Part 3: Selecting an Adhesive
This Selecting an Adhesive post became so much more than expected. I realize it’s hard to select an adhesive without first understanding the fundamentals and safety protocols. Check out my last 2 posts to see how all this information ties together. The goal of this 3-post series is to start the conversation. Thank you to each of you reading this. As always, share your thoughts in the comments.
New artists and experienced artists alike have a common need... an adhesive that performs well. But choosing an adhesive is quite overwhelming. Lash skill set and other factors, such as environment and formulation, should be considered when selecting an adhesive.
Asking, “What’s your favorite adhesive?” is such a loaded question, but one that’s asked rather often. In this post, I’ll discuss the factors that should be considered. Please note, that this page is for you, the lash stylist. I’ve tried many adhesives but have settled on the same few for my business. You’ll see me try many products on here, but within my lash business I do not change products often and not without extensive testing. I encourage you to use caution on implementing new products in your business.
Many stylists encourage others to try every brand on the market. Not only is this a financial investment, but quite confusing too. If you’re constantly changing your products- how do you know what’s working? Don’t get me wrong… I absolutely encourage everyone to Explore to Grow™, but it’s so important to work with a high-quality product consistently as you’re perfecting your technique. With that said, if you’ve worked with the same products for months and are having issues across most of your clients- it’s time to reach out to a mentor for advice. A strong mentor will assess your application holistically and help determine what the culprit is. If everything checks out, then it may be time to try a new, trusted adhesive.
Getting the most out of an adhesive requires our technique to be on point. One of the most common adhesive questions I hear is, “Which adhesive lasts the longest?” I return this question with a few questions of my own. I need to understand a few things first- such as your application process, environment, and aftercare recommendations. Afterall, adhesives are made to stick… and they will do just that. If a client is experiencing poor retention- it’s either the stylist’s application, client’s aftercare, or client’s health/medications. Sure, it could be the products being applied as well, but if you’re using quality products then I automatically circle back to the above. (Note: Taking proper care of and using the adhesive properly is essential. Read my last post for more on this). The exception to my prior statement is that many stylists are using an adhesive that doesn’t align for them. I often find stylists using adhesives that are too fast for them or using a low-humidity adhesive in a high-humidity environment, etc.
Pay attention to what the manufacture says. Use the following criteria when selecting an adhesive.
-What is the fixture/attachment time?
-What is the adhesive’s ideal environment (temperature/humidity)?
-Is it recommended for classic, volume, or both?
Consider how long it takes you to attach a lash after coating. Many stylists have no clue the answer to this question. I challenge you to time yourself- you may be surprised. Taking over 3 seconds to attach can be too long. This causes the adhesive to dry prior to attachment or worse- the extension attaches… poorly… which leads to premature shedding. Many stylists want an extra second or two to get that perfect attachment. Sometimes a slower adhesive is preferred and that’s okay.
Don’t ignore the recommended environment. Let’s use EBL as an example: EBL Grand Rapid is well-respected as a must-have adhesive, however it is recommended for use in low humidity. When the humid summer hits here in Houston, Texas- an adhesive such as EBL Magic is more beneficial due to its ability to perform in high humidity. It’s important to try and maintain a consistent environment within your application space but also take into consideration the humidity in your city when making an adhesive selection.
On my last post, I discussed my top safety tips when working with adhesives: https://www.jorenzi.com/post/adhesive-safety . In addition to those tips, I recommend isolating prior to coating the extension as this will cut down on the time spent between coating and attachment. Take notice how much you’re chatting with your client too. It’s easy to get caught up in a story as extra time passes while you’re holding a coated extension.
I’ll leave you with this… Adhesive is a combination of science and preference along with skillset. It’s okay to carry multiple adhesives and for your preference to vary in relation to the season, client lash type, or application technique (classic/volume). If you’re having trouble with adhesives, send me a DM. I’d love to hear your experience and provide you with support. I hope this adhesive series provided some insight that you found beneficial. Thank you to each of you who have shown your support and love. I look forward to sharing more with you.