Solved: 8 lash extension treatment troubleshooting issues
Want to take your lash game to the next level? To tie in with PB's Lash Treatments Week (November 23–29), we troubleshoot the most common issues artists face when doing classic, volume and Russian lash extensions to ensure you deliver a first-class service every time.
From how to get the most from your adhesive, to correct cleansing and drying and the importance of the room temperature, lash artist Rebecca Hood, owner of RH Lash Brow & Make Up Academy in Nottinghamshire, shares her top eight lash extension troubleshooting tips.
1. Store your lash adhesive correctly
“Lash adhesive usually has a three-to-six month shelf life,” explains Hood. “Once you’ve opened it you can stick a bit of tape on the side and write the date, so you’ll know when it’s about to go off,” she says. After a new bottle has been opened, you should store it in a cool, dark place.
“Glue should be in a cupboard or hidden away somewhere in the dark. I like to put it in a drawer so it’s out of direct sunlight and to keep it upright,” says Hood. “I use my microfoam tape on the bottom of the adhesive and put it away in my drawer so it never falls over.”
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2. Shake your adhesive regularly
Once you’ve opened a new adhesive, you might find it can become clogged. To stop this from happening, the glue should be shaken just before opening and daily thereafter, says Hood.
“I don’t tend to shake my bottle with the lid closed, I usually do it with the lid open and a lint-free pad on top because I don’t want any of the glue going up in the nozzle and causing any blockages,” she says, “and I give it a really good shake for about a minute.”
When you start using a new adhesive, you may notice bubbles in the formula. “If you give it a little squeeze, you can get the air bubbles out, and that’s how to store your glue,” adds Hood. If you’re using a black glue, you’ll be able to tell how thoroughly it has been mixed.
“You have to be looking for a jet-black consistency every time you use a new glue dot – that’s your glue telling you it’s been shaken well and that it’s ready to use,” she adds.
3. Too much humidity will affect your glue
Hood explains that for your glue to polymerise, there needs to be enough moisture in the air to turn it from a liquid to a solid state. “You might find that your adhesive is drying too quickly or not quickly enough,” she says. “Usually, that’s the humidity – you’ve either got too much or too little humidity for that process to happen.
"The average UK humidity is between 55% and 65%, and we need that much moisture in the air for our glue to dry at a reasonable rate,” she says. A hygrometer will give you an accurate reading of the humidity in your salon.
If you’re a mobile lash artist, these are small enough to carry around with you. “If you are in a situation where your humidity is too low or high, I would think about investing in a humidifier or dehumidifier,” she says.
4. Your salon temperature will affect adhesive too
“Your temperature should be between 18ºC and 22ºC to prevent your glue going gloopy and sticky,” says Hood. “The temperature being too low isn’t a major issue, but if you do like a really warm environment, you might want to consider changing your glue a lot more often than you would if your room was cooler,” she says.
“I tend to have the temperature down a bit. If my client gets a little bit cold I’ll wrap them up in a blanket, and I also have the windows open as well to keep some fresh air.”
5. Try microfoam tape on clients who move a lot
Eyelash pads have a tendency to move around. “If you’ve got a client who likes to have a good chat, they do tend to move quite a lot,” says Hood.
An alternative to try is microfoam tape, which is gentle on the skin while being secure. “I’ll just cut a little piece off and cut it in half lengthways, so you can use this for both eyes, and I then like to put little slits,” she says.
“The reason I do that is because everybody’s eye shape is different, so when you’re getting the lower lashes down, you can actually mold it to the shape of your client’s eye.”
6. Use glue dots every 20–30 minutes
“I use about four glue dots every 20–30 minutes,” says Hood. “I don’t tend to use a ring because if I use a little dot, it’s fresher and you can keep changing it so you can keep it nice and fresh all the time.”
And when you’re applying the glue, always dot in the middle. “That’s the part of the dot that’ll go off last, all around the sides of the glue dot will start to go off first,” she says.
“I always dip right in the middle and not on the sides, because I know that is going to go gloopy quite quickly.”
7. Reduce reactions with a nano-mister
“Some people have reactions towards the adhesive,” says Hood. “Usually, if you’re using a black glue, there are two different active ingredients within it that people may react to. One’s called cyanoacrylate, which is what makes the glue stick, and the other is carbon black, which turns that glue from a clear glue into a black glue,” she says.
To reduce the risk of allergic reactions, a nano-mister can reduce the irritating effects of the adhesive. “If I’ve got a client who’s sensitive then I might use a nano-mister to shock the glue, just spraying over the eyelash extensions,” says Hood.
“It’s a controlled mist so it’s not going to get them soaking wet; it basically just seals the glue that you’ve put on and that will also stop the vapours from being around the eye area.” She explains that these vapours can stay around the eyes for 24 hours after the treatment, so by shock-curing the glue with water, it can prevent this from creating irritation.
8. Teach your clients how to cleanse their lashes at home
“It is very important to remind clients about cleansing their own lashes at home,” says Hood. “Infilling a client’s lashes is so much easier if they’ve been looking after them properly.” Hood recommends retailing a lash cleanser to your clients to use every day with a cleansing brush to help prevent build-ups or bacteria.
“People can put them in the shower and when they use it will feel nice and clean and it avoids any contaminants on your clients’ eyes,” she says. After a client has washed their hair, Hood recommends drying the lashes too to help them look their best.
“I do recommend to just use the hairdryer at a safe distance and fluff them all up again, especially if you’ve got Russian volume lashes,” she says. “Once you’ve cleansed your eyelashes and gently dry them off with the hairdryer they go all fluffy again.”