Disney’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” follows the exploits of 11-year-old Alexander as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life – a day that begins with gum stuck in his hair. While there is a comedic side to it, getting gum stuck in hair can be painful and embarrassing.
Let’s explore different ways suggested to remove sticky treats from hair.
Although adults also get themselves in these sticky situations, the majority of the time it’s a child who gets gum or candy stuck in their hair. As a parent, before you go to the extreme of cutting a chunk of your child’s hair out or using a harsh chemical to force the sticky mess out, try some household items that are more natural and easily accessible.
First, resist the urge to just pull out the stuck item, especially if it’s gum. This only yanks on the child’s hair and makes everyone unhappy. Be patient and remember that it probably happened to you as a child, and that if you’re upset about it, your child will be even more upset and the whole process of removal will be that much harder.
When I was growing up, I watched my mom use ice on my sister when she accidentally got a lollipop stuck in her hair. It’s hard to imagine how getting something like that caught in your hair is an accident, but it happens regularly, so don’t try to reason it. The ice is meant to freeze the candy or gum, which can then be broken off out of the hair. Although this method will work, there are two major flaws. One, having a piece of cold ice stuck to one’s head is uncomfortable and there are still hairs stuck to the candy once it is frozen, which can be painful when it’s broken off.
For gum, experts recommend using peanut butter or mayo over ice. Just grab a big spoonful and apply generously to the sugary section of hair. Rub it in thoroughly, covering the gum. Use a pick or a wide-tooth comb and gently pull through the infected section of hair, cleaning as you go. You might have to use more than one application, but with patience and effort, the gum will come out.
For candy, try using cooking oil, using basically the same process. Coat the candy well with the oil and gently work the candy back and forth, back and forth, till it slides out of the hair.
In any case, always wash the hair after an attempt is made to remove gum or candy. A thorough washing with Mane ‘n Tail Gentle Clarifying Shampoo will not only get out the last little bits of stickiness but also remove the product you used for the removal. As the name suggests, Gentle Clarifying Shampoo provides a gentle cleaning, while completely removing daily buildup. It effectively removes petrolatum, grease, pomades, waxes and other hard to remove styling products. It will also remove peanut butter and mayo.
So the next time you’re dealing with candy or gum stuck in the hair, hold back any anger, stifle that laughter and head to the pantry for a natural remedy that will make the removal as easy as getting it stuck.
Photo: Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) wakes up with gum in his hair. All photos © Disney.
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