STUCK ON YOU

A Woman on TikTok Is Going Viral for Using Gorilla Glue as Hairspray

When she ran out of hairspray, Tessica Brown used wood glue as an alternative. After a month, her hair is free at last —  but at a high emotional and physical cost.
gorilla glue and got2b hair spray on colorful background
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UPDATE (February 11, 2021 10:30 A.M. ET): Tessica Brown, the woman who went viral on TikTok after swapping her hair spray with Gorilla Glue, has undergone surgery to remove the glue from her hair and scalp. Her hair, which has been stuck for more than a month, is finally free after the surgery, performed by Los Angeles plastic surgeon Michael Obeng. TMZ recorded the entire process, which reportedly took around four hours and required light anesthesia. 

As of this update, Brown hasn't yet made any public statements about the surgery. Allure is wishing her a safe and speedy recovery.


UPDATE (February 8, 2021 11:45 A.M. ET): The tale of Tessica Brown and the Gorilla Glue continues. According to her Instagram, she checked into an emergency room on February 7, where she sought medical treatment for her still-hardened hair and scalp. There, she received acetone wipes and water, which her sister Juanita was later shown using in attempts to soak off the glue at their home in a YouTube video. Tessica appears to be in a significant amount of pain in the clip.

The Brown sisters have also created a GoFundMe campaign to help with Tessica's medical expenses and recovery. As of this post's publish time, they have raised $7,823, well above their goal of $1,500. 


Look, we all know how hard it is to get hair to stay in its place. Even with the strongest-hold gel, you might still find a few stray hairs out of place once a couple of hours pass. But when a TikTok user by the name of Tessica Brown ran out of her go-to hairspray, she took grooming to unprecedented levels by trading Got 2b Glued Blasting Freezing Spray with Gorilla Spray Adhesive — yes, the brand of glue formulated to hold pieces of wood together. As she demonstrated in a video, the glue left her slicked-back ponytail a seemingly permanent fixture on her head. Unsurprisingly, it's quickly making the rounds across TikTok and Twitter.

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"When I do my hair, I like to finish it off with the Got 2b Glued spray just to keep it in place — well, I didn't have any more Glued spray so I used this, Gorilla Glue spray," Brown says in the video. She pats, rubs, and ruffles the hair on the top of her head, but it shows no signs of budging under the cast of the glue. "Bad, bad, bad idea. Y'all, look, my hair, it don't move. You hear what I'm telling you? It don't move."

She goes on to say that she's washed her hair at least 15 times with no progress whatsoever. In another video clip posted shortly after the first, she slathers it with shampoo to no response. As if she were polishing a bowling ball, she wipes the shampoo off to reveal her unchanged, still-hardened hair beneath.

Let's be honest, we don't need to convince anyone of just how bad an idea it is to slather your hair in wood glue — nor do we foresee this Gorilla Glue hair-hack craze sweeping the nation — but we'll let the experts explain anyway. “When the product is not meant to be used for hair, [brands] can use industrial-grade polymer, which often has residual monomers that can be carcinogenic,” explains cosmetic chemist Ginger King. As she points out, Gorilla Glue's full ingredient makeup is actually a trade secret, so even she couldn't tell you what it's actually made out of. But, because it isn't designed to be used on humans, it's legally sound for it to have industrial-grade ingredients, even though they might be dangerous when in contact with human skin or inhaled. “For safety reasons, one should always stick to products designed for hair,” King concludes.

Major safety risks aside, Brown's mishap could also cause severe damage to her hair and scalp. "Our hair was just meant to be — no heat, no chemicals," says Connecticut board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara. "That being said our locks can withstand a certain amount of strain, but there is a tipping point." Gorilla Glue is definitely past that tipping point. “[She would experience] irritation and breakage. I wonder, if with time. the glue would just break down and crumble off itself. That may be the best approach if it’s true."

King, on the other hand, recommends a much more, uh, direct approach. “Cut it off. Shave it,” she says we asked what course of action she would advise in this situation. “Even if she can remove it, it's major damage to the hair. Not worth going through the trouble.”

However Brown attempts to resolve this issue is her business, even though we are morbidly curious. Hopefully, she won't need to shave all her hair off after all, 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. 


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