How to get hair dye off skin if you've accidentally dyed your ears brown

Dyed hair? Lovely. Dyed ears? Not so much...

model with pink hair - how to remove hair dye off skin
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dyed hair? Lovely. Dyed ears? Not so much...

Listen, we get it, mistakes happen. It doesn't matter if you're a complete ace at at-home colour jobs, sometimes even a maestro needs to know how to get hair dye off skin.

Before you enter panic mode and start scrubbing your skin red raw, we picked the brains of a couple of the pros to find out how to safely and effectively remove skin stains. And then how to prevent it happening going forward.

How to get hair dye off skin – the expert tips

When you're dyeing your hair at home, you want to avoid getting yourself in a pickle and prevent hair dye from staining skin in the first place. 'There are a couple of ways to avoid colour staining the skin,' says Melanie Smith, Creative Master Colourist at Josh Wood Atelier. 'If you are at home Vaseline works well, and you can also purchase barrier cream from pharmacies.

'The best way to avoid staining is to avoid leaving the colour from sitting on the skin too long,' she adds. 'Wet some cotton wool and carefully wipe around the hairline, being careful not to wipe the colour off the hair.'

Woman rubbing hair dye into her hair - how to get hair dye off skin

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Zoë Irwin, UK Colour Trend Expert for Wella Professionals, also advises grabbing your Vaseline as a barrier cream. 'I always want to avoid hair dye staining the skin, so I would use a professional product in-salon to avoid any issues,' she advises. 'My favourite is Wella Professionals Service Pre-Guard Skin Protection Cream – I apply it to the hairline before a colour service and then wipe away before shampooing.

'However, if there is hair dye on the skin, there’s also a great colour stain remover – the Wella Professionals Service Support Colour Stain Remover. Spray onto a cotton wool pad and wipe over the affected areas to remove the dye.'

Be choosey with which boxed colour you buy too, as some now come with the tools to help. Josh Wood Colour Permanent Hair Dye kits come with a protective barrier cream and stain removing wipes.

How to get hair dye off skin - quick fix

Need an immediate fix and don't have this stain remover to hand, though? 'If you want to use products that you already have, you can’t go wrong with using a granulated face scrub mixed with a little bit of olive oil,' advises Zoë. 'The olive oil will help to lift the colour off the skin when mixed with the scrub. Massage it gently into the skin and use a soft cloth to remove.

You can also use a clay mask like GLAMGLOW's Supermud Clearing Treatment – clay draws everything out for you while you treat your whole face as well!'

Thankfully, you don't need to put your skin through the ringer to remove any accidental dyeing.

So along with figuring out how to dye your own hair, you know know what to do if things go slightly wrong.

Lucy Abbersteen
Beauty Contributor

Lucy is a freelance beauty editor and contributor at Marie Claire, and has written for titles including Glamour, Refinery29, Popsugar, woman&home and more. She was previously Marie Claire’s junior beauty editor. During her career, she’s covered everything from backstage beauty at fashion week to interviews with famous faces like Drag Race royalty and Little Mix. As for her beauty ethos, she’s a big advocate for not having to spend a fortune on beauty products to get good results, and when she’s not got beauty on the brain you’ll find her reading or hanging out with dogs.