How To Get Nail Polish Out Of Your Hair

How To Get Nail Polish Out Of Your Hair

Applying nail polish is an art. They say that because it genuinely requires focus and even after that, it might end up sticking to your skin, hair, clothes, or those of somebody else’s.

It might be only for a moment that you admire how perfectly you got your nails done all by yourself and while they look lucrative when still wet, your excited toddler might come around or a not-so-serious emergency may take hold of the situation and within a blink of an eye, one of you might end up with nail polish sticking to clothes, skin or worst, to the hair strands.

And you know, the real hassle is yet to begin.

Catching nail polish on hair is horrific because it does not come off easily. You can't just shampoo it and expect it gone. There are several steps required but if you do it right, it's only a matter of 10-15 minutes that you completely get rid of nail polish and its traces from the hair.

How To Get Nail Polish Out Of Hair - A Step By Step Guide 

Note: If you have wet nail polish sticking to your hair, immediately apply a non-acetone nail polish remover. To do this, pour nail polish remover onto a cotton pad or tissue paper and dab it on affected hair strands. Gently pull nail polish out of your hair until clean.

However, if your nail polish seems to have dried on hair even slightly, follow the steps mentioned below. The whole process should take a maximum of 15-20 minutes.


Gently pick an area that has nail polish sticking to it. Then, isolate affected hair strands and clip the rest.

2.Chip Away:

Carefully chip away hardened bits of nail polish on hair. If it pulls hair, do not continue and skip this step.

3.Apply Oil:

Pour a few drops of baby oil, mineral oil, or essential oil on your fingers and massage it on affected hair strands, working your fingers in downwards and outwards motion. It is okay if this step does not get all of the nail polish out of your hair, the goal is to moisturize the area and prepare it for the next step. However, these oils (baby oil, mineral oil, essential oil) are extremely very efficient in removing sticky and hardened material from hair.

4.Apply Clarifying Shampoo:

Clarifying shampoos are of great use and help when treating hair against buildups or stuck materials. One can always look up to them when seeking to get rid of nail paint, bubble gum, or the worst sticky materials from hair. However, frequent use of clarifying shampoos can potentially damage hair so beware of spilling things on your hair more often.

Back to getting rid of nail paint from your/your child’s hair, wet the hair strands with fingers, and apply shampoo. Work in downwards and upwards motion and gently pull nail paint out. Avoid pulling too hard. Massage for 2 minutes with light fingers and let it sit for 10 minutes on your hair. After 10-12 minutes, rinse off and all the nail paint will be gone.

While the clarifying shampoo will clean hair just perfectly.

5.Condition your hair:

Clarifying shampoo may leave one’s hair dry as it is formulated to strip oil, dirt, and foreign materials from hair. Therefore, conditioning hair as the last step in this process is vital to rebuild moisture and lock it in the hair structure.

Other Ways To Get Rid Of Nail Paints From Your Hair:

1.Icecubes (Ice-packs):

A cheaper and quicker way to get rid of nail paint from hair can be through using ice cubes or an ice pack.

Simply take out a few ice cubes or an ice pack and cover affected hair strands with ice cubes for 3-4 minutes. As nail polish becomes hardened and ice-frozen, gently pull it away from hair strands and chip away the rest.

Afterwards, one can wipe the affected hair area with nail polish remover and rinse it off with water.


Everybody has vinegar in their household. So using vinegar to clean nail polish from hair is pretty much convenient for people at any given time.

To use vinegar for this purpose, soak a cotton pad or paper towel in vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is ideally the best kind of vinegar to use for cleaning purposes but if not available, any vinegar would do the job.

Soak a cotton pad or a paper towel in vinegar for 2 minutes. Cover the affected hair area with the heavily soaked cotton pad or towel. Press it on the hair and leave it for 5-8 minutes until completely saturated. The nail polish should be coming out by then.

Wring out the rest of the nail polish from hair strands with the help of other soaked cotton pads. The coming off of nail polish should be effortless and smooth at this point.

Rinse your hair with clean water and you are good to go.

Tips To Avoid Getting Nail Polish On Places In The First Place: 

As they say, prevention is better than cure. Avoid getting nail paint messing up on your clothes, hair, carpet, or sticking it on other people’s skin or hair by taking the following measures when applying the nail polish.

  1. Tie your hair in a ponytail.
  2. If you have children at a young age, apply nail polish when they are under the care of another person or when they are sleeping.
  3. Get a fresh nail polish with your manicure session and eliminate all chances of getting your nail paint messed up in the first place.
  4. Keep all of your nail polishes in a safe place and keep them tightly closed to avoid spilling them on rugs, carpets, and other places.

The Bottom Line: 

Applying nail polish is very easy, even though it's an art. However, sometimes it can get messy and when it does, the hassle to clean it away becomes complex and frustrating. In such moments, relax and follow the process calmly. You will eventually revert the mess if you take the right measures and that too, in a matter of minutes!

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