Live Updates: Tessica Brown and Gorilla Glue

The internet is invested

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Updated: Thursday, February 11th, 7:57 pm PT

The internet could not be more invested than is it right now in the story of Tessica Brown. I threw out the idea of a “live post” — we see these often with big breaking news stories such as the insurrection — but I think it serves a good purpose here: information is all over the place and people want one destination that can look at the latest updates. So here we are.

I have reached out to Gorilla Glue, and their statement is below. I’ve also reached out to Brown.

Here’s what we know about her. According to old Instagram posts, it appears she’s 40-years-old, born in October. She lives in Louisiana and runs a daycare. In 2019, she threw a “TLA'S 2019 Coming to America Prom.” Brown also seems to be involved with a dance team, the Dazzling Divas, that her daughter may be part of.

The comment section below is open and I want to know what you think! How are yall feeling? I’ll be responding to people!

Thursday, February 4th

On Thursdsay, Tessica Brown posted a TikTok explaining that her hairstyle hadn’t changed in about a month. She ran out of Got2b Glued Freeze Spray, and decided to use a spray version of Gorilla Glue. As my friend (and Teen Vogue Fashion and Beauty Director) Tahirah Hairston pointed out to me: she could have confused it with Glorilla Snot, a “superior hold” gel. Not confirmed if she mixed them up, but we should recognize there is a beauty product with the word gorilla in it.

The emotional roller coaster ensued. The people went from laughing, to being horrified, to deeply concerned and then invested in her wellbeing.

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🔴 Brown posts example of hair washing

Brown posts another video of her aiming to wash her hair. The shampoo does not penetrate and she essentially wipes the shampoo off with a towel. She is on the verge of tears.

🔴 DEBUNK: Fake Gorilla Glue account responds to Brown

A fake account Gorilla Glue suggests she use rubbing alcohol. The official Gorilla Glue account responds to the tweet, advising her to not follow their directions.

🔴 Thursday evening: Pop Sugar receives a statement from Gorilla Glue:

"We do not recommend using Gorilla Glue's Spray Adhesive or any of our products in hair as they are considered permanent. Our Gorilla Spray Adhesive clearly states on our packaging that it dries permanent and forms a heavy duty bond."

🔴 9:00 pm PT: Brown posts an update, tries tea tree and coconut oil

A post shared by Tessica (@im_d_ollady)

Around 5:00 am PT, Tessica commented that the tea tree oil, coconut oil, and plastic did not work.

Friday, February 5th

🔴 8:29 am PT: Statement from Gorilla Glue sent to BEAUTY IRL

Thanks for reaching out.

We do not recommend using our products in or on hair as they are considered permanent. If someone does use this on their hair, they can try soaking the affected area in warm, soapy water or apply rubbing alcohol to the affected area. 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. 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.

Her marketing team reached out to us and we have offered to speak with her to share these suggestions as well as checked in on her wellbeing. Safety is our top priority.

In the tweet sent Thursday, Gorilla Glue advised Brown not to follow the directions of the account, but it does seem the use of alcohol is effective if applied properly. Gorilla Glue stated they have offered to speak with Brown and check in on her wellbeing.

🔴 10:00 am PT: Brown posts an update to Instagram

A post shared by Tessica (@im_d_ollady)

The tea trea oil, coconut oil and plastic were an “epic fail.”

🔴 10:30 am PT: Brown tweets an update from her new Twitter account, says she’s going to ER.

Saturday, February 6th

🔴 11:00 am PT ~: Brown posts a photo of St. Bernard Parish Hospital in Chalmette, LA

A post shared by Tessica (@im_d_ollady)

This appears to be the hospital where Brown is receiving medical attention.

🔴 12:11 pm PT ~: Brown updates her Instagram with a photo of her receiving medical attention

A post shared by Tessica (@im_d_ollady)

On Instagram, Brown posted a photo of a medical professional caring for her neck and hair. No details on what sort of treatment or approach the medical professional is taking were shared.

🔴 2:00 pm PT : Brown’s sister posts a TikTok of her trying to help “soak it off”

Bottom of the video reads “Acetone wipes and sterile water she got from the hospital.” Brown also posted a similar TikTok to her account.

Sunday, February 7th

🔴 Sunday afternoon: Brown posts a longer video on YouTube, adds GoFundMe link to her bios

Sunday afternoon, Brown posted a video to YouTube that appears to be a longer version of the video she posted on TikTok of her sister using acetone wipes. The video is in her IG bio, in addition to a GoFundMe link.

Monday, February 8th

🔴 Monday morning: Brown does radio interview with KiSS 92.5 in Toronto

In a radio interview with KiSS 92.5, Brown said the white material seen in photos at the hospital are from previous attempts with cotton pads to remove the glue. Upon examination, the medical professional said it would take at least 20 hours for them to remove the glue, and that they would do it. Tessica asked if she could do it from home where she’d be more comfortable, so they sent her home with saline water, nail polish, and pads. The type of nail polish was not confirmed.

Brown says shaving her head is the last resort: "That's going to be the end result, like I have nothing else to do."

Brown also noted that she “felt some type of way” about people online making fun of her, as she came to social media after a month in hopes of receiving help after failed attempts.

🔴 11:00 am PT: TMZ’s sources say Brown may sue Gorilla Glue

In addition to Brown’s account on the radio, TMZ’s sources say Brown spent 22 hours at the hospital before she went home.

TMZ also said she’s hired an attorney to weigh legal options. “We're told the label on the product she used says do not use on eyes, skin or clothing ... with no mention of hair, which Tessica feels is misleading,” TMZ said.

🔴 11:30 am PT: Gorilla Glue releases their first official statement

🔴 11:30 am PT: Browns claims she is not on Twitter

A post shared by Tessica (@im_d_ollady)

For the past several days, there’s been a Twitter account claiming to be Brown. Monday night, she posted on Instagram does not have a Twitter. The page has now appeared to change its bio to “famous off my gorilla glue vid. not the real tessica” and continue to post as a parody account.

Tuesday, February 9th

🔴 1:00 am PT: TMZ reports that Brown is headed to Los Angeles to meet with a plastic surgeon.

TMA reports that Brown received an offer from plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Obeng, who has reposted the story himself, who said it would take about two to three days to completely remove the glue. The estimated cost, according to TMZ sources, is $12,500 and Dr. Obeng says he will do it for free.

🔴 11:51 am PT: Brown confirms she is “leaving tomorrow to see a plastic surgeon”

A post shared by Tessica (@im_d_ollady)

“For everybody that truly has my back I really really appreciate it all,” Brown posted Tuesday afternoon, while also confirming that she is leaving Louisiana on Wednesday to go see a surgeon.

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🔴 7:36 pm PT: “I wish I could just go back“: Brown speaks with Entertainment Tonight’s Melicia Johnson, claims she is not suing Gorilla Glue

Thursday night, ET correspondent Melicia Johnson interviewed Brown. This is the first time I’ve seen Brown answer some basic (but crucial) questions about the state of her hair. Here are the main takeaways:

  • This is the end of the interview, but important: Despite TMZ’s sources, Brown told Johnson she is not suing Gorilla Glue: “I never, ever said that.”

  • On how Brown is doing “I’m over it.” I have a feeling she means both trying to get glue out of her hair, and the public frenzy around her situation. During the interview, you can really see the frustration and remorse in her eyes. 

  • When Johnson asks Brown if she regrets posting the video, Brown says “definitely,” and shook her head with no hesitation. “I wish I could just go back.”

  • On shaving her head and using a razor: Brown says she wasn’t fully able to get through all of her scalp, but she did eventually cut off her ponytail.

  • Eventually Brown did start using a product that aided in dissolving the glue, but was nervous to specify which product due to the possibility of another meme.

  • Johnson asked her if she’s reflected on the extreme she went to to get the style perfect. “I should have just put a hat on.”

  • Brown says her hair is loosening, but it’s very gradual. Mind you, this is the day before she leaves to go to Los Angeles.

  • She’s experiencing extreme headaches. She may have scalp damage, and some areas may not grow back.

  • Notable people who have offered to help: Porsha Williams of Real Housewives offered to send her wigs, and Brown says she and comedian JessHilarious DM like close friends. She says a lot of people are offering her hair right now, but she’s not accepting it just yet, nervous that people will think she put Gorilla Glue in her hair for wigs and fame.

  • My takeaway is that Brown is tired, feels defeated, sick of everyone on the internet, but hoping for the best.

Wednesday, February 10th

🔴 Wednesday morning: Tessica Brown arrives in Los Angeles to under a procedure led by plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Obeng

🔴 Wednesday night: Dr. Obeng finishes the procedure, Gorilla Glue is no longer in Brown’s hair

Dr. Obeng spoke to CBS Los Angeles later Wednesday night after the surgery: “Tessica is doing well. She’s awake. The hair crew is doing her hair.”

Dr. Obeng created a chemical solution, which he explains in this TMZ video, that aims to break down polyurethane, a main ingredient in Gorilla Glue.

Thursday, February 11th

🔴 1:00 am PT: TMZ posts video footage of the procedure and Brown’s first reaction after feeling her hair without Gorilla Glue

TMZ says they “shot the whole thing, from start to finish.” Brown was under light anesthesia. Her reaction was pure relief after the procedure, but you can tell she’s just exhausted. (At least her nails are done.)

Watching the video feels surreal. You hear the shutter of photographer cameras in the background of the video cameras pointed at her scalp.

Dr. Obeng told CBS Los Angeles recovery time will take two to three months.

Now we’ll have to wait and see how Brown’s hair looks, or and simply what her next move is.

Check back for updates...


ABOUT DARIAN: This newsletter is written by Darian Symoné Harvin. Darian is a multimedia beauty reporter and social media editor using her journalism and curatorial skills to craft narratives and distinct takes on beauty, pop culture, and the intersection of both. So far, her career has been dedicated to working on thoughtful and viral ways to present news and content to people on the internet and IRL, for platforms like BuzzFeed News, Yahoo News, NBC News, and Vox.com. Darian wants to use her love and curiosity for beauty to tell stories. She currently writes for the New York Times, Refinery29, TeenVogue, and The Cut. You can find more of her work here.