Besides cutting the hair or applying conditioner or oils, what else can be done to remove hardened dough from hair?

Would vinegar dissolve hardened flour?

Update: The lump is an odd consistency: between a live dough (super gluey) and tough and with a slight give, very slight. I feel like the gluten is being released and water is both releasing it and releasing a few hairs. Any strands of hair that can be freed seem to have live dough on them which, if not cleaned, contaminate other clean stands. Pushing/ scrubbing with the nails is the only, and very hard, way to get that tiny sticky amount out of the individual hairs. A shampoo with sodium lauryl sulfate helps, but it is still very hard.

I am wondering if there is an enzyme that dissolves gluten. A quick online search recommended tablets for people with who cannot tolerate gluten, not I am not sure if I open the pill tablet and apply it to the hair, it will work.

2 Answers 2


Ouch, sounds rough.

Soak it in cold water. This may be awkward; depending on how thick the dough is, it might require soaking it for an hour. But it's really the best way.

  • 1
    Indeed, it is. An hour is a precious tip! Thank you!
    – Anna77
    Dec 22, 2019 at 8:28
  • 6
    Warm water (aka a bath) should work as well. And be more comfortable for the OP.
    – Stephie
    Dec 22, 2019 at 9:54
  • 2
    As long as it's not too warm. You don't want the dough to cook.
    – FuzzyChef
    Dec 23, 2019 at 4:50

Water will indeed help best, but will need a long time to get to the inside of a thick patch of dough.

I would sugest first physically breaking it apart with your fingers until it's crumbly. Then trying to gently brush out as much as possible. There is this motion which is best for highly matted hair or fur which should work here too:

  1. Hold a strand firmly between your scalp and the dough. The idea is that you can then manipulate with the brush at the matted part, but the tugs will stop at your fingers, without transmitting the tugging painfully to your scalp.
  2. Use quick and superficial motions with a coarse-toothed comb or brush first. It is like carding wool, or a bit like a cat licking the place - you don't want the teeth to sink deep into the matted part and get stuck, but to catch only a superficial layer and straighten those few hairs first to free them.
  3. Once the uppermost layer is free, start going a bit deeper, again just scratching the lumpy surface.
  4. Continue working until the hairs are free from the big lump.

After that, you will probably have individually free hairs which are still covered in dough crumbs. Now is the time to soak them well and wash.

  • Thank you. I will try this technique. The lump is an odd consistency: between a life dough (super gluey) and touch and with a slight give, very slight. I am
    – Anna77
    Dec 23, 2019 at 14:56
  • @Anna77 : you might try drying the dough some, so it becomes crumbly. If you can't break it apart, if you have more than one glob of dough in your hair, you can try crushing them against each other.
    – Joe
    Dec 23, 2019 at 16:53
  • "Hold a strand firmly between your hair and the dough." – Do you mean between your scalp and the dough? Jan 12, 2020 at 15:00
  • @TannerSwett yes, thank you for catching it. Edited.
    – rumtscho
    Jan 12, 2020 at 18:13

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