One of the many frustrations* joys of having three girls is the fun times I have spent brushing their hair, detangling knots, picking out sticks, and the struggle of removing (insert gasp and evil glare here) gum. My girls have commonly fallen to sleep with gum in their mouths and woken up with the gum stuck in their hair.

They have also roughhoused so much while chewing the dreaded gum that the offensive candy migrated from their mouths and into someone’s hair. I am then stuck with the frustrating task of deciding if I will cut out the mass myself or if I will be kind enough to take them to a salon. 

However, discovering this amazing life hack has saved my children’s precious locks multiple times. For a heavy soda drinker like me, having a Coke in the house is an easy step. The tricky part is getting the gummed victim (2 out of 3 children have been diagnosed with ADHD) to sit still long enough to soak their hair. The process is relatively quick and straightforward.

According to vocal media, the phosphoric acid in Coca-Cola reacts with the natural oils in the hair, negatively affecting the properties of the gum. As a result, the gum will no longer have anything to stick to, and with the aid of a comb, it will come right out. To return some of the oils and prevent damage, use a leave-in conditioner or consider deep conditioning the hair afterward.

Gum in the hair is a major frustration for many parents of adventurous gum chewers, and a hack like this saves hair. Though my kids can attest to the ever-present dark soda in my home, if alternative supplies, like peanut butter or mayonnaise, are available, they may be better options for the hair’s health. For more alternative and interesting uses of Coca-Cola, check out here!

Have you ever gotten gum stuck in your or your kid’s hair? Share your story and photos, if you have them, in the comments!

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