While adults may only rarely have to deal with gum in their hair, gum seems to be a magnet for children's heads. If you are trying to remove gum from your child's hair or your own, your first thought may be to cut it out. Fortunately, there's usually no need for such drastic measures, as there are good ways to remove gum from hair without damaging it in the process. Oily foods, like peanut butter or olive oil, may help, or the gum can be frozen and broken into pieces.
It's hard to say what the best way to remove gum from hair is, but many people swear by the use of peanut butter. It's a substance that most people always have handy or can get to easily, and it seems to work most times. Coat the gum and a small amount of the hair surrounding it with regular, smooth peanut butter. Allow the peanut butter to sit on the hair for about 30 minutes, and then pull on the gum. Usually, this works to remove the gum with ease, allowing it to slide right out.
You might also try olive oil, which has a good track record for working. To do this, apply olive oil to the gum, massaging it in, making sure you get a generous amount on the hair surrounding the gum as well. Let the oil sit on the hair for about 20 minutes, then use a comb to remove tease the gum from the hair, being gentle, of course. If this doesn't work on the first try, repeat the steps an additional time.
If you don't have any olive oil or peanut butter on hand, you can try using ice cubes. To begin, place several ice cubes in a plastic bag, and apply the ice packet you've created to the gum. Hold the packet in place long enough to allow the gum to grow hard. Once it has hardened, attempt to break the gum, so that you can pull it from the hair. Be gentle, and if it doesn't work or looks like you'll have to pull out a bunch of hair with the chewing gum, try a different method.