Medical Breakthrough Set to Disrupt Hair Restoration Industry

Hair Raising Lessons Learned After Gorilla Glue Girl

Hair Raising Lessons Learned After Gorilla Glue Girl Debacle

One of the nation’s leading hair restoration experts is providing answers to questions so many people asked after a Louisiana woman pled for help on social media when she coated her hair with a super-strong adhesive. Renowned hair surgeon Dr. Sara Wasserbauer is sharing her expertise on what happened to the woman’s hair and other treatments that could cause similar scary situations.

“Hair is an extremely complex organ, while it is a very resilient part of your body, it is very delicate and should always be treated that way,” explains Dr. Wasserbauer. “If you put strong glue in your hair, that glue is encasing the hair, binding all the hair together, making the hair breakable or brittle and more difficult to get the glue out.”

The Louisiana woman, Tessica Brown, became a social media sensation when she posted a story on TikTok about putting Gorilla Spray Adhesive on her head when she ran out of her usual hair spray, Got2b Glued. Brown suffered for three weeks before a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon used a medical-grade adhesive remover, aloe vera, olive oil and acetone to break down the coating of polyurethane on her hair.

“Polyurethane is among the top of the list of chemicals that should never touch a hair follicle,” says Dr. Wasserbauer. “Just like in Tessica Brown’s case, polyurethane sticks to hair and forms a hair shell. When adhesives are in the hair, you need to use a solvent, wear gloves and work on small areas at a time plus you will probably need to wash your hair multiple times.”

Not every case of damaged hair is as extreme as the Gorilla Glue case. Dr. Wasserbauer says many people damage their hair just by using a flat iron, hot comb, curling iron and hair straightening products way too much.

“Anything that can make your hair look good short term could hurt your hair long term, a big offender is the trendy Brazilian blowout,” explains Dr. Wasserbauer. “This treatment adds animal proteins to the hair. To keep those proteins from breaking down, formaldehyde, the same chemical used to preserve dead bodies is part of the treatment. Mix formaldehyde with heat and your hair is taking a hit.”

When it comes to growing healthy hair after it is damaged, Dr. Wasserbauer recommends using coconut oil because the chemical makeup is small enough to penetrate the hair shaft. She also says there are just four kinds of shampoos that will help hair grow.

  • Zinc pyrithione shampoo – This is an approved over-the-counter dandruff shampoo
  • Selenium shampoo – Commonly used to treat dandruff and some scalp infections. It can also reduce itching, flaking, irritation and redness of the scalp.
  • Coal tar shampoo – Medicated shampoo that works by causing the skin to shed dead cells from its top layer and cut down on scaling and dryness.
  • Ketoconazole shampoo – An antifungal shampoo often found near men’s hair dying products. It is good for stubborn dandruff.

“If you use one of these shampoos, you cannot just lather and rinse, “ explains the doctor. “You must leave the shampoo on your head for about five minutes for them to work. Think of it as a medicine for your scalp, instead of shampoo for your hair.” Dr. Wasserbauer also advises checking with a doctor before starting a new regimen.

About Dr. Wasserbauer, M.D., A.B.H.R.S., F.I.S.H.R.S.

Dr. Sara Wasserbauer is one of our nation’s leading hair restoration experts. In addition to her practice at three San Francisco offices, she currently serves as President on the Board of Directors for the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgeons. She also writes a monthly feature articles for the ISHRS Hair Transplant Forum International and is a frequent media source on hair loss and related treatments. For more information, visit

Hair Raising Lessons Learned After Gorilla Glue Girl Debacle


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