In the News| Hair Glue Causes Death of Jamaican Woman

by West Parsons on October 29, 2012 · 13 comments

in in the news

The death of Jamaican-born Anastasia Graham (not picture above), due to what a UK pathologist reported was likely a result of chemicals in her hair glue, has sparked widespread debate as to the dangers associated with this commonly used solvent.

The 34-year-old, who had been wearing hair extensions for the past 14 years, collapsed after a long night of dancing at a nightclub in London, where she lived.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, pathologist Michael Heath told the inquest into her death at Southwark Coroner’s Court in London that the latex glue used by the Jamaican woman could have been the cause for the anaphylactic shock that resulted in her death.

A post-mortem failed to find any abnormalities with her organs or other substances that could have been blamed.

“I’ve seen cases where people using solvent to apply extensions has actually caused anaphylactic shock,” the pathologist said, before adding, “There are about 10 to 20 deaths a year in this country, many more in America. I have seen four in the last three months.”

He said traces of the glue could have seeped into Graham’s bloodstream as she danced into the wee hours of the morning at the club where her boyfriend was the DJ. The newspaper reported that she suddenly collapsed as she stepped through the doorway of their home in South-East London and efforts to resuscitate her failed.

Local trichologist Dr Hyacinth Oates said it is possible for someone to have a negative reaction to hair glue which causes them to experience an anaphylactic shock.

“Her reaction is like when you are allergic to seafood — it is the same thing that she experienced but to more of a detrimental degree I would say,” she told All Woman.

“She has been using it a long time, so her body became so sensitive to it, that one of the days it just went straight into her blood and that was it,” she surmised.

READ MORE: Nadine Wilson of Jamaica Observer

What are your $0.02?


Sheila October 29, 2012 at 5:27 pm

My 2 cents.
It was a freak accident and we just don’t know how chemicals are going to react to one’s system. I’m not going to comment on the weave versus your own hair debate.

nika October 30, 2012 at 7:54 am

You wear weaves too?You seem a little offended.

Sheila November 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm

No, I went natural in 1992.

Sassystephb October 29, 2012 at 6:42 pm

It’s not a matter of weave vs natural.. its a matter of being aware of what we are putting in and on our bodies. There is a way to put in extensions that doesn’t required glue. and there is a way to straighten hair with out chemicals as well. We can make all the excuses we want or talk around it or call it “freak accidents” but when it is happening to 10 to 20 people in that one country a year.. its more than a freak accident.

So being realistic… how hard is it to change what you use for the sake of your health?
if you know what is killing you why not save yourself?

ultimately its your head and your body.. do with it as you please.. but I’m of the belief that if you can extend your healthy years why wouldn’t you??

Just a thought.

AmeeraNakisha October 30, 2012 at 1:52 am

Personally, I don’t know why anyone would GLUE something to their scalp…I mean thats like gluing it to your arm. You have open pores (hair follicles) and it is close to your brain. I have to say I would be pretty scared to do that. Although, I am natural, I WILL rock a weave, but a sew in, as a protective style.

Like really, I never got the glue thing and what about your natural hair and what if someone yanks it, does a piece of your scalp tear off? As you can see, I’m ignorant on the glue subject but at lease glue it to a wig cap then place that on your head.

nika October 30, 2012 at 7:54 am

The same can be said for a sew-in…

JanaeJanaeJanae October 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Hmm, what are the similarities between a sew-in and glue? To me, they are completely different methods of having extensions put in…

Do we know how valid the source is that this article came from? I remember reading a VERY similar story to this years ago, but it was from a source that I didn’t know or trust, so I didn’t pay it any attention. Some things you have to put in the “urban legend” category. However, if this is truly a real issue, I hope the topic becomes more mainstream.

I personally don’t wear weaves of any type (glue or sew-in), but those who do wear extensions should be made aware of the risks so that they can make an informed decision when opting to wear (or not wear) these styles.

AmeeraNakisha October 31, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I agree about the urban legend thing, once a story gets told people put twist and spins on it then its happening every week but not to anyone we ever REALLY know. However, Countess Vaughn (Kim from Moesha and the Parkers) was on this show called Life After and she talked about how gluing her weave in all those years had her in the hospital and had a really adverse affects on her health. Here is the link, fast forward to the 7:20 mark and she talks about the glue.

westNDNbeauty October 31, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Great point Ameera!

AmeeraNakisha October 31, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Really? The two are very different in my opinion. Again, braiding your hair and then sewing extensions to it that can easily be cut out is not hardly the same as gluing something to your scalp. Thats like if I were to put on a shirt and then sew something to the sleeve vs. gluing it directly to my arm, totally different but you are entitled to your opinion.

nika November 1, 2012 at 3:26 pm

No… Ameera said “what if someone yanks it does a piece of your scalp tear off? ”
I’m saying in THAT sense they are both the same. If someone yanks at your hair whether in a sew-in or glue-in, ain’t something coming out?

AmeeraNakisha November 1, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Oh ok, got it!

Ellegant Elle October 30, 2012 at 8:11 am

That’s unfortunate. Hopefully they get the bottom of this problem ASAP