Anyone who has worn both hair and a necklace at the same time has likely experienced the pain and frustration of getting the first caught in the second. To add insult to injury, the hair, now tightly-knotted into a ball, sometimes remains trapped in the chain or closure of the necklace after its removal. Worse, your hair may be tangled in the necklace while you’re still wearing it, making it impossible to remove without literally tearing your hair out. Rest assured, there are several ways to tackle the problem.

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Rub it Out

If you are able to get the necklace off, try this solution first. Pumice is basically volcanic rock that forms when hot lava flows into water and becomes a hard mass. Both abrasive and porous, a pumice stone is the answer to rough feet as well as hair tangled in a necklace. Simply spread the necklace out on a towel or cloth on a flat surface with your fingers so that the section of the necklace with the snagged hair is between them. Then rub a damp pumice stone over the piece of chain where the hair is caught and it should readily break free.

Dissolve the Hair

Sometimes stubborn knots of hair will respond to cream hair remover, just be sure to remove the necklace first to prevent injury to sensitive skin. Then place a small amount of hair remover in a shallow bowl and let the affected part of the necklace rest in it for about five minutes. Rinse the necklace thoroughly with cool water and dry with a soft cloth.

Fire it Up

Tangled hair can be removed from a metal chain by holding the section in question over a candle flame for a second or two, but please don't attempt this while wearing the necklace. Aside from the unpleasant smell of burning hair, this method requires care so you don’t burn your fingers when the chain gets hot or from accidental contact with the flame itself. Also, this method will not turn out well on gold or silver-plated jewelry. The necklace must be at least 14k or the metal won't have a high enough melting point and may suffer damage. For obvious reasons, you don’t want to do this with pearls or other materials that would burn up along with the hair.

Roll Out the Barrel

Those pesky clasps you have to pinch to open that are always catching your hair can be replaced with a barrel clasp. These are less likely to grab and hold onto loose hair. Unless you have really good eyesight and are adept at handling jewelry tools with steady hands, it’s best to have a jeweler do this for you. Alternatively, slide a short piece of cut tubing over the clasp when fastened to make a barrier. Aquarium tubing from a pet supply store or oxygen tubing from a medical supply center works well for this solution.

Cut it Out

If your hair gets caught in your necklace and you can’t remove it without pulling out hair along with it, cut the hair with scissors to free the jewelry and spare your scalp. Then use one of the methods described here to remove trapped hair from the chain.

Prevent Future Tangles

The clasp is the most common culprit when it comes to snagging hair. Turning the necklace so the clasp rests under your chin will eliminate this problem. Also, if you notice that particular types of chains and clasps tend to hold your hair hostage, consider changing out the chain for one less problematic.