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Expert Approved Ways To Remove Gum From Your Hair

woman with curly hair and gum how to get gum out of hair
Are you that clumsy friend that can’t seem to walk without tripping over your own two feet? You’re not the only one. Just like frizzy hair, embarrassing moments can strike at any given time. Of all of the embarrassing things that can happen, however, getting gum stuck in your dark brown hair is by far one of the most humiliating. It's not only awkward when the sticky stuff ends up in your strands, but also very frightening when it seems like the only solution is to cut it out.

We teamed up Cory Hoffman, Matrix artistic educator and stylist, to provide you expert tips on how to get gum out of your hair and—spoiler alert—all you may need is a comb and a little bit of oil. Keep on reading if your hair is in immediate need of saving.


What are common mistakes when removing gum from your hair?

Before we get into the nitty gritty of what works best, we need to identify what we’re all doing wrong. There’s a long-standing belief (often passed down from your grandma) that freezing the gum will help to remove it from your hair. The idea is that if you freeze the gum, it will become hard and easily break apart. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work—sorry, grandma! Furthermore, Hoffman says freezing your strands can lead to hair breakage.

It’s important to note that the gum itself probably won’t cause damage. However, the same can’t be said for the methods used to remove gum. That leads us to the ultimate question:


How do you get gum out of your hair?

The first thing you should do when you notice gum in your hair is separate it from the rest of your strands. Hoffman recommends using a hair elastic to tie the rest of your hair away from the affected area. She also suggests placing a rubber band just above the gum to avoid getting even more of your hair in a sticky situation.

If you are someone who thinks cutting your locks is the only way to get gum out of your hair, you’re in luck. Hoffman says there are many effective ways to remove the sticky substance from your strands. One of her favorite methods is using hair oils to lubricate the affected area because it is very gentle on the hair. Applying an oil that’s safe to use on your hair may help to break the gum down and create enough slip so that you can gently comb it out. We suggest working in small sections, starting at the bottom of your strands and working your way up. For best results, use a product specially formulated and tested for use on hair.

However you decide to get the gum out of your hair, Hoffman says that it's critical to be gentle. Since the gum itself doesn’t cause any harm, you don’t want to cause any self-inflicted damage to your locks.


What’s the best way to care for your hair after the gum is out?

If your hair feels a little stressed after removing the gum, the best way to restore your luscious locks is to jump in the shower for an immediate wash and conditioning. We recommend using a clarifying shampoo like the Matrix Biolage CleanReset Normalizing Shampoo. The shampoo will help remove any extra residue without drying the hair. For the best results, follow it up with the Biolage Ultra Hydrasource Conditioner.

Now that the worst is over, rest assured that you know all the secrets to removing gum from your hair. Your friends, family, and hair will all thank you.

If you’re looking for more expert tips and tricks, use our salon locator to book an appointment near you.