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How to Get Gum Out of Your Hair: Tips That Will Save Your Locks

October 29, 2020

7 Min read

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There’s really nothing worse than getting gum in your hair. Even though it commonly happens with children, it can happen with adults too! In any case, it’s best to get the gum out of your hair without having to cut it out and create an unsightly haircut as a result. So before you reach for those scissors, try out the following tips to save your hair and get the gum out:

Peanut Butter

Believe or it not, but peanut butter is actually a great way to get gum out of your hair. We love this method because it involves something that most people already have handy in their homes! But how is peanut butter able to get gum out of your hair? As it turns out, peanut butter is hydrophobic, meaning that it repels water— gum is also hydrophobic. This means that the peanut butter will be able to stick to the gum instead of just sliding off and getting all over your dry hair. The overall idea here is that peanut butter will help dry out the gum, make it less sticky, and easier to get out of your hair. But peanut butter has another bonus property of being pretty oily. The oil interacts with the gum and also makes it less sticky. 

So what are the steps that you need to follow to effectively use peanut butter to get gum out of your hair?

  • First, you need to use creamy peanut butter instead of chunky peanut butter. 
  • Next, you should ideally separate out the affected chunk of hair with a rubber band so that it’s easier to focus on and then easier to clean afterward. 
  • Next, find a spare toothbrush and coat with peanut butter. Using the toothbrush, apply peanut butter to the top of the gum-affected area and work your way down using long strokes. If you’re having trouble spreading the peanut butter onto your hair, you can use the back of a spoon or another hard surface to act as a base that you can easily work with. Wait a few minutes after applying before taking further action so that the peanut butter can work its magic. 
  • After a decent amount of peanut butter has been applied to the gum and is starting to break down, you may want to ditch the toothbrush for a comb or just your fingers so that you can remove more of the gum.
  • You can also choose to use a towel or even a paper towel to wipe the gum out of your hair. This also helps to pick up some of the extra residue that a comb or your fingers would miss.
  • In any case, once the gum is out of your hair, you will need to shower or shampoo your hair in order to remove the peanut butter and any remaining sticky residue from the gum. And just like that, your favorite sandwich ingredient effectively saved your hair! 

Ice

Another thing that you can use to remove gum from your hair is ice. This works for obvious reasons— the ice will work to freeze the gum, hardening it, and making it easier to remove from your hair. That being said, this method can be a bit painful since the gum will need to be pulled out of the hair rather than dissolving or sliding out on its own. Therefore, it works best if you only have a small amount of gum, and you don’t mind a little pain to save your hair. Here’s what to do:

  • You’ll need to leave the ice on the gum for 5 – 15 minutes, so it’s best to use an ice pack as a regular ice cube will melt too quickly. 
  • Once the gum is hard, you can start chipping it out of your hair. This can be an arduous process, and the gum might soften up while you are working it out. If that happens, simply re-freeze it with your ice pack or ice cube. 
  • This method is simple and doesn’t involve putting anything crazy into your hair, but it isn’t guaranteed to work perfectly. That said, it can also offer a quick fix if you have an accident while you’re out and about and can’t access any of the other home remedies to remove the gum.

Oil

If you aren’t crazy about the ice method, you could also try the oil method! Oil acts as a lubricant and can easily help the gum slide out of your hair without losing any hair in the process. Also, like peanut butter, oil is hydrophobic and can counteract the stickiness of the gum. Some of the best oils to use here are easily found in your kitchen or bathroom. You can use canola oil, vegetable oil, olive oil, coconut oil, or vaseline. Here’s how it works:

  • First, you should separate out the affected chunk of hair with a rubber band so that it’s easier to focus on and then easier to clean afterward. 
  • Pour the oil into a small dish. Dip your fingers into the oil and apply it generously to the gum in your hair. Alternatively, you can pour or squeeze it on directly from the container.
  • Work the oil into the affected area with your fingers and make sure that the entire area is coated in oil.
  • Next, you can use a wide-toothed comb or brush to slide the gum out of your hair. 
  • Afterward, use a towel to soak up some of the excess oil and gum residue from your hair before washing and conditioning your hair.

Vinegar

Finally, our last gum-removal method involves vinegar or other substances that can dissolve the gum. For this method, you can use dissolving substances like white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, lemon juice, eucalyptus oil, or even mayonnaise. Baking soda and water combined together may work as well. Here’s how to do it effectively:

  • Use your fingers to apply the substance onto the affected area. Let it sit on the hair and start to break down the gum for at least a minute— longer if possible. 
  • After you’ve waited for a minute or two, start to move the gum around with your fingers — it should start to break apart. 
  • If it doesn’t start to break apart right away, you can apply more of the dissolving substance and let it sit longer than you did before. 
  • Once the gum is out of your hair, you should wipe the area with a towel to make washing your hair easier. 
  • Finally, wash your hair, dry it, and your hair will be as good as new — no one will ever know that there was gum in it. 

If, for whatever reason, none of these methods work, then you might be thinking that you’re destined for a horrible haircut. However, that doesn’t have to be the case! No matter where the gum is located in your hair, a skilled hairstylist can get it out and give you a great haircut in the process. It might not be exactly what you’re used to, but you may end up loving it and decide to keep up this new style permanently! 

Conclusion

As you can see, getting gum out of your hair is generally possible with the help of a few different home remedies. So before you get desperate and decide to cut it out, try out these methods that can actually help save your hair and save yourself from a DIY haircut.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The Prose Staff is here to share the best hair tips and tricks to help you achieve all your hair goals with custom hair care, breakthrough innovation and more

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