Self Tanning Questions

How Do You Remove Self-Tanner From Hair? (4 Easy Methods)

Written by: Anastasija

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It’s no secret that self-tanner is the best way to achieve your dream summer glow, but there can be many complications during the process of application. Sometimes, you can find you’ve ended up with self-tanner in your hair, especially if it’s blonde, so here’s how you can remove it.

How does this happen?

As mentioned, self-tanning, while it produces brilliant results, can have a messy application process, which can result in getting self-tanner in your hair. If you have blonde hair, you are much more likely to experience this problem as the product shows up much more clearly than other hair colours.

Personally, I am a redhead, so I don’t find myself struggling with this, but it’s still useful to know.

In self-tanners, the main active ingredient is known as dihydroxyacetone (DHA) and is responsible for the sun-kissed colour you get from the bottle. This DHA reacts with the top layer of skin cells when it comes into contact with them and develops a colour.

The same can happen to the hair, as hair strands a very porous, meaning they soak up water and other liquids easily. So, you may find yourself in a situation where the self-tanner has soaked up into your hair and caused a temporary colour change.

No need to panic – there are ways to solve this.

Also read:
How To Remove Self-Tanner Streaks? (4 Methods Explained)
How to Get Rid of Self-Tanner from Hands? (A Quick Guide)
How to Take Off Self Tanner Quickly? (My Favorite Methods)

How do you remove self-tanner from hair?

There are multiple different methods when it comes to removing self-tanner from your hair, all of which are suitable for blonde hair and shouldn’t cause any damage. The best thing to do when trying to remove the self-tanner is to remain calm and patient and remember that it may take a few washes to remove.

Remember to use some common sense when trying any of these methods to ensure nothing messes with the self-tanner you have on your body, or that you don’t ruin your hair. Try to stick to one method if you can – it’s okay to try the same one a few times to completely remove the colour, just avoid piling loads of products up.

Also, try to do this after you have rinsed your body of the excess tan if possible, to prevent any water or anything else leaving streaks or drips on your skin.

Method #1: Simple shampoo

If your hair is a darker colour, or it hasn’t stained too badly, a few shampoos may do the trick. Just make sure you’re not being too rough on your hair during the process, and it’s also important that you have chosen a shampoo that works nicely with your hair type and scalp. Choosing one which has a purple toner in it may also be a good option, but you probably shouldn’t use this for every time you shampoo your hair.

So, just hop in the shower and rinse your hair like normal before lathering up some shampoo. Repeat until you are happy with the results.

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Method #2: Heated olive oil

Despite how random and unbelievable this sounds, heated olive oil can, in fact, be the perfect self-tanner remover for your hair. One thing to make sure is that the oil isn’t too hot – you don’t want to scorch your hair.

Start by heating some extra virgin olive oil in whichever way you choose. Follow by using this olive oil like soap or shampoo to deeply cleanse the hair. There should be no problem with using this method as long as you wash the oil out afterward and you may even find it makes your hair softer! Just be careful and use the oil once it cools down.

Method #3: Chemical hair colour removal

Believe it or not, there are actually products on the market which are designed to remove hair dye or colour from your locks. If you have naturally-colored hair, this can be a good fix for you, but perhaps not the best idea if you have dyed your hair (it might remove the whole lot).

If you have bought a chemical hair colour remover, follow the instructions on the box, and just use it on the area which is affected if possible. It’s a good idea to use a conditioner that has a low pH afterward, as this will nourish your hair and balance out the chemicals you have used.

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Method #4: Hot water

If you have just noticed the self-tanner in your hair and it’s still wet, the fastest and most effective method is to just use hot water. If you are choosing to do this method and you have just applied your self-tanner to your body, ask a friend or partner to help or be very careful to make sure you don’t leave any marks.

All you need to do is take the affected area of hair and run it under some warm or hot water – make sure it’s not too hot as you don’t want to scorch your hair!

How can you avoid getting self-tanner on your hair?

Even though there are ways to remove self-tanner if you do get it in your hair, prevention is always better than cure, so preventing the self-tanner getting there in the first place is even better! There are some ways you can do this, even if you have very light hair:

    1. Use a self-tanning brush: a self-tanning brush is a more precise application method, so it’s good for small areas like the hairline to give you more control. I’m currently using this one from Real Techniques and it’s great!
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    1. Use a foundation in some places: it’s clear that, for some of us, self-tanning around the hairline is too difficult, and we’d rather avoid it altogether. If this is the case for you, avoid self-tanning areas close to the hair and just use a matching foundation instead as it will be far less messy.
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  1. Use a moisturiser or heavy cream along the hairline: this sounds very different but using a moisturizer or cream along the hairline creates a barrier where the self-tanner won’t blend into. This means it is easier to avoid the hairline, as it’s almost the same as the concept of using masking tape when painting walls.

Final thoughts

Although it can be annoying to find yourself with self-tanner in your hair, there are ways to solve this problem, and even prevent it in the future. If you have blonde hair, it’s good to be especially careful when applying self-tanner, as it’s mainly blonde hair which struggles with this. Use these techniques and you’ll be so grateful!

About Anastasija

Welcome to my website! I'm Anastasija, and as a redhead with a sensitivity to the sun, I embarked on a quest to find the perfect sunless tanner six years ago.

After extensive research and four years of personal experience, I'm here to share my wealth of tips and tricks for achieving a beautiful, sun-kissed glow.

Whether you're interested in self-tanners, spray tans, or safe sun exposure, this website covers it all.

Join me as I provide valuable insights and guidance for various methods of getting that desired tan.

Anastasija thirsty for tan about me

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