Tessica Brown's Hair is Finally Free of Gorilla Glue - The New York Times

  

Category:  Stranger Than Fiction

Via:  perrie-halpern  •  3 weeks ago  •  33 comments

By:   Marie Fazio

Tessica Brown's Hair is Finally Free of Gorilla Glue - The New York Times
No one could figure out how to help Tessica Brown until a Los Angeles plastic surgeon stepped in. If she could go back, she said, she would just have worn a hat.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



No one could figure out how to help Tessica Brown until a Los Angeles plastic surgeon stepped in. If she could go back, she said, she would just have worn a hat.

07xp-gorillaglue-articleLarge.jpg?quality=75&auto=webp&disable=upscale "It went from scary to terrifying to pretty much being tortured," Ms. Brown, 40, said in an interview on Thursday.

By Marie Fazio

  • Feb. 12, 2021

The last few weeks have been a roller coaster for Tessica Brown, the Louisiana woman who used Gorilla Glue instead of hair spray one day in January.

She catapulted to internet fame last week after posting a video on TikTok in which she called the decision to use the adhesive spray a "bad, bad, bad idea." More than 30 million people have viewed it there, along with countless more on Instagram and Twitter. They have clamored for updates and flooded her posts with words of encouragement (and criticism), all while piling on suggestions for how to help. But nothing worked.

Finally, more than a month after her mishap, Ms. Brown had the glue removed from her hair, thanks to a Los Angeles plastic surgeon who spent hours on Wednesday using a homemade solvent to get the job done.

"It went from scary to terrifying to pretty much being tortured," Ms. Brown, 40, said in an interview on Thursday. "And at this point, a big relief."

Ms. Brown, who runs a day care and a dance team, the Dazzling Divaz, in Violet, La., said that if she could go back to the day it all began, she would have worn a hat instead.

While rushing to get ready about a month ago, Ms. Brown realized she had run out of her usual hair spray, Got2b Glued. Scrambling, she spotted a bottle of Gorilla Spray Adhesive, a permanent spray made by Gorilla Glue. She thought that by the time she got home that night she would be able to wash it out. A month later, it hadn't budged.

Desperate, she turned to social media "to see if somebody out there could tell me what I can use to get this off my head," she said.

Skin and hair experts weighed in, and celebrities offered sympathy. Neal Farinah, a well-known hairstylist whose client list includes Beyonce, offered to help her take care of her scalp or with a wig. Ms. Brown tried many of the recommended treatments — oils, acetone, apple cider vinegar — but nothing worked. As the days went on, she said, it felt like her ponytail was getting tighter and tighter: like "red ants were dancing on my skull."

On Saturday, she went to the emergency room, where nurses began an acetone treatment, Ms. Brown said.

"It was burning to the point that my heart was beating too fast, so we had to keep stopping," she said. A nurse told her the procedure would likely take 20 hours, so she asked to continue the treatment at home with the help of her mother and sisters.

But they had made little progress when she heard from Dr. Michael Obeng, a plastic surgeon from Los Angeles, who offered to remove the glue from her head free of charge. He performed the procedure on Wednesday while she was under light anesthesia. Afterward, she was able to comb through her hair with her fingers.

"Dr. Obeng got every bit of it out," she said, adding that he'll give her a few more scalp treatments to prevent her hair from falling out, she said.

Dr. Obeng declined to speak through his publicist on Thursday, citing an exclusive interview that he had promised to an undisclosed outlet.

In an interview with TMZ on Wednesday after the surgery, Dr. Obeng said he created a solvent to dissolve polyurethane, the main active ingredient in Gorilla Glue, made of medical grade adhesive remover, aloe vera, olive oil and a little bit of acetone. He tested the concoction on a skull outfitted with real hair and extensions that he matted down with Gorilla Spray Adhesive.

"I have a chemistry background, so I knew that any compound can be broken down," Dr. Obeng said in the video. He said that the surgery "went well," and that Ms. Brown was lucky not have been severely injured on her scalp, other than some irritation from chemical treatments she had used.

"She's been through a lot, and I hope that you guys will learn from Tessica's injuries," he said.

A spokeswoman for Gorilla Glue said the company was glad Ms. Brown had been able to receive treatment and "we hope that she is doing well." The spokeswoman declined to comment on whether Ms. Brown's experience had led to any discussion about whether to add hair to the list of improper places to use Gorilla Glue Adhesive Spray on the product's label.

Ms. Brown said reports that she was planning to sue Gorilla Glue were untrue.

She said she's learned from her hair mishap, as well as the instant fame.

"Never use Gorilla Glue in your hair, for one," she said. "If you don't have the right product that you need, I think it would be best to do without."

Ms. Brown said she was unprepared for the backlash she received and said she has asked herself why she posted to social media, especially after her children faced ridicule at school.

"But then, if I'd never posted it, it would still be in my head," she said. "I wouldn't be where I'm at right now, so I'm glad I did post it."

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Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    3 weeks ago

Make sure to watch the Tic Toc video:

She really took it well.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1  CB   replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1    3 weeks ago

After washing the video on Tiktok, I will say this as levity: She "pictured" that scalp. Flawless darling.

Sad, that it's inappropriate usage of a product. Still, maybe Gorilla "Spray" can do a little something-something for the hair product line?

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
PhD Guide
2  Paula Bartholomew    3 weeks ago

She is another Darwin Award nominee.

 
 
 
Freefaller
PhD Guide
2.1  Freefaller  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @2    3 weeks ago

Lol unfortunately no as she can still breed.  However who knows what the future hold for this one, she is strong in the stupid.

 
 
 
zuksam
Sophomore Silent
3  zuksam    3 weeks ago

And they trust her to care for children?

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Principal
4  Hal A. Lujah    3 weeks ago

While rushing to get ready about a month ago, Ms. Brown realized she had run out of her usual hair spray, Got2b Glued.

Uhh, yeah - I also wouldn’t be trusting something called Got2B Glued for my hair.  She is a Ditzy Diva.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
4.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @4    3 weeks ago

Got2B Glued is legitimately a hair care product.  Got2B is the name of a hair care line.  I would assume Glued is likely a strong hold hairspray.

Gorilla Glue, on the other hand...

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Principal
4.1.1  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1    3 weeks ago

Back in the day I could see a use for a hair care product with the word glue in the name.

256

You’ve Got2B adventurous to trust such a product.

 
 
 
GaJenn78
Sophomore Quiet
4.1.2  GaJenn78  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1    3 weeks ago

Turns out, I saw this product at my Walgreens while buying my girls some things for Valentines Day. The whole line of product was on the clearance aisle.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
4.1.3  sandy-2021492  replied to  GaJenn78 @4.1.2    3 weeks ago

I've seen the product line at drug stores and Ulta.  Never really paid much attention to it, just knew it existed.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
4.1.4  sandy-2021492  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @4.1.1    3 weeks ago

Ah, the 80s.  Hairspray has never been tested like that, before or since.  Mohawks, "mall hair".

I can see a use for a strong hold hairspray for many hairstyles commonly preferred by Black women, TBH.

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Principal
4.1.5  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.4    3 weeks ago

There was a variety of Mohawks.  The one in the photo is what we used to call a sprocket head, big in England.  Then there’s fright locks, which is like the sprocket head but drawn into a row of spikes.  The one we used to make fun of was the safety hawk - where you just shave a little above your ears so you can look kinda normal or kinda punk depending on where you’re going.  Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only of the original Misfits are known for starting the devilock.

384

Its funny to think how hairstyles originally meant to shock people are now so common that first graders are sporting mohawks in school.

 
 
 
Freefaller
PhD Guide
4.1.6  Freefaller  replied to  sandy-2021492 @4.1.4    3 weeks ago
Ah, the 80s.  Hairspray has never been tested like that, before or since.  Mohawks, "mall hair".

Lol I don't know bout that, the 2-3 ft beehives popular in the 50's must have taken a ozone destroying amount of hairspray to maintain as well

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
4.1.7  sandy-2021492  replied to  Freefaller @4.1.6    3 weeks ago

Oh, yeah, I forgot about those.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.1.8  CB   replied to  Hal A. Lujah @4.1.5    3 weeks ago

original

Flock Of Seagulls ( I Ran ) 1980s.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
5  TᵢG    3 weeks ago
"Never use Gorilla Glue in your hair, for one," she said. "If you don't have the right product that you need, I think it would be best to do without."

Yes.   This is why we get ridiculous warning labels on products (like telling us to not ingest soap).   People do the nuttiest things.

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
5.1  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @5    3 weeks ago
Yes.   This is why we get ridiculous warning labels on products (like telling us to not ingest soap).   People do the nuttiest things.

I say remove most warning labels and let nature take its course!

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
5.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  Texan1211 @5.1    3 weeks ago

Nature, in this case, will be litigation.   I do not blame the manufacturers for putting ridiculous labels on products.   There are a lot of stupid consumers and plenty of greedy lawyers ready to make $$$ via lawsuits.

Also, I personally do not want to see stupid people get sick or die.    But I can easily see how the warning labels could expand into novels given examples like this seed.   Who would have thought someone would spray a super-glue into their hair?

 
 
 
Texan1211
PhD Principal
5.1.2  Texan1211  replied to  TᵢG @5.1.1    3 weeks ago
Nature, in this case, will be litigation.

Yes, sadly, we have allowed stupid people to sue over their oftentimes misuse of products.

I do not blame the manufacturers for putting ridiculous labels on products.   There are a lot of stupid consumers and plenty of greedy lawyers ready to make $$$ via lawsuits.

Too true and sad.

Also, I personally do not want to see stupid people get sick or die.

Well, me neither, really, and I also don't want them getting rich for being stupid.

Who would have thought someone would spray a super-glue into their hair?

Not anyone with any common sense.

 
 
 
zuksam
Sophomore Silent
5.1.3  zuksam  replied to  TᵢG @5.1.1    3 weeks ago
Also, I personally do not want to see stupid people get sick or die.

Me neither but something must be done to stop them from reproducing.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
Junior Silent
6  SteevieGee    3 weeks ago

If she could go back, she said, she would just have worn a hat.

But if it's windy the hat could blow off.  Hate to lose my new hat.  Maybe just a little to keep it on...

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
Professor Principal
7  Vic Eldred    3 weeks ago

 she called the decision to use the adhesive spray a "bad, bad, bad idea."


No kidding!

Can you imagine what it's like to be a plastic surgeon in 2021?  In a more normal time we had people seek a plastic surgeon to improve imperfections etc, now we have people who put "Gorilla Glue" in their hair!  

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
8  JohnRussell    3 weeks ago

Very interesting article. !

I would have just got a buzz cut. Maybe as it grew back she would have decided she liked a shorter hairstyle better !

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
8.1  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @8    3 weeks ago

Yeah but when scalp hair grows at about 6" per year, it will take a while for her to get back to normal for a woman.

She probably should have cut it all off as you suggest and acquired some wigs.    Likely cheaper than her medical bills.   Plus her current hair is probably majorly damaged at this point.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.1.1  CB   replied to  TᵢG @8.1    3 weeks ago
While rushing to get ready about a month ago, Ms. Brown realized she had run out of her usual hair spray, Got2b Glued. Scrambling, she spotted a bottle of Gorilla Spray Adhesive, a permanent spray made by Gorilla Glue. She thought that by the time she got home that night she would be able to wash it out. A month later, it hadn't budged.

"Desperation move." Happens everyday somewhere on the planet. People don't read the directions. People pay the physical and mental costs.

Recently, in keeping with my clean "protocols" I purchased a germicidal bleaching product. Damn that packaging had the smallest most intricate set of writings on it. I remember telling myself to be extraordinarily careful when I use it. By the time (a month or so) I got around to needing it - I opened it to and poured out just a 'tad' in order to hand-wash in the face bowl several items. Absentmindedly, I dipped them several times immersing my right hand into the detergent and bleach solution and turned to walk away, letting them set.

About 10 minutes later, I noticed some mildly noticeable 'rises' on the insides of my right fingers. Thankfully, it did not get worse. . . .

I thought what the "H" and decided to look for the cause for the effect. Using the "last thing you did first check" mantra and so I read the germicidal bleach container directions again. It stated in small text: "Corrosive, use gloves." "If you get product on skin, lavishly wash for 15 minutes with clear water. If you need further assistance, call Poison control."

I'm fine, 'family.' I survived. As you may imagine, it was a close call. I could have went "whole hog" washing that event! Well, I poured the whole damn remainder of the bleach out so as not to get 'fooled' again.

True story. It was not a "desperation move" as I was not in any rush situation.

I did feel stupid for not remembering the reason I bought the product in the first place! Not to hand-wash (without gloves) that's for sure!

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
8.1.2  sandy-2021492  replied to  CB @8.1.1    3 weeks ago
People don't read the directions.

TBH, there shouldn't need to be directions against this.  If the ads for a product show it holding heavy weights to demonstrate its tensile strength, it is not at all reasonable to put it in one's hair and assume it will just easily wash out.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.1.3  CB   replied to  TᵢG @8.1    3 weeks ago
She probably should have cut it all off as you suggest and acquired some wigs.    Likely cheaper than her medical bills

I am actually pleased she stuck it out to find a solution that allowed her to keep her hair. In that sense, it's a win-win. Black women naturally curling hair is prone to breakage at length - so she may have not gotten it back due to the chemical. Therefore, I think she need the help of a professional at this point. And, she can provide insight for other women from her blunder-remedy experience!

Good on her. All's well that ends well!

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
8.1.4  JohnRussell  replied to  sandy-2021492 @8.1.2    3 weeks ago

I am assuming she thought because it was a spray it's effect would be more easily removed. Bad assumption obviously. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.1.5  CB   replied to  sandy-2021492 @8.1.2    3 weeks ago

Well, to that all I can say is this: Of course, she took pride in her hair and it was not her intentions to destroy her locks and strands! So, what else could it be? Clearly, she disassociated tensile strength with what products could break the chemical bond. To a disastrous effect.

We (all) at times make proverbial stupid mistakes. Mine, for example, is a case in point. What was I thinking? Distracted? Careless? Tired even?

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
8.1.6  sandy-2021492  replied to  CB @8.1.5    3 weeks ago

Of course it wasn't her intention.  That doesn't make it any less stupid of a mistake. 

In your case - most cleaners and disinfectants, once diluted, won't cause skin damage after short-term (several seconds, I assume) of exposure.  Skin is pretty resilient and acts as a natural barrier.  Most of us have even splashed a drop of straight bleach on ourselves at some point, and didn't suffer any severe consequences.  I know I have - I rinsed it off, and forgot about it.  It's pretty easy to assume that your disinfectant would be equally innocuous.

But most of us have also accidentally gotten some Gorilla Glue on our fingers when repairing something with it, and know that it is really hard to get that stuff off of skin.  Most reasonable people of average intelligence would not put it in their hair, period.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.1.7  CB   replied to  sandy-2021492 @8.1.6    3 weeks ago

I want to be clear. I don't know what to make of her "accidental" problem. I am simply 'vibing' with the discussion as best I can.

My mistake with the germicidal bleach could have been worse, and I know it. Because I could have committed that evening to the whole hand-washing event! And by the time the "bubbling" started. . . well, you can imagine me at the ER!

Frankly, I have never heard of Gorilla -spray. And am curious how she came to have it handy.  Because it begs the question: She bought gorilla glue for a purpose.

Whatever was she thinking to counter its normal use?

Still, in a moment of snap judgement-she did it. What motivates unreasonable expectations and mistakes in people?

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Principal
8.1.8  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  TᵢG @8.1    3 weeks ago

My guess is that is was left in a condition than couldn’t even be shaved.  I had a cat that had a respiratory condition and she would sneeze all the time.  You didn’t want to be close by when it happened because snot would go everywhere.  She was a maine coon, so her long hair would get saturated with her own version of gorilla glue.  It got to the point where she was just a mass of dreadlocks that couldn’t even be cut off, because you literally could not tell where the skin ended and the hair began.  She was so gnarly looking, but she was my favorite cat.  Everyone was scared of her.  She just died last year at the age of 21.

 
 
 
MrFrost
Masters Principal
9  MrFrost    3 weeks ago

It's a shame....she had just gotten over her "Elmers Glue Diet" a month or so ago, too. 

Pro-Tip: If it says, "glue", it's not for your hair. 

 
 
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