If tree sap gets into the hair, it can become sticky, huddled and messy. If this happened to you or someone else, don't worry! Usually, the sap can be removed with something oily such as vegetable oil, mayonnaise or peanut butter. A degreasing soap can help too. If nothing works, try alcohol, baking soda or even nail polish remover. Apply product to hair and massage to remove sap.
Part 1 of 2: Choosing what to use
Step 1. Use something oil based if you want an easy option
Try vegetable oil, mayonnaise or peanut butter. Baby oil is also valid, especially in the case of thick saps that are more difficult to remove. You can also try pine oil.
You can find pine oil in health food stores and online
Step 2. Try a degreasing soap to cut the oil from the sap
For example, you can try using some dishwashing detergent as it has a degreasing action. Degreaser made for mechanics is also valid. This product is usually mild, but it's made to break down fat molecules.
You can find degreasers in automotive supply stores and on the internet
Step 3. Use pure bar soap if you only have it at home
Some pure bar soaps will break down the sap molecules, so try using one if you only have this at home. Prefer one without perfume or dyes. They are simple and effective.
Soaps that contain oils, such as Dove, and most conditioners can also help
Step 4. Apply isopropyl alcohol if the sap does not want to come out at all
Isopropyl alcohol helps remove much of the sticky dirt, which makes it a good choice in this case. If you're away from home, try running a hand sanitizer or wipes moistened with alcohol, as they can also work.
You can even use vodka or high-alcohol drinks if that's all
Step 5. Rub your hair with baking soda if the sap is not dissolving
Take the baking soda from the kitchen. It will dissolve the sap slowly and will not damage your hair.
Baking soda is relatively mild. You can even use it to remove excess creams and conditioners from your hair
Step 6. Try a nail polish remover as a last resort
If all else fails, an acetone-based nail polish remover may solve your problem. Just be careful not to get it in your eyes!
Acetone will dehydrate the hair and is dangerous to use near the eyes
Part 2 of 2: Applying the Product
Step 1. Place the product in your hands or on a small towel
Pour it in or use a spoon to put the equivalent of a 25 cents coin on the towel or in your hands. For example, you can put a spoonful of mayonnaise, degreasing soap, oil or peanut butter on the towel.
- In the case of a bar soap, rub it on a wet cloth to form a lather before applying the cloth to your hair.
- For products such as alcohol or acetone, wet the cloth with alcohol or acetone instead of soaking with water.
- If using baking soda, sprinkle it on the damp cloth or hair.
- You may have to heat the peanut butter with a hair dryer or microwave it for a few seconds. It should be nearly pourable for ease of application.
Step 2. Rub product into hair
Take the towel or hands straight and rub the area that is full of sap with the product you have chosen. Use your fingers to separate the pieces of sap and massage the product into the hair.
In the case of some products, such as baking soda, let it act on the area for a few minutes after rubbing. Pine oil will also work better after it gets on
Step 3. Comb the product into your hair
Combing the area will help to remove the sap pieces and ensure that the product will be evenly distributed. Use a straight-tooth comb and gently run it over the affected area.
If the comb gets caught in a piece that doesn't want to come loose, don't force it or it will pull your hair out! Apply more product to the area, massage and try to separate the piece with your fingers through the towel
Step 4. Repeat the process as needed
If you still can't get all the sap out, put more product on your hair and massage again. You can try different products to see if they work best on the type of sap that doesn't want to come out of your hair.
- Avoid mixing baking soda with acetone or alcohol.
- Repeat the process two or three times, as needed, to get all the sap out.
Step 5. Rinse the product until everything is removed
Use warm water to rinse your hair. It's best to get into the bath to do this, because that way you can run a lot of water through your hair.
Run your hand through your hair to see if it still has sap in it
Step 6. Wash and condition your hair as usual
Once the sap comes out, wash your hair to remove all the product you used to remove it. Use conditioner too, because some of the products mentioned, such as alcohol, can dry out the hair.