your neck — you need to be a little heavy handed with the hair dye, increasing the likelihood some of transfers from hair to skin.

As you know, though, hair dye is not permanent. There's no need to really freak out. Hair dyed skin is rather unsightly, and the stains will blow your cover if you've been using hair dye to hide a growing number of grays. It is important to treat the impacted area fast, though, because hair dye settles in as it dries, which is how it can last through baths and showers in the following days.

How to Remove Hair Dye from Your Hairline

Your hairline is the most likely for hair dye to sneak from your, well, hair to your skin. Here, hair often overlaps the actual hair, creating areas where dyed hair could rest on the skin or wet dye could run. This area is easy to clean, though, because it's where you're already washing when you shampoo your hair or wash your face.

First, assess how dark the dye is. If it's a lot of it and it's already dried, you're going to need a stronger cleaning solution. For faint stains, try a gentle cleanser. For medium-strength stains, try an acid-based facial cleanser. For emergency situations — a.k.a the darkest of stains — try rubbing alcohol, but be sure to moisturize the skin as soon as you're done.

To apply the gentle cleanser, simply lather the bar or gel in your hands. Wash the areas like you normally do — 30 second circular motions. For acid-based cleansers, follow the instructions on the packaging, but they're probably about the same. Same may tell to you avoid hot water. With the rubbing alcohol, blot it into a cotton swab first. Then, wipe the stained spot a few times.

How to Get Hair Dye Off Your Hands and Fingers

You should be washing your hands a couple of times a day (at least), so you shouldn't stress too much about a spot or two on your fingertips. However, if you dipped your whole hand in the dye or did the dye job without gloves, you probably wound up getting pretty messy.

To remove hair dye from your fingers and hands, first try standard soap. Something like Dawn's Liquid Dish Soap will work but so would your designer stuff. If the stains stick around, try adding baking soda to the mix, which will improve the solution's efficacy.

If neither of these options work, try hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol blotted onto a cotton pad or swab. Nail polish remover is an obvious fix for stained nails by the way, but, again, your skin should be moisturized as soon as you're done.

How to Clean Hair Dye Out of Your Scalp

If you're unhappy with how the dye made your scalp look, I have bad news. There isn't much you can do that won't also fade the color of the hairs that stem from it. Sure, you could take a gentle shampoo to it immediately after, but you're bound to wash your hair again at some point, so why not wait until then? After all, you dyed your hair — what did you expect?

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