Dyeing your hair at home can be a budget-friendly alternative to heading for the salon over and over, which is why it’s a ritual for many hair-color lovers out there. When you’re in charge of coloring your hair yourself, though, you’re sometimes left with accidental dye marks in areas near your forehead, hairline and ears. It’s probably not exactly the the makeup look you’re going for. Ahead, we chatted with L’Oréal Paris Celebrity Hairstylist and Colorist Jonathan Colombini about what to do if you get hair dye on your skin. Here’s what he had to say about removing dye at home. 

Why Should You Remove Hair Dye From Your Skin

Besides not looking great, there's a good reason why you don’t want to leave hair dye on your skin for too long. “You want to make sure you remove all dye from the skin before you shampoo because the pH balance are on the alkaline side (the same as skin), and if the formula hits the dye that’s on the skin, it will set the color stain,” says Colombini. Chemistry aside, what he means is that you’ll have a much harder time getting it out of your skin the longer you wait.. 

Rub It Out or Use the Q-tip Trick

When it comes to removing the dye pre-shampoo, “erasing the proof is a lot easier than you might think,” says Colombini. After your hair-processing time is finished and before you rinse out, you can actually remove the dye on the skin with dye that’s on your hair because “color removes color.” If you’re unsure about removing dye with, well, more dye, Colombini suggests the Q-tip method. “If you rub too hard, it could potentially work the color further into the skin, so you want to rub the color off with a dry Q-Tip it lightly in circular motions.” After you’ve done this, grab the corner of a soft towel and wipe the remaining color off in the direction toward the hair and away from the face. “You can finish this off with a damp corner of another towel and continue to wipe the color off until it’s completely gone,” he adds. 

How to Avoid Getting Hair Dye on Your Skin in the First Place

To ensure that you don’t get hair dye on your skin again, Colombini recommends using a barrier cream, which you can apply to the skin before you apply your color. As far as the dye itself, be careful as to how much you use. “Most brands only supply a bottle applicator for at-home hair coloring. I recommend pouring a small amount of your color in a bowl and applying it with a brush to avoid the mess,” he adds. Try Color&Co, a personalized color kit by L’Oréal to help get you started. 


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