How to get slime out of hair

Do you remember Cynthia from The Rugrats?

Angelica Pickles carried her around like she was the Holy Grail. Cynthia wasn’t part of the main cast, but she certainly stood out. I’m sure you’ll agree if you can recall what she looks like.

For a month, I sported the same embarrassing haircut, because someone in the first grade thought it would be funny to pour slime all over me.

Impatient as I was, I couldn’t wait for the bell to ring and have my mom fix the mess for me.

So, I did what any six-year-old would do ― I sawed my locks off and walked through school looking like a living, breathing Cynthia doll. Well, maybe minus the bald spots.

Lucky for you, this guide can help you, your kids, and their playmates avoid such a mishap! 

Play with slime or its more relentless cousin, slime putty, sans the worries, because now you’ll know exactly how to get slime out of your hair without cutting it.

What is Slime made of?

How do you get slime out of a child’s hair? Well, it helps to know what you’re going up against before getting rid of it.

Slime is usually made of a mixture of glue, Borax, and water. Other derivatives such as oobleck contain cornstarch, while slime putty is made of salt and flour. 

Oobleck can be washed off with cold water, because cornstarch only becomes more viscous in hot water. Slime and slime putty, however, aren’t as easy to get rid of.

What can dissolve slime then?

Water can’t, but oil sure can do the trick. Home remedies may thus include any of the following items:

  • Conditioner,
  • Olive oil,
  • Coconut oil,
  • Baby oil,
  • Mayonnaise, or 
  • Peanut butter.

If you aren’t a fan of oil dripping down your scalp, you can always use a weak acid to get that gunk out of your hair. Just remember to put on a pair of goggles if you prefer either of the items below:

  • Coke or
  • Vinegar.

A quick rinse with shampoo will definitely help after using any of the items above on your hair too, so do have one prepared as well.

How do you get slime out of a child’s hair

How to get slime out of your hair with the conditioner method

  1. First, wash your hair with warm water. High temperature and a relatively strong shower head help break down the clumps of slime so that they’re easier to clean off.
  1. Use a conditioner to massage your scalp and comb down your hair with your fingers. This helps get rid of the bits of slime still clinging onto your locks.
  1. Rinse the conditioner out with warm water. Begin by lathering shampoo onto your scalp and then end by massaging it from your roots to your tips.
  1. Wash it all off to get rid of the gunk in your hair. Repeat the process until no trace of slime or conditioner is left.

How to get slime out of hair with oil

Using a slippery substance allows you to coax the slime out of your hair, so any of the available oils in your kitchen or bathroom cabinets will do.

Mayonnaise, olive oil, or coconut oil may be the most common options in your home. However, if using edible ingredients doesn’t sit well with you, you may use baby oil too.

  1. Apply a generous amount of the chosen oil onto your hair and carefully distribute it all over. Focus on the slime-affected areas.
  1. Use a fine-toothed comb and gently comb down your hair to get rid of the slime. Comb in one direction only in order to avoid creating tangles.
  1. Wipe your comb every now and then to remove the slimy bits that deposit themselves in between your comb’s teeth.
  1. Repeat the process until your hair is completely slime-free.
  1. Wash the oil off with shampoo. Skip the conditioner, as this will only add to the greasy feel.

Do note that this method may require washing your hair with shampoo more than once. Normally, I wouldn’t recommend this, as excessive shampooing may dry your hair out. However, it’s necessary to get rid of the oils lest your mane collect dirt.

How to get slime out of hair with peanut butter

Peanut butter is another oil-heavy product you can use for slime removal. It’s a great alternative to using just oil as it doesn’t feel as greasy. Crunchy peanut butter will work, but it’s probably better to use the creamy variant so you won’t have to wash nuts off your hair after.

  1. Apply peanut butter onto the affected areas of your hair. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the PB’s oils to work their magic.
  1. Manually pick on the peanut butter and pieces of slime. There’s no need to comb your hair with your fingers, as spreading the peanut butter may make it a bit more challenging to take it off your hair later.
  1. Wash your hair with shampoo until all the bits of slime and peanut butter are completely removed. There’s no need to use a conditioner for this method.

How to get slime out of your hair with vinegar

Vinegar has many uses spanning from skincare applications to light bleaching and cleaning.

If you’ve tried your hand at DIY beauty products before, chances are you might have apple cider vinegar on your shelves too. If you don’t, using white or distilled vinegar will do.

But how does vinegar get rid of slime in hair?

Well, it contains acetic acid, which can easily dissolve glue and other adhesives. This ultimately helps in decreasing the adhesion between the slime and your hair.

  1. Dilute the vinegar with water at a ratio of 2:0.5. This makes the mixture’s smell and bleaching capacity less potent and more appropriate for this slime-busting method.
  1. Wear a pair of goggles and step into the shower. Either dip your hair into the vinegar mixture or pour it onto your hair.
  1. Massage your scalp and dislodge the bits of slime as you do.
  1. Pour another round of diluted vinegar onto your hair if the first one doesn’t seem to be enough. Alternate between massaging your scalp and combing with your fingers until all of the slime is removed.
  1. Wash the vinegar off with warm water.
  1. Wash your hair in reverse, à la the conditioner method.

How to get slime out of hair with Coke

If you aren’t fond of the smell of vinegar, use soda instead. It works similarly to vinegar as it contains some citric acid.

It doesn’t have to be Coca-cola as most sodas contain phosphoric, citric, or carbonic acid as well. Simply follow the procedure dictated for using vinegar, and slime will be out of your hair in no time.

How to get slime putty out of hair

Slime putty is just much more resilient slime. It’s best to use oil or a hair conditioner to combat it. Spraying on a diluted mixture of vinegar or soda can help too.

  1. Let warm water run through your hair.
  1. Apply your choice of oil, conditioner, or weak acid onto the putty-affected areas.
  1. Use a comb to dislodge the slime putty. Feel free to use your fingers to manually take off clumps as well. 
  1. Add more oil or weak acid if the slime putty does not budge. Do not tug needlessly to avoid hurting your scalp and accidentally pulling your hair out.
  1. Wash your hair with shampoo to remove all traces of gunk and acid. 

How to get slime stains out of hair

Sometimes, slime isn’t the only thing you have to get rid of.

If the recipe contains dyes or food coloring, it may bleed into your hair, too ― especially if it's a lighter shade. If regular shampoo doesn’t wash the color off, you can try using rubbing alcohol instead. 

  1. Wipe and dab on the stained locks with an alcohol-dampened cloth or towel. Then, rub it down and continue in that direction to avoid damaging your cuticles from excessive friction.
  1. Run cold water through your hair after to further lift the stains off it. 
  1. Do this alternately until the stains fade. It may take several passes, so it’s best to be patient and careful so that you don’t wear your hair down in the process.

Wrapping It Up

Slime can be tough to get rid of, but you and your kids don’t have to stop playing with it because removing it from your hair isn’t impossible.

This entire list proves that even slime-purging can be a fun process, so there isn’t anything to be worried about.

However, if you ever find yourself asking, “How do you get sticky stuff out of hair?” this guide will prove handy too. The home remedies listed above work just as well for gum and glue.

If we’ve missed other common home remedies, let us know in the comments!

Don’t make the same mistake I did, and keep your scissors away from your kids. They’re not appropriate toys, to begin with. Playtime need not be slime-free because we’ve got your back and promise to keep your hair slime-free. 

Last Updated: May 17, 2021

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