One of the most frequent frustrations of every lash maker is, of course, the drying time of the adhesive. When working with extension glue, it is vitally important to know how long it will take for our fans to adhere.
The problem with this is that, even though the packaging says a defined time, there are several factors that can alter the drying time and that will make a type of glue be better (or worse) depending on the occasion.
For this reason, I want to review with you some of the factors that affect the drying time of your glue, and the best way to optimize them.
What alters the drying time of extension glues?
Humidity and temperature
As you may already know, each adhesive usually has instructions on its optimal temperature (which is usually between 19 ° C to 23 ° C) and the ideal degree of humidity (between 45% and 75%). These specifications may vary by product.
However, a common mistake many lash makers make is thinking the humidity levels refer to external humidity. The humidity that affects the drying time of your glue is called relative humidity (the humidity of the work area), and it is measured with a hygrometer.
If you want to get the best adhesives for your salon, it is vital that you know the humidity of the environment, allowing you to use the one that best suits you at the moment.
In general, the higher the humidity, the faster the glue will dry (and vice versa).
Another important note: it is good to have several glues on hand so you can always work with the most effective one, without having to wait longer or work at a forced high speed.
Viscosity of the adhesive
This factor is closely related to humidity: in wetter environments, you’ll need to use a more viscous glue, while drier environments require a thinner glue.
The viscosity of the adhesive affects, as you may have imagined, the speed of curing the adhesive. Therefore, when we spray water after the application to cure the glue, we’re allowing moisture molecules to penetrate it.
Putting it in simpler terms: a more consistent or thicker glue will take longer to dry and will require more moisture (making it ideal for humid climates), while a thinner one will dry faster and won’t need much moisture.
- Higher humidity = More viscous glue.
- Lower humidity = Thinner glue.
Your client’s individual lash type
Surely you have already noticed, but each client is a completely different case. The porosity of the eyelash (i.e. the number of holes in a strand of hair) is different for each person thanks to genetic, health, and environmental factors, changing the way the adhesive is absorbed by the eyelash.
Although it’s difficult to notice this with a quick glance, you can vary the type of glue you’re using if you notice that your fans are not adhering. Thus, by simply testing with different glue viscosities, you’ll be able to work with all kinds of clients.
In general terms: a thinner lash will require a thinner glue (since it won’t be able to support so much weight), and a thicker one with a more viscous one.
Chemicals present in the environment
Believe it or not, the cleaning products you use in your living room MAY affect the performance of your glue. Generally speaking, this is due to acidity / alkalinity levels (or the pH scale).
Don’t panic! I’m not going to give you a chemistry class. To sum it up in simple terms: the adhesive’s common active ingredient, cyanoacrylate, can react differently to the presence of certain chemicals, depending on whether they are acidic or alkaline.
In the presence of alkaline products (such as laundry detergents, all-purpose cleaners, bleach, or baking soda) our glue will cure faster.
The opposite case happens in the case of acidic products (such as those used to unclog pipes or remove hard water stains), the curing process may become slower or not even occur.
If you’ve problems working, no matter what you do, perhaps the chemical molecules in the air are hindering your work. Therefore, try to ventilate the space to remove them after each time you clean cleaning, or change the products you’re using instead.
How to extend the useful life of extension glue?
Although you now know the factors that affect your adhesives, I think it is convenient to go over the best ways to use it and store it. After all, sometimes the problem is much simpler than it seems!
So what are other factors that affect your glue?
Useful life of extension glue
An average spread adhesive typically lasts from one to two months in an already-open glue bottle, and six if it’s still hermetically sealed.
If the manufacturing date of your glue is more than six months, it means that it won’t have the same effectiveness as a new product (because the active component, cyanoacrylate, doesn’t require contact with air to be active).
Once it is open, however, its optimum drying point only last 4 – 5 weeks.
How many times have you heard extension glues should be away from moisture, heat and light? Well, today I’m not telling you anything new: it’s extremely important to know how to store our tools.
Additionally, I’m giving you a list of things you should (and should not) do when storing glues.
- Store it in airtight packaging with a silicon bag (which will absorb moisture).
- Seal the container of the extension glue well before storing it.
- Store in a refrigerator ONLY if it has never been opened.
And what you should not do is:
- Work in a different range from the optimum temperature.
- Put heat sources closer to your glue.
- Store it in a refrigerator if it’s already open (since the change in temperature will affect its properties and it’ll lose effectiveness).
- Keep the same container open for more than 4–5 weeks (two months maximum).
- And most importantly, not reading the specific instructions for each product!
Just as each of your clients will require a different strategy, each of your glues could also have a different treatment. Read the instructions, review the optimal way to store them, and avoid ordering more products than what you’re going to use!