Mermaid Hair Problems: 11 Cleaning Products Anyone with Colored Hair Needs to Keep Around

published Nov 10, 2016
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(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Attaining the perfect shade of mermaid hair might be #goals, but bright hair dyes come with serious upkeep and can make a mess, especially if you color your hair at home. If unicorn hair is what you seek, you need to keep these cleaning products on hand—the good news is, you probably have most of them already, so you’re one step closer to the mermaid hair of your dreams.

1. Rubbing Alcohol

What you need it for: Removing any hair dye stains from your skin, post-coloring sesh—just mix with soap.

2. Baking Soda

What you need it for: Like rubbing alcohol, you can mix baking soda with dish detergent (which will come in handy for other things, too) to remove hair color stains from your skin.

3. Dish Detergent

What you need it for: Along with saving your skin from your hair dye, you can mix dish detergent, white vinegar and cool water to get hair color stains out of upholstery.

4. White Vinegar

What you need it for: Vinegar can also be used to remove hair dye stains from skin—just rub with cotton wool.

5. Petroleum Jelly

What you need it for: Before you start coloring your hair, rub a little petroleum jelly on the skin around your hairline, neck and ears—it’ll keep your hair color from spreading to your skin in the first place.

(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

6. Baby Oil

What you need it for: In place of petroleum jelly, you can use baby oil to create the same barrier for your skin to keep color from straying.

7. Magic Eraser

What you need it for: Dip a magic eraser into a mixture of water and bleach to clean up your tub or shower if the color runs out of your hair and leaves stains behind.

8. Bleach

What you need it for: Along with cleaning your shower, you can also use chlorine bleach to get hair color stains out of fabric (just make sure the fabric is bleach safe.)

9. Ammonia

What you need it for: You can use ammonia to get stains out of fabrics that aren’t bleach safe (reminder: don’t mix bleach and ammonia!) and clean carpets and upholstery.

10. Hairspray

What you need it for: Saturating stained fabric with hairspray can help loosen up hair dye stains.

11. Hydrogen Peroxide

What you need it for: Hydrogen peroxide might just be the thing you need to get stubborn hair dye stains out carpet and upholstery—just spot test to make sure it doesn’t cause any damage or strip the color.

Preventative tips for DIY at-home coloring:

  • Invest in a smock to keep your clothes stain-free (or wear clothes you don’t care about).
  • If you can, color your hair outside to keep messes out of the house (you might need a friend to help with this).
  • Before you start, wet a rag and keep it on hand for quick and easy clean-ups during the dyeing process.
  • Put an old towel down over the sink and counters to make post-dye clean-up easy and avoid stains.
  • Hair color takes a while to process, but try to stay in one room to contain any potential spills, drips and stains.
  • Get a cheap shower cap to wear while your color is processing, that you won’t mind tossing away afterwards.
  • Invest in a black silk or satin pillowcase to sleep on—it won’t show stains and will keep your other bedding stain-free, plus the material will keep your already-damaged hair safe from further breakage.