How To Get Rid of Hair Dye Smell (7 Ways)

Ever wondered how to get rid of that strong hair dye smell and what you can do to combat the odor? A simple solution lies in a homemade recipe for a hair wash featuring apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and warm water.

How To Get Rid of Hair Dye Smell

You can get rid of hair dye smell by creating a paste with 1 tbsp of baking soda and a dash of water. Apply to your hair and leave for 5 minutes. Then mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar with 500ml warm water as a rinse to remove the paste.

This post contains affiliate links and we may earn if you click on them (at no extra cost to you). Please read our full disclosure policy here.

Why Does Hair Dye Smell?

Hair dye formulas often consist of ingredients such as ammonia and hydrogen peroxide.

These two chemicals are distinct in their odor and contribute to the overall odor of a hair dye.

In some cases, the ammonia contained in a commercial hair dye product will cause your hair to smell for 48-72 hours after the application process.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to combat the odor so you can have an enjoyable at-home coloring experience.

7 Ways to Get Rid of Hair Dye Smell

how to Get Rid of Hair Dye Smell

So, how do you get rid of hair dye smell and are there any home remedies worth trying out? We recommend these 7 handy hacks:

1 Vinegar and Baking Soda

Have you accidentally spilt some hair dye on your tile floor or around your bathroom sink?

If you’re wondering how to get rid of the sight and smell of the hair dye the answer is with vinegar.

It’s a great product to use in general for cleaning your bathroom but it works particularly well with hair dye stains.

The trick lies in first adding a small amount of baking soda with some water to create a paste.

Apply the mixture directly onto the dye first and then add baking soda which will further help to activate the mixture.

The hair dye will easily wipe away and with it any lingering odors.

Another option is to fill a small glass bowl with vinegar and a touch of lemon juice. Place the bowl in your bathroom and it will work to absorb the ammonia odors which is essentially the cause behind the hair dye smell lingering.

2 Tomato Juice

For this solution you will need the juice of two tomatoes.

It’s really effective in combatting the distinct smell of ammonia featured in your hair colorant.

As tomatoes are acidic in nature they are great at fighting the smell of harsh chemicals found in your hair dye formula.

Simply make tomato juice by placing two tomatoes in a blender. Wet your hair and apply the mix directly on to your strands.

Gently massage the tomato juice into your hair and let it stand for around 20 minutes. Rinse your hair and wash as normal.

The tomato juice will absorb the smell of ammonia from your hair leaving it feeling refreshed and well-nourished.

Also Read: How To Get Hair Dye Out Of Shower (7 Easy Ways) 

3 Tea Tree Oil

If you’re wondering how to get rid of the smell of hair dye on your hair using an oil-based method this next step is just for you.

This easy hack involves just 6 drops of teat tree oil and one to two tablespoons of almond oil.

Combine both ingredients and apply the mixture directly onto your scalp gently massaging it in.

Allow around 20-30 minutes to pass for the mixture to adequately be absorbed.

Complete this method by giving your hair a rinse and wash as normal.

4 Neel Oil Remedy

This next handy tip involves the use of neem oil which is known to promote thicker, stronger, and healthy hair.

For this recipe, you will need to choose a base oil such as coconut or jojoba oil.

Add 5 to 6 drops of neem oil to the base oil and mix the ingredients together. Apply it directly on to your hair and let it sit for around 30 minutes.

Rinse out the mixture using warm water and wash your hair as normal.

5 Lemon Juice

Did you know lemon juice offers great healing properties for both your hair and skin? It helps to cleanse your locks and scalp and will leave your hair feeling smooth and shiny.

It has also a citrus fragrance which will help to eliminate the strong dye smell and replace it with a more pleasant odor.

An added bonus is that lemon juice helps to combat dandruff and scalp infections.

For this handy hack, you will need the juice of two lemons and a cup of water.

Combine these two ingredients to make a hair formula and spray the mixture directly onto your hair.

Let it settle for a few minutes and then wash your hair with your regular shampoo.

6 Vodka

If you’re still looking for a method on how to get rid of your strong hair dye smell this vodka recipe could be for you.

Surprisingly, this type of alcohol is a great solution to getting rid of unwanted odors in your hair.

It’s also great at cleaning your hair and promoting growth so you can enjoy luscious locks as an added bonus.

Simply mix one tablespoon of vodka into a bottle of water.

Shampoo your hair as normal and while wet apply the solution directly onto your hair.

There is no need to rinse afterward as the mixture will need to be absorbed into your hair.

7 The Sulfur Shampoo Method

For this method, you will need to use a sulfur shampoo, such as the Harrogate Sulphur Soap Shampoo which is easily purchased from Amazon. Shampoos that contain sulfur are known to help get rid of bad odors from your hair and scalp.

These shampoos are also great at fighting against bacteria. Apply the sulfur shampoo to your hair and allow it to soak for a couple of minutes.

Rinse and wash your hair as normal to enjoy healthy, fresh-smelling hair.

Also Read: How To Go Swimming With Semi-Permanent Hair Dye

How Long Does It Take for Hair Dye Smell to Go Away?

As you know it’s recommended that you wait around 72 hours before you wash your hair after any hair dye application.

If you’re wondering how to get rid of the hair dye smell without washing it away and how long it will last, the answer is around 2 days. In some cases, it may last as long as a week.

How To Prevent Hair Dye Smell from Lingering

How to get rid of that dreaded hair dye smell and prevent the odor from lingering is a common question women ask themselves when gearing up to do at-home coloring.

Luckily, we have found a few helpful tips so that you can place your focus back on choosing your next color:

Dry Shampoo

It’s a lesser-known secret that dry shampoo is a great product for helping to prevent the smell of hair dye in your locks.

It’s usually expected that you have to wait 72 hours before washing your hair after applying any dye.

Dry shampoo is the perfect solution in that it will help to absorb the oil from your scalp and essentially clean your hair without you washing your hair.

Simply separate your hair into sections and apply the spray to your roots and strands.

Brush it into your hair and leave it to settle while you enjoy the new scented fragrance to replace the smell of the hair dye.

Wash Your Hair with Lemon Juice

Once the 72-hour waiting period has elapsed, a helpful hack is to add a tiny bit of lemon juice to your shampoo.

Wash your hair as usual and leave on the mixture for around two minutes or so before rinsing it out.

Lemon is a citrus fruit and is perfect for leaving a fresh aroma while keeping your hair shiny and soft for longer.

5 Ammonia Free Hair Dyes

If you’re still looking for ways to get rid of having a lingering hair dye smell post-coloring, we reveal how with these 5 ammonia free hair dyes:

1. Colorsilk Beautiful Color from Revlon

Our first recommendation is from Revlon with their Colorsilk Beautiful Color hair dye. It contains no ammonia in the formula and offers UV protection for your hair. An added bonus is that it also offers 100% grey coverage along with nourishing silk proteins so your hair will be well looked after.

3. Garnier Olia Dark Brown Permanent Hair Dye

If you’re looking to achieve maximum color performance whilst still using natural, organic ingredients Garnier Olia Oil permanent hair color is a great choice.

This hair dye is ammonia-free and is 60% oil-powered and infused with natural flower oils. It also offers 100% grey hair coverage.

4. Clairol Natural Instincts Semi-Permanent No Ammonia Hair Dye

If you’re looking for a semi-permanent ammonia-free hair dye Clairol Natural Instincts is great at offering a short-term solution to coloring your locks.

Its gentle formula is created with 80% naturally derived ingredients and includes coconut oil and aloe vera.

This product is also ideal for those looking to neutralize brassy tones and cover greys.

A handy tip is to opt for one to two shades lighter or darker than your natural color when looking to decide on your new hair shade when using a semi-permanent hair dye.

Naturtint Permanent Hair Colour

Naturtint permanent hair color completes our list, and not only does it not include ammonia, but it is free from parabens, silicones, and artificial fragrances.

Enriched with natural oils, this gel formula consists of organic botanical oils and pure extracts.

It’s a great choice for those looking to achieve a vibrant color without harmful chemicals. Your hair will feel stronger and smoother and experience long-lasting color.

Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.

Photo of author

Dee Poulsen

Dee has been following the Curly Girl Method for over four years and is our in-house Curly Girl expert. She has a keen interest in natural haircare and has tried and tested her share of CGM products. She has a photographic memory of most sulfate and silicone-free hair products available on the high street and she's always happy to recommend you her favorites.