We have all had that dreaded message or call from a client telling us her eyelash extensions are falling out quicker than usual. Clients and lash technicians are quick to blame the adhesive or the lash artists process. However, there are many factors to consider when analysing the WHY when it comes to lash retention. Nine times out of ten the adhesive is not to blame. Many factors need to be considered, such as the clients aftercare routine, seasonal lash shedding and much much more. Below are some tips for you to consider to ensure the best retention for your eyelash extensions.
Make sure your adhesive is always fresh. Understand that the moment you open your bottle of adhesive it slowly begins to degrade. Each and every time you open your adhesive moisture is getting inside, which weakens your adhesives strength. Dramatic Lashes recommend changing your adhesive every 3-5 weeks to ensure it's always at its best strength.
Replace your adhesive
How quickly you need to replace your glue depends on a few factors like how often you open your bottle and how it is stored. Look for signs that your adhesive needs replacing. If your adhesive thickens or looks stringy or changes consistency please open a new bottle. I date my bottles just to make sure they are always fresh.
Shake and Burp your adhesive
Shake your adhesive with a glue pin in and quickly wipe off the excess adhesive on the nozzle with lint free wipes. Try burping the bottle to squeeze out any excess air before wiping.
**Remember to always keep a spare Adhesive Nozzle and cap incase your adhesive nozzle breaks or gets clogged.
Always ensure your adhesive is stored correctly.
We advise storing opened bottles of adhesive upright with the lid on tight in a small airtight container with an oxygen absorber (Silica Sachet) to prevent moisture build-up. Even though the cap may be on tight moisture can still find its way inside.
Do not store opened bottles of lash adhesive in the fridge. Each time you take your lash adhesive out of the fridge condensation builds up on the inside of the bottle from the sudden temperature fluctuations, degrading your adhesive much faster.
UNOPENED bottles of adhesive can be safely stored in the fridge, however make sure you take your adhesive out of the fridge, to stand at room temperature, for 2 hours before using it. We recommend storing unopened bottles of lash adhesive in the fridge for no longer than 90 days for optimum freshness.
The cyanoacrylate in adhesives is sensitive to the humidity of your work space. It will function differently depending on the amount of moisture in the air. More moisture in the air means a faster cure time. Working in a suitable temperature and humidity range for the adhesive that you're using is so important. ALL adhesives on the market currently have an "ideal working range" which is determined mostly by humidity and temp. Most adhesives work best in the 19 – 24 degrees Celsius range.
Try purchasing a hygrometer to measure your room temp and humidity.
Too much adhesive when dipping your extension can cause retention issues. It can cause a less flexible bond, feel thick and uncomfortable and not cure as strongly. With Cyanoacrylates less product actually gives a stronger bond.
Isolate before you dip
Eyelash adhesives generally dry very quickly. If you don’t isolate the natural lash before you dip the extension into the adhesive, it will start to cure before you have time to apply it. Always isolate, dip and then apply. You can isolate lashes with ease with straight or angled tweezers. Try our isolation tweezers which prevent wrist strain.
Don’t Swipe the extension
DON’T DRAG OR DAB When applying glue to the extensions it's important to dip 1-3mm of the base of the lash into the adhesive. Once dipped, you should avoid dragging or dabbing the extension on the eye-pad, as this may create an uneven distribution of adhesive, which may then ultimately weaken the bond.
Your own lashing speed
Take a close look at how quickly you lash. Your adhesive begins curing the moment you pull the extension out of the glue dot after dipping. If you're working with an adhesive that dries in 1 second but you take 2 seconds to place, you'll find lashes popping off as you brush through or (even worse) falling off soon after your client leaves your studio. Find an adhesive with the correct dry time for you. Remember that higher humidity equals faster dry time. You may need to switch to a slower drying adhesive in warmer weather.
Nano-misting is a must, but only if you do it right. Wait at least 2 minutes after placing the last lash before you mist to speed up the curing process. The key to avoiding poor retention is not overdoing it. It may seem an extra mist would be proactive; however, adding TOO much water TOO soon can actually have the reverse effect by shock-curing your adhesive. Shock-curing hardens your adhesive prematurely, creating a hard shell that doesn't let moisture cure the adhesive underneath, ultimately giving you a weaker bond.
How to avoid this? Keep it quick and simple! Mist for a max of 10 seconds at least 20cm from your client's face.
Time the delivery of your adhesive
Timing your adhesive delivery is surprisingly important. During warmer months, upgrade to express shipping so your package won't be stuck in transit for days. Watch the tracking and arrange to be home or at your studio so it doesn't sit in the mailbox for a long time.
Pro tip: stock up on adhesives in the spring BEFORE it gets super hot and order earlier in the week so it won't be held up in transit over the weekend.
REMEMBER PREPARATION IS KEY
Preparation is so important. No mascara, eyeliner, moisturiser or oily based products can be present on the lashes before application. Extensions won't stick to dirty lashes. Make sure your clients' lashes are squeaky clean BEFORE you start lashing.
A great tip is to cleanse your clients lashes with eyelash shampoo and rinse super well with WARM water and then dry off with a lash fan. Warm water opens the lash hair cuticle and helps the extension attach to the natural lash with ease. (perfect for longer retention)
Personally, I feel if this cleansing step is performed well then there is no need for primer unless your client has super oily lashes. Primer can dry out your clients lashes making them brittle and harder for the extensions to adhere.
Don’t prep with Saline as salt and Cyanoacrylate are not friends. The salt dehydrates the hair making the natural lashes feel dry and brittle and more likely to pop off. You will know if a client has been crying by the dry, stiff feeling of the extensions. These saline-coated lashes typically fall off easily.
Similarly if your clients eyes water a lot during application this may effect retention due to shock curing. Check the clients’ eyes are fully closed and that no eye-pad has lifted into the eye then dry the tears before continuing lashing. Sometimes your clients eyes can be sensitive to light so I suggest cutting a piece of micro foam tape and placing over the eyelid to block out the light. Alternatively you can use a lint free wipe to dry away any tears and fan the lashes throughout the procedure.
Check your bases
Examine the angle, at which you are placing extensions, they should be placed perfectly parallel to the natural lash and NOT at an angle. Extensions that aren't fully adhered at the base will NOT have a long-lasting bond or may catch on something if slightly lifting.
THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP
Remember to educate your clients about correct aftercare
Remember to advise your clients to cleanse their lashes daily with the correct lash cleanser. The cleanser used MUST be an eyelash extension approved cleanser because so many other cleansers contain ingredients that aren't compatible with eyelash extensions.
Remind your clients to be mindful when it comes to makeup! Oil-containing creams and eye products are a no-go for those seeking great retention.
Cleansing can help remove oils from skin, makeup and salts from working out, crying and swimming. Removing salts and oils will give you weeks more of healthy, soft extension wear. Your clients must wash salts or sweat off their lashes after work outs. Like our tears, our sweat has salt in it. Salt left on the extensions for too long slowly dissolves the glue. Cleansing and using a headband to stop sweat dripping into the eyes can help.
Just like salt from our skin, salt and chlorine from pools can sit on our extensions and cause the glue to break down. After the gym and pool, rinse the lashes off with clean, fresh water. This will neutralise the salt and chlorine from the extensions. Do this after swimming in the ocean too.
Oil free Makeup
Using the wrong eye makeup can be the worst culprit to lash retention. Many types of eyeliner have oils in them that can cause the bases of the lash extensions to pop or clump. Mascaras can cause volume fans to clump and adhesives to soften. Oils and glycol should be avoided in the lash area and care should be taken when removing makeup and oils from the eye area.
We don’t know what we do when we sleep but our sleeping pattern can affect our retention. Sleeping on your face will definitely cause retention issues. Tugging, pulling and rubbing will greatly affect retention. Suggest your client uses a 3D sleep contour sleep mask or alternatively sleeps on a silk pillowcase. This will prevent friction and damage to your extensions.
Ovens, hairdryers and lighters all may affect the retention. Direct extreme heat can cause the extensions to curl, warp or come off. Really hot showers can also cause issues. Always avoid direct heat of any kind.
We all need to protect our skin from the UVA and UVB rays however most sunscreens contain ingredients that can break down the glue. Avoid using spray on sunscreen and apply it thoughtfully so it doesn’t get onto the extensions. There is also oil free sunscreen available.
We all like a nice soft towel after a shower or bath. However, the fibres from a bath towel can catch on the eyelash extensions causing it to pop off. Use a towel on your body but use a microfiber cloth on your face and pat dry.
Unfortunately some medication can cause issue with our hormones which in turn causes issues with our hair. This includes our eyelashes. If you notice you are losing a lot of hair on your head, chances are you are losing a lot of eyelashes as well. Hormone replacement therapy, thyroid medication and other medications can all cause issues. There is no way on knowing how your body will react to medication until it does. Sometimes we need to take a break from lashes until our body recovers and the chemical makeup in our body is stable again.
We all have different lash growth cycles. Twice a year during Autumn and Spring we go through a “shedding” phase. Just like our animal counterparts we will lose more hair during those times than any other time. This is a natural occurrence and during this time you will have more baby lashes and gaps. This is temporary. They will grow back!