Getting a new hair color is always exciting, but if you box-dye it at home, things can get messy really quick. However, it is possible to get to your ideal shade without ending up with splatters of it on your skin, too.
Prevention is key for avoiding getting unwanted dye on your hairline, ears, or neck. Before you start painting on the dye, use a product that will color block it from staining your skin. While there's a ton of options on the market, running a bit of Vaseline or coconut oil along your hairline will do the trick. Bumble and Bumble's Semisumo ($29; sephora.com) is another product you can use, and an example of how you can repurpose the products you already have in your medicine cabinet. "It's made with microcrystalline wax, beeswax, and canola and coconut oils; not only does it prevent the stains, but it controls frizz with subtle hold," says Janice, stylist at Bumble and bumble.
Even if you've done the prep work, hair dye stains can still be inevitable. It might seem like cleaning it with soap and water right away might be an obvious solution for getting color off of your skin, but it can actually be more helpful to let the dye sit in a bit before going into damage control. "The longer the stain is on your skin, the easier it will be to get off—that’s thanks to the natural oils your skin produces," says Marcy, stylist and educator at Bumble and bumble.
As for actually getting stains off of your skin, it turns out that more dye can get the job done. "An important rule to remember is that hair color removes hair color," explains Diaz, another stylist at Bumble and bumble. "At the end of your application, save whatever color you have left over. When the timer rings, take the remaining hair color and rub in circular motions into the hairline, wipe away, then rinse with water. You will be surprised how little stain is left no matter how dark the color!” Janice recommends gently exfoliating to help lift the color from your skin.
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Whatever you do, the stylists unanimously recommend not using any harsh products or rubbing your skin too hard because it will only irritate it. "Avoid alcohol based products; they’re just not efficient or good for the skin,” says Janice.