How to Remove Gum from a Boy’s Hair


It never fails. When I have a busy week, it is bound to get busier. I guess that is one guarantee of being a Mommy! Last week I was stressed to no end. I had to prepare for Oma’s funeral, catch up on the work I missed on my two weeks holidays and prepare for an upcoming business trip. It was the night before I was to leave and my stomach was a nervous mess because I haven’t traveled solo in awhile so I was worried that I had over packed or packed things that are no longer allowed on the plane. I was also worried that I hadn’t ironed out all the kinks for my kids (i.e. laundry, babysitting, meals, etc.) that would be required while I was away. It was after dinner, I was just starting to feel like I had things under control when I heard screams from upstairs.

How does one get gum in their hair when they have a brush cut?

It was after dinner and my son was instructed to go have a shower with his sister. I was finishing up a few things downstairs before I was headed upstairs to ensure the process was running smoothly. Before I completed my tasks, I heard my daughter crying and my son scream. I run upstairs, pull the curtain back to my son yelling “It burns! It burns!” The first thing I see is pink, bubble marks on chin and neck. My mind immediately turns to hot water burn pictures from my first aid course. As I take in the situation, I realize the pink colour is not flesh pink, but rather a bright bubble gum pink. I also learned that the “burning” was really the tugging of those little hairs on the back of his neck (trust me! I’ve had those hairs caught in my necklace and I know it hurts!). When I realized we were dealing with gum not gore,  I finished the showering routine and got both kids out of the shower to assess the situation before me. Apparently, DS7 was having a shower and and worried that his gum getting wet. He removed it from his mouth and placed it behind his head so it ‘wouldn’t get wet’. When he turned to get the shampoo, the hot water hit his gum and splattered it across his head.

The Solution

This my first experience with gum in hair. My kids were never allowed to chew gum because I was afraid it would get everywhere, as they got older, I allowed it and had never had a problem until now! In the past, I had heard of people using ice, rug shampoo and peanut butter to loosen the gum. I vetoed the last two right away because they were too messy and started using the ice cubes. In theory, ice cubes freeze the gum making it become chunky rather than sticky and easy to remove. This may work on long hair, but on DS7’s buzz cut, it was freezing and burning his scalp. DH wanted to shave it out. I must admit that we did do the two bigger chunks, but the thought of poor D7 having shaved bald spots in his head with minus 20 degree weather, wasn’t really appealing. Any amount of scraping or pick caused DS7 to scream as those tiny neck hairs were yanked. I was so desperate that I almost tried the peanut butter trick when I realized that it was the ‘oil’ in the peanut butter that was the key ingredient.

I took a small bowl and filled it with plain old vegetable oil. Using a paper towel, I dabbed the oil on the spots with gum and left it. It took me about two minutes to slowly apply this oil to every spot that was covered with gum. As I went back to the start, I noticed the gum slowly peeling away from his skin and the tiny hairs on his neck. Some areas came off easy, others required a second or third coat of oil before finally all the gum was removed! The best part is there was no mess!! The paper towel absorbed most of the oil and the pieces of gum and after I was done, I just rubbed the excess oil into DS7’s skin.

Have you had a gum in your hair experience? How did you get it out??


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