The Truth Behind Adhesive Dry Times

// Alanna Griffin

We’ve all been there- you come into your lash studio, ready to give your clients some bomb lashes and slay the day. Your first client’s lashes had great retention, and they’re squeaky clean for you. Then about halfway into your first appointment, you realize that your adhesive is OFF. Your fans are falling apart, your adhesive drops are only lasting a few minutes, or it’s taking forever to dry. It’s a brand new bottle and you just opened it last week! Not to mention, you had a seamless day of lashing yesterday. What the f&%*!

 Before you pick up the phone and call for help, take a deep breath, sis. We’ve compiled a list of a few things that can alter the dry times and overall performance of your adhesive. If you still have questions, our awesome Customer Care team would love to help troubleshoot your adhesive drama, so give us a call! Here are 4 things to make note of when you’re struggling with your adhesive. Some of them may shock you!

1. Humidity

There is a common misconception in the lash world that an adhesive’s recommended humidity is based on the humidity in the air outside- it’s not! While outdoor humidity can affect your lash space, you’re looking for the humidity inside your lash space. More specifically, the area near your client where you will be storing, dispensing, and using your adhesive. This is called Relative Humidity (RH), and it can be measured with a trusty hygrometer. If you don’t have one yet, take the plunge and get that baby on your supply cart! Adhesives perform and are created with different recommended humidity levels. Knowing your humidity is the first crucial part of selecting the best adhesives to keep in your arsenal! (Notice how I said adhesives- plural! *hint hint*) Beat the humidity by using a new bottle of adhesive every 4-5 weeks and storing it in a vacuum sealed & airtight container like the Love Shack, a lil’ home for your adhesives. 

2. Viscosity of Adhesive

Have you ever noticed that The One is a thinner viscosity than True Love, and Love Potion #9 is the thickest of them all? The One is great to use in low humidity environments, while Love Potion #9 is loved by artists in the highest humidities. Why is there a difference in viscosities? The viscosity of adhesive will affect how quickly the adhesives cures. We all know that adhesives are cured when water molecules are present, and this is why we nano mist or cleanse right after application! Thinking in terms of volume, the thickness of an adhesive indicates the amount of material that the moisture molecules have to penetrate in order to cure it. A thinner consistency adhesive has a quicker dry time, and requires less moisture to cure. Conversely, a thicker adhesive cures slower, and will require more moisture in the air to cure. Here’s an equation to reference to: viscosity + humidity levels = dry time.

3. Your Clients’ Individual Hair Type 

Have you had clients where, no matter what you do, you can’t seem to get their lashes to stick? You apply that perfect fan onto your client’s perfectly clean and/ or primed natural lash that’s just asking for it, and the bond seems strong. You brush those fluffy lashes later on, and your pretty fans are popping off left and right. Why, Satan?! Here’s the best way to think of it. Each of your clients has a different genetic composition, are exposed to various environmental factors, and internally have different health issues. All of these items factor into their hair porosity. In other words, everyone’s hair strands have a different number of tiny holes in them. The number of these tiny holes in the cuticle layer of the hair strand will determine how chemicals are absorbed by the hair. Including your eyelashes! Given this information, a thicker lash might take a thicker adhesive to penetrate and really bond onto the natural lash. On the other hand, a thinner lash will do just fine with a thinner consistency, especially when considering the weight that can safely be applied. Keep in mind that naturally occurring oils in your clients lashes can also be increased in times of stress, and changes in health, which can pose it’s own set of bond issues. This is why we always recommend having an entire lineup of adhesives in your Love Shack to cater to any client, at any time.

4. Chemicals Floating Around in your Environment 

In esthetics and cosmetology school, we learned all about pH levels. Didn’t it make you feel like a scientist? Our adhesives all have one ingredient in common: cyanoacrylate. We are learning more about the world of cyanoacrylate and its use in the lash industry as this blog is being written! What if we told you that cyanoacrylate’s performance is affected when exposed to certain chemicals, both with a low pH and high pH? In this situation, we’re talking about cleaning supplies probably being used in/near your lash studio. Here’s the scoop: in the presence of a substance with a high pH (alkaline), cyanoacrylate will cure rapidly. Examples of some high pH cleaning supplies include bleach, baking soda, laundry detergents, and all purpose cleaners. On the flip side, cyanoacrylate’s exposure to the low pH (acidic) chemicals can delay or even STOP the curing process entirely! Some examples of these are tub and tile cleaners, cleaners used to break down mineral deposits/ hard water/ rust, and toilet bowl cleaners. These chemical molecules can stay afloat in the air for some time, and will all affect your adhesives’ performance. Give your cleaning supplies a quick Google search and learn more about their pH levels to help troubleshoot your adhesive and build your knowledge as a lash expert. Mic. Drop.

As you can see, there are so many variables that factor into your adhesive’s dry time and overall performance. Our goal at Lash Affair is to equip you with the armor of knowledge you need in order to slay every lash appointment, every time. In case you haven’t heard, we gave our Subscription Service a facelift and are now offering 20% off of your essentials, including adhesive! Set up a subscription to automatically receive a fresh bottle of adhesive, along with other essentials, at your chosen frequency. We hope this blog added some value to your day! If you have experienced any adhesive dry time weirdness and would like to share it with us, shoot us a message. We’re always down to get sciency with you!

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