What Ingredients Make Gorilla Glue Special?

Anyone following the saga of Tessica Brown probably wondered: Why would anyone use Gorilla Glue in their hair?

Brown, a daycare and dance studio owner from Violet, Louisiana, ran out of her favorite hairspray, Got2B Glued, so she reached for something else: a bottle of Gorilla Spray Adhesive from the brand Gorilla Glue, reported The New York Times. She thought she could wash it all out by the time she got home. Her hair stayed slicked back for a month.

If you've ever needed to fix something, you know that you'd either grab duct tape or super glue. Gorilla Glue is a brand of very strong adhesive (they also make a type of super glue) and is absolutely not formulated for hair. Not all glues are created equal. And everyone knows how annoying it is to remove drops of super glue when it dries on your skin.

The brand describes its product on its website as "industrial" and producing an "incredibly strong bond to virtually anything." The company's Materials Safety Data Sheet showed that the adhesive can cause skin irritation and should absolutely not be ingested since it can cause blockages. Do not eat Gorilla Glue, kids!

So what is it that makes Gorilla Glue, and other adhesives of its type, so sticky and long-lasting that Brown needed a four-hour surgery to get it all out?

You need to dissolve its main ingredient

Gorilla Glue, in its original formulation, is not your typical adhesive. Unlike glue sticks or the white paste you may have used as a child, it's not going to wash off easily. It's made to stick to anything — wood, metal, stone, ceramic, glass, paper, and even certain types of plastic.

The brand said the glue was first discovered in Indonesia. Furniture makers used the adhesive to bond teak wood. Soon, the company realized that it doesn't just work on teak, but other materials as well. Gorilla Glue claims its formula is waterproof, so it won't break down when exposed to outside elements, and that it will stay bonded no matter if it's cold or hot.

One of the reasons the glue sticks to things so firmly, the company said, is that the formula expands three times as much in the material.

Gorilla Glue is a type of water-activated polyurethane adhesive. Polyurethane is used for a variety of things, including making plastics, foam, and synthetic fabrics. According to Resin Expert, polyurethane glue relies on the chemical reaction of the substances with a hardener. It's a mix of different chemicals like silane, diphenymethane-diisocyanate, and even isopropyl alcohol. To bond something, the brand usually recommends that you put moisture on one side of the material and then apply the glue to the other, drier side to create the bond.

Gorilla Glue stays stuck to anything. But fortunately for Brown, as CNN reports, a surgeon created a solvent that dissolved the polyurethane and freed her hair.