Gorilla Glue Saga: What To Use Aside From Adhesive When You Run Out Of Hairspray

by : Julia Banim on : 19 Feb 2021 15:50
What To Use Aside From Glue When You Run Out Of Hairsprayavanireyes/im_d_ollady/TikTok

For the past few weeks, I – like so many other social media users – have been gripped by the saga of Gorilla Glue Girl, a TikToker who was catapulted to viral fame after spraying her hair with super-strength glue.

After running out of hairspray one fateful day, 40-year-old teacher Tessica Brown opted to keep her hair in place using the stubborn adhesive.


Unfortunately, the glue is intended for craft projects and furniture – not human hair – and Tessica was left in a sticky situation. The question quickly turned from whether the glue could keep her hair in place, to whether it would ever be out of place again.

We’ve since followed Tessica’s many desperate attempts to free her hair from its gluey prison, rooting for her as she headed to the emergency room, feeling our own scalps throb in sympathy as she described the tightness and headaches that plagued her.


Because, after all, haven’t we all done something silly when we’ve run out of something before instantly regretting it? Perhaps a bit of celloptape for a last-minute bikini line wax, or a Sharpie as makeshift nail polish (please do not try either of these).

I for one have repeatedly used hairspray all over my face to fix my foundation before a night out, after running out of make-up fixer. It’s honestly a wonder that my face doesn’t have the texture of a cracked leather bag by now, and I know I’ll be at it again once I actually have somewhere to go.

And so, when Tessica finally freed herself from what sounded like an extremely uncomfortable hair-mare, many of us breathed a sigh of relief, enjoying a fair bit of second-hand catharsis from her latest glue-free Instagram pics.

Gorilla Glue Girlim_d_ollady/Instagram

I sincerely hope that no one will ever try and smother their scalp with Gorilla Glue ever again, with Tessica’s ordeal no doubt set to provide a fairly extreme warning for many years to come. A living urban legend of the quarantine era.

However, many of us will undoubtedly at some point or other find ourselves staring in the mirror before a night out – please God – with frizzy flyaways refusing to lie flat and smooth.

We will then reach for our trusty bottle of hairspray, give it a firm shake, only to find it empty, emitting the feeblest gasp as we press and press.

In such situations, how do you fix your hair in a way that won’t result in viral fame and a trip to the doctor’s surgery? Surely there are other emergency methods out there besides extremely strong and immoveable multipurpose glue?


Luckily there is, as expertly explained to UNILAD by Laura Haystaff, company director at The Topiary Salons, who is both a European session stylist and a salon and barber shop owner.

Laura, who is based in Hampshire, told UNILAD:


First of all, no to using superglues or other household solvents on your mane, stick to – no pun intended – hair products!

But if you do run out of your favourite tress-taming spray, fear not – there are alternatives you can use so you don’t get yourself and your mane in a sticky situation.

Many hair products in your bathroom cabinets will be multi-purpose. To achieve a frizz-free curly ‘girl look’ or if you are going straight shiny, try using wide tooth comb and some serum, or even a frizz cream through your ends.

PA Images

She continued:

For a slick, flyaway free pony, grab your boyfriend’s pot of gel or even a foamy ball of hair mousse and carefully smooth across from your parting to the hair tie.

A pre blow dry root lift spray will also do an awesome job of holding your tresses in place too. My favourite and my go to backstage at fashion week is ANTI.GRAVITY by KEVIN.MURPHY.

US News

TikToker Who Put Gorilla Glue In Hair Is Finally Able To Cut Off Ponytail

published ata year ago

UNILAD also heard from Nathan Nightingale-Thorpe, formerly of Peterborough Salon of the Year 2018 Boss Hairdressing, who advised ‘dry shampoo, textured spray or mousse’ for those who’ve run out of hairspray.

Nathan also noted that years back, people would use either soap or sugar water to keep their hair in place, which sounds like a pretty solid and cost-effective beauty hack to me.

Meanwhile, Hair Care Expert at Milk + Blush, Nicole Petty, has also recommended some safe alternatives for those who can’t get out to the shop for fresh hairspray:

With salons closed around the country and still no set date for their reopening, everyone’s once-groomed hair is beginning to get out of control. Normally to keep your mane in check, hairspray is a good solution.

But what do you use when you run out of hairspray and can’t get to the shop? Well, in short, definitely not Gorilla Glue.

There are a number of safer alternatives, such as mousse, gels, wax and clay.

hairdressersAdorn Hairdressers/Flickr

Of course, this does vary depending on what sort of hair you have. For example, Nicole recommends those with short hair to use gel or wax, warning DIY hair stylists to ‘be careful not to use too much as this will result in hard or sticky hair’.

For those with mid-length and longer hair, Nicole recommends dry shampoo, explaining:

Not just a tool for concealing unwashed hair, dry shampoo is also great for subtly holding your hair in place and isn’t as harsh as hairspray.

It is also great for keeping curls in place, thanks to the starch that coats your hair, makes it dry and matte, and covers the hairs natural oils. And it’s a fantastic volumiser, too. Flip your head upside down and begin by spraying at the roots, before working through your hair for a voluminous look.

However, Nicole does recommend ensuring you keep spare supplies of hairspray in your cupboard, and has encouraged people to do a ‘little bit of research before using the first thing that you get your hands on’:

Using the wrong product could affect your hair’s condition and overall health, and could result in more than just a slap on the wrist from your hairdresser when they reopen their doors.


Believe me, I know how long lockdown evenings can drive you to fidget about with your hair and consider styles and colours – and indeed dubious products – that you wouldn’t go for in times when you knew you had to brave the office the next day.

I for one have considered dying my hair pink about three times in the past month alone, just for something to do, and I can’t promise you I won’t do it.

However, it’s super-important to look after yourself at the moment and to avoid any painful accidents that will only pile on the stresses while ruining your tresses. Wield your brush with care.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Featured, Beauty, Gorilla Glue, Gorilla glue girl, hair, Now, Tessica Brown, TikTok