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How To Get Rid Of Hair Dye Smell? – 2 Effective Ways At Home!

aida turner

Published by Aida Turner

Fact checked by Annie

Besides the change of great looking that hair dyes can bring to you, they are likely to be harmful than beneficial.

We have to admit that dying out hair means we are applying tons of different chemicals on our head, which is definitely not good.

Understanding the Hair Dye Smell

Before delving into solutions, it’s essential to understand why hair dye emits such a strong odor. The distinct smell associated with hair dye primarily comes from the chemicals present in the product. Ingredients like ammonia and hydrogen peroxide are commonly found in hair dye formulas to help open the hair cuticle and facilitate color penetration. While these chemicals are crucial for achieving vibrant color results, they also release strong odors during the coloring process.

However, in a positive site, you can still maintain a healthy scalp and hair if you have a proper hair care routine.

But one unavoidable thing when dying hair is its unpleasant smell. So is this odor really bad for us to smell? And how to get rid of it? You’ll find your answer right now in this article.

Why does hair dye smell so bad after dying it?

The main reason is ammonia and hydrogen peroxide are two indispensable elements in a hair color product. They will linger on your hair after the dying process and can cause someone to feel sick and nauseating.

More and more hair color manufacturers care about consumers’ health. They tend to reduce chemicals to a minimum as much as possible, and work on more organic or natural ingredients.

However, it’s almost impossible to produce a permanent hair dye without leaving any bad smell on your hair.

How long does hair dye smell last?

The duration of hair dye smell can vary depending on several factors, including the type of hair dye used, individual sensitivity to odors, ventilation during the coloring process, and the hair’s porosity. In general, the smell of hair dye typically lingers for a few days to a week after coloring. However, it may dissipate more quickly with proper ventilation, thorough rinsing, and the use of odor-neutralizing techniques such as vinegar rinses or baking soda pastes. Additionally, using hair care products specifically formulated to neutralize odors can help minimize the duration of the smell. If the odor persists for an extended period or causes discomfort, it’s advisable to consult a hairstylist or dermatologist for further guidance.

Is it bad to smell hair dye?

Well, to some extent, yes. Ammonia found in hair color can cause some breathing issues, if you regularly inhale this substance.

However, the fact shows that the nasty smell from hair dye won’t stay for long term and will gradually go away. Therefore, it’s quite rare for a person to be collapsed by the ammonia odor on her head.

In a short word, don’t panic if you feel bad with the offensive hair color smell. It will disappear soon and won’t leave any serious symptoms on your health.

How to get rid of hair dye smell?

Although the ammonia smell from hair dye will go away itself over time, there are actually several ways to send it away sooner.

You might wonder what if your newly beautiful color will be discharged too?

Don’t worry, we’ll show you two typical home remedies to neutralize the hair dye odor while keeping the color intact.

Method 1: Baking soda

Things you’ll need

  1. A bowl
  2. A spoon
  3. A spray bottle (optional)
  4. Warm water
  5. Baking soda
  6. Apple cider


  1. Mix 2 tbsp of baking soda with ¼ cup of warm water (the amount of water can adjust) to create a liquid mixture
  2. Rinse your dyed hair with the mixture (or sprinkle on dry hair)

You can also dilute baking soda with less water to result in a paste form. Use it to massage your hair in five to 10 minutes, and rinse again with the mixture of apple cider and warm water.

Maybe you don’t know, Baking soda is also an effective way to remove hair dye without bleach.

Method 2: Vinegar

Things you’ll need

  1. A bowl
  2. A spoon
  3. Warm water
  4. Vinegar


  1. Mix equal parts vinegar and warm water in a bowl
  2. Rinse your dyed hair with the mixture (or sprinkle on dry hair)

These super easy methods with simple ingredients can help you get rid of ammonia smell without removing your newly applied color.

The principle is ammonia will be neutralized in acidic conditions, so you can try with other natural ingredients as well.

However, give it a test on a small section of hair to check if it affects your color or nit.

You also can Use Vinegar To Lighten Hair

See also: What Happens If You Put Vinegar In Your Hair?

Does hair dye cause permanent damage?

How damaging hair dye can cause your hair will actually depend on many factors. But yes, it can lead to permanent damage if improperly done.

Hair loss, moisture loss, breakage, or scalp irritation are some of many unhealthy symptoms that your hair and scalp might have to face.

If you don’t follow an appropriate dying process and a hair care routine, long-lasting damage is unavoidable.

In the last word, we just want to emphasize that hair dye smell is not a big deal, but how you take care of your dyed hair will be crucial.

Natural remedies to get rid of hair dye smell

Lemon Freshness: Learn how lemon juice, with its natural acidic properties, can effectively combat hair dye smell while preserving your hair color vibrancy.

Essential Oil Elixirs: Explore the aromatic world of essential oils such as lavender, tea tree, or peppermint, known for their odor-neutralizing abilities without compromising your hair color.

Herbal Infusions: Dive into the realm of herbal rinses, harnessing the power of chamomile, rosemary, or sage to eliminate hair dye odor while enhancing your hair’s natural shine and softness.

Color-Safe DIY Solutions: Discover gentle DIY remedies using natural ingredients like aloe vera, honey, or green tea to banish hair dye smell without stripping away your hair color.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is it safe to use vinegar or baking soda on colored hair?
    • Yes, both vinegar and baking soda are safe to use on colored hair. However, it’s essential to rinse thoroughly to ensure all residues are removed.
  2. How often can I use these methods?
    • You can use vinegar or baking soda rinses once a week or as needed to combat hair dye smells. Overuse may strip the hair of its natural oils, so moderation is key.
  3. Can I combine vinegar and baking soda for better results?
    • While both ingredients are effective individually, combining them may neutralize each other’s properties. It’s best to use them separately.
  4. Are there any alternatives to vinegar and baking soda?
    • Yes, you can try other natural remedies such as lemon juice, tea tree oil, or activated charcoal to eliminate hair dye smells.
  5. How long does it take for the smell to dissipate after using these methods?
    • The duration varies depending on individual hair type and the intensity of the dye odor. In most cases, the smell should dissipate within a few hours to a day after treatment.

Alternative methods: Dyeing Your Hair With Food Coloring and Bigen Hair Color to avoid Hair Dye Smell.

aida turner


Founder & Hair Beauty Specialist

I’m Aida and this is my blog where I write mostly about beauty and make up related stuff, but I like to spice it up a bit with lifestyle and photography posts. Or with whatever that comes to my mind. Hope you will enjoy the reading enough that we will ‘see’ each other more often!