InStyle July 18, 2022



How to Get Gum Out of Your Hair Without Cutting It


The panic ends here.

Chewing gum is all fun and games until the wad you had in your mouth to blow that giant pink bubble ends up in your hair. Exactly how the gum got stuck in your strands is beside the point. What's most important is figuring out how to remove it from your hair without using scissors to cut it out.

While there are a ton of haircare tips and tricks on the internet, unlike braiding tutorials or flat iron wave tutorials, "how to get gum out of hair" isn't a topic you search until you've found yourself in said predicament and need a solution ASAP.

So, you're in the right place if you currently have a wad of Hubba Bubba stuck in your strands and need it out stat. Keep reading for expert tips on how to get gum out of your hair as painlessly as possible.

What Is Chewing Gum?

Chewing on a stick of gum can stop your ears from popping on a flight, quickly freshen up your breath, and can help ease anxiety ahead of a big presentation at work. Today, gum is typically made from synthetic rubbers and resins to create its chewy, sticky texture. And while this combination makes gum pleasant to chew on, it's also why it's stretchy, which in turn, makes it difficult to get out of hair.

How to Get Gum Out of Hair

The good news is that cutting gum out of your hair is the absolute last resort. Instead, experts share an easy step-by-step guide for removing gum and all you need is a hair clip, a toothbrush, and items you probably already have in your kitchen pantry.

Isolate the area: Give yourself room to work and avoid getting more hair stuck in the gum by using a clip to isolate the hair surrounding the affected area.
Grab some oil: Reach for peanut butter, vegetable oil, or olive oil and saturate the gum and hair with it. "Try a very creamy peanut butter — it will be easier to target the sticky gum," suggests Adrianne Johnston, a stylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago. "Let this sit for a few minutes. During this time the gum will become hard and less sticky."
Separate the gum from hair: Finally, use an old toothbrush and/or your fingers to gently separate the gum from the hair until it is fully removed.
Use an ice cube: Alternatively, Jasmine Rilington, a hairstylist, licensed cosmetologist, and founder of The Glam Room, says you can freeze the gum by taking an ice cube and applying it to the hair. "It will take away the stickiness of the gum and make it easier to remove it," she adds.

Both of these methods are universal fixes but may take longer depending on your hair texture and length. Along with being patient, Johnston says to "work slowly and apply more oils to keep softening the hold."

How to Cut Gum Out of Your Hair

If the above techniques don't work for getting gum out of your hair, it's time to break out the scissors. When cutting gum from your hair, Rilington says how you do it will depend on where the gum is stuck.

The ends of hair: If the gum is located towards the ends of your hair, Rilington suggests cutting it as though you are trimming your hair.
The top half of hair: For gum that's stuck closer to the roots, the stylist says you may need to adapt your haircut to a shorter style after it cutting it out. For the best results, see a professional stylist for a post-gum cut.
The middle of the hair: Cut just the area where the gum is located. "Then you could use a protective style method, such as extensions or tape-ins to hide the cut until your hair has fully grown back in," Rilington says.

How to Care for Hair After Removing Gum From It

The gum is out, but your hair is soaking in oil. So, now what? Johnston recommends using a clarifying shampoo to get all of the residue out.

"Aftercare should involve a clarification shampoo on that area will remove impurities," the stylist shares. "Maybe even dish soap on that section of hair to make sure everything is removed." Johnston suggests Kérastase Bain Divalent Balancing Shampoo.

Once hair is washed, use a conditioner that will hydrate and restore any damage, such as Innersense Hydrating Cream Conditioner. Johnston also recommends using a brush or comb specifically designed for detangling to prevent tears and breakage, such as Trademark Beauty's Tame Your Mane Brush.