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How to Get Paint Out of Hair, According to Experts

Regardless if you have ever been doing some home improvement or are just painting a portrait, there is always a risk of getting paint stuck in your hair.

Once the paint is stuck in there, getting it out can be a harrowing experience. Not only will your hair look bad, but having paint stuck in it for a prolonged period can lead to hair damage.

So how do you get paint out of hair? We will discuss the different ways of getting paint out of hair, so you will never have to worry about it again.

how to get paint out of hair

how to get rid of paint from hair

How to Get Paint Out of Hair

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to removing paint from your hair, we hope these eight methods will be of use to you.

1. Use Shampoo

Using shampoo is the most straightforward method, so you should try it before any of the other solutions listed here. While it may seem too obvious to work, you may find it is just what the doctor ordered for removing dried paint.

Before applying shampoo, first attempt to comb out as much paint as possible from your hair. With the comb, you should be able to remove any dried or loose paint from your hair. Once you’re ready to begin, step into the shower and wet your hair.

Liberally apply the shampoo to the painted areas and scrub it into your hair forcefully. Rinse your hair out and check to see if you have removed the paint. If some paint remains, you can try repeating the process.

The shampoo you use can either be your regular shampoo or a clarifying type that you might find in a beautician’s cabinet. The manufacturers make clarifying shampoos to remove chemicals from your hair, so experts recommend using them when removing paint.

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2. Use Dish Soap

How to Get Paint Out of Hair - Use Dish Soap

If the shampoo does not do the trick, you can try using dish soap. Dawn is what experts say is the best choice for removing paint stuck in your hair, but any soap boasting about its deep-cleaning capabilities should do the trick.

You should think about this method like allowing a dirty pan to sit with warm water and dish soap to remove the stuck food. You need to lather the dish soap into your hair and then allow it to sit and work its magic for 15 or 20 minutes.

When you feel enough time has passed, rinse the soap out and check to see if the paint is gone. If you do not see any traces of paint remaining, scrub your hair with your regular shampoo.

Dish soap contains several chemicals that in extremes, can damage hair. Removing these chemicals after using dish soap is critical. If you still see paint in your hair, try repeating the process.

3. Use Olive Oil

How to Get Paint Out of Hair - Use Olive Oil

If you have several hours free and oil paint is stuck in your hair, try using a natural oil like olive oil to remove the paint. This method is time-consuming, but experts believe it is one of the best at removing stuck oil paint.

Begin by liberally coating the affected areas of your hair in olive oil. Once your hair has sufficiently been soaked, take plastic wrap and use it to wrap up your hair, effectively trapping the oil.

Now you must allow the oil to do its work and leave it in your hair for a few hours. The product should soften the paint in your hair over time, allowing you to remove it.

Once time has passed, remove the plastic wrap from your head; comb out the softened paint from your head. If everything works correctly, you should be able to remove the paint from your hair easily.

Aside from removing paint, olive oil also acts as a conditioner for your hair. Even if you do not remove the paint, the olive oil will not damage your hair and instead give you benefits.

4. Use Toothpaste

How to Get Paint Out of Hair - Use Toothpaste

While you may not think of it in these terms, toothpaste is abrasive and the perfect way to remove stuck paint from your hair. The grit in toothpaste should allow it to break down the paint in your hair with enough elbow grease.

Using toothpaste is simple, just smear it on the affected areas and begin to work it into your hair with your hands. Keep working on it until you feel like the paint is beginning to disintegrate.

You can use a comb to assist you in removing the paint as well. Wash your hair with shampoo once you have finished.

5. Use Peanut Butter and Cornstarch

Use Peanut Butter and Cornstarch to Get Paint Out of Hair

Peanut butter has a few cosmetic uses, and removing unwanted items from your hair is a vital one. Peanut butter has several oils that will make it an effective tool for loosening paint and other items from your hair.

For this method, you will want to combine equal parts of peanut butter and cornstarch in a bowl before applying it to your hair. Once you have mixed the two, work it into your hair with your fingers and allow it to sit for a few minutes.

Once a few minutes have passed, you should feel the paint loosening up and becoming moveable.

Once you notice the paint loosening, begin to work the mixture out with your fingers or a comb. This should remove most or all of the paint from your hair.

If it has not removed all the paint, you can repeat this process as necessary. If no paint has come out, you may want to consider a different method.

After performing this process, give your hair a thorough scrub with hot water and shampoo to remove the mixture and its oils. While it is effective at removing paint, peanut butter’s oils are not healthy for your hair’s long-term health.

6. Use Apple Cider Vinegar

How to Get Paint Out of Hair - Use Apple Cider Vinegar

If you have oil-based paint stuck in your hair, you may be able to remove it with a household solution like apple cider vinegar.

This vinegar is effective at removing oils from your hair, and experts say that this property allows it to effectively remove oil-based paints as well. Though you may find the smell unpleasant, this method does not use potentially harmful compounds like the final two on the list.

The application is simple: you need to begin by pouring a few drops into the affected parts of your hair. Using a comb or your fingers, you will then need to work it into your hair and begin removing paint, adding more vinegar as needed.

Once you have finished and removed all the paint, you can remove the vinegar by washing your hair with shampoo and water. While it may not be as strong as some chemical methods, this is an entirely safe solution to removing paint from your hair.

Do not try to use other vinegar varieties for this method, and stick with apple cider vinegar. Other kinds of vinegar will not have the same effect.

7. Use Nail Polish Remover

How to Get Paint Out of Hair - Use Nail Polish Remover

This is the first of what experts consider the more extreme methods. While they are not necessarily dangerous, these last methods all use chemicals that can damage your hair or do other harm to you.

Ensure you take the necessary precautions before opting for one of these methods; we will outline some precautions in a later section. Companies design nail polish remover to aggressively break down paint. The acetone in these products allows it to flush stains from your hair.

You should use a small amount of nail polish remover and gently work it into your hair. You may also want to consider wearing plastic or latex gloves to protect your hands from exposure to acetone.

After using the nail polish remover, thoroughly rinse your hair with water and shampoo. Allowing it to sit in your hair for too long may cause damage. And as always, when using acetone, do it in a well-ventilated area to protect yourself from paint fumes.

If you do not have nail polish remover handy, you can try to use paint thinner. If you were working on a painting project around the house when you lodged the paint in your hair, you likely have some available. Follow the same safety guidelines as with nail polish remover.

8. Use WD-40

How to Get Paint Out of Hair - Use WD-40

Many DIYers swear by WD-40 as an all-purpose fixer. So it should not come as a surprise that it can assist with paint in your hair. WD-40 is a lubricant, and using a small amount on your hair may be just what you need to remove any paint that refuses to come out.

We can only recommend this method as a last resort, as it carries mild risks. Begin the process by spraying some WD-40 on the painted hair, taking care to avoid the rest of your mane.

It may be easier to do this with the help of another person who can better aim the product. Regardless, allow the WD-40 a few minutes to be absorbed into your hair before using your fingers to rub it even deeper into the hair.

With some time and force, you should see the paint begin to work its way out of your hair. A comb can also help you remove extra coloring. Once you have removed all the paint, wash your hair with hot water as soon as possible.

While an effective lubricant that can free your hair from unwanted items, WD-40 can damage your hair or skin. Once again, we only recommend using WD-40 in extreme cases when all other methods have failed.


Precautions Before Getting Paint Out of Hair

If you are using one of the natural methods, you do not have to worry about taking too many precautions. You may want to remove any articles of clothing you do not want to stain or damage.

You should perform these methods in a place with ample supplies of water. You should also ensure you have shampoo available to rinse the products you place in your hair to remove the paint. Keep a comb and some rags handy as well.

If you use nail polish remover, paint thinner, or WD-40, you must take a few more precautions to protect yourself and your hair. While all these methods are effective at taking paint out of your mane, they carry with them the risks of hurting you.

When using paint thinner or nail polish remover, open windows to ensure there is adequate air circulation before beginning. The fumes in these products can hurt you if you do not protect yourself and breathe them in.

If you do not have a place indoors where you feel safe, consider using these on your hair outside to ensure a supply of breathable air. Regardless of which of these chemicals you use, you need to protect your skin and eyes.

Wearing safety goggles is a solution to protecting your eyes, and using small amounts of the products will keep your skin safe. Of course, the greatest precaution you can take is avoiding getting paint in your hair in the first place.

For that, you should look into wearing a shower cap when painting. Removing paint is tricky, and preventing it from being in your hair in the first place is the best precaution you can take.

Of course, if you get some paint stuck, these methods will help you out of a jam.

So, What’s the Best Way to Remove Paint Out of Hair?

While there is no perfect solution for removing paint from hair, you should begin with a basic solution like shampoo or olive oil before graduating to more extreme methods.

Sometimes all you need is the simple method of shampoo and water to fix your issues. Shampoo and dish soap are low-risk methods with a high success rate, and we recommend them as the primary methods.

Of course, many people have had success using paint thinner or WD-40. While these methods carry risks, they are effective. We recommend only using them when all else fails; take all the proper precautions before trying them.

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