How to Remove Gum from Hair Painlessly

If sticky, icky chewing gum ever gets stuck in your hair, don’t spring for the scissors on the very first instant. Having gum helplessly stuck in your hair may not be so helpless after all. In many cases, products with an oil base can remarkably loosen the gum from your hair, allowing it to be gently pulled away with a comb, paper towel, or clean rag.

Try some of the following remedies if you are unable to loosen the gum from your hair on your own.

Some products to use when attempting to remove gum from hair:

Ice – Perhaps the easiest, cleanest and least expensive method of all is putting a few ice cubes in a plastic bag and rubbing them onto the gum until it freezes. Once the gum has hardened completely, it should break away easily, releasing itself from the hair.

Baby oil, canola oil or olive oil – Armed with a fine-tooth comb and one of these oils, one should be able to release the gum with a little time and concentration. The oil helps to break down the gum, easily allowing it to be taken from the hair. First massage oil onto the area stuck to the gum, allowing it to set for about 20 minutes. Then gently apply a comb to the area. If the gum does not come away easily, repeat this process.

Peanut butter – (NOTE: Do not use this method on anyone with a peanut allergy!) Peanut butter may be rubbed through hair thoroughly, and left to saturate that section of hair for about 15 minutes. Follow this procedure by a gentle brushing or combing. Next, rinse or shampoo hair as usual, with warm water. This should help the gum to come free in chunks.

Mayonnaise or butter – These products have also been known to loosen gum from hair in a pinch. Massage a dab of one or the other onto the trouble spot and gently comb the gum out of the hair.

Shortening – Shortening is another product that generally releases gum from hair. Take a small dab and massage it onto the affected area. Gum should then slip out of the hair effortlessly once the shortening has loosened it.

Cooking oil or cooking spray – Also attempt cooking oil or cooking spray if shortening is unavailable.

Hairspray – By spritzing on some hairspray, gum should easily peel away from hair.

Baking soda and water mixture – A mixture of baking soda and water massaged onto problem area should resolve the situation by loosening the gum until it can be brushed out.

Regular hair conditioner – Massage conditioner into hair and comb, rinsing the comb while bits of the gum start to come out of the hair. This process is a bit more tedious than the others, so use this method as a backup plan.

Egg whites – Using egg whites and a fine-tooth comb should help loosen gum from hair and cause it to dissolve a bit. First massage the egg whites into the afflicted area, then comb gently and rinse. Repeat until no longer necessary.

Finally, if you are uncomfortable trying these other options, consult your hair care provider for a professional opinion.

The peanut butter method and the ice cube method have both been rated as highly effective techniques for removing gum from one’s hair. Special precautions should be taken, however, to ensure that the child or subject with gum stuck in his or her hair does not have a peanut allergy.

Warnings about using these methods to remove gum from hair:

The stress of these products, chemicals and methods on hair may cause some minimal breakage as the gum is being removed from hair.

Do not mix chemicals when attempting to remove gum from hair.

Oil may remain in hair even after gum has been removed, for several days and/or several shampoos. Dish washing detergent may aid in removing the oil from one’s hair.

Tips for preventing gum from sticking in hair again:

Do not fall asleep with gum in your mouth.

Do not play with gum while chewing it.

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