DIY Tips: How to Remove Hair Dye from Nails

Getting hair dye on your nails is the absolute worst. You try your best to avoid it by meticulously wearing gloves or being super careful when the gloves are off. But somehow hair dye always ends up taking charge and seeping all over your hands anyway! Thankfully we have some great tips on dye removal.


Removing Hair Dye Stains from Your Nails

Whether your nails are natural, acrylic, or gel nail extensions, it is equally bothersome when you accidentally get hair dye all over your nails.

For natural nails, you can usually remove the stains simply by giving your nails several washes. Depending on how fresh the hair dye stain is, you might or might not need to use other washing and cleaning agents.

removing hair dye stains from nails

  • Use gentle washing options such as normal soap and water to get rid of most of the stains and use a small cleaning-use wooden stick to clean up dried dye from underneath your nails.
  • Use a pumice-based hand cleaner on the remaining stained areas. Remember to rub the ointment around the cuticles and rinse it off then!
  • Alternatively, use a nail polish remover-soaked cotton ball to wipe around your nails until no more color transfer is observed.
  • Use rubbing alcohol with this same technique. When you are using rubbing alcohol or any substitute of nail polish remover, it is important that you wash your hands with soap and water afterward. This is so that your skin does not feel too dry.
  • Did nothing work? Try rubbing some cigarette ash onto your nails and washing it clean with soap and water. No one really knows why this works, and it is best if this method is used as a last resort.
  • Utilize a white nail pencil to disguise the stains If there are any stubborn stains. Simply draw along the underneath of your nails and on nail bed to hide the stains. Do this until the stains go off on their own after more washes.


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How to Remove Hair Dye Stains From Gel Nails?

remove hair dye stains from gel nails

You can try rubbing a mix of baking soda with dish detergent over your gel nail extensions gently. Alternatively, do try using non-gel toothpaste, or even petroleum jelly!

However, the best way to get rid of these stains is definitely by not getting them in the first place, so you can wear several layers of gloves if your gel nails are sharper in nature. This will ensure that your nails are protected as you use hair dyes.


Removing Hair Dye Stains From Acrylic Nails

remove hair dye from acrylics

The process of removing hair dye stains from acrylic nails is not too different from other nail types. You will find rubbing alcohol somewhat effective most of the time.

However, it is also possible that the color has been permanently absorbed into your acrylic nails. In this scenario, you will need to replace your acrylic nails or have it repainted.

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How To Remove Hair Dye from Nail Cuticles

The best action is to soak your nails and try soap and water; or some baking soda. You want to be gentle with your cuticles because their role is to protect your nail bed. Their removal can lead to infection or other issues. If you must use a harsher method to remove the hair dye, you can try cuticle remover or hair color remover wipes.



Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding how to remove hair dye from nails. 

How long can hair dye stay on nails?

It depends. Hair dye may stay for a few washes and eventually fade away on your natural nails. Gels and acrylics should be treated right away for the best results. 


Can you remove permanent hair dye from nails?

Yes. There are a variety of methods that you can use to remove permanent dye from your nails.  Scrubbing with baking soda and apple cider vinegar or toothpaste can remove those because both substances have an abrasive quality. Another recommendation is to treat your nails with petroleum jelly or baby oil overnight and remove it in the morning, taking the hair dye with it. 

The last resort is acetone. It’s effective but very abrasive and can damage nails and skin. It’s better to try other methods first. The key to these methods is to apply them as soon as you can. The longer the dye sits on your nail, the harder it is to remove.


Will acetone remove hair dye from Nails?

Acetone will remove hair dye from nails. But you shouldn’t use it on your acrylic or gel nails because it will damage them. It’s best to only use acetone on natural nails. But beware, it can be irritating to your skin. 


Will baby wipes remove hair dye from nails?

Yes. Baby wipes will remove the dye, but you must use them as quickly as possible. If used right away, they can easily remove the dye before it sets. We recommend that you keep some baby wipes on hand as you work so you have a chance to get the dye out right away and save yourself time and effort later. 


Baby oil or olive oil – which is more effective to remove hair dye from nails?

Baby oil is considered one of the go-to’s for removing stains from nails. But olive oil is another gentle and natural option to try. It’s unclear which is more effective. 

Olive oil may have natural stain-removing properties. No studies on skin or nails have been held, so it’s not known for sure how effective it is on skin or nails. However, a study was conducted on fabrics that indicated it was effective in helping remove stains.


As a gentle reminder, when you are trying to remove hair dye stains from your nails, whatever the type is, there are some things to remember. Nail polish-friendly cleaning agents should be used to protect all types of your nail polish.

If you are using acrylic or gel nails, acetone-free agents are important so that your nails do not get dissolved. In some cases, it may be a lot easier to paint your acrylic nails again than by removing the stains.

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