I’d like to think that I’ve seen everything one could see in the world of hairstyling, but just when you think you’ve seen it all, along comes something that totally blows your mind. When people get into serious hair trouble, I’m the one they come to. And I mean that quite literally…it seems there are days when my co-workers get all the easy and low-maintainence clients, and I’m inundated with people who’ve attempted to cut, color, or perm their own hair and in the process have turned it funky colors or have made it fall out, break off, or turn to mush. And yes, I have seen hair turn to mush. This month, I dedicate this column to all you daring and courageous do-it-yourself hairstylists who keep me in business and make my day interesting. This is your survival guide for overcoming hair disasters of Hindenburg proportions.
PROBLEM: Bubblegum stuck in hair
CAUSE: Most likely happens to people who fall asleep with gum in their mouths, or the gum gets stuck in the hair when attempting to spit the gum out. Most victims are children, although I have witnessed this happening to adults.
SOLUTION: Solidify the gum by gently rubbing an ice cube over it. Then, using small household scissors, cut away as much of the gum as possible without cutting off any hair. Use an oil (mineral oil seems to work best) to loosen the remaining gum and slide the loosened chunks down the hairshaft to the ends. Do not shampoo until all the gum is out, otherwise hair will knot. Apply a leave-in conditioner or detangler and gently comb out remaining tangles with a wide-tooth comb. Peanut butter, mayonnaise, and bacon grease have all been used in the removal of gum, due to their high oil content, but they are not recommended because food products may attract insects.
PROBLEM: Child takes chunk out of hair with scissors.
CAUSE: Your child finds the scissors and attempts to play hairstylist; usually the day before school pictures.
SOLUTION: If the chunk missing is in the back or near the ends of the hair, a hairstylist can easily fix the situation with minimal loss of hair. But more likey, your child took out a big chunk in the front hairline close to the scalp. The stylist may have to fix this by giving him/her a style with bangs, in order to cover the missing chunk. For boys, I would suggest a cut in which the hair is worn forward, such as a Caesar cut, which consists of closely cropped or faded sides blending up to a scissor-cut top which is left longer in the front.