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  • Spray hairspray on your hands, rub together and then wash with soap and water.
  • Nail polish remover will remove stains from nails.
  • Avoid using harsh detergents which may damage your skin.

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Oh No! I've Dyed my Fingers!

19 March 2010
Anyone who has dyed their hair with a strong hair dye before has probably dyed their skin at some point. A lot of times its possible to avoid bad stains but sometimes it can’t be avoided and accidents do happen! Here are some tips for removing stains from skin in the least harsh way possible. Okay so to start the best thing to do is to try to prevent the stain in the first place. Using petroleum jelly on your hairline, forehead and neck will help keep your delicate facial skin from getting stained. Another necessity are gloves to keep the dye off your hands and fingernails. When your skin gets dye on it the first layer of dead skin is essentially dyed with pigments and it can be fairly hard to remove. Make sure to remove any spots or drips of dye promptly so they don’t have time to soak into your skin. For that you can just wipe it off with a wet towel (not your moms best though!). It can be harsh to your skin when you try to remove the color because you also take away the skins protective layer. Over time harsh rubbing and scrubbing can damage skin causing overly dry skin, peeling or wrinkles in time. Some of the things I have found that help remove dye from skin contain some form of alcohol. Alcohol is drying to skin but not as drying as washing and re-washing with dish detergents and the like. If you have a good facial toner at hand you can use it to remover stains from skin on your face and neck. It will work for your hands too. You can get away with using some cotton and rubbing alcohol for really tough stains but it will be more drying and can make your skin burn. On your hands you can use rubbing alcohol or I have found hairspray to be really effective. All you need to do is spray hairspray on your hands, scrub them together and wash with hand soap. Fingernails are a little tougher to clean because they are essentially a thick layer of dead cells so the dye can get more deeply absorbed. Nail polish remover works the best and you don’t need too much to remove the stain either. Don’t be temped to use nail polish remover on your skin though because it can be absorbed into your skin and it contains harsh chemicals. You can also try using a gentle exfoliator but be sure not to scrub your skin too much because it can be irritating, and your skin needs the top layer for protection. When you get the stains off you should always follow up with a good moisturizer to keep your skin moist and healthy. And remember not to over do it, if they stain doesn’t come off completely on your first try it should at least be less noticeable and will come off within a day or two. These techniques will also work for dye that rubs off on your skin but it should be easier to remove than an initial stain.


  • Something I learned the hard way is that hair dye will also dye your arm hairs!! Report Comment
  • The most important thing is to remove the stain as soon as you see it. This goes for any surface. Sometimes if you see the stain right away, it can be removed with water. Also, LOL, Pierat. Report Comment
  • Also Babywipes can be quite effective for removing dye from skin! Report Comment
  • Yeah the gloves are a great idea... I was out of gloves when I dyed my hair blue - my hands looked dead and zombie-ish for a few days (which could be cool around halloween, but it's april...) and my fingernails still have blue stuck under them. So don't skip on the gloves... :D Report Comment
  • what also helps (but may be a bit painful) is hand cleaning paste - you know, the creamy stuff with the sand-like particles in it which mechanics use to get the grease off them :P Report Comment
  • Clorox wipes work well too for stains that haven't set in too too much. I would just make sure to wash my hands, or whatever area being cleaned, after using them. Directly rubbing it on your skin isn't really what they're made for lol Report Comment
  • for surfaces: I've found that rubbing alcohol works great, even on porous surfaces like wood, and (cheap) perfume is a great substitute! It also leaves your bathroom smelling nice ;) Report Comment
  • I'll use some of your ways of removing dye from the skin, thanks. Report Comment
  • any type of facial scrub works well around the hair line. also using clarifying shampoo on your hands helps with those stains. but nothing is better then basing the hairline and gloves. Report Comment
  • I know that most frown or might frown upon this,but my husband just finished my Atomic pink the other day (pics are coming,cant find batteries) and we didnt have gloves. Well he wouldnt use my bag over a hand idea, Ive done it. Anyways, he just went bare handed and his hand looked like he was playing in paint cans or something. I have done this and have good results but you have to be careful. Use a TEENY bit of clorox on a washrag with dishwashing liquid and it will take most of the color off. I use peroxide for my face ears and what not but when it comes to hands,I normally use a teeny bit of bleach and ajax or dawn whatever brand you use. Report Comment
  • Try laundry detergent. My hands where stained from washing out the dye, and when I went to spot treat my jeans, I noticed that the detergent made my hands instantly clean again! I used All "Free and Clear". Report Comment
  • One word: tooth paste. Works every time for me. Report Comment
  • I always use Noxema pads, I just usually have them on hand. I've done a mixture of water and bleach but that was a terrible idea. Thanks for the tips, I can waste a lot less facial scrub using laundry detergent now. Report Comment
  • Hairspray has always been my "go to." There will be a few hints of color but it's gone for the most part. Report Comment
  • I use Lush Cosmetic's Ocean Salt exfoliater on my body and face and I discovered it works really well to remove dye stains on any skin. Obviously it also works better when used with warm to hot water...I would think any random salt as an exfoliant would work as long as you mix it with something creamy. Report Comment
  • Ok I am seconding the Noxema pads. I just dyed my hair with Special Effects Deep Purple and since my hair is so long it got all over my forehead and arms. I tried washing with all manner of soaps, and used clorox wipes and it really didn't even budge it. In desperation I took to trying 100% acetone on a scrubby nail pad and still nothing. I was sort of freaking out because I have a wedding to go to tomorrow and so I was trying to figure out ways I could cover up the majority of my forehead and arms, not to mention the two streaks on my cheek. Close to tears and sure I was going to have to feign being sick and miss the wedding of two very dear people. After all that my skin was feeling gross and so I just decided to wash my face with the noxema pads (I use the Ultimate Clear Anti-Blemish kind) and try to remove it tomorrow morning after my shower. Well after taking a swipe at my cheeks I noticed that the streak was disappearing and so I kept using the pads and they took ALL of the stains off. Granted I had to use a ton of them.... but I am now stain free and I can go to the wedding with fantastic purple hair! YAY!!!! Report Comment
  • I use lava soap, its like 99 cents at walmart in the soap aisle. Works great for semi permanent dyes. Report Comment

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