What no kid should EVER do with a comb

Holy crap, last night took ten years off my life. If not more. I still have that feeling of WTF just happened. Let me start from the beginning.

So I’m sitting on the couch watching The Bachelor with my hubby when I get a text message from Zoey.

ZOEY (text): Mom I need help!

Of course, I’m like “OMG, my teenager wants me!” so I immediately jump up and run to her. She has 8th grade graduation pictures the next day, so I’m assuming it’s a beauty emergency like maybe she spilled a bottle of nail polish or got makeup on her white dress. I wish. Either scenario would have been better than what I walked into. Wayyyyy better.

I run upstairs and I can see the light seeping out from under my bathroom door, so I knock and the door opens slowly, and that’s when I see.

Oh. My. God.

Zoey is standing there with tears in her eyes and a comb stuck in her hair, only that doesn’t do this scene justice AT ALL. How do I explain this? Ummm, imagine if you had a comb and you took a huge portion of your hair like right where bangs would be and you started wrapping it around the comb only you start with the ends so the ends are all tucked in and there’s literally no way to see where the hair even begins. That.

(This is where I would include a picture if I took one which I did NOT. And yes, she said I could write about this.)

ME: What were you trying to do?!

ZOEY: (crying) I saw it on TikTok.

AGGGHHH, F’ing TikTok!!!!!!!

Anyways, you guys, I cannot begin to tell you how incredibly stuck this comb is. There is absolutely no way for me to unwrap the hair because the ends are all tucked in. And the comb is almost on her scalp so if I cut her hair out, she would have a buzz cut on the front of her head. F F F F F F F F, what do I do?!!!!!!

I am shitting bricks. Like literally, if you peeked in my granny panties, you would find a pile of big ole cement bricks.

So I try to calm myself down. It’s okayyyy, it’s only hair, and who cares if her graduation pictures are tomorrow? She can just attend the make-up pictures in a few weeks. But then I’m like WTF, no, this is NOT okay because if I cut her hair out of the comb, her bangs will literally be like a millimeter long and mayyyybe a centimeter long by graduation. And she’s not even gonna graduate anyway because how am I gonna make her go to school with bangs that are worse than dumb and dumber? OMG, this is a nightmare.

So I tell myself I HAVE to get this hair out without cutting it. I start trying to unwrap the hair from the comb, and the whole time I’m trying, I’m muttering, “Zoey, what did you do?” which of course just makes her more upset so I stop talking altogether. I quickly realize there is absolutely no way. Like nothing is working. This hair is STUCK STUCK STUCK. I’m pretty much crying at this point.

ME: Honey, I’m going to have to get Dad to come help.

ZOEY: Noooo.

ME: I have to.

So I call my hubby in. He takes one look at Zoey and says…

HUBBY: What did you do?

Which of course makes her start crying more, and I’m like why the hell would you say that to her, failing to mention that I just said the same exact thing. For the next few minutes, he tries to get the hair unwrapped with the same results I’ve had. Nothing is working.

ME: I wish I could just break the comb. That would make it easier.

HUBBY: I can try to break it.

At which point he starts to try, but A. this comb is basically made out of the strongest thickest plastic on earth, and B. If he snaps it, it’s going to hit Zoey’s head and potentially lodge into her brain.

We are up shit’s creek. And not in a hilarious Johnny and Moira kinda way.

That’s when I have an idea.

ME: Maybe we can cut the comb apart with something.

HUBBY: Good idea. Zoey, wait here.

And both of us run through the house and come back with tools. I’m holding the heavy-duty shears I use to cut flowers. My hubby is holding the three-foot long tree trimmer. Apparently I want to cut the comb out, but he wants to cut her head off. WTF?

Needless to say, we go with my tool first.

ME: Greg, you hold the hair back while I try to cut the comb.

So my hubby peels away a little bit of hair, and I try to snip off a piece of the comb without snipping off his fingers. With a shit-ton of force, I’m able to snap off a few of the tines, which immediately turn into lethal projectiles that will probably shoot our eyes out.

So he runs to get a pair of safety goggles for me and a pair of sunglasses for him, and we keep going. Since I didn’t take any pictures (yet), you can only imagine how ridiculous this scene looks. Zoey with a comb stuck on her forehead, me wearing safety goggles, and my hubby in Terminator sunglasses.

Anyways, I clip a little more of the comb off. And then a little more. And a little more. And each time I clip some plastic off (and we all duck and cover), I’m able to slide an itty-bitty strand of hair off the comb.

Holy crap, I think it’s working. Slowwwwwly, but it is coming off. I clip that mother F’ing industrial comb for like 30-45 minutes. Clip, duck, slide. Clip, duck, slide.

ME: Zoey, one day I promise, you will be able to look back on this and laugh.

Oh my God, I hope this turns into a laughable moment.

And when the last bit of hair is out, we are standing in a room that is covered in tiny pieces of purple plastic and Zoey is still an emotional wreck, but she has her hair. All of it. As I carefully brush out the giant tangled mess, my heart is still pounding. Deep breaths in and out.

And she’s sitting on the edge of the toilet still crying so I crouch down to look into her eyes and tell her it’s okay. And that’s when both look at each other and just burst out laughing. Like hysterically cracking up. At which point she picks up an itty-bitty piece of the comb from the floor and starts combing her hair with it.

And we laugh so hard we can barely breathe and talk about how horrendous this was but how it could have been soooo much worse. Oh man, this parenting thing is so F’ing hard. But sometimes, every once in a while, the days you think might be the worst actually turn into the best, most bonding ones. 

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There are 20 comments for this article
  1. Nicole at 7:23 pm

    Omg, this happened with my own daughter a few weeks ago. My husband also came in with the garden shears to cut the comb out. It was awful and we both cried. In the end she got bangs but all good otherwise. I took pics of the “event” as well.

  2. Lindsey H at 7:23 pm

    Ummm, you are my people, this just my life . 😂😂😂

  3. Stacey at 7:25 pm

    OMG…. totally been here!! My daughter got a round brush stuck all the way at her scalp 🤦🏻‍♀️ We did the same, cut bristle by bristle 😂😂

  4. Beth at 7:27 pm

    Ooohhhhhhh …I remember tangling my hair in hot rollers and burning my fingers and neck and my mom having to undo all of it.

    This story is too, too painful and still very funny!

  5. Nikki at 7:47 pm

    This is so good! I love how y’all worked together to figure this out!!

    It reminds me of when my mom and I read in some magazine that you could just slather hair lightener/bleach on braids and you’d get highlights so we went for it… the night before the first day of my senior year of high school. Well, of course that turned out terrible. I quite literally looked like a tiger with orange striped hair.

    Thankfully, we’d just gotten a 24 hour Walmart (yes I’m celebrating my 20th HS reunion this year 🥴 which means my birth year starts with 19 …hahaha) so we ran to Walmart to grab a box of dye to cover the mess and thankfully, it actually turned out great and kinda, when I wore it curly, just looked like highlighted strawberry blonde hair.

    Moms are super heroes. 🥰🥰🥰

  6. Wendy Rosen at 7:51 pm

    This. Exact. Same. Thing. Happened. To. Me.
    I was in 4th grade and was twirling a comb in my hair while in class, when I realized it was stuck. I asked to go to the bathroom and one look in the mirror and I knew I was up that very same creek! I went back and knocked on the classroom door until my teacher came to see who wasn’t entering when she said to come in. She sent me to the Nurse’s Office, where the School Nurse determined I had an unbreakable comb…it was literally stamped with the words, “Unbreakable Comb”. She had me hold an ice pack on it thinking it might be able to break if it was cold/brittle. When that didn’t work she called my mom, who was at work and couldn’t leave, so my mom sent my step-dad, (who was a police officer) to school. He showed up (while on duty) in his uniform and took me to his police cruiser. We went to a local deli (we lived in a very small town), where the owner used some big cutting device (I’ve probably blocked out the specifics), to cut the comb into pieces (much as you described). I was then dropped off back at school with a rat’s nest of a knot on the side of my head. Good Memories!! I’m now 55 years old and it took me a long time to be able to laugh about it, so I applaud Zoey, you, & your hubby for finding the humor right away! xoxo

  7. KC at 7:58 pm

    Holy s**t. My 14 year old did this exact thing last Friday night. My husband and I cut and clipped and broke things for hours while all three of us cried. She did end up loosing some length in the front, but nothing like it would have been if I took scissors to it when she first asked for help.
    Apparently we own (or did own) the worlds strongest comb, we couldn’t cut and and it wouldn’t unwrap. We spent 4 hours getting it out and another 3 hours untangling the giant ball of tangle that we finally got off the comb. It was an all night process.

    She doesn’t even have Tik tok! But she saw it on YouTube.

  8. Jeanne Starr at 8:15 pm

    (taking notes) Okay, so TikTok is the devil I always knew it was. Got it.

  9. MPL at 8:30 pm

    Hmmm, kinda reminds me of the Christmas when my then 8 year old got his brand new RC 4 propeller helicopter stuck in his then 6 year old sister’s hair. I took their sister, me and my mom to untangle the mess, and yes I took pictures. Glad you were able to get it out without too much damage.

  10. Heather at 8:31 pm

    Picture it….1990… my big, fluffy, long hair. I was sitting on my bed with my legs out in front of me, knees bent, using an epilady to remove my leg hair. I should mention that I had blonde leg hair that you could barely even see, so the epilady was definitely overkill. (For those of you who are younger than me and don’t know what an Epilady is, it is a device that had spinning coils that would grab the hair and rip it out by the root.) Anyway….. here I am sitting with my knees bent and legs in front of me and my fluffy, long hair over my shoulder on my chest. I turn around to get something from my dresser and lift the hand that the epilady is in, at which point it snags my hair and in a millisecond has one whole half of my head of hair rolled into a knot about the size of a dime. I also called my mother for help. After much deliberation of what was the best course of action to take, she started unraveling. It took her hours to unwind that thing and I had one hell of a headache but hair intact.

  11. Cassi at 8:47 pm

    My teenage son did this with 3 combs trying to curl his hair…it was a couple years ago…he wouldn’t come out of his room even after his favorite cousin arrived after not seeing her for years…I knew something was up…he finally revealed what happened and his cousins helped him break all 3 combs and get them out…my husband still doesn’t know about it because he was against my son’s long hair to begin with.

  12. shockofparenthood at 7:58 am

    Zoe, thank you for sharing! I will use your experience to warn my own daughter about this particular danger. Unfortunately, the dangers of beauty care do not disappear upon reaching adulthood. I was in my late twenties and visiting family when I got a round hairbrush stuck in my hair. I could not get it out and the only one home was my sister’s nanny whom I hadn’t yet met. So I sat for an hour while a stranger kindly picked my hair out of the brush a few strands at a time! Kudo’s to Mom and Dad for coming to the rescue for Zoe!!

  13. Charlene Ribera at 3:25 pm

    OMGGG, first, I’m So glad Zoey’s hair is still intact! Second, I almost pee’d my pants laughing reading this post….!! My 11 year old daughter just said, ‘Mom, calm down!!!’ Thanks for the little slice of joy 😂

  14. Emc at 7:53 pm

    My sister was in a car fire before her high school senior pictures. She was lucky not to have any facial scarring but she did have bangs that were a centimeter long for her yearbook picture. She survived.

  15. Jaimie at 9:23 pm

    I never would have thought to break/cut the comb. So many smart people here! I will file that away in my brain for when my daughter or her BFF inevitably stumble upon that tik tok video and try it themselves!

  16. Christin at 11:51 pm

    This right here is the reason I so love this blog. My ribs hurt…….I too did that as a 1st grader-and sure enough, my ‘yearbook’ class picture looks like I’m related to Moe, although I had curls like Larry. hahah!

  17. Lady Elizabeth at 4:39 pm

    Oh my goodness! My youngest daughter did this when she was 12 or maybe even 13. I can’t remember. Anyway, my husband worked third shift for years, while I stayed home. So we were in the habit of kiddos going to bed when dad left for work at 9 and my lazy b**t wound down at the same time. Years passed in this routine and it got to the point that at 9pm I was no longer able to think or form sentences. This child came to me with her very fine, stick straight blonde hair with a fine tooth comb wound up in it. She apparently wanted to curl her bangs. Which doesn’t make any darn sense since it was probably 2016 not 1989. I could not figure out what to do. We were both yelling and panicked. I ended taking scissors and wiggling them between the very tight comb and hair. She ended up with Junie B Jones bangs and I actually still can’t function properly after 9pm and she is a sophomore in college so her 9pm antics aren’t my everyday problem anymore.