How to get dye off your scalp?

How to get dye off your scalp?

I recently stumbled on a lady with a hair care product containing toxic ingredients. I asked her what she wanted to use it for. She replied that she wanted to use it to get the dye off her scalp.

So,  in case you dyed your hair yourself at home, or your stylist/colorist did it for you, and you are left with a “dye stain” on your scalp, I will be sharing with you what I shared with the lady on how to get the dye off the scalp.

What can you use to get the dye off your scalp?

You can use any of the following items:

    • Make-up Remover
    • Alcohol
    • Scrubs
    • Lemon
    • Peroxide solution
    • Toothpaste
    • Vinegar and baking soda
    • Oils
    • Hairspray


    • Hair Dye


  • Nail polish remover

Read on so you can find out how effective each is-


Make-up Remover

Your make-up remover can now be useful for something else aside from using it to clean and remove any sign of make-up on your face or any part of your skin.

The same way you use the make-up remover to prevent skin damage, you will use it on your scalp to prevent damage. It would be best if you used a strong make-up remover that is capable of removing waterproof make-up. Oil-based make-up removers work faster. However, some believe that the creamy and dense removers work more effectively than the micellar water.

If you have an alcohol-based make-up remover, you should add moisturizer to prevent dryness of the skin.

It will cleanse your scalp and remove the stain after breaking down the pigments in the dye.

How to use make-up remover to get the dye off your scalp?

  • Apply the make-up remover in a cotton pad, then use it to rub that spot on your scalp with a dye stain.
  • Keep rubbing for about 5 minutes until you can remove the stain.
  • Please don’t leave it for too long to avoid skin irritation.
  • Wash gently


You can also make use of alcohol to get the dye off your scalp. However, alcohol is cruel and dry to the skin.

Note that if you have dry skin, it is not advisable to use it because alcohol dries the skin.

How to use alcohol to get the dye off your scalp?

  • Wear a glove to protect your hands. You can also apply a thick coat of moisturizing cream around your hairline first.

  • Soak your cotton pad with alcohol
  • Squeeze if it is in excess
  • Gently rub on the stained area.
  • Rub till the stain is lessened and then goes off completely.
  • Please don’t leave it for too long.
  • Wash off and apply moisturizer to prevent dryness.
  • Use conditioner to prevent it from  drying on your hair


You can also use scrubs to remove hair dye from your scalp. This method is very effective for you, in particular, if you have dry skin compared to the alcohol method.

If you don’t have any home scrub, you can make your body scrub by mixing sugar with coconut oil, olive oil, and honey. Using this method makes your scalp extremely clean.

How to use a scrub to get the dye off your scalp?

  • Scrub the stained spot with the exfoliator; the exfoliating bits in scrubs will remove dead skin.
  • Wash off afterward.


It is not advisable to use lemon to get off dye from your scalp if you have dry skin or sensitive skin easily irritated. Using it will further make your skin drier.

How to use lemon to get the dye off your scalp?

  • Cut a slice of lemon and then rub it on the stained spot.
  • You can also choose to soak the cotton pad in lemon juice and then rub it on the stained spot.
  • Rub the spot till the stain goes off.
  • Wash off with lukewarm water and your regular cleansing gel.

Kindly note the following:

When using these removers, as mentioned earlier, to get the dye off your scalp, do not let them touch your eye. If you notice that you are reacting strangely to it, quickly, stop using it and see your doctor.

Peroxide solution

The peroxide solution easily removes dye stains from your scalp. Ensure that this does not touch your eyes when making use of it. If you notice any burning or tingling while applying it on your scalp, put an end to it, and see your doctor immediately.

How to use a peroxide solution to get the dye off your scalp?

  • Get 3% peroxide solution and a Q-tip.
  • Soak up the Q-tip in the solution and rub it in the area where the dye is stained.
  • Rub the area where the dye is stained with a clean end of a Q-tip.
  • Rub it gently, so you don’t irritate your skin.
  • Leave the solution on for some time.
  • Wash off with warm water.


This is the easiest to come by of all those, as mentioned earlier. If a toothpaste whitens the teeth and gives you a long-lasting fresh breath, be sure that it will work perfectly to get the dye off your scalp. Toothpaste is made with active ingredients like baking soda. This activates as a mild abrasive.

How to use toothpaste to get the dye off your scalp?

  • Spread a non-gel toothpaste on your scalp.
  • Rub with a soft toothbrush. You can also rub with a cotton pad or your fingers.
  • Leave it on that stained spot for about 10 minutes.
  • Wash off with warm water and a washcloth.

Vinegar and baking soda

Vinegar and baking soda can also get the dye off your scalp. Baking soda exfoliates the skin.

How to use vinegar and baking soda to get the dye off your scalp?

  • Mix both vinegar and baking soda evenly.
  • Soak up on a cotton pad
  • Squeeze to remove excess
  • Apply the mixture to the stained spot on your scalp
  • Rub the scalp gently.
  • Leave for a while, but not for too long.
  • Wash off with lukewarm water.


This method works well but takes a lot of time to get the dye off your scalp. It is not harsh or dry but a natural ingredient. It is not as thick as petroleum jelly. It is advisable to use this only when you are not in a hurry. You can use either baby oil, coconut, or olive oil. You can also use a facial oil or any natural oil. Using oil will break up the dried hair dye, and the stains will eventually wear off.

How to use oil to get the dye off your scalp?

  • Pour oil on a cotton pad, and apply on the stained spot on your scalp.
  • Gently massage the spot for some time.
  • Leave for about 8mins or overnight.
  • If you applied before going to bed, wash off in the morning with lukewarm water.
  • Note, sleeping overnight with this may stain your textile. It is advisable to rest on any item you don’t mind getting stained. If you have oily skin, it is not advisable to use the oil method to avoid breakouts.


This method also helps to get the dye off your scalp. You can also use it to remove stains from your palm. It is not advisable to use this if you are allergic to hair sprays or sensitive skin.

How to use hair spray to get the dye off your scalp?

  • Spray the hairspray first on a cotton pad, not on your scalp directly.
  • Rub gently using your fingertips.
  • Wash off with warm water.

Hair Dye

This method is also effective in removing dye stains from your scalp. The chemicals in the hair dye will cleanse the stained spot.

How to use hair dye to get the dye off your scalp?

  • Mix the hair dye with a little water.
  • Soak it up on a cotton pad.
  • Squeeze first before using to remove excess
  • Apply it to the stained area of the scalp.
  • Be mindful when applying it in order not to stain another part of your scalp.
  • Rub the spot for about 1 minute.
  • Wash off with warm water.

Nail polish remover

This is also a good method to get hair dye off your scalp.

How to use nail polish remover to get the dye off your scalp?

  • Apply the nail polish remover to a cotton pad.
  • Squeeze out the excess
  • Please don’t leave it for too long on your scalp to prevent further damage. It could dry your skin.
  • If you notice any discomfort, quickly wash off with lukewarm water.


What should you not do to remove hair dye from your scalp?

It is not advised to wash your hair immediately after dyeing it. To help get rid of hair dye stains or remove a lot of the coloring product, you should use any methods mentioned earlier days after dyeing your hair.

How to prevent hair dye from staining your scalp?

If you are yet to apply dye to your hair, here is how you can prevent hair dye from staining your hair.

Step 1

Don’t dye your hair immediately after washing. It is advisable to wash your hair days before applying the dye to protect your scalp against the harsh chemicals in the dye.

Step 2

Apply oil, lotion, or a thick, slippery product around your forehead, neck, and side-burn area or areas where dye may stain before applying dye.

How long does it take to get the dye off the scalp?

Depending on the product you are using, it should last for about 5 to 10 minutes except for oil which can stay for over 8 hours or even overnight.

What are the DO’S and DON’TS when applying dye?

  •  Take precautions
  •  You should wear a protective thin elastic headband to prevent the dye from dripping down your scalp.
  •  Follow the directions on the product label or package.
  •  Don’t mix multiple hair dye products.

 What are the chemicals used in making dye? 

  • Mordant chemicals
  • Ammonia
  • Aromatic amines
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Alcohol
  • Pigments

Mordant chemicals 

Mordant chemicals like Alum, Caustic Soda, Metal salts, and so on. This dye fixative increases the dye’s molecular weight and makes it impenetrable.


Ammonia is an essential ingredient in hair dye. It opens the hair cuticle so that particles of the color can get to the cortex and drop pigment. The ammonia allows the pigments and developers to pass into the interior of the hair strand.


That dye you are about to use also contains alcohol. Depending on the type of alcohol used for the dye, it may dry out your hair, weaken it and damage it eventually.

There are short-chain and long-chain alcohols. Long-chain alcohols like cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol are not as bad as short-chain alcohols. The alcohol in the dye is what makes your hair soak up more of the dye. To be safe, if the formula does include alcohol, ensure it has super-hydrating ingredients.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Don’t worry; you have nothing to worry about. Hydrogen peroxide is not harmful to your hair. The Hydrogen Peroxide used in the dye is not harmful. It is diluted to protect your scalp from damage when applied to your hair. Its main work is to lighten the hair.


To attain different shades, different natural and synthetic pigments are used. The particles of your hair dye will react with the natural melanin that’s already present in the hair.

Kindly note that Ammonia, alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide work together to set off a chemical reaction, breaking the bonds of pigments already present to deposit the new ones. This is the final step in the hair dye process.

What formula added to dye prevents hair dryness and damage?

Dryness and damage will be lessened if the dye you are using contains keratin, aloe vera, wheat proteins, chamomile, amino acids, and vitamin E.

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