Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Girls, Gum, and Hair

Yeah. You read that right. I've got a little lady that decided to submerge some gum in her hair. It was especially upsetting because this is the very same girl that decided grabbing a pair of scissors and cutting extremely close to her head was a fun thing to do. Eek!! It took nearly two years to get all her hair back to the same length. She was completely short for a while, then we started to let it grow a little bit longer and once we got it to a certain length we just trimmed all the rest while that previously cut hair slowly caught up. It was very sad for me because she was the only one born with a full head of hair and the only one who had beautiful long hair at a young age. Maybe she takes it for granted but this child can and will cause havoc, especially when it comes to her hair. (Did I mention she cut her hair twice before she finally learned her lesson?! Sigh...she's a stubborn one.) 

Anyway, tonight was just another night in what I can only imagine will be a long line of hair troubles for this one. 

So this is how it all started. Cecilia was playing with her sisters with a mouth full of bubble gum. I suggested that she spit it out. She thought that didn't sound like fun. Let me clarify that I didn't tell her she had to. I actually just said she might find it smarter to get rid of the gum. In hindsight, I should have told her and not given her the choice but...

So anyway, she didn't get the gum stuck in her hair while running around with her sisters. Rather, she managed to get it all stuck in her hair in about 15 seconds while sitting on the couch. Yes, sitting on the couch is quite wild what with all the...I don't know...sitting...still...and calmly. However it was accomplished, the deed was done. 

I just put my hands over my face and said, "I can't do this!" In a near sob. Then I pulled myself together and said I would NOT cut her hair and I would put the effort in to getting it out. So...I started the preparation while dad worked on getting all the rest of the gum off her hands. It was EVERYWHERE!!

I have tried a few methods over the years (I do have two older daughters after all) but found that peanut butter or ice didn't really work. So here is what to do if you find yourself in a similar predicament. 

(Don't be fooled by that sweet look, she's a trouble maker.) 
So. I started by gently pulling away any hair that wasn't already entangled and put it up. We don't want to add to that clump if at all possible. 

To keep her clothes from getting oily and creating more work for myself I just grabbed a rag and put it over her shoulder. Then I got a small bowl and poured a decent amount of olive oil in it. I knew I needed to get the area pretty covered and thought it would be easier to dip that chunk in and let it set for a minute rather than trying another method. I also kept my hands a little cleaner...at least for a while. Lol 

The next step is to just dunk the hair and gum in the bowl of olive oil. Let it set for a minute. You want that oil to work its way through. 

The next step is to just gently start pulling away the hair and the gum. I also had a paper towel that I put the gum on after removal. If you feel a lot of resistance from the hair, it's not quite ready to come out. Soak in oil some more and try again. I was very surprised at how easily I was able to get the gum removed. After getting some of the bigger chunks of hair out I decided to start pulling out the gum and it came out pretty easily. 

After getting all I could see (or at least reasonably pull out) I used a fine toothed comb to work out the rest of the sticky pieces. You know, those little black combs that we used to get with every school picture we had taken. Those horrible, unrealistic combs that only people with short, fine, hair use? Or men? Yep. It actually has a use now! They are super cheap at the stores. I would suggest you buy a few and keep them around for different uses. Anyway, after combing through her hair several times (and after working through some of the knots in her hair) all the gum was successfully removed! This is what was taken from her hair. 
There is a bit of hair that comes out with it but it is waaaay better than cutting it out. And honestly, some of the hair is from knots in her hair, not just the gum. 

That's it. All done. And all this took me only about 5-10 minutes. Not too bad!

So next time you start to see clumps of hair stuck in a strange colored mass don't fear. You don't need to envision either bald spots or large amounts of time wasted. Just be liberal in the oil and you will have it all out in no time. 

Good luck parents. If this hasn't happened to you yet, it will. And if it doesn't? NO FAIR!!!

Happy Creations~