How to Get Gum Out of Hair in 3 Steps

Updated 12/14/17
how to get gum out of hair
John Akehurst/Trunk Archive

However it got there, getting gum in your hair is probably not the universe’s way of telling you it’s time for a haircut. While understandably daunting, resolving the issue doesn't necessarily require any drastic measures. Because no one should ever feel forced into a pixie cut (although we totally support it, provided that your choice is not prompted by a gum-related emergency), we’ve taken the liberty of assembling the most essential tips on how to get gum out of hair. With just a few simple, natural ingredients and almost no hassle, your tresses will be back to normal in no time.

Read on to learn how to get gum out of hair using a few common household items.

Coat

The natural oils in ingredients like olive oil and peanut butter counteract the stickiness of gum, making them ideal to get gum out of hair. As you rub the oil or peanut butter into your hair, be careful not to spread the gum to unaffected areas. As the oil saturates the gum, the base of the gum will naturally stiffen, rendering it less gooey and far easier to remove. A word of advice: If you opt for peanut butter, get the creamy kind. Peanuts or other add-ons such as flax seeds will only complicate the problem.

Remove

While it might go without saying, be very gentle when you remove the gum. Move slowly, and hold the hair firmly in place above the gum to avoid accidentally tugging on your scalp. Use your fingertips rather than a comb or tweezers since these can spread the gum and cause further damage to hair.

If the wadded gum is especially thick or concentrated, you may have to repeat the first step of the process a couple times as you go, ensuring the gum saturates the hair.

Wash

Using a gentle but effective shampoo (bonus points if you’re using a shampoo with natural plant-based oils), wash hair as normal. Since you’ll also be washing out the peanut butter or oil you applied in the first step, you may want to shampoo more than once.

As with the previous steps, be gentle. Depending on the type and stiffness of gum, there may still be a couple of small pieces lingering between strands of hair. Cleanse from the top down, then rinse thoroughly with warm water.

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