Dying your hair is a great way to change up your look in a matter of minutes. But while going from blonde to brunette might be an exciting endeavour, dying your hair at home can be a messy affair. If you’re one of the 69% of UK women who dye their hair regularly, you’ll known that dye tends to go everywhere – despite every good intention to keep it on your head. Nowhere is stray pigment less welcome than on your skin. Whether it’s a messy hairline or discoloured digits, we’ve got suggestions for how to get dye off skin.
It’s preferable to apply hair dye before you’ve washed either your hair or skin. The natural oils on your dermis will keep your skin moist, making it less likely to absorb any stray pigment. For additional protection, you can apply petroleum jelly, baby oil or an oil-based moisturiser to your hairline, ears and neckline. The product will form a barrier on top of your skin that will make it easier to remove any messy dye. Plus, the moisture these products provide will reduce the chances of your skin soaking up the stain.
In addition to creating a product barrier, wear a long-sleeved T-shirt that you don’t mind running as well as a pair of plastic. This will protect the skin on your body from any drips and prevent your fingers from looking like you’ve been playing in the mud.
How to get dye off skin like a pro
If your stain prevention precautions haven’t worked quite as well as you’d hoped, there are a few tricks and tips you can use to remove dye from your skin.
Soap and water
It’s best to start with the most gentle option possible. Which is why we advise using a mild cleanser and warm water to remove as much pigment as possible before moving on to more drastic measures. If you catch the dye before it dries, soap and water might be the only solution you need.
Use a gentle salt- or sugar-based scrub that contains skin renewing alpha-hydroxy acids and nourishing essential oils. Dead skin cells more readily absorb pigment than healthy ones, so sloughing these off will immediately help to reduce the appearance of messy dye. Gently massage the scrub onto the affected areas, rinse and follow with a deep nourishing moisturiser.
Just as it’s great for creating a protective barrier when applying your dye, oil can help to remove stains from your skin. The molecular structure of oils mean that they break up dyes and clear them from the dermis. This is an especially great solution if you have sensitive skin, but will work on any type of skin. Choose a moisturising oil enriched with essential oils to help heal and restore your skin.
When an at-home hair dying session colours a bit more than your tresses, there are a few simple ways to remove stains from your skin. First, prevent as much mess as possible by applying petroleum jelly or baby oil to your hairline, and wearing a long-sleeved top along with gloves. If you still find your dye has gone astray, use mild soap, a gentle exfoliator or a body oil to remove the excess pigment.
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