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Can You Use Latex Gloves to Dye Hair? & Why?

Fact checked by Andrew Carnegie

can you use latex-gloves to dye hair

Coloring hair is a messy and troublesome process, especially if you get stains on your hands and skin. This is why wearing gloves is important, whether you are a beautician working in a salon or working on a do-it-yourself hair coloring project.

But can you use latex gloves to dye hair? If you think it’s okay to do so, you may want to keep reading to find out why latex is not the ideal gloves for dying hair.

Is It Ok if I Use Latex Gloves to Dye Hair?

No, latex gloves are usually not among the options for salon gloves. Unlike standard hair stylist gloves, latex doesn’t provide enough protection against the harsh chemicals in hair dyes.

Insufficient protection aside, using latex gloves for bleaching hair can also cause allergic reactions. As a result, using latex as gloves for hairdressers can pose a threat to both the esthetician and the client.

Even if you or your client is not allergic to latex, this material is still not ideal as hairdresser gloves. This is because latex has a lower chemical resistance than other types of gloves. When coming into contact with the color, the gloves may trigger eczematous reactions.

Instead of latex, you should opt for thick nitrile gloves, which offer the most protection against the chemicals in hair dyes.

Can You Dye Your Hair Without Gloves?


While you technically can dye your hair without gloves, it is still not advisable to do so, considering that hair dyes are packed with chemicals. Even if your skin is not overly sensitive, you’re still at risk of chemical burns and irritations.

So, what to use instead of gloves to dye hair if your dye kits don’t include one? For starters, you can opt for a thick plastic bag as an alternative. Rubber-washing-up gloves are also ideal, as they’re usually thick enough to protect your hands from chemicals.

Can You Use Other Types of Gloves to Dye Hair?

The most suitable gloves for estheticians would be nitrile, which is made of Nitrile Butadiene Rubber (NBR). These gloves have long been a standard in beauty salons.

Aside from being latex-free, salon nitrile gloves are also puncture-resistant, durable, flexible, and resistant to harsh chemicals— including hair dyes. More so, they are found to be the most effective in preventing contact dermatitis.

Other than nitrile gloves, some would say that vinyl is also a possible alternative. However, the truth is that salon care vinyl gloves are not widely used due to their low protection from chemicals in hair dyes.

In other words, while vinyl is latex-free, this material can still trigger allergies if exposed to hair dyes long enough. As a result, using vinyl or latex gloves for hair dye is not recommended.

The Importance of Gloves When Dyeing Hair


As discussed above, you shouldn’t forgo gloves when dyeing your hair. If you’re asking, “what would happen if I dyed my hair without gloves?”, allow me to walk you through a few possible consequences.

For starters, you can get pesky dye stains on your hands, which can be really hard to get rid of. It may take days before the colors start to fade, and I’m certain not everyone is willing to walk around with stained hands.

Besides, dealing with hair dye involves a lot of mixing, applying, and rinsing. This leads to prolonged exposure, giving plenty of time for the color and chemicals to soak into your pores.

This can make you vulnerable to harsh chemicals, such as ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, formaldehyde, sodium hydroxide, and phenylenediamine (PPD). As a result, you may suffer from irritation, itchiness, redness, or even more!

Thus, reusable, disposable gloves for hair dye act as a protective barrier against harmful chemicals and the harsh effects they pose. They also save you from the hassle of removing hair dye stains from your hands.

Frequently Asked Questions


How do you prevent dye stains?

Before you begin coloring your own or someone else’s hair, here are the steps to consider in order to prevent getting dye stains:

  • Wear disposable gloves.
  • Put petroleum jelly or moisturizer around your or your client’s hairline or forehead.
  • Apply masking tape around your hairline.
  • Wrap a layer of protection around your shoulders, such as a thick towel.
  • Immediately wipe off any stains before they have time to set.

How do you remove hair dye stains from your hands?

Hair dyes are not the easiest to remove. They usually need more than just soap and water in order to get them off, especially if they are already dried up.

Therefore, here are several products you can remove such stains from your hands (and even from your hairline and forehead):

  • Using nail polish
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Olive oil
  • Toothpaste
  • Dish soap and baking soda


The old quote “beauty is pain” suggests that people suffer in order to be beautiful. Although this quote should not be taken literally, this can be true if you handle hair dyes without gloves.

Thus, asking questions such as “can you use latex gloves to dye hair?” or “what to use instead of gloves to dye my hair?” is important. These will help you determine the suitable material to protect your hands and your clients.

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