How to Get Paint Out of Hair: 11 Different Ways

While you dread having paint stuck on your hands or skin, it is sometimes inevitable not to get some on your hair while painting. Getting paint out of hair can be simple but more stressful.

After all, no one wants to change the colour of their hair with paint formulated for surfaces or even suffer hair loss. So, what can you do if paint gets on your hair? Read on to know how to get paint out of hair.

How to Get Paint out of Hair

  1. Wash hair with shampoo
  2. Scrape it off
  3. Use a fine tooth comb
  4. Soak hair in warm water
  5. Using a dish soap
  6. Using olive oil or baby oil
  7. Using vinegar
  8. Using toothpaste

Can Paint Damage Hair?

Paint is a lot different from hair dye. While both are similar in changing the colours of what they are used on, they are very different in their chemical compositions.

For example, spray paint contains aerosol while acrylic paint, on the other hand, contains toxic liquid plastic. So if you wonder if paint can damage hair, yes, it can.

It is capable of eating deep into the shaft of your hair, thereby leading to extreme breakage of your hair and even hair loss. This is why you should ensure you get as much paint out of your hair as soon as possible if you do not want damaged hair.

How to Get Paint Out of Hair

You can get paint out of your hair in several ways by combing paint out of hair, using dish soap, toothpaste, WD-40, olive oil, or chemicals that remove paint, such as paint thinners.

Depending on what is readily available, the kind of paint, and hair type, you can use any of these ways.

11 Easy and Best Ways to Get Paint Out of Hair!

Here are eleven different methods you can do on how to get paint out of hair completely:

1. Wash hair with shampoo

Washing your hair with shampoo is certainly part of your regular hair routine, and it is likely the first thing you would want to do once you get paint in your hair. It is especially suitable when dealing with acrylic paint.

Tools and materials

  • Your regular shampoo
  • Warm water
  • A fine-toothed comb
  • Conditioner

How to do this

  1. Wet your hair with warm water
  2. Apply your normal shampoo to your hair, massaging it gently through your hair.
  3. Let the shampoo sit for about 10-20 minutes.
  4. Use a fine-toothed comb to run through sections of your hair. 
  5. Rinse hair with warm water
  6. Then use a conditioner on your hair, letting it sit for a few minutes before finally rinsing it off.

2. Scrape it off

This is the simplest way to get paint out of your hair as long as you have your hands and fingers. However, it might get messy and stressful, especially when dealing with a lot of paint stuck in your hair.

It is more effective when you have a small patch of paint on your hair. All you have to do is grasp your hair with your hand, then use the fingernails of your other hand to pinch and drag them down. You might repeat this to scrape the paint entirely off your hair.

3. Use a fine tooth comb

You can use a fine tooth comb if your fingernails do not do the job well enough. This applies to almost all the other methods as it is very effective in getting paint residues out, whether your hair is wet or dry. The only tool you need is a fine-tooth comb.

How to do this

  1. Part hair in sections
  2. Simply run the comb through strands of the painted parts from end to tip with force. 
  3. Do this repeatedly, so no part is missed.

4. Soak hair in warm water 

Soaking hair in warm water alone is quite effective in getting all the paint out when dealing with water-based paint.

However, before opting for this method, ensure the paint is water-based or be prepared to use other methods as it will not be effective for oil-based paints. It can also remove acrylic paint from your hair.

Tools and materials

  • A tub, bowl, or bucket
  • Warm water
  • Shampoo (optional)

How to do this

  1. Fill up a tub, bowl, or bucket with warm water
  2. Soak your hair in the warm water and leave it 
  3. Get hair out and dry
  4. As an option to get the paint completely out, apply shampoo and follow your regular wash day routine

See also: How to remove acrylic paint from furniture.

5. Using a dish soap

You might wonder, why use a dish soap rather than shampoo? Remember, dish soap is very effective for removing paint and poly from hands and skin as it is formulated to remove stubborn grease.

Tools and materials

  • A dish soap capable of removing stubborn grease
  • Water
  • Washcloth
  • Comb

How to do this

  1. Apply dish soap to hair as you would shampoo.
  2. Lather it on your hair
  3. Allow it to stay in the hair for some minutes
  4. Scrub hair with either your hands, comb, or washcloth
  5. Rinse hair completely with water
  6. Repeat the process a second time if all paint is not out. 

6. Using olive oil or baby oil 

What if the paint is oil-based and you cannot use just water? Then you can get a bottle of olive oil as it helps to remove the paint from hair. You can make use of similar cooking oil like vegetable oil as well.

The tools and materials you need are:

  • A bottle of olive oil
  • A plastic wrap
  • Comb

How to do this:

  1. Soak your hair literally in a liberal amount of olive oil
  2. Then wrap your hair in plastic so the oil stays for hours.
  3. After some hours, remove the wrap and use a comb to remove the softened paint.

As a tip: Olive oil is a great conditioner for your hair, even with no paint.

7. Using vinegar 

A bottle of apple cider vinegar can also be useful in this regard. Naturally, it helps remove oil build-up from hair, and the chemical components present can break down paint easily.

Tools and materials needed

How to do this

  1. Pour a considerable amount of vinegar into your hair.
  2. Rub through the ends of your hair and leave for some minutes
  3. Then use a detangling comb to remove the paint residue.
  4. Wash hair with your regular shampoo afterward 

8. Using toothpaste

Toothpaste contains mild abrasive, making it suitable for removing dried paint from hair. So, yes, that tube of toothpaste you have is useful and could do a lot of good for your hair. The only tool you need for this method is gritty toothpaste and water.

How to do this

  1. Start by squeezing some toothpaste into your fingers.
  2. Then gently massage the toothpaste thoroughly through your hair, especially where there is paint.
  3. Stop massaging when you feel some paint coming off.
  4. Rinse your hair with water
  5. Repeat the process again

9. Using peanut butter

Peanut butter is not only good for making a nice sandwich. It is probably the best method to easily clean paint out of hair, especially oil-based paints, as it is also made of oil.

How to use it

  1. Scoop a good amount of peanut butter and apply it to parts of your hair covered in paint.
  2. Massage gently into your hair and leave it in for some minutes 
  3. Use your fingers to work through your hair; wash your hair once the paint starts to come off.

10. Using rubbing alcohol or paint thinner

In extreme cases when nothing else is removing the paint from your hair, you might want to try using the chemicals formulated for paint removals, such as paint thinners or mineral spirits like a nail polish remover.

These agents are mostly recommended if you need to get rid of primer from wood or other surface, so careful when using them on your body. Do not leave these in your hair for too long as they are harsh chemicals.

Tools and materials needed

  • Paint thinner, turpentine, or rubbing alcohol
  • A piece of cloth or paper towel
  • Shampoo

How to use it

  1. Pour some paint thinner onto a piece of cloth or paper towel and use it to wipe through strands of your hair with paint.
  2. Continue repeatedly wiping for as long as you see the paint coming off.
  3. Proceed to wash your hair immediately with good shampoo and water,
  4. Rinse your hair thoroughly

11. Use WD-40

Now you might start to worry if there is a latex-based paint solvent, especially after you have tried water and other methods. Do not panic; a bottle of WD-40 is your last resort. It can also be effective for use on blonde hair.

Tools and materials needed:

  • WD-40
  • Hot water
  • How to use it
  • Spray some WD-40 over parts of your hair with paint
  • Work it through your hair with your hands and leave for a few minutes so it dissolves the paint.
  • Rinse your hair with hot water to get rid of both the paint and chemical

Tip: You want to be careful while using this, as WD-40 can be quite harsh on the skin and hair.

12. Take care of your hair after removing the paint?

After you have gotten paint out of your hair, it is important to take care of your hair. Remember, some of these methods above can leave your hair very dry, resulting in breakage over time.

Hence it is important to restore moisture which a good conditioning treatment provides. Most hair salons offer this service, but you can do a DIY conditioner at home.

What you would need are:

  • Half teaspoon of olive oil
  • Half of a ripe avocado
  • Three drops of any essential oil
  • A shower cap or plastic wrap

How to do it

  1. Mash the avocado with a fork in a small bowl.
  2. Add olive oil and the essential oil. 
  3. Mix them well till a paste is formed.
  4. Apply the paste to your hair, massaging it in from the ends upwards
  5. Cover with a shower cap or plastic wrap for about ten to fifteen minutes
  6. Wash your hair with your regular shampoo, and then dry.

Tip: This conditioning treatment should be done weekly so your hair is always moisturized.

Also read our guide on how to remove polyurethane from hands.

How to Prevent Paint from Getting on Hair 

So you know the basics, wearing gloves and overalls while painting; however, there is more you can wear and do to protect your hair so you do not get paint in it. Here are some of them:

Put on a bandana or handkerchief 

As a headgear to protect your hair, you should also put on a bandana or old handkerchief on your hair before the painting gets messy. The bandana would get the stains and not your hair.

Wrap long hair

The last thing you want is your hair getting in the way of your paintbrush or can of paint. So ensure you wrap your hair with whatever you have available or put it in a high bun so it does not get some paint stains.


How to get dried paint out of hair

You can get paint off hair by simply comping the paint out. You can also use olive oil or dish soap along with water. If these fail, try toothpaste as its abrasive properties can help to break down the paint, allowing it to be washed away. Alternatively, grab a chemical from your local store.

The best way to get dried paint is to

The best way to get dried paint is to mix the paint with sawdust. Then, stir the mixture using a stick until it is well blended. Keep adding saw dust as necessary until the mixture is crumbly. Another option is to use paint hardener, which is likely available in your local store.

How to get spray paint out of hair

Get spray paint out of the hair using dish soap. First, lather your hair with dish soap and water. Leave it until it begins working on the paint. Use a washcloth to scrub the paint or even just your hands. Other options include using toothpaste, as it contains abrasive properties.

Do not wonder, what gets spray paint off skin? You can also use the same technique.

How to get oil based paint out of hair

Use olive oil to get oil-based out of the hair.  Apply a generous amount of olive oil to the affected area and wait for some time. Then, use a fine-toothed comb or brush to remove the paint gently.   You may need to repeat this process a few times for the paint to come out.

How to get wall paint out of hair

To get wall paint out of the hair, use dish soap and toothpaste. If you resort to using dish soap, rub it vigorously on the covered part of the hair. If the paint fails to come out, try toothpaste, as its abrasive nature will break down the paint. Be sure to rinse thoroughly afterward.

How to get latex paint out of hair

The perfect way to get latex paint out of hair is by applying WD-40 to parts of the hair with the paint. WD-40 is a water displacer that will help dissolve the paint. Rub it into the hair to loosen the paint.  Then, use hair shampoo and warm water to wash and rinse.

Does paint come out of hair?

Yes, paint comes out of hair. However, removing the paint depends on the type of paint and the method used. For instance, Acrylic paints are the easiest to remove. You can easily get rid of them by just filling the bowl with water and adding a few drops of dishwashing soap.

How to get house paint out of hair

Get house paint out of the hair by scraping it off using your fingernails.  This is the simplest technique to try. Other ways include comping it out, using dish soap, toothpaste, and olive oil. Once the paint is out, rinse the hair as normal and use a good conditioner to smooth the strands.

How to get primer out of hair

If you get primer on your hair, the best way to get it out is to soak your hair in soapy water. The soap will break down the primer and help it to rinse out more easily. You may need to use a clarifying shampoo to remove any remaining primer from your hair.

What gets paint out of hair

Both oil and water paints can get out of hair. Oil paints can come out using olive oil. This method works as the oil paint uses oil as the solvent. Water oil can be soaked, washed using a dish wash or toothpaste.

Does spray paint come out of hair?

Yes, spray paint can come out of hair, but it may not be easy to get it all out. You can try using dishwashing liquid or olive oil. Apply the product to your hair and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it out. Wash your hair thoroughly afterward to remove leftovers.

Will coconut oil get paint out of hair?

Yes, coconut oil can get paint out of hair. The oil will help to dissolve the paint, making it easier to wash out. However, it’s important to take care when using coconut oil to remove paint from hair. Remember not to apply too much pressure when rubbing the oil into the hair.

How to get acrylic paint out of hair

To get acrylic paint out of hair, you can soak it with water or dishwashing soap. In fact, it’s the easiest paint to remove. If you choose to soak it with water, be sure to rinse the paint out thoroughly afterward. If you use dishwashing soap, lather the affected area and rinse well. You can also apply the same method to clean dried acrylic paint brushes.


No one wants to lose all their hair, especially not to a bucket or can of paint.

So, remember to protect your hair with headgear and keep that bottle of olive oil around you, have a detangling comb handy, or try any of the other methods listed above on how to get paint out of hair.

Now, you can carry out your painting project without fear. 

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