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5 Kids Hair Care Disasters – And How to Fix Them

As almost every parent can tell you, kids’ hair care isn’t easy. Keeping your child’s hair looking neat, tidy, and free from sticky stuff can often feel like a full-time job. For those with younger children, the daily struggle to comb tangles can be overwhelming. And, for parents with older children, convincing them to manage their own haircare can feel like a constant battle.

At Lizzy Lee & Me, we’ve seen our fair share of kid’s hair catastrophes. In our children-focused salon, our expert stylists are regularly called upon by frustrated parents to solve their child’s hair disasters. From rat’s nest size tangles to DIY hair cuts, and even sticky gum removal, we’ve solved hundreds of troubling hair problems.

While some hair disasters are worse than others, many can be managed at home with the right tools and information. In this article, we’re sharing tips to help parents combat the five most common kids’ hair care problems.

Kids Hair Care Disaster #1: Gum in Hair

Finding a wad of sticky, gooey, chewing gum in your child’s hair is an unpleasant surprise most parents will, unfortunately, encounter at least once! And, it’s not just gum that tends to find its way into kid’s hair.

All sticky treats have a knack for gravitating towards the hair on young children’s heads. Hard candy, fruit chews, taffy, and even chocolate-covered caramels have been removed from kids’ hair. To remove gum and other sticky foods from hair, try the following:

Olive Oil

Olive oil is ideal to remove gum from hair and is also allergy-friendly. Plus, not only will it help break the bond between hair strands and gum particles, but it’s also nourishing for hair. Rub a generous amount of olive oil onto the stuck piece of gum or candy and the surrounding hair. This will help to loosen the gum from the strands of hair.

Next, try to slide the gum down the hair towards the bottom of the hair strands. As you do so, separate the hair strands being freed and clip them out of the way. Continue the process until the gum is removed.

If the hair strands are tangled, use a strong detangling product and detangling comb as needed during the process.

Kids Hair Care Disaster #2: Enormous Tangles

Tangles left unchecked in a child’s hair can very quickly develop into large, lumpy knots. At first glance, it may seem the only way to remove a massive knot is to cut it out. However, even the most intimidating of large hair knots can usually be untangled.

De-Tangling Tools

To remove a large knot from your child’s hair you’ll need the following tools and hair care products:

  • Detangler brush
  • Detangler spray
  • Deep conditioning treatment
  • Plush toy (for squeezing while hair is being treated!)

Start by applying the detangling spray to the area with tangled hair. Let it sit for a few moments. Use a detangling brush and gently work through the knot, starting at the bottom of the tangle. As hair becomes free, pin it up and away from the remaining tangle.

Continue until the tangle is gone. Be sure to add more detangler spray as needed. For extra-stubborn tangles, rub a dollop of deep conditioning treatment into the tangle as well.

Kids Hair Care Disaster #3: Head Lice

Contracting head lice is a common nuisance among school-aged children in North America. It’s unpleasant and uncomfortable, but head lice are not harmful to children or their families. That being said, if your child has lice it’s important to treat your child and everyone in your household as well.

To treat your child for head lice, use a lice removal treatment product. Follow the directions included with the product. For best results, use a good quality lice comb. For tips on how to prevent you and your family from contracting lice, read our lice prevention tips here.

Kids Hair Care Disaster #4: Stuck Toys

Kids are amazing at getting the most interesting items stuck in their hair! While it may seem difficult to get an actual toy lodged in your child’s hair, it’s not impossible. How do we know?  We’ve seen a few odd things in our Victoria, BC hair salon! Surprisingly, there are a few toys we remove regularly from kid’s hair.


Bunch’ems are brightly coloured velcro-like balls kids can stick together. They are used to easily build all sorts of unique creations. And, they can get caught in hair easily too. If your child has velcro balls stuck in their hair, use a good detangler spray with a wide-toothed comb and gently prise the items out.

Toy Cars

Toys with small, exposed moving parts, such as the wheels on a toy car, are able to get stuck in a child’s hair. This is another situation where detangler spray is especially helpful. Spray the stuck hair with detangler and gently loosen the hair until it becomes free from the toy.


For tresses adorned with playdough, gentle dish soap and hot water should do the trick. After wetting the dough with hot water, rub some dish soap into the dough and hair. The dough should start to break up shortly after. With detangler spray and a detangler comb, work the dough out of the hair.

Kids Hair Care Disaster #5: Kids Cutting Their Own Hair

A child’s at home haircut can be very shocking for unsuspecting parents! The worst part of an experience like this is often getting over the initial shock. While you cannot replace cut hair, it’s important to remember kids’ hair will grow back.

Unfortunately, there is no real “fix” for a cut-off ponytail or missing chunks of hair. However, a fresh new haircut , maybe one of these cute short haircuts, can help turn the situation into a positive one.

Lizzy Lee & Me: Victoria, BC’s Kid’s Hair Disaster Experts

Families in the Greater Victoria Area with a child hair emergency don’t have to go it alone. Our salon is dedicated to the unique needs that come with kid’s hair care. For help dealing with a hair care emergency, call the salon and speak to one of our dedicated stylists. Or, stop by the salon for one-on-one help.

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