How to remove gum from your child’s hair without using scissors

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (Oct. 8, 2013) —

Ever feel like your child’s hair is a magnet for gum? Don’t be concerned.

“Parents often think the only way to remove gum from the hair is to cut it out. Fortunately, common items from your pantry can do a great job at removing the gum – and sparing an impromptu haircut,” said board-certified dermatologist Paradi Mirmirani, MD, FAAD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco.

To remove gum without damaging the hair, Dr. Mirmirani recommends people follow these steps:

  1. Find a jar of creamy style peanut butter or vegetable oil, such as olive oil.
  2. Cover the gum completely with peanut butter or oil using your fingers or an old toothbrush. With peanut butter, the oils in the product make the chewing gum base stiffer and less sticky. 
  3. Wait a few minutes to allow the product to work.
  4. Remove the gum from the hair. Vegetable oil is especially useful when removing gum from eyebrows or eyelashes.
  5. Wash your child’s hair as normal. 

“If you have questions or concerns about caring for your hair, you should make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist, a medical doctor who specializes in treating the skin, hair and nails," said Dr. Mirmirani.

These steps are demonstrated in “Remove Gum without Cutting Hair,” a video posted to the Academy website and the Academy’s YouTube channel. This video is part of the Dermatology A to Z: Video Series, which offers relatable videos that demonstrate tips people can use to properly care for their skin, hair and nails. A new video in the series posts to the Academy’s website and YouTube channel each month.

Celebrating 75 years of promoting skin, hair and nail health

Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 17,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the Academy at 1-888-462-DERM (3376) or www.aad.org. Follow the Academy on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology) or Twitter (@AADskin).

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