Guess they don’t call them Bunchems for nothing.
Twins Noah and Abigail Hoelzle, 6, were playing in their Churchville, Pennsylvania, home recently when Noah dumped a container of Velcro-like Bunchems toys onto Abigail’s head, creating a gnarly nightmare that took nearly a full day to untangle.
The kids had just finished their day of virtual schooling and headed downstairs to play when Noah came running back upstairs to tell their mother, Lisa, that Abigail had something stuck in her hair.
“I think I had an out-of-body experience,” Lisa wrote in a now-viral Facebook post of the moment she saw Abigail’s Bunchem-filled hair. The spheres are meant to be stuck to one another — but an increasingly frustrated population of parents are finding that they’re anything but fun when they end up in kids’ hair. Countless reviews of the toys on Amazon warn moms and dads of the impending doom.
“She had about 150 of these things layered and matted in her hair,” Lisa wrote.
After some three hours of detangling, she’d only managed to remove 15 of them. A quick Google search suggested using conditioner and vegetable oil, but Lisa and her husband, Dan, found those only “made it worse and so messy.”
That night, Abigail passed out with her head on Lisa “so they wouldn’t get more tangled.” In the morning, Lisa went on a Bunchems-removal shopping spree, buying mineral oil and a detangling comb, and getting ready for a day of war against the toys stubbornly stuck in her daughter’s hair.
Her mission was successful. After countless tears (Lisa’s), apologies (Noah’s), consolations (from Abigail, who was “surprisingly amazing about it”), 20 total hours of Bunchems-removal and an hour of post-removal bathtub hair conditioning, Abigail’s hair was relatively back to normal.
“We saved her hair and although it is thinner it wasn’t as damaged and ruined as I thought so Thank you God!!!” wrote Lisa, adding that her fingers are swollen from the experience.
Now, the mother is on a campaign to prevent others from repeating her nightmare.
“Spread the word,” she encouraged fellow parents. “Trash you Bunchems if you have them or if you love them [wear] a shower caps when playing.”
A spokesperson for Bunchems’ manufacturer, Spin Master, told Kennedy News & Media wire service that “Bunchems packaging and directions clearly state: ‘Caution: Keep away from hair. May become entangled.’”
Following the product’s 2015 release, the spokesperson added, the company “quickly developed instructional videos for our YouTube channel and websites as a way to proactively educate people on how to play with the product and how to remove Bunchems from hair if they do get tangled.”
While Bunchems are still available for purchase, they were discontinued last year.