A few days ago, a Louisiana-based teacher Tessica Brown posted a TikTok video showing the world that her hair had been stuck in the same, slicked-down braided ponytail style for a month. How, and why did this happen, you ask?
@im_d_olladyStiff where????? Ma hair ??♬ original sound – Tessica Brown
Well, for starters, Brown – whom you can see is clearly a woman who invests in her appearance in the video – had ran out of her usual Schwarzkopf Got 2b Glued Blasting Freezing Spray ($15.50 from Guardian, if you’d like to try it for yourself) – an actual hairspray – to complete her sleek style and “keep it in place.” As a substitute, she reached out for a can of Gorilla Glue Spray Adhesive in hopes to achieve the same effect. Turns out, she got way more than she’d bargained for.
Her hair, now completely frozen in time, fused completely to her scalp shortly after she sprayed on the heavy-duty adhesive. In the video that’s garnered more than 24 million views so far (she also shared the same video on Instagram which has been viewed over three million times), Brown shares that she’d washed her hair 15 times and it just absolutely wouldn’t budge, before telling her followers to never “ever, ever use this on your hair” while holding up a bottle of Gorilla Glue.
@im_d_olladyIt don’t move I hate it here♬ original sound – Tessica Brown
The next day, Brown posted an update of her mane misadventure – this time, it’s another TikTok video of herself (the same clip is also on Instagram) putting shampoo on her hair and showing it did nothing to loosen her hardened locks.
Well-wishes and concerns started pouring in after her video went viral
Not long after her story got picked up by various news portals, more and more people became invested in the outcome of Brown’s hair journey, with many of them sharing recommendations on how to break the seemingly unbreakable Gorilla Glue bond.
In fact, netizens started rallying support for Brown so much that the hashtag #GorillaGlueGirl started trending on Twitter. Among her supporters was Chance the Rapper, who tweeted about his support of Brown.
Brown subsequently updated her followers that she’d be trying a method that involves dousing her rock solid hair in coconut oil and tea tree oil before plastic-wrapping it – which turned out to be a complete bust.
@208skindoc##duet with @im_d_ollady gorilla glue hair spray ##dermatologist ##dermreacts ##208skindoc ##hair ##gorillaglue♬ original sound – Tessica Brown
Medical professionals like an Idaho-based Dr. Dustin Portela on social media also chimed in to provide help. Dr. Portela, who has over one million followers on TikTok, posted a video offering assistance and explaining different ways that could get the glue out, including using acetone.
Still, nothing seemed to work, and Brown posted a couple of pictures and video that showed the outside of an emergency room and a snippet of a healthcare worker rendering assistance to her hair. In the snippet, Brown seemed to look uncomfortable as her hair is being tended to (though no details of the treatment were shared).
Without naming sources, TMZ reported that Brown spent 22 hours in the emergency room. Later, Brown posted a YouTube video of her sister using acetone wipes that she got from the hospital. In the video, you can clearly see how uncomfortable Brown was as she squirmed around the chair with her face covered.
Following the video on YouTube, Brown shared a GoFundMe link asking for donation without specifying what the fund is for – the link is still available on her Instagram page, and it has raised more than 10 times of its initial US$1,500 goal so far.
After all the ordeal, Brown continued to post updates to her now 740,000-strong followers, including an appreciation post for all the support she had been receiving. In the same post, she also asked that everyone “continue praying that I can get through this and keep my hair” – she’s hoping that she doesn’t have to shave off her head.
Gorilla Glue issued a statement about the ‘unique incident’
Following Brown’s viral hair disaster, Gorilla Glue released a statement on Monday on Twitter and Instagram, which read: “We are very sorry to hear about the unfortunate incident that Miss Brown experienced using our Spray Adhesive on her hair. This is a unique situation because this product is not indicated for use in or on hair as it is considered permanent.”
The statement added: “Our spray adhesive states in the warning label ‘do not swallow. Do not get in eyes, on skin or clothing.'” It suggested using the product on materials such as “paper, cardboard, wood, laminate, and fabric.”
What’s next for Tessica Brown, the #GorillaGlueGirl
Using unnamed sources, TMZ also reported that Brown was considering legal action. While she said the label on the bottle she used mentioned keeping the product away from skin, eyes, and clothing, it had no caution against using the adhesive on her hair which she felt was misleading. “Tessica felt it was okay because the product said multi-use,” the publication wrote.
On Brown’s Instagram page, her latest update revealed that she’ll be flying to Los Angeles to meet a surgeon. According to TMZ, the surgeon in question is Dr. Michael Obeng, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, who reportedly feels terrible for Brown and has offered to do the US$12,500 (approx. S$16,578.70) treatment for free.
While soap, acetone and rubbing alcohol have all failed to remove the glue, the publication reported that Obeng is confident he can remove the product using medical-grade glue remover.
As for the rest of us, let’s be honest for a second here: you don’t need us, your beauty BFF – or anyone for that matter – to convince you just how bad it is to slather your hair in wood glue. While there are weird viral beauty trends all over TikTok right now, we certainly don’t foresee this Gorilla Glue hair-hack craze taking off on the internet realm, no matter how much you want to put your best look forward.
We’re crossing all our fingers and toes that Brown is able to resolve this mane issue soon, but in the meantime, the rest of us have learned an important (albeit somewhat obvious) lesson: if it’s not designed to put in your hair, don’t put it in your hair. Seriously, just don’t…