How to Get That Giant Wad of Gum Out of Your Kid’s Hair

how to get gum out of hair

Be honest: It happened to you when you were a kid… more than once. And now your mini is repeating your mistakes and has come home with a huge wad of chewing gum stuck to her hair. Yes, it looks bad, but don’t panic and perform an emergency haircut. Instead, gather a few household items and a whole lot of patience. Here’s how to get gum out of hair—no scissors necessary.

What you’ll need: Any type of vegetable oil (olive oil works great) or peanut butter and regular shampoo.

Step 1: Coat the gum completely with the oil or peanut butter using your fingers or an old toothbrush. Rub it in gently. (Note: If you’re going with the peanut butter, make sure you opt for the smooth kind—you don’t want anything else getting stuck in there.) Whatever product you use, try to keep it contained to just the problem area as much as possible. Let the ingredients sit for a few minutes. As the natural oils work their magic, they’ll make the chewing gum less sticky and more stiff.

Step 2: Once the gum is sufficiently hard, gently remove it with your fingertips, being careful not to tug at the hair. The best way to do this is the same way you would remove a knot—hold the strands firmly in place above the gum and then work slowly to untangle the mess. Just don’t use a brush or comb since this might just spread the gum around and do further damage. If the gum is especially thick, you may have to repeat step one.

Step 3: Wash the hair as you normally would with a mild but effective shampoo (we like this one from Babo Botanicals). You may need to do this twice if your kid’s head still smells like a PB&J sandwich.

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Executive Editor

Alexia Dellner is an executive editor at PureWow who has over ten years of experience covering a broad range of topics including health, wellness, travel, family, culture and...