How to get EEG glue out of hair

  • November 8, 2022
  • 3
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Woman washing her hair

Having an EEG scan is one of the most common methods doctors will use to diagnose or learn more about a person’s seizures. But as anyone who’s had one knows, getting the EEG glue out of your hair can be really difficult!

The technician at the epilepsy monitoring unit or at your local hospital should get most of the glue out of your hair at the end of the appointment. But if you get home and find there’s some left over, read our tips for how to get EEG glue out of hair. 

Epilepsy monitoring unit - what to expect

EEG glue hair removal - why it’s so hard

When you get an EEG, the hospital technician needs to attach electrodes to your scalp very securely. If the electrodes slip, then they might not pick up so much information about what’s happening inside your brain. To make sure the electrodes stay in place, they use very strong glue (Collodion is widely used). This powerful glue means the electrodes won’t move while you’re sleeping, walking around, or if you have a seizure. 

When the EEG is finished, the technician will use a special solvent that can remove the glue. But sometimes, it won’t all come out, or some gets missed. In this case, you’ll have to do it at home. 

This can be annoying - and can be difficult for parents of younger children that don’t understand why they need to stay still! Our tips for how to get EEG glue out of hair can make this process easier. 

Learn more: What is an EEG and what does it show?

Tips for how to get EEG glue out of hair

The following tips cover come of the most common ways of how to get medical glue out of hair: 

  • Use skin-safe oils: Various types of oils can loosen the EEG glue from your scalp or your hair. Make sure it’s safe for your skin - check with a pharmacist if you’re not sure. Products like coconut oil, baby oil, sunflower oil and olive oil will be fine for most people. Rub the oil onto your scalp and hair, then gently pick any remaining glue away. It might help to leave it for a few minutes to ‘soak in’ and loosen up bigger clumps. 

Suggested: Read about essential oils and epilepsy

  • Conditioners: In much the same way as oils, conditioners can also loosen up medical glue. You will probably need to use more and do several washes, but you might prefer the smell. 
  • Try dish soap: Dish soaps (including common brands like Dawn) can be effective at gently loosening EEG glue - just massage it gently into your hair like a conditioner. 
  • Clarifying shampoos: This kind of shampoo is designed to give your hair a ‘deep clean’ and can help with EEG glue hair removal. 
  • Acetone: A final option is to try using acetone - that’s the same product as nail polish remover. You can often find it in large stores, marts and beauty counters. Use small amounts and rub it onto the EEG glue, then wash it out with a conditioner. Beware that acetone will dry your hair out if left on for long, so work quickly. 

If you have any doubts about how to get EEG glue out of hair, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or the treatment team at the epilepsy center.

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