Why is it so difficult to get chewing gum out of your hair? It’s a process that has frustrated many because of the strong chemical bonds between molecules found in chewing gum – not to mention the fact that most commercial chewing gums don’t dissolve in water due to their hydrophobic qualities. Few would guess that gums have an easier time sticking to oily bases rather than water and the most common solution people resort to is simply cutting the bit of hair which has been affected. Those wondering how to get chewing gum out of their hair without having to use the scissors should read on!


5 Ways of Getting Chewing Gum out of Hair Without Cutting It


Cooking oils

Using cooking oils is a tried and tested way of getting gum out of your hair. You need to:

  • Gently rub the cooking oil to the affected area of your hair.
  • When your hair is oily enough and you can feel the gum beginning to slide off, simply use a comb or your fingers to remove it.

Cooking oils are hydrophobic and easily do away with the stickiness of the gum, allowing you to remove it without causing damage to your hair.

Types of oil you can use to remove chewing gum from hair:

– Argan oil

– Coconut oil

– Sesame oil

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Peanut butter

Because peanut butter is so oily, it is also hydrophobic and can break down the gum’s stickiness without damaging your hair. It’s much easier for peanut butter to stick to gum or oily substances than it is for the gum to stick to your hair.


In order to successfully make use of peanut butter in this situation, you need to:

Step 1 (optional): Before applying the peanut butter to your hair, you might want to separate the part of your hair that is affected from the rest so that you don’t risk spreading the butter all over your head. It is preferable to use a hairband, but a rubber band or aluminium foil are also options.


Step 2: Spread the peanut butter over the affected area making sure to rub it in. This can either be done using a toothbrush or your fingers.


Step 3: Depending on how much gum is in your hair, you might want to use a comb to get it out once it becomes slippery and soft enough, or you can continue using just your hands.


Step 4: Once the gum has been removed, shampooing your hair in order to remove whatever peanut butter remains will probably be necessary. If you cannot shower right away, use a damp towel or cloth to do this.

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Getting chewing gum out of your hair with vinegar can take longer than the other methods listed here. While vinegar is a solvent and does have a deteriorating effect on the bond between your hair and the gum, it’s important to keep in mind that this method does leave a strong odour behind which can last hours.

How to get chewing gum out of your hair using vinegar;

Step 1: Soak the affected area of your hair in vinegar for up to 10 minutes. For this, you can either use a cloth or simply put your hair in a bowl of vinegar.

Step 2: The more your hair remains soaked or submerged in vinegar, the softer the gum will get. Regularly check with your fingers to see how soft it has gotten, and when you feel it’s easy enough to slide off without harming your hair, simply do so.

In case you’re pressed for time, heating the vinegar up slightly may help you remove the gum faster.

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Lubricants are another product you can use if you’re wondering how to get chewing gum out of your hair. They offer the most straightforward solution; one just needs to apply the lubricant to the affected area and gently rub it in before removing the gum once the area is slippery enough. Some examples of lubricants include Vaseline or paraffin.

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How to get chewing gum out of hair with Dissolvers

Dissolvers are solutions which can break down the gum; a few examples of dissolvers are baking soda mixed with water, lemon juice, or mayonnaise. All you need to do is saturate the affected area by applying the dissolver and let the solution sit for 1 to 2 minutes. It will then be possible to tug the gum out with your fingers until none is left.

Depending on how much gum was in your hair, you may want to use a towel to remove any excess before shampooing.

Photo credit: focal point/Shutterstock

More Information on Chewing Gum on Our Blog

We’ve already covered the health benefits of chewing gum in a previous post, but we also know that there are instances during which it can cause annoyance. That’s exactly why we wrote this guide on how to get chewing gum out of hair without having to cut if off.

If you want to learn more about the ingredients found in gum, check out our post on what chewing gum is made of. Furthermore, those wanting to familiarise themselves with the history of chewing gum can do so by checking out our blog post on this topic.