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How to Remove Medical Grade Super Glue From Hair

Updated April 17, 2017

Medical grade super glue, such as Dermabond or Indermil brands, responds to acetone for removal just as store bought versions of super glue do. Patients who undergo EEG (brain wave) testing often use acetone-based removers for the collodion glue that holds the electrodes in place. To protect hair and scalp, acetone in the form of nail polish remover with aloe can help. For sensitive or dyed hair, applying oil that is absorbed by the hair will loosen the glue requiring a little more work to remove, but with less risk.

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  1. Dab cotton balls soaked with Acetone-based nail polish remover on the scalp or hair where the glue is located.

  2. Leave it on for a few minutes to allow the acetone in the nail polish remover to dissolve the glue.

  3. Gently comb out any loose pieces. Repeat soaking if necessary.

  4. Rinse the hair with water, then apply conditioner.

  5. Rinse the hair again, then shampoo, condition and comb.

  6. Warm the oil-based product, such as olive oil, hot oil treatment or oil-based hair extension glue remover, then use cotton balls to apply it liberally to the hair where the glue is located as well as the surrounding area.

  7. Leave it on for 10 to 20 minutes to allow the oil to soak in.

  8. Comb the hair gently to see if the glue is loose. If so, comb out as much as possible taking care not to damage the hair by tugging or pulling.

  9. Repeat by soaking with oil, waiting and combing as necessary.

  10. Wash the hair with shampoo and conditioner.

  11. Tip

    For shampooing after oil removal, a "dry hair" shampoo will remove the oil better.


    If your hair is coloured, test acetone on an end or hidden part before applying liberally to make sure it does not remove the colour.

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Things You'll Need

  • Nail polish remover with aloe (acetone-based type)
  • Olive oil, hair hot oil treatment or oil-based hair extension glue remover
  • Cotton balls
  • Shampoo
  • Hair conditioner
  • Comb

About the Author

Dave Maddox began journalism and article writing in 2005, after several decades of technical writing. His articles have appeared on a variety of websites, including Politics West by the "Denver Post." He has advanced training in electronics, computing and digital photography. Maddox studied literary theory and computer science at Harvard University.

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