For expert advice on how to get hair color off your skin—and how to minimize the chances of it getting there in the first place—we called on Shelby Maguire, L’Oréal Professionnel brand ambassador and stylist. From the tools you need to the right technique, she’s got you covered in any crisis situation.
What does hair color on your skin do?Good question! Hair color on your skin can stain and leave unsightly color splotches behind—pretty inconvenient if you have a job interview or big event coming up. What’s more, color around the hairline creates a messy appearance that can ruin the illusion that your hair color is all-natural.
Hair color can temporarily stain skin, depending on the choice of hair color and your skin type...Most hair color, even permanent or direct dye colorants, will remove quickly from the skin or scalp.
It’s not just pigmented formulas that can get on your hair, either. If you’re aiming for colorful hair or a bright blonde, you or a stylist will use bleach to lift the color from your skin. Bleach on the skin can be painful and damaging to your body, so it’s best to take precautions when using it.
How To Prevent Hair Color From Getting On Your SkinBefore we dive into removal, there are a few steps you can take before coloring your hair that will make it much less likely you’ll need a fix. According to Maguire, this starts with a moisturizing cream applied all over your face before going near hair color.
“Dry skin can absorb hair color much easier than nourished, moisturized skin,” she says.
Lay down a barrier between your skin and any potential dye stains with the help of petroleum jelly or baby oil. Whether you’re at home or in a salon, be sure to take advantage of the extra protection.
“Petroleum jelly works great as a barrier cream to put along the edges of your hairline prior to a color service,” Maguire explains. “You can ask your stylist to put a barrier cream on your skin, especially if you know that your skin absorbs hair color easily.”
Finally, make sure you’re covered up. A towel over your shoulders, gloves on your hands (if you’re applying the color), and careful color placement can all help ensure you escape your color service unscathed.
How To Get Hair Color Off Your Skin In A SalonIf you’re getting a color service done at a salon, chances are slim you’ll end up with bleach or pigment on your skin. These are professionals! They know how to manage so that you’re not stuck with pink ears for days after your appointment.
Should hair color get on your skin accidentally, don’t panic. A professional stylist will get hair color off your skin by using a dry paper towel, according to Maguire.
“Using a wet towel may set the hair color into your skin quicker, depending on the type of color,” she explains.
Some professionals totally eschew traditional dye formulas for oil-based versions that are less prone to staining. Maguire stands by L’Oréal Professionnel’s INOA formula, an ammonia-free hair color with Oil Delivery System technology.
“[The formula] aids in easy removal of hair color from the skin. INOA hair color lifts away from the skin as it is emulsified—massaged—at the shampoo bowl before rinsing,” the stylist explains.
If it’s bleach that’s fallen on your skin, a wet towel is the right choice to help minimize any harmful effects.
How To Get Hair Color Off Your Skin At Home
Those working in front of their bathroom mirrors to produce salon-like color results should take as many precautions as possible to ensure they don’t end up covered in dye. On the off chance that you’re reading this two-thirds of the way into a home dye job, however, there are still steps you can take to remove the unwanted color from your forehead.
“If hair color is on your skin and has stained it, I recommend first trying to use more of the hair color to remove itself,” Maguire says. “Often, if the same hair color is gently massaged into the stained area, it wipes away with a dry or damp, warm towel.”
If wiping doesn’t work, try a formula specifically designed to remove hair color from the skin. Color-removing products should be available at your local beauty supply store.
Looking for a customized hair color or tips about getting the right shade for your skin tone? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.