Part 1: Understanding Adhesive
I am speaking on this topic from a product development background and highly encourage each of you to Explore to Grow™ your knowledge through independent research. 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 or DM me.
Adhesives are made up of cyanoacrylates along with other bonding agents. Cyanoacrylate adhesives cure by reacting to small amounts of moisture on the bonding surface and in the air. Adhesives are rarely faulty- after all they’re made to stick. It’s important that we are very accurate with our prep work and techniques in order to create a strong, long-lasting attachment and minimize the chance of irritation.
You may notice multiple types of cyanoacrylates on an adhesive’s label. This allows us to receive characteristics from both cyanoacrylate types.
· Ethyl- common, versatile
· Alkoxy- less prone to blooming, low odor, more flexible
· Methyl- very strong, used for metals in pure form
· Butyl- and Octyl- used in the medical industry In addition, there are “filler” ingredients. These fillers are added for many benefits such as: stronger attachments, faster curing, more flexibility, to expand environmental range, and to reduce fumes.
Lash adhesives are almost to their maximum bond in just 10 minutes. Science tells us that the ideal humidity range for most adhesives is 50-55% as this allows the monomers to bond and fall. Working in a very low humidity can increase the chance of irritation and provide additional respiratory symptoms. I recommend doing your best to get your humidity above 40% while lashing for an optimal bond and more importantly, to protect your clients and yourself long term.
The lash extensions we apply are comprised of PBT. This material can be more difficult to bond to because of the material’s smoothness and the small diameter in which we are using. In order to create more “grip” on the extensions, some companies sell products that are specifically applied to the lash strip prior to application. Priming the natural lashes is also recommended by some companies to remove excess oils from the natural lashes while preparing the cuticle layer. I recommend following the prep recommendations from the company you purchase from. They know their formulation best and often sell compatible products made to enhance the performance of their adhesives.
Cleansing the natural lashes prior to application is essential to ensure they are free from any dust, dirt, oil, makeup, or debris as this causes a poor surface area attachment for the extension. Even the smallest particles can affect the quality of the bond. Remember, adhesives stick- even to dust, makeup, and bacteria. Trapping this in the lash line, between the natural lash and extension, is unhygienic and can lead to irritation or infection. The natural lashes and extensions should be clean and dry prior to every application. Do not apply to wet lashes. Tip: Make sure the surface you put your adhesive on is clean and dry as well.
Nanomisting, nebulizing, sealing, and cleaning the lash line after the application are all techniques to instantly cure the adhesive and reduce the chance of irritation. Keep in mind, this does not replace the need for moisture in the air throughout the lash application.
I hope this post provided insight into the world of adhesives. When you take a look at it all, it's pretty incredible. I look forward to sharing my next post with you. Stay on the lookout for PART 2: ADHESIVE SAFETY