Rachel Scott
Updated on April 18, 2021

Maybe you’ve got the car window rolled down while you’re blowing a big bubble, or maybe your child isn’t used to chewing gum and you suddenly find a messy wad of gum in your hair. It is one of those questions that you never ask until it happens to you: how to get gum out of hair? While you can always cut it out, not all of us want a huge chunk missing from our hair. Instead of trying to rock a new cut that isn’t you, check out these foolproof methods to the age-old problem of getting gum out of your hair.

1. Peanut Butter

One of the most tried-and-true home remedies for getting gum out of hair is peanut butter. It’s something nearly all of us have in our pantry and it does the job of removing the sticky situation. If you are wondering how it works, the oil in peanut butter breaks down the adhesive properties of the gum, making peanut butter the ideal lubricant. When you use peanut butter, the gum sticks more easily to the oils than to the protein of the hair.

To use, apply peanut butter to the strands of hair currently wrapped up in bubble gum. Coat the gum generously and work into the mess. After a few minutes, chunks of gum will start to break away and will become easy to remove. Once you’re done, you’ll probably need a shower, unless you don’t mind your hair smelling like a sandwich!

2. Oil

Since it’s the oil in peanut butter that does such a good job of untangling the mess, any oil-based substance or any pure oil, like olive oil, coconut oil, and mayonnaise, will get the job done. If you’re in this situation right now and need some convincing before you douse your head in oil, this video will show you how it’s done in under a minute. Apply it in the same way as the peanut butter, by working the oil into the glob and massaging until the gum is loosened. Since you already have some oil in your hair, you may as well apply it to your scalp and follow-up with a nourishing mask!

3. Hair Mousse

Another lubricant that you’re sure to have lying around is hair mousse. Separate the strands of hair containing the gum from the rest. Work the mousse liberally into hair and using a wide-toothed comb, gently work the gum all the way to the bottom of your strands. It should slide out fairly easily.

4. Ice

Ice may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re dealing with gum stuck in hair, but it’s a foolproof remedy that’s been used for a long time. While the process takes longer than oil or peanut butter, it’s not nearly as messy and works if you’re out in public or don’t have time to wash your hair afterward.

Hold cubes of ice against hair or wrap an ice pack around the strands of hair that contain the gum. The goal here is to freeze the gum, making it brittle. It will start to break off into your hands, freeing your hair. It may take a while, but at least your hair will simply be damp and not covered in peanut butter or mayonnaise.

5. Vinegar

Vinegar may be a method of getting gum out of hair that surprises you, but it works well at dissolving the gum. Vinegar is another product that is easily found in nearly every home. You can use apple cider vinegar or even rice vinegar if you’re in a pinch, but the most common remedy is white vinegar.

If you’re wondering how this works, the vinegar acts as a solvent to deteriorate the bond between the hair and gum. To use it on your hair, completely soak a rag in vinegar or dip hair in a cup of vinegar. Soak for several minutes and remove the gum slowly and gently with fingertips or a wide-toothed comb.

6. Vaseline

Good old Vaseline is another product you’re guaranteed to have lying around the house. This oil-based substance is a sure-fire way to nip this gum problem in the bud! Apply ample amounts of Vaseline to the entire strand of hair containing the gum, especially the bottoms. Work the vaseline into your hair really well. Leave on for a few minutes, then, using a wide-toothed comb, gently work the gum down the strands of hair. If the gum won’t glide easily, just add more Vaseline.

7. Coca-Cola

Finally, this common household product truly does wonders in getting pesky gum out of your locks. While it seems pretty unlikely, the same acids that can break down rust on a bicycle can break down the gum, causing it to slide right out of your hair. To use, liberally apply the beverage to the hair and listen to the sizzle! After a minute, grasp the hair above the gum and pull down, sliding the gum along with your fingertips. It’s that easy! And just in case you’re skeptical, here is a video proof that this method works.

And there you have it! If you ever find a friend, your child, or even yourself in a particularly sticky situation, refer back to this page for any one of these 7 methods. Whether you’re at home, at work, or even out-and-about, every method is foolproof, just find the one that works for your situation! Good luck!

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