How to Remove Gum From Hair

As a professional hairstylist, I am called upon to solve a wide variety of interesting hair-related problems. Removing gum, candy and other sticky substances from hair is all part of the job, so I've tried and tested every method and home remedy under the sun. After years of trial and error, here is what I believe to be the quickest and easiest way to remove gum from the hair.

The first step is to remove as much of the gum as possible before attempting to put any substances into the hair. This can be done by hardening the gum with an ice cube. After a minute or two, the gum will usually be hard enough to pick apart with your fingernails. Avoid using heat to soften the gum, as this will just make the job more messy.

After you have removed as much gum as possible by hand, it's time to apply an oil to the hair. Any type of oil will work, such as olive oil, vegetable oil, or baby oil. Allow the oil to soak into the gum and hair for a few minutes, then try to work the gum out of the hair using your thumb and forefinger.  The oil will not only help to break up the gum into smaller and more manageable pieces, but it will help the gum slide out of the hair. A common home remedy for removing gum from the hair involves rubbing peanut butter into the hair. The reason this method works is because peanut butter has a very high oil content. The drawback with peanut butter, however, is that after you have removed the gum from the hair, you still have to remove the peanut butter from the hair-- which can be just as tricky and frustrating!

After the majority of the gum has been removed, there may still be some sticky residue as well as the oil left on the hair. The best way to remove this is by creating a mild abrasive paste using equal parts of shampoo and baking soda. This paste is great for removing any type of buildup on the hair, from gum and candy to hair spray and styling products. This formula is also great for the scalp, since it absorbs excess oil and scours away dead skin cells.

Finally, after the hair has been shampooed using the shampoo and baking soda mixture, apply a light conditioner throughout the hair and comb through with a wide-tooth comb. This will prevent tangles and remove any remaining traces of residue.