Hair Stuck in a Zipper

Sweater with a zipper
Photo: Mabaff’s Images/Canva
Q: Some time ago, my long hair got stuck in the zipper of my jacket. It was painful, and I had to cut a piece of my hair. When hair is stuck in a zipper, how do you get it out without having to cut the hair? Is it possible to remove it?
 
A: Hair stuck in a zipper can be uncomfortable and sometimes very painful. Many people think that cutting is the only solution, and this can be quite inconvenient, especially when it involves an important part of your hair that defines your appearance. Fortunately, there are a few things you can try to solve the problem without resorting to cutting the hair.
 
Firstly, it's essential to remain calm, resist the urge to forcefully pull the zipper, and avoid sudden movements that could further damage your hair. Assess the situation by gently pulling the zipper. If the hair is only partially stuck, this initial attempt might be sufficient to release it. Hold your hair as close to the zipper as possible to minimize tension. Otherwise, you risk breaking the strands or pulling them out at the root.
 
If a gentle pull doesn't work, consider applying a lubricant, such as conditioner or soap, to the hair. This can help make the hair more slippery, reducing friction with the zipper. After applying the lubricant, gently wiggle the hair back and forth. You can use tweezers if necessary to gently pull the hair out of the zipper teeth.
 
Another approach is to use a pencil, a pen, or even a credit card. Insert the pencil, pen, or credit card gently between the hair and the zipper teeth, and while doing so, move the zipper up and down. This may help loosen the hair, allowing it to slide out more easily.
 
If the hair remains stubbornly trapped, try reversing the zipper direction, while maintaining a gentle tension on the hair. Changing the direction might provide the necessary release. However, do this very carefully to avoid making the situation worse.
 
It's crucial to approach the situation with patience. Rushing may exacerbate the problem or cause damage to the hair or zipper. Take your time and be careful throughout the process. Consider getting a friend or family member to lend a hand. Having someone else hold the material around the zipper while you work on it can add more slack, making it easier to free the trapped hair.
 
In the event that all efforts prove futile, and the hair remains stuck, cutting might become the last and only resort. If cutting becomes necessary, use a small, sharp pair of scissors and do so cautiously to minimize the amount of hair that needs to be cut.
 
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