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Adhesive Troubleshooting

Premature Lash Loss

The words alone can make your heart sink, stomach drop, and your palms get sweaty. How many times have you had a client contact you, sending photos of lashes that have fallen out without the natural lash attached?

Maybe just a small area has fallen out, or just one eye?

Before you rip out your hair - run through this checklist

- Did you cure the adhesive?

The adhesives we use do not dry like paint. They polymerize (turn from a liquid to a solid) when they come into contact with hydrogen bonds found in water. This is why we cure at the end of each lash service. By spraying a fine mist of water over the lashes we allow the adhesive to polymerize, but we do not allow the lashes to get wet, ensuring that each lash remains perfectly isolated.

If we did not cure, and the client went home and jumped in the shower, the lashes they had freshly applied and perfectly isolated would be saturated, and the adhesive used to bond the extensions to the natural lashes would be bonded together, and cure in clumps.

The no longer isolated lashes are no longer able to grow out at their own individual rates. Slower growing lashes are at the mercy of faster growing lashes, which will rip them from their follicle as they grow.

Curing the adhesive is absolutely vital - however if you over cure, or cure too quickly after the lash application it can cause the adhesive to 'bloom' - which is when the adhesive turns white, and can shock the adhesive, resulting in a brittle and weak bond. To avoid issues associated with curing ensure the adhesive has had time to set prior to applying any moisture. Some like to fan the lashes prior to misting, using either a hand held pump or an electric fan. Cure from at least 60cm away from the face if using a nano mister, and 45cm if using a nebulizer. Mist for 30 seconds, and stop if you see any moisture accumulating on the lashes.

- What was the humidity & temperature like?

If only there was a one size fits all adhesive! Alas, this is not the sisterhood of the travelling pants, and there is no one adhesive that will suit each lash tech, environment, season, day, or even hour! What may start as a wonderful sunny day can turn into a howling southerly and as the adhesives are affected by both temperatures and humidity levels we have to monitor them and adjust as necessary to ensure consistent results. Invest in a hygrometer, which will tell you the humidity levels and temperature of your room, and ensure you have an adhesive on hand which will work in that range. It is a good idea to have multiple adhesives on hand, as there is no magic adhesive which will be perfect in all scenarios. You may start to apply a set of lashes using one adhesive, but if the humidity in the room increases and the adhesive you are using suits low humidities only, it is best to switch to a adhesive that thrives in high humidities. This will ensure that the adhesive hasn't cured by the time you place the extension on the natural lash, which can happen, and is evident when you brush through the lashes mid way through the set and find the extensions popping off, even when they look like they have been perfectly bonded.

- Did you switch out the adhesive drop every 20 or so minutes?

To ensure the best possible bond for every single lash, you need to refresh your drop every 20 minutes, or the second you see a change of consistency in your adhesive. If the adhesive develops a skin, use a fresh drop. If the adhesive gets thick, use a fresh drop. It's better to switch the drop than be sorry!

- Have you been storing your adhesive in the fridge?

While some suppliers endorse keeping your opened adhesive in the fridge, I would suggest otherwise. When you open a fresh bottle of adhesive, the bottle is at its prime. From the first time you open it, it starts to degrade. Air gets sucked into the bottle whenever you dispense a drop of adhesive, and as the air contains moisture, this can condense when you place the adhesive in the fridge, which will cure the adhesive in the bottle.

I have done this before, and couldn't understand how my bottle of adhesive, with the top on, and become rock hard. For best results from your adhesive, I suggest storing it in a cool, dry place, preferably with silica (moisture absorbing) pouches.

- How long have you been using your adhesive?

Be aware that the amount of air that gets into your bottle, even if you are not storing it in the fridge will degrade the adhesive. Each time you open the bottle more air gets sucked in. If you have one client every hour and work 9 - 5, that is 9 clients. If you switch your drop of adhesive every 20 minutes, that is 27 times in one day you have opened your bottle and allowed air to seep in, and moisture is now degrading the quality of that bottle. It is best to switch your bottle monthly, and more frequently if you have a larger client base. When retention is one of our best selling points, you don't want to gamble with old adhesive.

- How old is your adhesive?

Just like baking, fresh is best! If adhesives have been sitting in a warehouse for extended periods of time the adhesive can go stale. This can cause changes in the consistency, retention issues, and can increase the risk of clients developing allergies. Purchased fresh adhesives can be stored for a year before you open the bottle. Designer Lashes purchases their adhesives directly from the manufacturer to ensure that they are as fresh as possible. They are stored in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight, in individual zip lock bags with a silica pouch. The high turnover rate ensures that the adhesives are never stored for more than a month, so super fresh adhesives are always on hand.

Hopefully, by buying fresh, using the right adhesive for your environment, storing correctly, and switching your drop frequently, you are able to eliminate all adhesive related retention issues! If you do find a client has an issue, check in with other clients lashed the same day to see if they have had any trouble. If they haven't, the issues may be related to the clients' aftercare.... and we will troubleshoot that in the next post!

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