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How to Get Glue Out of Hair | Step-by-Step Guide

Whether glue ended up in your hair by accident or you’re trying to remove glue-in extensions, we can show you how to get glue out of hair with simple household products you already have lying around.


Wondering How to Get Glue Out of Hair? Start Here.

Black woman panicking because she needs to learn how to get glue out of hair

Kues/Shutterstock

Stubborn glue in your hair is one of the most frustrating hair woes to deal with. You may be struggling to remove the hair bonding glue from your last set of extensions or lace wig (that Got2B Glued is no joke).

Or maybe your latest DIY project took a wrong turn and now there’s craft, wood, or super glue stuck in your hair. Whatever boat you’re in, don’t panic. It’s simple to remove glue from your hair without causing damage or cutting your hair.

The key? Being patient. 

Glue removal from hair shouldn’t be attacked with desperation and an “I’ll try anything!” attitude. Instead, you need to be methodical and focused. Only try methods that are proven to work and start with those that are the least damaging for hair. 

If the first method doesn’t work, move on to the next. This way, you won’t overwhelm your hair with caustic chemicals that end up making your hair look a lot worse than it would with a little glue stuck in it! 

The thing is, there are a lot of chemicals and products that can easily remove glue and dissolve adhesive. The problem is that many of the chemicals and products that are strong enough to remove glue are also strong enough to absolutely ruin your hair. 

So you have to strike a careful balance, using products that can lift and dissolve glue without damaging your fragile strands.

We’ll make it easy for you by explaining how to get glue out of hair with common household products that won’t leave your hair with permanent damage. These home remedies for glue removal are effective, affordable, and totally safe for your hair.

Keep reading to learn how to remove glue from your hair without scissors save those for your next DIY project! 

How to Get Glue Out of Hair 6 Ways

Get rid of that pesky glue easily with any of these effective methods. Follow the directions for each method carefully to avoid damaging your hair! 

1. Mix Shampoo and Conditioner

  • Mix shampoo + conditioner and apply it to your hair
  • Set a timer for 10 minutes
  • Comb it out with a wide-toothed comb

Shampooing and conditioning should be your first line of defense against glue in your hair. This gentle method may be all you need to loosen and remove the glue from your hair.

Many people have success with shampoo + deep conditioning to remove glue. So try it first and hope for the best! Do not shampoo and condition your hair as you normally would. Instead, mix equal parts shampoo and conditioner and apply it to your hair.

You want to fully saturate the areas with glue, so pay special attention to any spot that has glue stuck in it. Massage the shampoo/conditioner mixture into your hair and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.

Once 10 minutes has passed, use a wide-toothed comb to gently detangle and lift out the loosened glue. If you’re having success with this method, comb as much glue out as you can with the wide-toothed comb, then switch over to a comb with more narrow teeth.

This will help you remove any final traces of glue stuck in your hair. Voila a little shampoo and conditioner may be all it takes to de-glue your hair and leave you with soft, detangled, and undamaged tresses! 

2. Soak With Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Apply ACV directly to glue with a cotton ball
  • Try a diluted ACV/water spray
  • Let it sit for 5 minutes, then comb out glue 
  • Make sure to rinse thoroughly and deep condition afterward

Apple cider vinegar contains a gentle acid (acetic acid) that has a similar pH level as your hair. This makes it a great, safe, non-damaging option to use for hair glue removal.

You just need to be careful about how long you leave it and make sure to deep condition afterward! ACV is cheap, effective, and even helps improve shine, remove buildup, and balance scalp pH.

It’s definitely worth trying a quick ACV application to get glue out of your hair. You can dab apple cider vinegar directly onto the stuck-in glue with a cotton ball for a quick spot-treatment that won’t affect the rest of your hair.

Let the vinegar sit for about 5 minutes, then use a wide-toothed comb to gently dislodge the softened glue. If the glue is a little more widespread throughout your strands, you can mix up a diluted ACV spray to remove the glue.

Add 1 part ACV and 4 parts water to a clean spray bottle. Spritz the diluted mixture all over your hair and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Comb through with a wide-toothed comb to help lift and remove the loosened glue.

Follow this up with a thorough rinse and deep condition to restore any lost moisture. If you can see that the apple cider vinegar method is working but it doesn’t fully remove all traces of the glue in your hair, you can repeat the process again.

ACV won’t damage your hair with such a short exposure time, and as long as you follow each use with a thorough rinse and deep condition, your hair won’t suffer in the process. 

3. Try an Oil Soak

  • Saturate hair with oil of your choice for 30-60 minutes
  • Comb loosened glue out with wide-toothed comb
  • Double shampoo and condition afterward

Oil is glue’s worst enemy. Its adhesive properties are weakened and destroyed when you add a bunch of oil to the mix! So it makes perfect sense that doing an oil or lubricant soak can help you get glue out of your hair. 

One of the best things about this method is how hair-friendly it is. Oil is gentle on hair and helps seal in moisture while delivering nourishing vitamins and minerals to strands.

Once you use this method, you’ll come out with better-looking hair than when you started! Saturating your hair in oil may sound a little gross, but it is super effective for glue removal.

You can use just about any plant oil you have on hand coconut, olive, sunflower, argan, and even good ol’ vegetable oil will work. Pour the oil directly onto your hair to fully saturate the glued areas.

Cover your hair with a plastic shower cap. Allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes, then remove the cap and see if the glue has loosened enough to comb out. If not, continue letting your hair soak for another 30 minutes. 

When it feels like the glue is loosening up, use a wide-toothed comb to gently lift the loosened glue out of your hair. Comb through slowly and stop if you feel resistance. You can always repeat this method if you find there are some stubbornly-stuck spots. 

Once you’ve combed out the remaining glue, follow with a double shampoo and condition. Concentrate the conditioner only on your ends if your hair is fine or prone to oiliness. 

4. Coat With Peanut Butter

  • Coat glued spots with creamy peanut butter 
  • Let it sit for 30 minutes
  • Rinse thoroughly, condition, and comb through

As long as you don’t have a peanut allergy, peanut butter is an excellent, non-damaging way to remove glue from hair. It might surprise you, but this creative home remedy for glue removal works the same way as an oil soak.

That’s because peanut butter contains a lot of oil and fat that work to loosen up stuck-on glue. We recommend using creamy peanut butter (unless you want chunks of peanuts in your hair).

Generously apply peanut butter to the glue in your hair and lightly massage it in. Cover with a shower cap and let it sit for 30 minutes. 

After the half hour mark, thoroughly rinse the peanut butter out of your hair and follow up with a deep condition. Use a wide-toothed comb to gently comb through and remove the loosened-up glue. Now, make yourself a sandwich (kidding)! 

5. Try Crushed Aspirin 

  • Crush 10 aspirin and mix with 2 T. shampoo and 4 T. witch hazel
  • Apply to glued areas and leave for 30 minutes
  • Gently comb out loosened glue before rinsing and conditioning

Crushed aspirin may sound like a harsh and scary ingredient to use on your hair, but even the folks at Reader’s Digest recommend using it in shampoo to get flake-free, shiny hair.

Crushed aspirin is acidic, so it works in the same way that apple cider vinegar does to remove glue from hair. To get aspirin’s acidic glue-removal benefits, crush up 10 aspirin.

You can use a special pill crusher to do this, crush each tablet between 2 nested spoons, or add the pills to a plastic bag and crush them with a mallet. Add your crushed aspirin to 2 tablespoons of shampoo and (optional) 4 tablespoons of witch hazel astringent.

Apply the mixture directly to the glue in your hair and lightly massage it in. Leave the mixture on your hair for 30 minutes. When the time is up, comb through slowly and gently with a wide-toothed comb to remove the loosened glue. 

Follow this method with a thorough rinse to remove the mixture and deep condition afterward to restore your hair’s moisture. 

6. Dab on Acetone or Rubbing Alcohol

  • Soak cotton balls in acetone or rubbing alcohol
  • Bobby pin the cotton balls to the glued hair
  • Allow it to sit for up to 20 minutes
  • Comb, rinse, and deep condition

While it’s not as gentle as some of the other methods on our list, using acetone or alcohol is an effective way to remove glue from hair. Acetone is one of the only ways to remove acrylic hair extension adhesive.

Both acetone and alcohol will be less damaging on your hair than leaving glue stuck in it long-term.

You need to be extra careful with this method because the ingredients can be harsh on hair. As long as you follow the directions closely and don’t leave it too long, you won’t damage your hair with this method. 

You can use acetone (nail polish remover) or 70% rubbing alcohol whichever you have on hand for this method. Soak a few cotton balls in the solvent you’re using and bobby pin the cotton balls to your hair wherever there’s glue. 

Leave the soaked cotton balls in place for up to 20 minutes. Continually feel the glue underneath to see if it’s loosened up while you wait. The less time you can leave acetone or alcohol on your hair, the better. 

Once you’ve loosened the glue enough to remove it, remove the bobby pins and cotton balls. Run a wide-toothed comb through your hair to remove the larger pieces of glue, then move through with a narrow-toothed comb to get the last bits. 

Follow this process with a thorough rinse and deep condition. You may want to use a hydrating hair mask to restore the moisture lost with acetone or alcohol. 

Other Ways to Remove Glue From Hair

Woman using dish soap to get glue out of hair

Kuznetsov Dmitriy/Shutterstock

These methods aren’t our favorites, but if you’re getting desperate to get that glue out, they may be worth a try:

  • Freeze it out: Freeze toothpicks into ice cubes and apply the ice to the glue in your hair until it hardens. Snap the hardened glue off with your fingers, taking care not to break or rip your hair off in the process. 
  • Use petroleum jelly: A thick lubricant like petroleum jelly (Vaseline) can dissolve and loosen the glue in your hair. Apply it to glued areas and leave it for an hour or so before combing or picking the remaining glue out. 
  • Apply dish soap: Dish soap is harsh on hair and strips moisture, but it’s better than leaving toxic glue on your strands. Saturate your hair with water and lather up with dish soap, concentrating on the glued areas. Let it sit for 30-45 minutes, then rinse thoroughly and deep condition. Comb through with a wide-toothed comb to remove the loosened glue. 

Things to Consider

Now that you know how to get glue out of hair without cutting it, you have several options to choose from.

We recommend starting with the simplest and least damaging mixing shampoo and conditioner to dissolve the glue and trying harsher methods only if the gentle glue removal techniques aren’t cutting it. 

There are few things you should keep in mind during your glue-removal odyssey to avoid damaging your hair or leaving it dry as the desert. Here’s what you should think about before you attempt to remove glue from your hair. 

  • Always follow up with a thorough rinse and deep condition. Most of the household ingredients you can use to get glue out of hair are fine in moderation, but none should be left on your locks long-term. That means you need to rinse thoroughly afterward for at least 3 minutes to remove all traces of shampoo, ACV, oil, peanut butter, aspirin, acetone, or alcohol from your hair. Deep conditioning afterward will restore any lost moisture to your hair so it feels soft and healthy, not dry and crunchy. 
  • Start with the least damaging methods. As tempting as it may be to jump straight to solvents (acetone and alcohol) to remove glue from your hair, it’s not the most gentle method. You may be able to fully remove the glue with shampoo and conditioner or gentle ACV! Start with the least-damaging glue removal techniques to avoid causing unnecessary damage to your hair. 
  • Don’t let the glue win. If you’re struggling to remove the glue from your hair, you may feel ready to throw in the towel and just leave it alone. Don’t! Glue can block your pores, irritate your scalp, and even lead to hair loss. Try all the techniques in our guide until you find one that fully removes the glue from your hair. Getting it out with harsh ingredients like acetone can leave you with a little short-term dryness and damage, but leaving the glue in will cause definite long-term damage.
  • Follow the methods step-by-step. It’s easy to scan an article, find the ingredients you need, and just wing it from there. This is not the time to wing it, though. Make sure you closely follow the directions for each method and don’t exceed the time limits listed. This will ensure you don’t leave harsh chemicals or products on your hair long enough to cause damage. 
  • Avoid hair glue in the future. If the glue in your hair is from a wig or extensions, you should consider switching to glueless options to avoid getting into the same situation later. Hair glue can be damaging to your scalp and strands, and there are some great glueless options that will firmly stay put without the hassle of glue. Find quality wigs and extensions with our guide: Where to Buy Good Wigs Online

See? There’s no need to panic when you’re struggling to get glue out of your hair.

So, How Do You Get Glue Out of Hair?

There are lots of home remedies to remove glue from hair easily and without causing damage.

Just be smart about your glue removal and follow the directions for each method closely. Be gentle in your efforts and never force a comb or brush through dry, hardened glue. It will only rip or break your hair!

As long as you’re careful and use a light hand, you should be able to remove every trace of glue from your hair without snipping so much as a centimeter off. 

We hope this quick guide has helped you learn how to get glue out of hair without damaging your strands in the process. We’re rooting for you may catchy songs be the only thing you get stuck in your head in the future!

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