Photo: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Oops -- looks like your dye job covered a few spots you hadn't counted on. Your tresses may be a gorgeous new shade, but looking like a giraffe probably wasn't what you were going for. Don't sweat, though; getting a few splotches of semi-permanent dye on your scalp and skin are totally common. Luckily, there are tried and tested ways to get that dye off the skin so you can focus on your stellar new hair hue.
Dig the box of baking soda out of the fridge and mix a little bit with the same amount of dish-washing soap. Then, dip a soft cotton cloth (a torn-up old tee works perfectly for this) into your newly mixed cleaning formula, and gently wipe the dyed spot on your skin, making sure to get any stains on the scalp, too.
Grab a tube of toothpaste if the above step doesn't completely remove the semi-permanent dye from your skin. Dab some toothpaste onto the stained skin with your fingers, then wait for it to dry completely, around 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse the toothpaste off with warm water and check to see that the dye is gone.
Get a good night's rest, and if you can still see dye stains on your skin in the morning, try another tactic. (It's best to wait for a night, or else you could irritate your skin with product overload). Mix together some nail polish remover and water, then dip a cotton ball into the mixture. Press over the dyed spots on your skin for up to one minute, then gently wipe over the stains. Rinse with warm water and dry with a gentle cloth.
Wouldn't you rather avoid dyeing your skin in the first place? Of course you would. The best way to do that is by spreading some petroleum jelly over your skin before dyeing your hair. Cover your hands, neck, forehead, hairline and ears and prepare to dye. (Just remember to wash the slick stuff off once your hair's done).
Never use harsh or abrasive chemicals on your skin to get the dye out, even if it seems that nothing will work. Semi-permanent hair dye tends to fade from skin on its own after a few days, and if it doesn't, ask a pro hairstylist to help you.