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How to Get Burrs Out of Human Hair (In 3 Simple Steps)

How to Get Burrs Out of Human Hair (In 3 Simple Steps)

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Have you ever been hiking or taking a walk outdoors only to find a few dozen burrs clinging to your clothes and hair? These sticky seed pods are a force to be reckoned with!

The amazing thing is their hook-like barb design, which looks exactly like Velcro. They’re not designed like this to get on your nerves, though.

Burrs are just innocent hitchhikers trying to spread their seeds around. You just happen to be a convenient means of transport.

It sounds fascinating, but it can also be extremely annoying. It’s not much fun discussing the wonders of nature when you’re covered with a clump of clingy seeds.

Today, we’re going to tell the secret of how to get burrs out of human hair. We’ll share with you our easy step-by-step guide and give you some handy pointers to keep in mind.

Keep reading to find out more.

How to Get Burrs Out of Human Hair

Here’s our easy step-by-step burr removal guide:

Step 1: Break The Burrs Into Smaller Pieces

Close Up of Burrs

Burrs are typically only an inch in size. Yet, it’s their stiff, spiked spines that are the root of the problem.

One way around this problem is to break the burrs apart. When you do this, you’ll notice that your hair now has even more burrs; don’t panic!

Getting smaller pieces of burrs out is much easier than trying to remove whole burrs. The fragments have less surface area, which lessens their grasp and clinginess.

Step 2: Apply a Detangler to the Hair

The way a detangler works is it reduces friction between hair strands and frees tangles. Luckily for us, this also applies to burrs.

Here’s a list of different types of detanglers for you to choose from:

  • Conditioner: Any type will do. Just don’t use expensive brands because you’ll probably end up using an entire bottle of conditioner. Look for something cheap that comes in a cost-effective size.
  • Mineral Oil: This could be baby oil or another type of petroleum-based product. The good news is that mineral oil can help moisturize and nourish hair follicles. So, it’s a win-win!
  • Glycerine: Glycerine is one of the slipperiest things you can put on your hair. Hopefully, it’ll work its magic on those sticky burrs and get them out quickly.
  • Vegetable Oil: Olive or coconut oils are great. If you don’t have either, just use any other type of vegetable oil you have readily available.
  • WD-40: This lubricant will work wonders, but should be used as a last resort. Just avoid open flames because it’s flammable. Also, don’t worry about the smell; it’ll go away after several washes.

Step 3: Use a Metal Comb

Metal Comb for Removing Knots

Metal combs usually come with a side of wide teeth and another side with narrower teeth. Start with the wide-toothed side and slowly begin to detangle the hair.

One of the benefits of metal combs is they’re great detanglers. Their metallic surface reduces the risk of snagging. As a result, they flow more smoothly through the hair and make for an easier pull.

Important reminder: the harder you pull, the more inseparable those spiky balls will become. This is why you need to work the comb gently between the strands bit by bit.

Some Dos and Don’ts to Protect Your Hair from Burrs

Here are a few dos and don’ts to help you get rid of those little spiky pests:

Do Start at the Tips and Work Your Way Up

You may be tempted to start with the burrs closest to the scalp. However, the best thing you can do is work at an even pace with the burrs closest to the tips, then move upwards until you get closer to the scalp.

Once you’ve loosened the knots at the tips, you can start removing the burrs that are more deeply entangled. Bear in mind that these will be harder, and maybe even slightly more painful, to remove.

Sometimes, you’ll have to deal with a few extra stubborn burrs. When this happens, use the sharp end of a wooden skewer or a toothpick to pull the hair off the hook-like barbs.

Don’t Wet Your Hair

You probably think that if your hair is wet, the burrs will simply slide out. The truth is wet hair seems to bind the burrs tighter.

Wetting your hair can sometimes even push the burrs closer to the scalp. Subsequently, they become harder, and more painful, to separate from hair strands.

Do Wear Protective Gear

Pair of Protective Work Gloves

Burrs also can grip onto clothes and hands, not just hair. That’s why you have to take the necessary precautions when removing burrs from your hair or someone else’s.

Gloves are vital. Wearing leather or gardening gloves can help protect your hands. If burrs get into your skin, they can act like slivers and can be difficult to remove.

In addition, you should protect your clothes with any type of covering. Otherwise, you’ll have to throw out everything you were wearing once you’re done.

You can opt for a plastic poncho or a disposable long-sleeved plastic apron. Another option is to use a large-sized plastic garbage bag and cut out holes for your head and arms.

Don’t Remove Burrs Over a Rug

Just like burrs can easily become attached to your clothes, they can just as easily adhere to rugs and carpets. If they do happen to fall on your rugs, you’ll have to clean them up the old-fashioned way.

Wear your gloves, get a garbage bag, and start picking up each one by hand. Avoid vacuuming; the burrs may end up damaging the vacuum cleaner or the dust bag.

To prevent this, lay a wide plastic sheet on the floor underneath you before you begin. Then, once you’re done, roll up the whole thing and throw it away.

Final Thoughts

There you have it; our step-by-step guide on how to get burrs out of human hair! We hope it’s given you some insight on how to deal with these pesky clingers.

If you ever find yourself in this situation, remember to take your time. By working slowly, you’ll be able to free every last one of them with as little damage as possible.


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Diane Ludy

Tuesday 10th of May 2022

Worked great, thanks for saving my hair!