5 Effective Tricks to Get Paint Out of Hair

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No matter how careful you are while painting, there is likely going to come a time when you get some paint in your hair. I know it happens to me quite frequently. 

I have long hair, and if I don’t wear it pinned back or in a ponytail, I tend to end up with at least a little bit of paint in my hair.

When this happens, do you know how to get the paint out without causing a lot of damage to your hair? The last thing you want to do is simply try to comb or brush the paint out. This is going to end up causing your hair to break, and you don’t want that to happen.

Keep reading to learn some of the methods I have used to get acrylic paint out of my hair after a painting session.

How to Remove Paint from Hair

Got paint on hair? Learn how to get paint out of your hair using these tricks:

#1. Try Using Your Regular Shampoo

Acrylic paint can often be washed out of your hair simply by using your regular shampoo. The best type of shampoo to use is one that is strong and clarifying.

Before washing your hair, gently comb it with a wide-tooth comb to get rid of any loose pieces of paint. Then, wet your hair and apply plenty of shampoo. Scrub well, making sure that you pay attention to the areas where there is a lot of paint. 

I find using my fingertips to massage these areas helps to loosen the paint so it comes out easily.

Rinse your hair, and then check to see if there is still any paint remaining. If there is, shampoo again and leave the shampoo in for a few minutes before rinsing.

Rinse your hair and use your regular conditioner to keep your hair soft and shiny.

#2. Dish Soap Works Too!

If you have a lot of paint in your hair, or if it has begun to dry, dish soap can be used to get it out. I recommend using grease-cutting dish soap, such as Dawn, because it is tough enough to remove the paint but gentle enough so it won’t damage your hair.

Place a good amount of the dish soap into the palm of your hand, and then massage it into your hair. Make sure you get it into the areas that have a lot of paint.

Sit with the dish soap on your hair for around 15 minutes or so, and then rinse it out. If there is any paint remaining, repeat the process until your hair is completely free of paint.

Now you can wash your hair with your regular shampoo, and use a conditioner afterwards.

#3. The Toothpaste Hack

You might be surprised to learn that you can use toothpaste to get paint out of your hair! There are compounds in toothpaste that will stick to the paint. This makes it easier to separate the paint from your hair. I find gritty toothpaste works best for getting paint out of my hair.

Apply the toothpaste to the areas where there is paint. Massage the toothpaste into these areas with your fingertips. Allow the toothpaste to sit in your hair for about 15 minutes.

Next, use a wide-tooth comb to comb through the toothpaste to loosen the paint. Any soft paint will come out at this time.

Finally, use your regular shampoo to get rid of any remaining paint. Condition as normal.

#4. Wash Your Hair with Vinegar

I have found that using apple cider vinegar is a great way to get paint out of my hair. I often use it to remove oil and products from my hair.

Apple cider vinegar is a natural clarifier, and it can easily remove oil and other products from hair. I know a lot of people who use it regularly because it works so well and it smells better than some of the scented products available.

Massage at least a half cup of apple cider vinegar into your hair. Make sure you pay the most attention to the areas where there is paint.

There are compounds in the vinegar that will act to break down particles in the paint. This will make it a lot easier to get the paint out of your hair.

Let the vinegar sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Then, use a wide-tooth comb to get any chunks of paint out of your hair. Follow up by using your regular shampoo to get the rest of the paint out.

#5. What if You Are Using Oil Paints?

If you are working with oil paints and get paint on your hair, don’t worry, it will come out. There are different oils you can use to get rid of the paint quickly and easily.

Baby Oil

Baby oil or mineral oil works well to get oil paint out of hair. The oil will soften the paint, so it is a lot easier to remove.

Put a little bit of baby oil on a cotton ball and dab it onto any areas of your hair where there is paint. Allow it to sit for about half an hour, and then use a wide-tooth comb to comb out most of the paint. 

You may need to apply the oil a second time if there is still paint remaining.

Follow up by washing and conditioning as normal.

Olive Oil Works As Well

You can also use olive oil to get paint out of your hair. Put some olive oil into the palms of your hands, and massage it into your hair.

Let the olive oil sit on your hair for 15 to 20 minutes or so, and then rinse. This should get rid of most if not all of the paint. 

This is going to leave your hair feeling greasy, so I recommend shampooing and conditioning to get rid of the olive oil.

Peanut Butter Isn’t Just for Sandwiches

Peanut butter has long been used around the home for cleaning purposes, and it can be used to remove oil paint from your hair. This makes sense when you think about it because peanut butter is made with oil.

The oil in the peanut butter will break down the oil in the paint. If there is a lot of paint in your hair, try using crunchy peanut butter, because it has that extra grit that you might need to scrub out the paint.

Apply the peanut butter anywhere there is paint, and massage it with the tips of your fingers into your hair. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, and then massage again. If the paint is breaking down, you can wash your hair. If not, put more peanut butter in and let it sit for another 15 minutes.

You will want to shampoo and condition your hair after rinsing away the peanut butter. Otherwise, you will smell like a sandwich!

Final Thoughts

As I mentioned, chances are you are going to end up with paint in your hair at some point. As long as you use one of the above methods right away, you should have no problem getting the paint out.

I always make sure to use a conditioner after using any of these methods, especially if I use apple cider vinegar. The vinegar can dry out your hair, but conditioning will leave it soft and shiny.

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*image by photography33/depositphotos