The story of the "Gorilla Glue Girl" has a happy ending, and Tessica Brown is now living just as free as her hair.
In the past two weeks, the Louisiana resident has exploded on social media after she accidentally superglued her hair to her scalp. A month ago, Tessica ran out of her göt2b Glue Spray and instead used Gorilla Spray Adhesive to lock in her pony tail. She shared videos of herself trying to shampoo the glue out, but had no success after washing it 15 times.
Tessica even went to the hospital, before a friend finally helped her cut her pony tail off. She then flew to Los Angeles on Feb. 10 to meet with surgeon Dr. Michael Obeng to remove the stubborn substance from her scalp. She said the doctor "gave me my life back."
Now, the internet sensation is speaking out about the "big relief" of having her saga come to a close. Throughout her hair journey, she's gained hundreds of thousands of followers on TikTok and Instagram. Her sudden fame has allowed her to release merch, score VIP treatment and even catch the attention of stars like Chance the Rapper.
However, Tessica tells E! News she lost sleep and weight over the fiasco and "wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy."
Read on to find out what it was really like for her to experience the Gorilla Glue nightmare off-camera, including how she dealt with the haters that ridiculed her mistake for all to see.
E! News: What made you pick up that adhesive in particular?
Tessica Brown: I was getting ready to leave. I was going out, and when I went to use my regular spray that I usually use, I didn't have any more, so I am running all over the house looking for something else I can use. Then, when I passed my refrigerator, I seen that on top of the refrigerator. I was thinking, 'I can use this and when I come home, I can just wash it out.' But once I got back home, it didn't wash out.
E!: When did you realize something might be seriously wrong?
TB: After a week, because I was scared to even call my momma and let her know that this is not coming out.
E!: How did it feel to finally get all the glue out of your hair?
TB: A big big relief! To be able to touch my scalp, I can't even describe the feeling. I don't think anybody will be able to understand the feeling of being able to touch your scalp after a month.
E!: How have you been dealing with the backlash from the internet?
TB: Listen, the backlash was the thing. I knew I was going to get some once I posted the video, but I didn't think it was going to be that much and for them to go so hard.
E!: Do you feel traumatized by the situation?
TB: That whole month, all I was focusing [on] was trying to get that stuff out of my hair. It got to the point [where] I wasn't eating [and] I wasn't sleeping. I lost like 10 pounds. This was a bad situation, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
E!: You raised more than $23,000 on GoFundMe, but you are donating most of it to Dr. Obeng's charitable reconstructive organization, the Restore Foundation. Why did you make that decision?
TB: He did mine for free, so somebody had to donate before for me to get it done. So, somebody after me might need it and not have [the funds]. So that is the reason I am doing this.
E!: Have there been any positives to come out of this situation?
TB: I'm going on the natural kick. I am going to do the short hair. I want to show the world, girls, women my age, younger girls my children's age, all the women my mother's age that don't let hair make you. If I just would have put on a hat that day or just went without the spray at all, I wouldn't be going through all of this. So, I just want everyone to know that you are not your hair, I am not my hair. You are beautiful with or without your hair.
E!: What has been the biggest lesson you've learned?
TB: Hair is not that important.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)