When it comes to eyelash extension supplies, all stylists know that a high quality adhesive is the foundation to being able to give a client a beautiful look that also lasts, but very few take the time to learn how the adhesive works or what factors into its effectiveness. Understanding these concepts will help your application process be more successful time and time again as well as help you minimize irritation and discomfort for your client. Let’s get started!
How Does the Adhesive Work?
The active ingredient in adhesives designed for eyelash extensions is a form of cyanoacrylate. Don’t let the term throw you off; it may be difficult to pronounce, but its purpose is pretty straightforward. To put it simply, cyanoacrylate is what causes the extensions to adhere and stay bonded with the natural lashes. It starts off as a liquid, and when exposed to moisture, it hardens (cures) into a solid form. Because it “dries” so quickly and is relatively lightweight, almost all brands of eyelash adhesives utilize this ingredient.
Wait, Doesn’t Cyanoacrylate Contain Formaldehyde, and Can’t That Be Dangerous?
This is the biggest concern circulating about eyelash extensions, and the media hype and misinformation have caused many people to fear the lash industry. While it’s true that formaldehyde is used in the production of cyanoacrylate, and the chemical can cause adverse reactions in large amounts, high-end adhesives (such as the brand we use) contain such a tiny trace that they meet FDA standards and are noted as being void of any legitimate safety concerns. Before purchasing any glue, make sure to do your research on reputable brands to provide your clients with the safest experience. We’ve personally applied extensions to a large number of clients, many of whom return for refills frequently, and we rarely run into any problems during or after the application process.
How Can I Reduce Irritation or Allergic Reactions For My Clients?
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent an allergic reaction from happening; allergies can come on suddenly, even if a client has gone through the application process before, and they can be caused by a variety of factors; ingredients in the glue or in the tape, as well as general skin sensitivities, are common culprits. The best thing to do is know the signs of an allergic reaction (swollen, red, puffy eyes that itch is the most common giveaway) and advise your client to seek medical attention immediately. Since you’re not a medical professional, leave the diagnosing and medical advice to a licensed doctor.
Irritation, on the other hand, can be managed and minimized in certain circumstances. Most of the irritation that clients experience is due to the fumes being produced by the adhesive, and you can combat this by creating a well ventilated working space and utilizing a fan to promote circulation of air. Also, make sure your client keeps their eyes comfortably shut, and never get the adhesive on the skin.
Using a nano mister is another great way to soothe irritation caused by fumes. This tool works to cure the adhesive by spraying moisture onto the extensions, so instead of it taking 24 hours for the glue to set, it only takes about half a minute. Because the glue is already hardened into place, the adhesive’s fumes are greatly reduced.
How Can I Make Sure My Adhesive Works Optimally?
There are a few ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of your glue. The first thing is knowing the dos and don’ts of how to store it properly as well as how long it lasts; unopened, a high quality adhesive can last up to a year, but an opened bottle should be tossed after about six weeks as the adhesive properties lose their strength. Also, always put the cap on tight after you’re done to keep moisture locked out, and store the bottle in a cool, dark place at room temperature, preferably in a vacuum sealed bag or another type of airtight container. Finally, remember that you can store an unopened container in the fridge or freezer as long as you allow it to settle to room temperature before you open it, but this does not apply to an open adhesive as the moisture in the fridge/freezer will cure the remaining glue.
Humidity also plays a huge part in making sure your adhesive works ideally; most lash stylists find that the glue sets best when they keep their office at around 40%-60% humidity, although it will take some trial and error to find what works for the current climate, season, etc. If the environment is extremely moist, the adhesive might cure too quickly, and the extensions might not have adequate time to bond to the natural lash. However, if the air is too dry, the glue might take too long to set, resulting in the lashes clumping together. To avoid these issues, consider investing in a humidifier (or dehumidifier) and a humidifier gauge.
The key to a flawless application relies both on purchasing top notch eyelash extension supplies as well as knowing how to use those tools in the most advantageous way, and here at Lash Blvd, we only sell the highest quality glues and products to our clients. We’re always adding new items that will make any lash stylist’s life easier, so feel free to check out our site to see what we currently have in stock!