It seems to be common knowledge that using peanut butter is good for removing chewing gum from hair or the bottoms of shoes. Is this true?
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Seems true. Loads of vidoes on Youtube, though many of the first ones I found only started showing footage after peanut butter was already in the hair, thus you couldn't really see the gum.
HERE is one that seems to illustrate it working, though you only see footage after peanut butter is already obstructing the view. It does look like gum being removed at the end.
It seems that anything oily may work as well. HERE is a shot of a mother using extra virgin olive oil and shows the gum before, the oil on the hair/gum, and the gum coming out. Assuming you trust there was no funny business when the video cut, that's a fairly conclusive video.
HERE is another with what looks like real gum and recommendations for either olive oil or peanut butter.
HERE is one more, where if you buy they didn't do anything funny before hand, they removed gum quite easily with olive oil but also mentioned that peanut butter works as well.
I realize these are sources from YouTube, but with a lack of peer-reviewed journal publications, I figured videos answering the question would be great, though they require trusting that they're not all conspiring just to get more people to pointlessly fill their hair with oily substances...