Getting Hair Glue Out With Rubbing Alcohol

Apply the rubbing alcohol with a spray bottle.
Apply the rubbing alcohol with a spray bottle. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Numerous hairstyles and treatments require applying glue on or around your hair. Glue is what holds hair extensions in place and secures wigs around hairlines. Additionally, certain delousing treatments use glue to trap and kill head lice. Glue consistency and strength differs by type, but rubbing alcohol dissolves them all.

Things You'll Need

  • Hair clips
  • Spray bottle
  • Cotton swabs
  • Cotton balls

Isolate the hair containing glue by securing the surrounding locks to the side with small hair clips. This lets you focus the alcohol exposure and protect the unglued hair from damage and dryness.

Spray a fine mist of rubbing alcohol around the glue-snarled hair until the tresses appear moist but not saturated. Rub the hair with a alcohol-moistened cotton swab when removing hair extensions or a wig. Let the alcohol sit on the glued hair for three to five minutes so it dissolves the adhesive.

Wipe the glue from your hair with a clean cotton ball. Use a dry replacement cotton ball when the previous one becomes wet. The fibrous texture of a cotton ball removes glue more effectively when dry than wet.

Adjust the position of the glued hair for better access and repeat steps 2 and 3 until the glue is gone.

Tips & Warnings

  • Only use the minimum amount of alcohol necessary to remove the glue.
  • To prevent drying and breakage, wash your hair with deep conditioner after using rubbing alcohol.

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