A woman who went viral on TikTok after using Gorilla Glue in her hair is finally free of her ordeal.
Tessica Brown had a four-hour surgery to remove the adhesive after plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Obeng in Los Angeles offered to perform the $12,500 operation for free.
She has since debuted her new haircut on social media.
After her plight went viral, she was dubbed “Gorilla Glue girl” by other TikTok users concerned about her hair.
This is what happened to Brown, the latest update on the situation - and how Gorilla Glue responded to the incident.
What happened to Tessica Brown?
Brown, 40, told her followers on TikTok that she’d run out of her usual Got2B Glued hairspray - a popular hairspray for holding styles in place.
In its place, she grabbed Gorilla Glue spray, which is a moisture-resistant, permanent-bond adhesive.
She thought the clear glue spray might have the same effect as her original hairspray.
However, the substitution didn’t go as planned.
Brown told her followers that her hair had been stuck in the same style - parted to the side in a long braid - for over a month.
Informing viewers of her unfortunate situation, she said: “My hair has been like this for about a month now.
“It’s not by choice - when I do my hair I like to finish it off with a little Got2B Glued spray, you know just to keep it in place.”
“Well I didn’t have any more Got2B Glued spray so I used this.”
Brown then held up a can of Gorilla Glue Heavy Duty spray adhesive, going on to say it was a “bad, bad, bad idea” to use it on her head after her hair became stuck fast.
She said she had washed her hair 15 times and it still hadn’t budged.
Brown’s comments were flooded with people aghast at her mistake and people expressed their concerns.
One person wrote, “you got 2B kidding me”, while another said, “you got 2B smarter than that sis”.
Some TikTok users even compared Brown’s hair to a helmet.
Gorilla Glue girl, as she quickly became known, then shared a follow-up video after her original post went viral with over 15 million views.
In the clip, she is seen worriedly rubbing shampoo all over her scalp and scrubbing at her head, before wiping it off to show that her hair just wouldn’t move.
She said: “Watch, look y’all. You wipe it off and nothing happens. Like, this is the life I’m living at this point. Look. Look. Look. Look.”
When did she go to hospital?
Brown began experiencing painful headaches from the glue, which she said made her hair feel tighter on her head.
After her video achieved viral status, she took herself to hospital for some medical advice.
She documented her trip to the hospital on Instagram to update her followers who were begging to know what was happening.
One photo shows some acetone and sterile water, with the caption: “This is really about to be a long process.”
In another photo, a healthcare worker is seen applying something to the back of Brown’s hair, while she lies on a bed with her eyes shut.
Sources told TMZ that Brown had spent 22 hours in the ER, but the staff were unable to help her.
They reportedly put acetone on the back of her head but it burned her scalp and turned the glue into a gooey mixture before it hardened back up.
Brown then opted to keep trying the remedy back home, which she documented in another video, but the alcohol technique didn’t help her situation.
She opened a GoFundMe page for her medical bills, with over $20,000 raised – but Brown has since donated the money to Dr Obeng’s non-profit reconstructive surgery organisation.
Despite her plight, Brown had been making light of her situation by re-posting memes her followers have made.
What is the latest update?
Brown eventually managed to cut off her ponytail using superglue remover "Goof Off” and a pair of household scissors, but said her scalp was still burning from when the medical staff used acetone on her head.
She told her followers that she had managed to remove her hairstyle after four hours with the help of a friend who cut off small chunks of her locks.
The superglue remover made the glue into a gooey paste, but it was still not enough to entirely remove the Gorilla Glue.
But relief finally came for Brown when she visited the LA plastic surgeon on Thursday 11 February.
Dr. Obeng, the director of MiKO Plastic Surgery, became aware of her case through social media and created a solution to dissolve the main ingredient in Gorilla Glue, polyurethane.
He used a combination of medical grade adhesive remover, aloe vera, olive oil and acetone to remove the glue from Brown's scalp.
The surgeon first tested his strategy on a dummy scalp with real human hair and extensions before spraying the solution onto Brown’s hair and combing it through.
The whole process was filmed by TMZ, and in the video Brown can be seen becoming emotional after she realises she can once again run her fingers through her hair.
She said: “I can scratch it. I wish I'd have waited for my little sister to cut my ponytail off! It's over... over...over...”
Dr Obeng has since explained how he removed the glue, telling LADbible: “It was very straightforward, it wasn't tricky, it wasn't difficult - once we figured out what chemical compound or what solvent can break down the glue.
"And I tried it on a mannequin with human hair and the hair extension stuck to it and was able to break it down.
"From that moment we knew we had a product that can safely dissolve the Gorilla Glue, and also at the same time not cause any injury to the scalp or the hair."
He said her hair would return to normal in time.
Brown posted a picture of herself and the surgeon on Instagram, with the caption: “Words cannot even explain how I feel about @drmichaelkobeng you really gave me my life back and I am forever grateful.”
She is clearly happy with her new hairstyle, posting a picture for her 785,000 followers to see the new, short cut on 17 February.
"The good outweighed the bad and I am forever grateful,” Brown wrote.
How did Gorilla Glue respond?
Shortly after Brown’s original video went viral, Gorilla Glue reached out to her via social media.
The company wrote: "We are aware of the situation and we are very sorry to hear about the unfortunate incident that Miss Brown experienced using our Spray Adhesive on her hair.
"We are glad to see in her recent video that Miss Brown has received medical treatment from her local medical facility and wish her the best."
It was then reported by TMZ that Brown had hired a lawyer and was looking at her legal options.
Gorilla Glue packaging does not specifically mention that it should not be used on hair and it is described as a “multi-use” product.
But the adhesives company said Brown’s situation is “unique” as the product is “not indicated for use in or on hair as it is considered permanent”.
A statement released by Gorilla Glue said: “Our spray adhesive states in the warning label ‘do not swallow, do not get in eyes, on skin or on clothing…
“It is used for craft, home, auto or office projects to mount things to surfaces such as paper, cardboard, wood, laminate and fabric.”
What is Gorilla Glue?
Gorilla Glue is a waterproof and temperature resistant invisible adhesive.
It bonds materials such as metal, stone, wood, ceramics and glass and is often used in household projects and for building repairs.
Gorilla Glue became popular due to its industrial holding power and versatility.
Its website says it is “designed to be tough”.