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Remove Gum Without Scissors (Or Tears)

My 6-year old daughter and I share many things: eye color, our love for kickboxing and full, Type 3a/b curls. Unfortunately, we also share a similar experience with chewing gum.

When I was seven , I recall sitting on the kitchen table in tears, and my mother cutting out curls with scissors. I went to school the next day with a few less curls, eyes swollen from crying, and a new, shorter hairstyle. So when my daughter came home with three bits of gum stuck in her hair, I wasn't about to let that happen to her! Thankfully there is an easier, less frightful way of removing the gum without the scissors, tears, or damage to your child's hair.

All you need is creamy peanut butter or a vegetable oil. Dr. Mirmani, of assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco says that "with peanut butter, the oils in the product make the chewing gum base stiffer and less sticky."

What You'll Need:

  • creamy peanut butter or vegetable oil, such as olive oil
  • an old wash cloth or toothbrush 

Directions

  1. Cover the gum completely with either peanut butter or oil.
  2. Very gently spread the oil with either your fingers, the wash cloth or a brush. 
  3. Let the oil (or peanut butter) sit in the hair for a few minutes. This allows the oils to work and the gum to loosen from the hair.
  4. Using the brush or cloth, gently move the gum out of the hair in downward strokes.
  5. Wash the hair as you normally would and style. 

Watch Step-by-Step

Chances are, your child will also have a few super “shiny” spots on their curls where the oil sat - not a bad thing for curls. In fact, olive oil treatments are a great “treat” for curls every so often.

My daughter didn’t love the smell, or the waiting time (10 minutes feels like a lifetime to a 1st grader) but it was over before she knew it. And when I explained the alternative to her she was back to her happy, giggling, curly self very quickly.

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