hair twists

You can close a head cut by crossing strips of hair and gluing them down.

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

This may be my favorite tip on treating a cut.

Let’s say your son rises from under a table and conks his head or scratches his scalp with a nail. What technique you can you use for a head cut that you can’t use for any other cut? Hint: It applies only to head wounds. Another hint: You need hair.

If someone cuts his or her head in an area of the scalp with an inch or more of hair, you can use the hair almost like stitches to close the cut. (You could do it on yourself but you’d need a mirror and a lot of dexterity.)

How to Treat a Head Cut Using Hair

If the cut is bleeding a lot, apply gentle pressure. If you have any concern the skull could be broken, be very careful. You don’t want to depress the loose bone inward toward the brain. (A broken skull is a rare injury, though, and needs a lot of force, like a hit by a hammer or a hard fall on a rock.)

You can also use dental floss to tie the hair together.

  1. Wash the blood out of the hair as best you can.
  2. Use your fingers to dig through the hair and find the cut.
  3. Part the hair away from the cut until you can see the whole wound.
  4. Clean out debris, and irrigate the head wound with water.
  5. Start at one end of the head cut. From one side of the cut, twist a sprig of hair between your thumb and index finger. Do the same on the other side of the wound with your other hand.
  6. Cross the sprigs over each other like making an X. Pull with enough tension to close the part of the wound under the sprigs.

  7. Glue the sprigs down.
  8. Repeat steps five through seven until the wound is closed.
No hair?

Use glue and tape like you would for other cuts.

If you have strong thread or dental floss, you can snip it into four-inch strips. After step four, lay one strip lengthwise on the open cut. Go through steps five and six, then tie the strip around the crossed sprig to keep it in place. That way, you don’t have to use glue on your head.