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Accidental encounters with paint during home improvement projects can often leave your hair stained and messy. While preventive measures are ideal, the occasional splash or splatter is practically unavoidable.

If you’ve found yourself with a bit of paint in your hair, it’s important to identify the specific type of paint before starting the removal process. In this guide, titled ‘How to Get Paint Out of Hair,’ we’ll help you determine the paint type and suggest tried-and-tested methods to safely remove paint from your hair.

People often ask, how can I remove paint from my hair without damaging it?

To safely remove paint from hair without causing damage, generously apply coconut oil or olive oil to the painted areas, allowing it to sit for 10-15 minutes. Delicately massage your hair and use a wide-tooth comb. Begin combing from the ends and gradually move up towards the roots. This approach helps prevent tangles and keeps your hair in good condition.

Rinse your hair thoroughly and use shampoo and conditioner that adds moisture to your hair. If needed, consider using alternatives like apple cider vinegar, peanut butter, or toothpaste. Massage the chosen product into your hair. Rinse thoroughly to get paint-free hair without harming its health.

How to Get Paint Out of Hair

Does spray paint come out of hair?

Yes, paint can be removed from hair. The method depends on whether it’s water-based or oil-based paint. Water-based paint is easier to remove. For small amounts, rinsing with warm water and shampoo might work. Oil-based paint may require using oils like baby oil or olive oil to soften it, followed by gentle combing.

Commercial products for hair paint removal are also available. It’s crucial to act quickly and be gentle to avoid hair damage. If unsure, test any method on a small area first. Professional help may be needed for stubborn cases.

How do you get paint color out of hair?

How to remove latex paint from hair?

remove dry paint from hair

Latex-based paint, being water-soluble, is generally easier to remove. If you find yourself with wet latex paint in your hair, act promptly. Begin by rinsing the affected hair under warm water and gently rubbing the paint away. Apply a mild shampoo to the painted area, lather gently, and use a wide-tooth comb to detangle any paint remnants.

To get rid of latex paint from your hair, you can try other alternative methods:

  • You can soak your hair in water for a while to loosen the paint. However, it takes some time, and you’ll need to wait a few hours. 
  • Try using toothpaste.
  • For dry paint, attempt to carefully brush it out.
  • For stubborn paint, think about using a special paint remover, a mix of hair spray and solvent, or WD-40. However, these chemicals might not be good for your hair and skin.

How to Remove oil-based Paint from Hair?

Removing oil-based paint from hair can be a bit challenging than water-based paint, but here are some steps you can try:

Olive Oil Method:

Applying olive oil is a gentle way to remove and soften the paint which makes it easier to comb out. The upside is that it’s safe, doubles as a natural hair conditioner, and there are no significant downsides. If the paint is dried or in larger amounts, just wrap your hair in plastic. I found that olive oil is great option for removing dried paint from hair.

Shampoo and Comb:

Using a clarifying shampoo can help wash out paint. Comb through wet hair after applying the shampoo. However, you might need to repeat it if the paint persists.

Dish Soap Technique:

Dawn dish soap is good for cutting through oily substances like paint. Using dish soap on the affected areas and allowing it to sit before rinsing can effectively eliminate the paint. It’s a simple method, and as per my experience Dawn dish soap is gentle enough for hair. Just be cautious with your eyes.

Toothpaste Trick:

Toothpaste can act as a mild abrasive to remove paint. Apply it to the painted sections, let it sit, and comb through. The advantage is that toothpaste is readily available. However, the toothpaste trick may not work for everyone in removing oil-based paint, and thorough rinsing is important.


Apple cider vinegar helps break down paint particles. Massaging it into the hair and combing through can remove the paint easily. The benefit is that vinegar is a natural clarifier. The downside is the vinegar smell, but it washes out with regular shampoo.

Baby Oil:

will coconut oil get paint out of hair

Baby oil or mineral oil can soften oil-based paint, making it easier to comb out. Apply, let it sit, comb through, and wash. The advantage is its effectiveness, but using too much might make your hair greasy, requiring extra shampooing.

Peanut Butter:

Peanut butter, with its oily nature, can break down paint. Apply, massage, and let it sit before washing. The benefit is its accessibility, but it might feel unpleasant. Use chunky peanut butter for a bit of grit to help remove paint.

How to get water-based paint out of hair?

  • If the paint is still wet, use a clean cloth to blot or dab it.
  • Wash the painted hair with warm water, avoiding spreading the paint.
  • Apply a bit of gentle shampoo and massage it into the painted area to break down the paint.
  • Carefully use a wide-tooth comb to untangle the hair and remove loosened paint.
  • If the paint remains, repeat the process patiently.
  • After removing the paint, use conditioner to keep the hair moisturized.
  • If it’s tough or you’re worried about damage, consult a hairstylist for guidance.

Does Vaseline remove paint?

Yes, Vaseline can help remove certain types of paint from the skin. Apply a good amount of Vaseline to the painted area, let it sit for a while, and then wipe or wash it away. Keep in mind that its effectiveness may vary depending on the paint type and how long it’s been on the skin. It’s a good idea to test a small area first and try alternative methods, like using oil-based cleansers, for stubborn or dried paint. Afterward, make sure to clean the skin thoroughly with soap and water to get rid of any remaining residue.

Will coconut oil get paint out of hair?

To get rid of paint in your hair, warm up some coconut oil and generously apply it to the painted area. Let the paint stay on your hair for 10-15 minutes to let it loosen up. Afterward, use a fine-toothed comb, starting from the tips of your hair, to gently comb through. The softened paint should come off more easily during this process. Finally, wash your hair thoroughly to remove any remaining oil and paint residue. 

After using it, I must say that coconut oil is an excellent way to remove wall paint from hair.

Does paint damage hair?

Dealing with paint in your hair isn’t ideal, but the paint itself, especially the water-based or acrylic kind, usually isn’t the main reason for damage. It’s more about how you tackle the removal process. Using strong chemicals (rubbing alcohol), solvents, or scrubbing too hard to get rid of paint can take away the natural oils from your hair, making it dry and prone to breakage.

When paint dries on your hair, I’ve found that going in with natural oils or a good conditioner beforehand helps a lot. And here’s a heads-up: leaving paint in your hair for too long can make the situation worse. So, be gentle during the removal process, and after that, show your hair some love with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. If things still don’t look right, it’s not a bad idea to chat with a hairstylist—they’ve got some expert advice up their sleeves.

How to remove paint from hair | Strategies for Unknown Paint Types

If you’re uncertain about the paint type in your hair, start by gently picking it off with your fingernails. Alternatively, try dish soap or toothpaste – dish soap with water and rubbing, or toothpaste abrasive properties can aid in paint removal. For oil-based paints, apply oil (olive, baby, or vegetable oil) and comb through, or use a mixture of vinegar, salt, and water. As a precaution, consider wearing a shower cap during future painting activities to prevent contact with your hair.

How To Care For Your Hair After Removing the Paint?

You can wash it first with a shampoo and use conditioner after it. Now, here’s my go-to DIY treatment for hairs:

Mash up half an avocado, add half a teaspoon of olive oil, and throw in 3 drops of essential oil (like lavender, eucalyptus, or rosemary).

Rub that mix in to fix up any damage. Use a wide-tooth comb for gentle detangling. If your hair’s still looking rough, a trim might be the move. Get in touch with a hair pro for some advice tailored to you. Your hair’s going to love you for it!

Final words:

To sum up, if you find paint in your hair, act fast. When it comes to removing paint from your hair, you have the option to try different methods, either natural or chemical.  Natural methods involve using household items like coconut oil, olive oil, or vinegar to get rid of the paint. On the other hand, chemical solutions like WD-40 or rubbing alcohol can be used for quicker results. Remember to test a small patch of hair first to ensure compatibility with the chosen method. Always be gentle during the process to avoid hair damage. Pick the approach that works best for you and the type of paint you’re dealing with to achieve optimal results. 

Rosalie Sanchez-Holapaints writer and owner

Rosalie Sanchez

DIY enthusiast with years of experience in home decor and home improvement. With a passion for educating consumers about DIY projects. Every time, I work with our painting professionals to provide you with the best painting product reviews and how-to advice. You can follow me on Facebook.

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