Lash extensions is no doubt, a treatment that requires precision, numerous hours and nothing short of pure dedication to master. The intricate work and requirement to be ambidextrous are crucial, in the long run these skills you develop will allow you to grow your business and reputation as a Lash Extension Artist. There is a specific topic that I would like to discuss with you that we may encounter from time to time in our lash journey. Retention.
Retention is defined as how long your extensions last on the natural lash before they shed or fall off. It is also important that we understand that all clients are different as is their lash growth cycle, making lash extension application a bespoke service. Receiving that message from a client letting you know their lashes are popping off or not lasting is always dreaded and may often knock your confidence, but fear not, here are my top tips on how we can increase your retention.
- Working Environment: First you may want to have a look at where are you lashing. What is the Humidity and temperature of your lash room? Air flow, are you positioned under an air conditioning unit or a fan as the direct air flow may cause your adhesive to dry faster before attachment has occurred. If your conditions aren’t consistent this may become a contributing factor to poor retention.
- Adhesives: As we know, our adhesives have an optimum humidity and temperature range for it to perform at its most optimum level. If your humidity is too high, your adhesive will begin to cure quicker than usual and by the time you are applying your extension to the natural lash, you are not achieving the most optimum bond. My recommendation is to have an adhesive on hand that is suited to high humidity and lower humidity. You may be able to adjust your working environment with air conditioners, humidifiers and de humidifiers but this could be time consuming.
- Storage: Is your adhesive fresh and stored correctly? Adhesive will have recommendations for storage and has a short shelf life once opened due to the Cyanoacrylate contained within the adhesive. Storing your adhesive in a fridge with too cold a temperature and removing and returning to the fridge may cause condensation to develop inside the bottle. This is due to the sudden change of temperature. If you wanted to store them in a fridge a small beauty fridge may be appropriate as this can be set to a more ambient room temperature.
- Attachment: What is your current skill set and piggy backing onto adhesive, are you using an adhesive suited to your speed? There are quicker setting adhesives (0.5sec – 1sec) which is considerably fast! If you are using an adhesive that is too quick for your speed, it may be partially curing before you have chance to attach it to the natural lash and create a seamless bond. Lash placement is also a contributing factor to poor retention. If you aren’t correctly attaching the extension to the lash, dirty, sebum and makeup may get between the base of the extension and lash causing the extension to come away.
- Preparation: Now, before we can create art, we need to start off with a blank canvas to build a strong foundation, allowing our work to shine. Thoroughly cleansing to remove makeup reside, oils and dirt are imperative to achieving optimum retention. The old saying really does apply here “extensions wont stick to dirty lashes”. Adding in a Primer is also a great idea as they are designed to act as a dehydrator to create a more desirable PH level of the natural lash, allowing for a far greater bond. Primers are suitable for all clients and are particularly beneficial for clients whom naturally produce more sebum.
Investing in your education and self-development by attending quality training courses will provide you with the tools for a successful and thriving lash career, you will often find that your Educator and Brand, will also be a great source of information for trouble shooting advice. I have found that by adjusting these factors, significantly improve retention in your lash sets.
*This blog post has been written by Elleebana Educator, Kristy-Lee Roberts.