A Woman Used Gorilla Glue to Style Her Hair—Why That's So Dangerous and What to Do If It Happens to You
File this under: big oops.
Picture it: you just finished styling your hair, a sleek braided ponytail with perfectly laid baby hairs. But when you reach for your holy grail (Got2B Glued Blasting Freeze Spray) to finish it, you're all out. So you reach for (what you think) is the next best thing: Gorilla Glue Spray Adhesive hoping to get the same effect. That's what happened to Tessica Brown (AKA, TikTok user @im_d_ollady), but it was a "Bad, bad, bad idea."
Brown revealed the mishap in a TikTok video posted on Thursday, that quickly went viral to over 2.5 million viewers. While describing the incident, Brown is shown patting her hair all over, revealing not a single hair will move out of place, and stating that she's kept the hairstyle for over a month. "I've washed my hair fifteen times, and it don't move," Brown said. As perfect as her hair looked, she warned others not to make her mistake, "unless you want your hair to be like that forever."
How to wash Gorilla Glue out of your hair
First and foremost, it should be noted that Gorilla Glue is really, really not supposed to be used anywhere on the body, including your hair or scalp. "Gorilla Glue is a spray adhesive not meant to be used on hair," Diane Stevens a professional hairstylist and owner of Cole Stevens Salon, tells Health. "It forms a clear, permanent bond that is moisture resistant and is irritating to the eyes, respiratory system and skin—I do not recommend it for hair!"
But hey, accidents happen. If you find yourself in the same (literal) bind, here are what experts recommend you do to remove the glue and save your 'do.
Rubbing alcohol and water
Brown's post went so viral that Gorilla Glue Company actually issued their own statement to Beauty IRL, a beauty newsletter by reporter Darian Harvin, suggesting she try warm, soapy water or rubbing alcohol to gently dissolve the glue, prefaced by not recommending this product at all for hairstyling. "In this case, the less aggressive solvent for her hair/scalp would be rubbing alcohol and we suggest that she saturate her hair, gently comb it out and then use shampoo," the brand writes. "If her hair has truly been glued down to her scalp and immobile for a month with that many aggressive attempts to wash it out, it is possible her hair is fractured at the root but we certainly hope for the best."
Olive, almond, or baby oil
Textured-hair expert Diane Stevens, who isn't affiliated with Gorilla Glue, recommends using a gentle oil like oil, almond, or baby oil to attempt to remove the glue. "Saturate the glued areas with oil and rub it in for a few minutes," she says. "Leave the oil in your hair for a minimum of 15 minutes, then gently comb through the softened glue with a fine-tooth comb." Oil can help loosen the glue's bonds without any further damage.
Acetone nail polish remover
Mona Gohara, MD, an associate professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine and BIPOC skin expert (also unaffiliated wit Gorilla Glue) recommends using an acetone-based nail polish to gently dissolve the glue, similar to how one would remove nail glue. "Soak a cotton ball with acetone nail polish remover, then soak the hair," Dr. Gohara tells Health. "It will possibly dry and damage your tresses but at least you will have tresses!"
What you should you do in this situation instead?
So clearly, you should only use products meant for hair—like hairspray or spiking gel—to help hold your hairstyles, Stevens says.
Past that, however, if you're styling your hair similarly to Brown often, it may be time to switch up your routine. Because as neat and sleek as her hairstyle is, Stevens still strongly cautions against it, and not just because of the glue Brown used. "Hair should not be pulled so tightly and full of gel," Stevens says. "It is not healthy and can eventually cause hair loss." Just something to consider.
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