Removing Gum From Hair With Household Items
Chewing gum can have a lot of benefits, but sometimes accidents happen and that sticky treat can end up in your hair. This is more likely to happen with children who tend to be more careless with chewing gum. Before you panic and resort to cutting the gum out of the hair, there are some easy and painless ways to get rid of the gum. Here are a few methods on how to remove gum from hair that you can try out on your own before you resort to a haircut.
What Causes Gum To Stick To Hair So Easily?
Getting gum off surfaces after it immediately adheres to it works easily enough with some water and maybe a little soap to get off any leftover residue, but when it comes to hair things get a little more complicated.
Gum base is one of the ingredients in chewing gum that gives it its stretchy and sticky composition. It’s made of polymers and softeners that give it the desired texture. The chemical bonds that hold the gum together create such a hold that it makes it hard for the gum to detach from surfaces. This is why gum stretches and doesn’t break when you pull it.
Since chewing gum is water-insoluble they are able to adhere better to oily surfaces like your hair. This kind of substance also repels water naturally so rinsing the hair with water won’t help at all. This is where some of the following removal methods come into play.
No-Scissor Methods Of Removal
Before you reach for the scissors or call the nearest hair salon, these household items can be used to remove gum from hair easily and usually without pain.
- Smooth Peanut Butter
This is one of the most popular methods and it’s quite effective. The oil in the peanut butter can act as a lubricant while the other natural ingredients break down the chewing gum. Choose peanut butter that has 80 grams of fat in every 100-gram serving. Then separate the affected area of hair to contain the mess.
Use a toothbrush or something similar to apply the peanut butter to the gum using downward strokes.The gum should break down as you brush it in. Switch to a comb to remove the gum. You may also have to use a towel or cloth to work remaining residue out of your hair. Once the gum is out, wash and dry your hair to remove the leftover peanut butter.
- Household Lubricants
Cooking lubricants and beauty products can also be used to remove gum from hair. Things like olive oil (or any cooking oil), toothpaste, WD-40, Vaseline, or even hair mousse can be used to remove gum from hair successfully. Separate the hair and apply your lubricant of choice to the gum.Work it into the gum with your fingers using long, downward strokes making sure not to squeeze the gum.
Once the gum is fully covered in oil, you can start to comb it out of the hair. Clean the gum out of the comb after each pass. Soak up the remaining lubricant with a cloth before shampooing your hair normally to get rid of the rest of the lubricant.
- Dissolving The Gum
You can use household dissolvers like rubbing alcohol, lemon juice, mayonnaise, or white vinegar to dissolve the gum and get it out of your hair. Apply your chosen dissolver to the affected area and let it stay in for a least one minute (make sure you time it properly). After a minute, try using your fingers to break the gum apart. If it’s still hard to manage, add more dissolver and allow it to sit for longer and try again.
The gum should come out of your hair easily with just your fingers but you may want to use a towel or cloth to get the remaining residue out of your hair. Finish up by shampooing your hair normally to get the dissolver out of your hair.
- Freeze It With Ice
Ice will harden the gum and allow you to chip it out of the hair. This method might be a little more uncomfortable than the other methods, however, since the gum has to be pulled from the hair. Simply apply an ice cube to the area for about 20 minutes or so. Once the gum hardens, break it free from the hair. You may need to refreeze the gum if you notice it becoming soft again.
- Eucalyptus Oil
If you’re concerned about damaging your hair or your child’s hair with some of the above methods, turn to natural eucalyptus oil. This product is natural and won’t harm the hair or scalp at all. This essential oil will break down the gum as other dissolvers can do (it will also soothe your scalp if the gum is close to it). Apply the oil liberally using your fingers with downward strokes.
Let it sit for at least one minute (preferably longer). Begin working the gum out of the hair with your fingers applying more oil if necessary. When you see that the gum is completely broken down, use a comb or soft cloth to remove the gum from the hair. Wash and dry your hair normally to get any leftover residue out of your hair. This is also the best method for pet hair since pets can be more sensitive to other products.
Other Methods for Removal
If you get gum stuck to more sensitive hair like eyebrows or eyelashes, the best thing to do is to turn to natural lubricants like vegetable oil which won’t harm your eyes and the sensitive skin around them. Rub on the oil and work the gum out of the hair as described above.
There may also be times when chewing gum in the hair might go unnoticed for a day or so. The longer the gum is in the hair, the harder it might be to remove. You can try all of the above methods but some extreme cases might call for stronger removal methods.
The most drastic option is to go to a salon and cut the gum out of the hair. By going to a salon or barber you can have your hair styled in a flattering way. If you choose to cut the gum out of your hair yourself you risk walking around with an unflattering haircut.
While getting gum stuck in your hair can cause concern and panic, the aforementioned removal methods can help you get rid of the problem easily. Try one or more of the methods on your own before turning to more drastic measures.