Lisa Hoelzle says it took 20 hours and lots of tears to remove the sticky ball toys from her daughter Abigail’s hair.
Hoelzle shared her experience on Facebook, where her post was shared 226,000 times so far.
Last month, Hoelzle’s 6-year-old twins Noah and Abigail were playing with Bunchems. Noah poured a bucket of the toys over Abigail’s head and the toy balls stuck fast to her hair.
“I think I had an out-of-body experience,” wrote Hoelzle in her post. “She had about 150 of these things layered and matted in her hair. They made it worse trying to remove them themselves…”
Hoelzle said that after 3 hours of carefully prying the toys from Abigail’s hair, she had only managed to remove 15 balls. She was determined to keep trying, though, to avoid a drastic haircut for Abigail.
“If we cut them out because of how deep they were, she would have winded up with a short pixie cut,” she wrote. “It crushed my heart and I just couldn’t in my heart give up without trying my best to get them out.”
That night, Hoelzle held Abigail while she slept to try to keep the Bunchems from getting even more tangled.
They spent most of the next day detangling the individual balls. Hoelzle says it took 20 hours to remove them all, plus another hour in the bath to condition Abigail’s hair and comb out all the knots.
“My fingers are literally swollen from this but worth it all,” she wrote. “I am still in disbelief that we went through and got through this whole awful situation!!!”
Hoelzle ended her post by warning other parents about the toy. She also said she intended to reach out to Spin Master, the company behind Bunchems.
In a statement to Good Morning America, Spin Master said they’ve spoken to Hoelzle about the incident and are no longer producing the toy.
“We have been in contact with this customer and have expressed our sincere apologies for the inconvenience this has caused for both her and her daughter,” Spin Master said. “While the packaging clearly indicates that Bunchems should be kept away from hair, we recognize that accidents like this may happen. We are no longer producing this item and encourage parents who may have the item in their home to read the directions carefully and leverage our online resources to help guide play with the product.”
If your kids enjoy playing with Bunchems, you don’t have to get rid of them. The toy manufacturer recommends tying back long hair during play. They also have a video on their website with instructions for untangling Bunchems from hair.