Tangled: Our Silly Putty Hair Solution

Silly Putty Hair, Silly Putty ClothesAs the gold medal slipped over my head and the opening notes of our national anthem filled the stadium, the crowd’s screams slowly dissolved into screams of despair. I reluctantly emerged from my delicious dream as my brain registered real life screams coming from our daughter Ava’s bedroom.

Now awake, my mental calculations began. Emergency or bad dream? Did our daughter’s screams qualify as a one- or two-parent alarm?

I rolled over to jab my husband awake.

“Is she being abducted?” I said.

“Doubtful. Fire?” Mike said.

Ava’s screams reached a crescendo.

“I don’t smell anything. You go. You have longer legs,” I said.

“There better be a wild animal in there,” Mike said as he jumped out of bed. “You owe me.”

Wishing I could reenter my Olympic dream, but too agitated to sleep, I glanced at the clock. 12:50 a.m.

I yelled to Mike to tell me what was happening.

“She’s bleeding from her head!” is what I heard.

Oh, god, not again, I thought as I sprang out of bed and clamored for my glasses, lost among the detritus on my nightstand.

As I ran to her side, I chided myself for ignoring her initial screams.

“How bad is she hurt? Where did she fall?” I said between pants.

“She has silly putty in her hair.”

Not registering Mike’s response, I peered at my daughter’s head.

Apparently she’d fallen asleep playing with silly putty and woken up with the puke pink-colored goo matted to hunks of her thick brown curls. I’d never seen anything like it.

Although I assured Ava we wouldn’t have to cut off her hair, the matting was so severe I feared she’d soon be sporting a one-sided mullet.  Not a great look for a fashion-conscious fourth grader. And not a haircut this mom was willing to live through.

I turned to my trusted friend Google for advice.

Apparently, since time immemorial, silly putty and kids’ hair have attracted each other like fingers and electric sockets. Fortunately, parents around the globe have tried countless remedies ranging from peanut butter to WD40 and documented their success with each on the internet.

We decided on olive oil for our triage in the beauty ER and massaged half a bottle into Ava’s matted web of curls. I couldn’t help giggling as Mike combed out the now liquefied goo with the studied precision of a brain surgeon.

Ava, however, did not appreciate my punch drunk humor and berated me for being insensitive, which launched another fit of giggles, especially as I realized we now had to get all that olive oil out of her hair.

As the clock struck 1:45 a.m., Mike and I finished our task, hugged Ava and settled down enough to sleep, grateful for our parenting success. My only regret?  Not photographing Ava’s head before and after. And she refused to put more silly putty in her hair for the sake of this blog. That’s the thanks I get.

This mom had the presence of mind to photograph her daughter's silly putty debacle! Bless her!

Unlike me, this mom had the presence of mind to photograph her daughter’s silly putty debacle!  Photo courtesy of http://www.sarcasta-mom.blogspot.com.

79 thoughts on “Tangled: Our Silly Putty Hair Solution

  1. No. Way. ARe you kidding me? I would have rolled over thinking “well, how much worse will it be at 7am?” You and Mike both deserve some kind of award or extra sleep or a latte or something fantastic. Hiliarious as always.

  2. I hear olive oil is great for your scalp if you have dandruff, so maybe that is your silver lining? We had a gum incident during a looong road trip. Scissors were involved and that is all I am going to say about that.

    • Hah! I haven’t seen a flake of dandruff in her hair since that night! Re: scissors – we gotta do what we gotta do. I’m just happy I didn’t have to go there this time! 😉

  3. What a night! Glad it was nothing too serious. The post makes it seem that she has had problems before – fell out of bed or a bleeding head?
    Btw, did the Italian in you ever fret over wasting olive oil? Couldn’t that have been part of a good meal?
    I don’t remember my boys every playing with silly putty. They were into play dough which clearly notes that eating it is not harmful. Apparently that is common too.

  4. You know those bristly, plastic hair rollers that come with hair styling Barbie heads? One Christmas Eve my daughter’s cousin rolled one of those into my daughter’s waist length hair, from the bottom all the way up to the nape of her neck. I, too, was afraid we’d have to cut a huge chunk out of the middle of the back of her hair, until we decided to massage hair conditioner into the matted mass. Slowly the slippery conditioner allowed us to untangle and slide the hair out of the roller, but the whole process took over an hour. The upside was that after rinsing, her hair was soft and shiny!

    • Oh,no! Those rollers are the worst! I got them stuck in my hair as a kid too and remember a lot of tears and pulling. Ouch! I’m stocking up on conditioner and olive oil!

      • I just remembered my own childhood experience of having a bully throw a giant burr into my waist length hair at the nape of my neck. I don’t remember how my mom got it out, but I do remember that there were plenty of tears.

  5. When I was 7 or 8 I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and decided to try and save my gum by sticking it behind my ear like Violet Beauregarde does. You can probably imagine what happened next. Half a jar of peanut butter and a trip to the haircut place later, I never, ever tried that trick again.

  6. that is hysterical! as is your dream!! i wrote about dreams this week too. i am so jealous of yours!! fantastic! anyway, i’m with outlaw, you’re a better parent than me. i would have kissed her on her non silly putted head and said, we’ll fix this in the morning. g’night.

    • It was a crazy night alright! I wish I had raised her to go to bed and deal with it in the morning, but she was pretty hysterical (and she comes by that honestly!). 😉

  7. Olive oil. The cure all. It’s also good for lice – I’m not sure if you’ve ever had that honor – but I have (sigh). I’m glad you didn’t have to cut her hair, though. My mom once cut mine, thanks to chewing gum that went from my sister’s mouth to the back of my head.

  8. Oh. My. Garsh! That is a nightmare. And I’m really glad to know that was not Ava’s hair. Because maybe hers wasn’t as bad, right? And of course you didn’t take a picture! It was an emergency! You’re a good momma, momma!

    • Thank you! Picture that amount of putty in a head of long, incredibly thick, coarse, wavy hair! It was a bloody mess. But … the olive oil worked wonders so I’m ready for round two!

  9. Oh my gosh! When I saw Renne’s tweet I had to read this. I loved Silly Putty. I never got it in my hair but I’m glad you found a quick, successful solution. That was one for the memory bank!

    • Thank you for finding me! I love silly putty too so I imagine this won’t be our last time dealing with it in one of my kids’ hair! I’ll stock up on olive oil just in case!

  10. THe silly putty is one thing but to have to actually say “not again” when he said she was bleeding from her head…ugh…you guys need to settle down at night!

  11. Hilarious! This line: “Apparently, since time immemorial, silly putty and kids’ hair have attracted each other like fingers and electric sockets.” Genius!!

    • The pics I saw totally creeped me out! I’m just grateful so many parents have been through this and were willing to share their solutions. If not, I bet we’d still be picking that stuff out of her hair, strand by strand! 😉

  12. I thought she really had a head injury. It scared me. Glad it’s nothing that serious. This also happened with me when I was young and my said she used olive oil. I did the same when my son had a gum stuck in his hair and it worked very well. 🙂

  13. Dreaming about the Olympics, how great is that?? My dreams are so boring. And this has never happened to us, but never say never, and I’ll remember the olive oil trick!

  14. I feel like so far I have been spared way too many of these types of incidents. I look forward to rising to the occasion like you guys did, and will for sure take a photo. 🙂

    • Thank you! My husband was the one bleeding from his head. He fell down the stairs in the middle of the night earlier this year. I’m still afraid of same thing happening to one of our daughters. I’ll take silly putty any day!

  15. I love that you ended up laughing when it started so stress filled! Thank heavens for Google- so glad you didn’t have to cut her hair. This was well written- a great read. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

  16. Oh my what a night!!!! Perhaps no silly putty in the bedroom? Just a thought! LOL
    You two rock the midnight parenting gig!!! I would have chuckled too. And weren’t you thinking to yourself, “Oh yes. Another blog post indeed!!!” 🙂 Too funny!!!

  17. {Melinda} Bless your mama heart. One of my children (who shall remain nameless) had lice — the day of church camp. The child could not be admitted to camp until every single lice had been exterminated. Let’s just say, my arm muscles still hurt from leaning over the child in question’s head to one-by-one pull out every last lice that the “Raid shampoo” didn’t kill. I think we’ve earned a couple of gold medals. 🙂

  18. Loved your post!

    While I don’t have a girl, I do have a boy who when he was around 4 years old,,,pushed a piece of foam from a toy up his butt while playing in the bathtub…if you don’t think that freaked us out…you’re mistaken!!

    I think you handled your midnight run beautifully!!

    Ya gotta just love kids!! Huh???

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