How To Get Paint Out of Hair

Sometimes, when you’re painting, you get into a zone where you forget everything exists. And when you’re done, that’s when you notice there’s paint everywhere, including your hair.

Since you don’t want to walk around with flecks of paint on your hair, you’re scouring through the internet for ways to remove it.

Well, worry not. We have a comprehensive list of how to remove different kinds of paints from your hair without picking up the scissors. So feel free to read more below.


Is paint permanent on hair?

Believe me, the last thing you’d want to do after an exhilarating painting session is to remove paint from your hair.

It can sometimes get annoying since some paints are easier to remove than others, but it’s possible to remove them all.

Water-based paints are easier to remove compared to oil-based paints. Since paints like acrylics and latex are water-soluble, you can wash them off with soap and water.

While oil and enamel paints are not water-soluble, you're going to need a solvent to remove them.


How long does it take to get paint out of hair?

How long does it take to get paint out of hair

How long it takes to wash the paint out of your hair can depend on several factors.

What type of paint you were using can play a part. As mentioned above, you can easily remove water-based paints with soap and water. So it can take you within 5 minutes to wash your hair. 

But if you were using oil-based paints, it would take you longer.

How much paint is on your hair can also determine how long it takes to wash it off.

Washing paint on one side of your hair is easier than washing specks of paint all over your hair.

Now that’s covered, how do you actually remove paint from your hair?


What takes paint out of your hair?

If you’re familiar with DIY home remedies, then you know that certain ingredients in your pantry can help you get out of sticky situations.

So let’s determine which ingredients can help take paint out of your hair:

Does vinegar remove paint from hair?

Vinegar is a staple in most homes as it’s a multi-purpose ingredient. You can use it for both cooking and cleaning.

But did you know that it's also an effective paint remover?

You can use apple cider vinegar as a hair rinse because of its antimicrobial properties. It helps clarify your scalp and hair, removing accumulated dirt and products. Resulting in healthier and shinier hair.

It can also help break down dried paint in your hair, making it easier to wash out.

So allow your hair to soak in apple cider vinegar for a few minutes before combing the paint out.

Not only will you get the paint off, but your hair will also feel amazing after.

Will coconut oil get paint out of hair?

If you have oil-based paints stuck in your hair, you can use coconut oil to loosen up the paint.

Since oil-based paints are not water-soluble, you’re going to need solvents like paint remover or paint thinner to remove the paint. 

But it’s not advisable to put these chemicals onto your hair since they can be damaging.

So, you’re going to need some type of oil to remove oil-based paints because they are oil-soluble. But if you don’t have any coconut oil, olive oil, or baby oil works fine, too.

All you need to do is soak your hair with coconut oil until you can slowly scrub the paint out with your hands.

But if the paint has completely dried on your hair, wrap your hair up in a plastic wrap and let it soak for a few hours. Once the paint has softened, slowly scrub the paint out.

Don’t worry; soaking your hair with coconut oil for hours won’t damage your hair since it has moisturizing properties. In fact, your hair will even come out softer after getting the paint out. 


How to get paint out of your hair

How to get paint out of your hair

Getting paint out of your hair can be a struggle. 

Check out these tips and tricks on how to get them out of your hair according to paint type:

How to get acrylic paint out of hair

Acrylic paints are water-soluble, so you can easily wash them off with water.

The only catch is you have to act fast since acrylic paint dries quickly.

But if the paint has already hardened on your hair, you can use shampoo to soften it.

All you have to do is apply a bit of shampoo to the painted area. Then, gently massage your hair to remove the paint.

But if you’re having a hard time getting rid of the paint, let the shampoo sit on your hair for 15-20 minutes. You can also use a comb to scrape off the paint gently.

Repeat until all of the acrylic paint is gone.

When you’re done, remember to apply conditioner so your hair wouldn’t feel dry and frizzy.

How to get fabric paint out of hair

Fabric paints are great for customizing your clothes or livening up an old shirt. But if you’re not careful, a random strip of paint can get on your hair.

Thankfully, fabric paints are water-soluble so that you can wash them off your hair with water. 

But just like acrylic paint, they’re easier to wash off when they’re still wet.

Aside from the shampoo method, using toothpaste can also help remove dried fabric paint from your hair.

Apply a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on your hair and spread it around the paint. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes on your hair. This allows the paint to soften, making it easier to remove.

Use your fingers to scrape off the paint. Alternatively, you can also use a fine-tooth comb to go through your hair in sections.

Once all of the fabric paint is off, wash your hair with shampoo to remove any leftover toothpaste.

Follow up with a moisturizing conditioner so you won’t end up with dry hair. 

How to get latex paint out of your hair

Latex and acrylic paints are usually confused for the other. The difference is latex paint is a more environmentally-friendly version of acrylic paint as it doesn’t release toxic fumes into the air.

Latex paint contains acrylic resin, pigments, and a water base. So it’s also water-soluble.

In fact, latex paint is even easier to wash off your hair compared to acrylic paint since it contains a water base. The downside is it dries faster than acrylic paint, so you have to act faster.

Soaking your hair with water and shampoo can easily do the trick of removing the latex paint from your hair.

But it can get trickier if you were using more durable latex paint, like the ones meant for outdoors.

Using WD-40 can help eliminate those stubborn latex paint on your hair. Just apply a little bit of the lubricant onto the painted area of your hair. 

Let it sit for a few minutes until the paint is loose enough to scrape off.

Once you remove all the paint, wash your hair with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner since WD-40 can be harsh on hair.

How to get oil-based paint out of, hair

As mentioned above, oil-based paints need a solvent to remove them.

So if you’re brave enough, paint thinner or paint remover can usually do the trick of removing oil-based paint from your hair.

But if you want to save your hair from damage, you can use any type of oil to help loosen the paint from your hair. Coconut oil, olive oil, and baby oil usually do a good job.

Alternatively, you can also use peanut butter to dissolve oil-based paints from your hair. Specifically, a natural peanut butter where the oil sits on top.

Just apply the peanut butter to your hair and gently rub it in. 

Let it sit for 10-15 minutes to help loosen the paint, then massage your hair again. If the oil-based paint is persistent, using chunky peanut butter can also help.

Since the peanut chunks act as a natural abrasive to help get the paint out.

Once it’s all gone, wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner to get all of that sticky mess off.

How to get spray paint out of hair

How to get spray paint out of hair

Spray paints are excellent for painting large surfaces since they can spread the paint evenly.

But no matter how careful you are, some paint can still get on your hair.

Luckily, you can wash off spray paint from your hair as long as it’s still wet.

But if that trick doesn’t work, try using dishwashing soap since it has a stronger formula compared to soap.

Just apply a coin-sized amount to your hair and gently scrub the paint. If you’re finding it hard to get the paint off, let the dishwashing soap soak for a few minutes until the paint comes off easier.

You can also use a fine-tooth comb to help scrape off the paint.

Once all the paint is gone, remember to use a hydrating conditioner as dishwashing soap is drying for your hair.

How to get wall paint out of your hair

Repainting the walls of your house is a lot of hard work but rewarding nonetheless.

So at the end of the day, it’s not unusual to find paint where it’s not supposed to be, especially on your hair.

The answer on how to remove them can depend on what type of paint you were using.

You can wash off water-based paints with shampoo and water as the paints are water-soluble.

While oil-based paints are harder to come off since they don’t dissolve in water, you will need paint thinner or paint remover. 

But remember to use these with caution as these chemicals are harsh on your hair.

Other tips on how to remove water-based and oil-based paints from your hair are also mentioned above, so you can scroll up to get a refresher.

How to get gloss paint out of hair

Gloss paints are commonly used for painting wood furniture and doors to make them stand out and make them easier to clean.

Since you can wipe off dirt and oils as they don't stick to the paint’s glossy finish. 

But getting gloss paint out of your hair may sometimes not be necessarily as easy as wiping it off.

Gloss paints used to be oil-based, but manufacturers have switched them to have a water base.

So they’re now less complicated to wash off than their previous formulation.

Check your gloss paint’s label to know what type you’re using, and refer to the guides above on how to remove the paint from your hair.

CHECK OUT: Can you put lotion in your hair


The final takeaway

A DIY painting project can be a great creative outlet, even if it means creating a huge mess that your hair can’t avoid.

But having paint on your hair is not the worst problem in the world. 

As long as you follow the tips above, you and your hair can get on with your day.

Last Updated: March 10, 2022

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