The Bunchems. Some call them the hottest holiday toy for kids, while others refer to them as "craft balls from hell."
Whether your child already has and loves this trendy toy or you're considering buying them for the holidays, you need to be educated on a potential risk — them getting stuck in your child's hair — and how to remove them. While Bunchems have been nominated for activity toy of the year and come with a clear warning, many children are ending up with these little balls entangled in their hair, which means parents are spending hours fruitlessly struggling to get them out.
"[Bunchems] bring pain and misery, tears, fighting, broken and ripped hair, and questions of one's sanity in handling life in general," Ethan Benoit warned on Amazon. "I can't feel my arms now after attempting to pull this spawn from hell 'toy' that matted itself into her hair like nothing ever witnessed before."
If you find yourself in this situation, here are some helpful tips to remove the Bunchems as painlessly (and with as little damage) as possible.
- Keep calm!
- Stop your child from pulling at them, and get him or her to sit still. The harder they pull, the more the burs grab hold and get entrenched in the hair.
- Liberally apply conditioner or vegetable oil, carefully working it into the hair.
- Start with the balls that are the furthest out or not as deeply entangled.
- Comb below each Bunchem to prevent additional hair from getting caught.
- Give WD-40 a try (ignore the scent and avoid any open flames!).
- Slowly and gently brush — the harder you pull, the tighter the knots.
- Try cutting the balls in half. Remove as much hair as possible before you snip, and still use lots of conditioner.
- Try using spray leave-in conditioner on the Bunchem and surrounding area of hair to make it wet. Pull the hair down off the ball with a toothpick (or the end of a fine comb as a hook or a sharp, small object) then when half of the ball is exposed, use long-nosed pliers to wiggle the ball free from hair.
- If all else fails, leave it to the professionals and go for the haircut.
But be warned, these tips do not guarantee that the balls won't get stuck. "The photo is her hair with conditioner coating the balls in what proved to be an almost fruitless effort to extract the evil," Benoit continued. "If you wish to proceed, good luck."