Understanding What, Why & How of Eyelash Extensions Adhesives

Understanding What, Why & How of Eyelash Extensions Adhesives

At the core of eyelash extensions is the adhesive or more commonly known the eyelash extensions glue. It plays the main role in each successful application and retention of eyelash extensions.

Knowledge is power they say which is extremely accurate especially when understanding the science behind the glue which we rely on to provide us returning clients and a growing business. Eyelash extensions adhesives are the hot topic of lash industry as over time we have learned about the many different factors that could make it or break each time you drop a new glue dot.

What is eyelash glue?

An eyelash extensions adhesive is a fast-drying, glue-like chemical bonding agent and the main ingredient in all lash adhesives is Cyanoacrylate. It is compound of Cyanide which is what allows for the glue to thicken and Acrylate that is a conjugate base of Acrylic Acid that provides a fast-drying time as it quickly hardens when exposed to air. Due to its chemical makeup we are able to have excellent retention and an efficient application. 

In addition to Cyanoacrylate, we have PMMA (Polymethyl Methacrylate) that is the reason why we have great retention as it ensures that the lashes remain in place for a long time. When used together with Cyanoacrylate it acts as a reinforcer that strengthen the adhesive’s bond and highlights the most important properties of eyelash extensions adhesives:

  1. Rapid drying
  2. Instant bond
  3. Great retention

Hydroquinone is a stabilizer that you might find in some glues in very small amount as it helps to prevent the glue from hardening in the bottle as well as prevents from hardening prior to using the product.

The final ingredient is Carbon Black aka the Pigment that makes the deep dark color. Naturally only used in black adhesives and is obviously absent in clear lash adhesives.

What should I know before using an eyelash extensions adhesives?

There are a few things you should always keep an eye out when using your glue. There are both general and product specific factors that affect the optimal conditions for your lash adhesive to work. You should always start by examining the label of your lash glue to identify the optimal working conditions of that specific glue and then implement those in your space. The main factors to look out are drying time, humidity and room temperature but also the proper storage of your glue will surely make a difference in the use and life time of your glue. Let’s look closer as to why these factors are so important and requires your absolute attention during each lash application.

Understanding the importance of correct drying time

The drying time of your eyelash extensions adhesive will depend on the type and brand of adhesive you will be using, however, the standard drying times vary anywhere from 0.5 sec. up to 5 sec. as sensitive eyelash extensions glues have lower levels of cyanoacrylate which causes the glue to dry significantly slower.

Seasoned lash technicians look for the quickest drying times in the market as their skills and speed require rapid drying while beginners often are more comfortable using lash adhesives with 1-3 sec. drying time. Check the drying time of your lash adhesive from the label to know how fast the glue is able to cure but don’t forget, this is only true if your space also has optimal temperature & humidity to support the ideal adherence. 

Why room temperature matters

Because the viscosity of your glue changes with it! For a uniform viscosity and drying time always make sure to set your room temperature at 19-25°C / 66-77° F, this will ensure consistent results and excellent retention. Every lash station should contain a thermometer combined with hygrometer for convenient climate control.

We can simply take water as an example, when the temperature drops it can turn solid ice, however, if heat is introduced the ice will melt and turn liquid. This exact same happens when the room temperature changes in your working space. In lower temperatures the lash adhesive tends to solidify causing a longer drying time and on the other hand, if temperatures are sky rocketing the lash adhesive will become even more liquid as it ‘melts’ resulting in even faster drying time.

Is humidity a friend or an enemy of eyelash extensions adhesive?

Short answer is both, humidity is the reason why the eyelash extensions adhesive reacts and dries. Industry standard recommendation for optimal humidity is between 40% to 60%, you should be able to see the optimal humidity of your lash glue also on the back label.

Similar to changes in temperature, the flux of humidity in your space will affect the consistency of your eyelash glue. When humidity is high, shorter the drying time and time of use of the adhesive after dispensing. Meaning, lower the humidity, the longer drying time and time of use after dispensing. It is good to note that with humidity higher than 60%, the fast drying time will have a negative effect as it causes shock polymerization due to the glue curing too fast. Once humidity passes 70% the drying time will gradually slow down with extremely poor adhesion.

You can combat high humidity by investing in a dehumidifier that removes excess moisture from the air, thus providing a convenient way to lower the room humidity. On the other hand, if your room suffers from low humidity you should definitely have a humidifier present in your space to ramp up moisture levels or as a short-term solution you can use your Nano mister to provide fast relief at your eyelash station.

How to properly store your glue

Your eyelash extensions glue prefers a cool and dark place at room temperature both unopened and opened. Keep in mind that even though unopened adhesives can be stored in the fridge or freezer, you should never store an open lash adhesive anywhere else except room temperature! Unopened glues are good for approximately 6 months and opened ones you should be able to use within 6 – 8 weeks.

When taking an open lash glue from storage, make sure to shake for 30 sec. to 1 min. manually or you can use an automatic shaker to ensure that all ingredients inside the bottle has been well mixed together and always make sure to disregard the 1st drop as that glue usually isn’t good for use as it has been trapped inside the tip and wasn’t actually mixed with rest of the glue for optimal consistency. Always before dispensing more adhesive during your lash application, make sure to shake well again. IMPORTANT! Allow the glue drop to come down on its own to avoid any air being sucked back inside the bottle causing consistency, retention and lifetime issues.

If you are looking to increase the lifetime of your glue make sure you always clean the nozzle well from any glue residue to ensure tight and secure closure of the cap. Keep it in a upright position at all times to avoid glue dripping to your cap and store it inside a vacuum sealed bag or container to keep out any extra moisture. You can also include a Moisture Absorbent Bag such as a silica gel packet as an extra layer of protection for you beloved lash adhesive.

How to choose the best lash glue for me?

Firstly, consider your working speed because if you are looking for a fast drying glue, you better be ready for it. Then you can test measure the climate conditions of your space to identify any need for possible external systems to help combat temperature and humidity changes. However, in some cases you might not still be able to reach those optimal conditions and you might factor that in when choosing your lash adhesive. As we know, high humidity speeds up the drying time, so for example, if you can’t lower the humidity then you might want to choose a slower drying glue as in high humidity it will dry 1-2 times faster.

How to address issues with your adhesive?

Lashes not sticking – We all have experienced a day where the lash simply refuses to stick, it’s crazy right?! But we just learned that with low humidity the drying time of your eyelash glue slows down and thus isn’t able to cure.

Red and irritated eyes – Slow curing also can risk your client developing an allergy due to the increased exposure to cyanoacrylate fumes which also result in red and often sore eyes which definitely isn’t going to help in building your client base.

Lash stickies – when neighboring lashes cure to one another. Your poorly curing adhesive could be possibly causing permanent damage to your clients natural lashes which is even more important to make sure your eyelash extensions adhesive is curing correctly.