How To Remove Hair Dye With Hairspray – Easy Guide

Are you trying to remove hair dye at home? This article looks at whether you can use hairspray to remove hair dye and if hairspray is good or bad for your locks.

How To Remove Hair Dye With Hairspray

Hairspray typically contains a high concentration of alcohol that can dissolve hair dye. Not all hairsprays use alcohol as a solvent, but those that do contain about 25-50% alcohol.

However, keep in mind that excessive use of hairspray with a heavy alcohol base could potentially weaken hair and lead to hair loss.

Is Hairspray Good or Bad For Hair?

Hairspray is a popular styling product that can secure a wide range of hairstyles and eliminate frizz and flyaway hair.

The key ingredients in most hairsprays are alcohol and polymers.

The alcohol acts as a solvent, and when you spray the product, the alcohol quickly evaporates. 

This leaves behind a film of polymers that bond to hair and keep it from moving throughout the day.

However, some potential issues could come up from using hairspray with a heavy alcohol content:

Hairspray Dries the hair and scalp

The alcohol in hairspray dries out hair and strips away moisture and natural oils.

If the hairspray is not rinsed out thoroughly, your hair could become dry and brittle. Continued use also promotes hair breakage and split ends and will make hair look dull instead of shiny.

What’s more, hairspray irritates the scalp and creates a build-up of flaky particles that resemble dandruff.

May irritate hair follicles

When sprayed too close to the roots, hair spray will form an invisible layer that coats the scalp, irritating the hair follicles.

This could lead to hair loss, especially with regular use.

Can damage hair

Hair spray often contains a concoction of harsh ingredients that can damage hair fibers.

In addition, trying to brush hair when it’s locked in place could cause breakage.

This is especially so with products that don’t have a flexible formula since these leave your hair nearly immobile.

What To Watch Out For When Buying Hairspray

Short-chain alcohols like ethanol, rubbing alcohol, and denatured alcohol can be harmful to hair, so avoid hairspray with such ingredients.

This also applies to products labeled as setting sprays, holding sprays, finishing sprays, or other types of sprays.

As long as the product is formulated to hold a hairstyle in place, it could contain the wrong kind of alcohol.

However, keep in mind that long-chain alcohols like cetyl alcohol don’t cause frizz and dryness.

Instead, they moisturize and condition hair, leaving it soft and manageable.

Overall, the best type of hairspray contains beneficial long-chain alcohols and natural resins.

Does Hairspray Remove Hair Dye?

Does Hairspray Remove Hair Dye

Hair spray is one of the most suggested methods for removing hair color stains from clothes, carpets, and other surfaces.

Therefore, there’s probably some truth to the fact that it can remove the unwanted color from hair.

However, removing hair dye is more an issue of how effectively the product can strip dye molecules.

Hairspray with a high concentration of alcohol achieves the best results.

Hairspray can contain up to 50% alcohol, though a higher concentration would achieve even better results.

Usually, these types of hairspray are the cheapest on the market.

They not only contain a heavy alcohol content, but they also contain harsh chemicals that speed up the removal of dye molecules.

Alcohol is a powerful solvent that helps to remove semi-permanent dye molecules with fewer washes.

The harsh chemicals also raise the cuticle allowing the alcohol to penetrate the hair shaft and remove permanent hair dye molecules from the core of your hair.

Still, even the cheapest hairspray that contains lots of alcohol and harsh chemicals will not remove hair dye entirely in a single application or even after several applications.

In most instances, the hairspray will only fade the color by a few shades.

For more hair dye removal tips, check out my post on How To Remove Hair Dye With Hair Gel.

How To Use Hairspray To Remove Hair Dye

How To Use Hairspray To Remove Hair Dye

Here’s the procedure for using hairspray to remove hair dye.

  1. Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo and hot water to strip away dirt and oils. Hot water opens the cuticle, while the strong surfactants in the clarifying shampoo help remove some of the dye molecules before you apply hairspray.
  2. Spritz your hair down with hairspray that contains a high concentration of alcohol. Move the spray across your hair to ensure even application. You can use the product as normal to secure a hairstyle and go about your day. The longer you let the hairspray soak your hair, the more the dye will fade.
  3. When you’re ready to wash off the hairspray, shampoo with cool water and rinse thoroughly. 
  4. Allow to air dry before applying a leave-in conditioner or moisturizer.
  5. If you notice fading, repeat the process over several weeks to enhance the results.

Also check out my post on How To Remove Hair Dye With Shampoo.

Warnings for Removing Hair Dye Using Hairspray

  • Hair spray contains toxic ingredients like carboxymethylcellulose, denatured alcohol, polyvinyl alcohol, and propylene glycol. These ingredients can cause problems when inhaled or if they go down the throat or into the eyes. The ingredients can also trigger allergic reactions like sneezing, itching, and red eyes.
  • To minimize the risk of hairspray poisoning, don’t abuse hairspray and only apply it 12 inches from your hair in a well-ventilated room.
  • Keep in mind that hairspray is highly flammable, so keep away from open flames. There’s a story of a woman who suffered fatal burns after lighting a cigarette. While these cases are rare, it shows the potential dangers of hairspray.
  • Do not spray the product on the scalp as it dries out the scalp and causes irritation.
  • Avoid keeping hairspray on your hair for more than a day to minimize hair damage.
  • Since regular use of hairspray carries a risk to your health and hair, it’s recommended to explore other popular hair dye removal methods, such as baking soda, lemon juice, and vitamin C.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does Laundry Detergent Remove Hair Dye?

In theory yes, laundry detergent can remove hair dye as it contains strong surfactants that can dissolve dye molecules. However, the harsh chemicals in detergent are strong enough to damage the hair cuticle.

Can Oil Remove Hair Dye?

Heated oil could help to gradually remove hair dye. This is because the heated oil can help open the hair cuticle, allowing for the oil to penetrate the hair shaft. Once the oil settles in the context, it stabilizes and pushes out the dye molecules.

Can You Remove Hair Dye With Relaxer?

Relaxer can remove hair dye because it has a strong alkaline pH. This opens the hair cuticle and causes it to swell. This not only allows relaxer to penetrate the hair, making it straighter, but it allows the dye molecules to escape the hair strand, thus removing hair dye from the hair.

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.