A Louisiana woman who used Gorilla Glue to set her hair had to seek medical treatment to get the product out.
Tessica Brown, 40, from Violet, Louisiana, who used the industrial strength glue to set her hair at home when she ran out of her hair spray, had to spend a day in the ER to get the glue removed from her hair.
Doctors put acetone on her head to remove the product, but it burnt her scalp and worsened the situation.
“Sources told the publication that the acetone burned her scalp and only made the glue sticky before it dried up again, leaving her with the same immovable hair she started with,” per Daily Mail.
“My hair, it don’t move. You hear what I’m telling you? It don’t move,” she said in her TikTok video. “My hair, it don’t move. You hear what I’m telling you? It don’t move.”
In a second video, Brown put lots of shampoo on her head and showed her followers that nothing happened when she tried to wash her hair with the shampoo, and her hair would just don’t move.
After the story became viral in February 2021, Gorilla Glue brand addressed the issue on their Twitter account. It said the glue can be removed from hair by using acetone or isopropyl alcohol.
“Hi there, we are sorry to learn about your experience! We do not recommend using our products in hair as they are considered permanent,” the tweet read. “You can try soaking the affected area in warm, soapy water or applying rubbing alcohol to the area.”
After weeks of struggle, Tessica went to the hospital so that doctors would remove the glue from her hair using acetone, but the chemical burnt her scalp, leaving her in pain and agony.
Eventually, the 40-year-old had to undergo surgery to get rid of the Gorilla Glue.
“I can’t even explain that feeling,” Tessica told PEOPLE after her surgery.
“If you didn’t go through that whole [ordeal], your hair being stuck like that for a month, nobody’s going to ever understand how I felt. I can’t even explain how I felt when I wasn’t able to do something simple that other people could do every day.”
“I had stopped eating,” she added. “I lost like 10, 13 lbs.”
She said after watching her viral videos on TikTok and Instagram, kids at her 11-year-old daughter’s school started making fun of her.
“I would go in the bathroom to cry, because I’m the reason my child is getting made fun of at school.”
Ultimately, after reading Brown’s viral story online, a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, Dr. Michael Obeng, decided to help her free of cost.
“As a chemistry major, I knew that this was a possibility,” Dr. Michael told PEOPLE. “So I had to look at the ingredients, the main components of Gorilla Glue. We mixed the different components just to make sure that it will work, and also not harm the skin. You know, a lot of people can take out glue, but the question is, how can you safely take out glue, and not break skin. And as somebody with extensive background in reconstruction, I was very well versed in that.”
Obeng said when Tessica first came to them, she was stressed and anxious.
“The first goal was to curb that anxiety, make her less anxious,” he said.
“Imagine what it’s like to have your scalp constantly under tension for a whole month. The hair was all matted down and stuck to the scalp, and you can’t move it, it’s like wood or glass.”
After formulating the treatment, Dr. Michael Obeng first applied it on the hair of a mannequin and then on his own skin to ensure it won’t burn.
After satisfactory results, he started the same process on Tessica’s hair.
“My backup plan was, if everything else fails, then I might have to do a surgical haircut,” said Obeng.
“But this solution was great and I was able to untangle the hair. We started with cutting the ponytail, and we were able to dissolve the glue. Then we start working our way all the way into the scalp. And then we washed it out and put oil in it just to make sure that it doesn’t go back. It was very painstakingly done. We did not cause any harm. And we’re able to save a lot of the hair follicles.”
When Tessica woke up, and Dr. Michael asked her to feel her hair, she became emotional.
“You should have seen the tears of joy when she could finally run her fingers through her hair,” Obeng told PEOPLE.
“This man is some type of miracle worker,” Brown says. “I’m telling you, this man is amazing,” said Brown.
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