Moms Warn Parents About Toys That Got Tangled in Their Daughters' Hair

Two moms share how Bunchems got tangled in each of their daughter's hair, requiring hours—and lots of patience—to remove them.

A mom from Churchville, Pennsylvania, wants to warn other parents about what Bunchems toys can do to a child's hair. Six-year-old twins Noah and Abigail were playing with a container of the Velcro-like toys, which have little hooks and are meant to be stuck together to form various shapes and creations. And at one point, Noah dumped a tub of the popular toys on his sister's head, according to a Facebook post that went viral.

"I think I had an out-of-body experience," Lisa Hoelzle recalled in the post. "She had about 150 of these things layered and matted in her hair."

Thankfully, after acquiring mineral oil and a detangling comb and spending 20 hours overall working on her daughter's hair, Hoelzle managed to remove the toys. "We saved her hair, and although it is thinner, it wasn't as damaged and ruined as I thought, so thank you God!!!" wrote the Pennsylvania mom, who also noted that her fingers are swollen from the experience.

Hoelzle is far from the first parent to find herself facing this frustrating experience. In 2019, a mom from Arkansas named Jasmine Nikunen shared her daughter's hair horror story.

Her 5-year-old Scarlett had been growing her hair long since she was a baby. During a recent playdate with her cousin, disaster struck when 3-year-old Collin dumped a bucket of Bunchems toys over the little girl's head. At least 50 of the toy balls got stuck in Scarlett's hair, according to Nikunen.

Spin Master Bunchems!
Jeffrey Westbrook

"She tried to shake them out, and they immediately started to matte up," Nikunen said. "I thought we were never going to get them out."

The desperate mom took to Facebook to ask for help. The detangling process ultimately required over 12 hours and three people to help.

The manufacturer, Spin Master, has been aware of the issue since the product launched in 2015, even going so far as to put a specific warning on the toys' packaging to keep them away from hair. Bunchems, which is owned by Spinmaster, has a YouTube channel where parents can view an instructional video that shows people how to use conditioner or vegetable oil to remove them from hair.

That process was one that Nikunen followed in dealing with her daughter's tangles. "We had about 12 containers of coconut oil and vegetable oil and any hair oil you could think of, and we drenched her in it," Nikunen said.

While it was no doubt distressing and time-consuming, like Hoelzle, Nikunen was thankful not to have to take scissors to Scarlett's mane. "She lost a lot of it like her scalp has thinned out now. We're just grateful we were able to salvage it," she said.

Both Hoelzle and Nikunen hope that sharing their stories will prevent this from happening to other kids. Nikunen's words of wisdom for other parents, according to THV11, "Definitely watch your kids if you do have them, keep them away from the hair."

A quick search on Amazon and you can find multiple reviews from parents who have also felt the wrath of the burr-like toy getting stuck in their children's hair. "If they leave even one on the ground, the younger ones will somehow lay on the ground and get a burr in their hair," wrote one reviewer. "This product should be recalled, or we will have quite a few bald children and pets!"

Thanks to countless online reviews and viral stories like Hoelzle and Nikunes, Bunchems earned the ire of the children's toy safety watchdog group, World Against Toys Cause Harm, Inc. (WATCH), and made the 2019 list of worst toys on the market.

If you have Bunchems at home, make sure to keep a close eye on your kids as they play to prevent the burr-like toys from getting tangled in their hair.

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