5 ways to get extension glue out of hair without any damage

Apr 17, 2024

Say goodbye to glue, and hello to gorgeous hair

Let's talk about the love-hate relationship we all have with hair extensions. Love, because they instantly give us those dreamy, Rapunzel-like locks. Hate? Well, that comes in when it's time to bid adieu to those extensions, and you're left grappling with the pesky glue that seems to cling on for dear life. It's like the glue's throwing a farewell party on your scalp, and it doesn’t want the party to end.


But here's the good news—getting that glue out doesn't have to be a nightmare that ends with damaged hair. Nope, we're all about keeping things gentle and hair-friendly around here. Below is your go-to guide for getting rid of extension glue while keeping your precious strands intact. We're covering five safe and effective methods to tackle that stubborn glue to ensure your hair comes out of the ordeal unscathed. 


Preventive measures for minimizing glue residue

Before we tackle the nuances of glue removal, let's zoom out and focus on how to sidestep glue troubles from the get-go. It's universally acknowledged that prevention trumps cure, and this wisdom holds true in the world of hair extensions. A dash of foresight can dodge heaps of hassle awaiting down the line. Armed with the following strategies, you can minimize the chance of battling tough glue residue, paving the way for smoother removal sessions.


– Embrace the 'less is more' philosophy: Applying extension glue? Channel your inner minimalist. A slender, uniform layer of adhesive secures your extensions just fine, sans the sticky aftermath.


– Quality over quantity: The glue market is a mixed bag. Opting for premium adhesives that boast easy removal can spare you future headaches, even if it means spending a few extra dollars. Your hair's gratitude will be evident.


– Seek the pro's touch: If circumstances allow, entrust your extension application to the hands of a professional. Their expertise ensures glue is applied with precision, drastically cutting down on leftover residue and simplifying future removal.


Understanding extension glue removal


If you use hair extensions, you’re likely to encounter the necessary yet pesky evil that is extension glue. This isn't your run-of-the-mill adhesive—we're talking about a specially concocted glue designed to grip your extensions through thick and thin, promising a seamless fusion for that dreamy volume and length. But let's be clear: this glue is in a league of its own, engineered to laugh in the face of showers, styling sessions, and the whirlwind of daily life.


Digging deeper, you'll find a kaleidoscope of glues from the much-applauded keratin-based adhesives, famed for their longevity and blendability with our natural locks, to latex and acrylic contenders, each boasting their own perks and quirks. However, they all have one thing in common and that’s a stubborn resistance to removal. While this tenacity is a godsend for keeping those extensions intact, it's a bit of a nightmare when it's time to part ways.


Removing these adhesives takes some know-how since they are crafted to withstand just about everything short of a magic spell. Tug too zealously or choose the wrong removal technique, and you're risking a tangle of woes for both your extensions and your precious natural hair. So, safe and careful removal is critical for safeguarding your hair's health.


Method 1: Oil-based removal

Bidding adieu to that extension glue is a lot easier when you’re armed with oils. Coconut or olive oil, for example, are stellar against stubborn adhesive. Ready to tap into this magic? Here’s your game plan:


– Pick your potion: Coconut, olive, or almond oil—choose your champion. Each oil is a powerhouse in its own right, adept at dissolving the glue’s grip.

– Heat things up: A gentle warming of your chosen oil enhances its glue-busting capabilities. Aim for warm, not scalding, to avoid any mishaps.

– Generous application: With a cotton ball or your fingertips, apply the warm oil to the glued sections. A soft massage can boost the process—just keep it tender.

– Time to marinate: Patience pays off. Allow the oil to work its magic for at least 20-30 minutes. This is the perfect excuse for some downtime or a mini Netflix binge.

– Careful detachment: Arm yourself with a wide-tooth comb and begin to gently coax the glue out, starting from the ends. Slow and steady wins this race, ensuring a tug-free removal.


Method 2: Alcohol-based solutions

For the glue that's really stubborn, you might need a firmer hand. Alcohol, especially isopropyl or rubbing alcohol, possesses an impressive knack for dissolving the adhesive qualities of many glues. When dabbed directly or applied with a cotton ball or cloth, alcohol penetrates the glue, loosening its stronghold and simplifying the removal process. But remember—it needs to be used with care to avoid drying out your hair. 


– Spot test: Before going all in, do a spot test to ensure your hair and scalp don't throw a fit.

– Application: Dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and apply it to the glued sections. No soaking, just a dab.

– Wait it out: Give it a few minutes. Alcohol works fast, so you won't be waiting long.

– Wipe away: Use a damp cloth to gently wipe away the glue. It should come off easier now.

– Rinse and condition: After all the glue is out, give your hair a good rinse and follow up with a hydrating conditioner to counteract any dryness.


Method 3: Conditioner and warm water

Sometimes, the gentle approach is all you need. A conditioner combined with warm water can create a slippery solution that makes glue wave the white flag.


– Mix it up: In a bowl, mix a generous dollop of your favorite conditioner with warm water to create a creamy solution.

– Apply to glued areas: Work the mixture into the areas with glue, ensuring full coverage.

– Soak time: Let your hair soak up the goodness for about 15-20 minutes. Use a shower cap to keep it all in place.

– Comb through: With a wide-tooth comb, gently comb through your hair. The glue should slide right off with the conditioner mix.


Method 4: Professional glue remover products

When stubborn extension glue refuses to budge, it's time to bring in the big guns: professional glue removers. These products are specially made to confront and conquer hair extension adhesives and effortlessly break them down. 


Look for a remover that comes highly recommended by professionals or your extension-loving friends. Following the instructions meticulously is non-negotiable. Conducting a patch test can prevent unwanted surprises and keeps your hair and scalp free of nasty side effects if an unknown allergy or sensitivity occurs. Use the remover as instructed, typically applying it to areas with glue, and wait for the breakthrough. After a comb-through and a rinse, you're set to enjoy glue-free hair.


Method 5: Salon professional assistance

Sometimes, it's best to call in the pros. If the glue's putting up a real fight or if you're worried about damaging your hair, a trip to the salon is a smart move. Hair professionals have the tools, products, and know-how to remove extension glue safely. Plus, they can give your hair some TLC afterward, ensuring it stays healthy and vibrant.


Aftercare: Nourishing your hair post-glue removal



Alright, you've successfully banished the glue from your hair—what's next? After the battle, it's time for some serious R&R for your hair. Removing glue, especially if it was a bit of a struggle, can leave your locks feeling a bit roughed up. 


Quench your thirsty strands with a deep conditioning treatment or a hydrating hair mask. Let your hair soak up all that goodness. Avoid harsh brushing or styling for a few days. Let it recover from the ordeal, embracing natural textures and low-maintenance styles.


Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you might end up with a few split ends or rough patches. A quick trim can clean things up, leaving your hair looking healthy and fresh.


The wrap on unsticking your style

And there you go—five effective tactics for freeing your hair from the cling of extensions, all without drama or harm. Opt for the DIY approach with oils and conditioners, escalate to alcohol solutions and specialized removers, or trust the expertise of a professional. The mantra here is patience and gentleness. The well-being of your hair takes precedence, so navigate this journey with care, opting for the technique that aligns with your comfort and needs.


Craving more insights on hair maintenance or in search of the perfect care tools? Explore our resources and uncover everything necessary to maintain your hair in peak condition, ensuring it stays healthy, vibrant, and elegantly extension-free.