As lash artists, retention is one more thing we have to get down! Lash retention refers to how long an extension stays on before they fall out or shed. We want lashes to stay as long as possible until the 2-3 week mark for a fill. Our biggest fear is having your client reach out to you after a couple days saying all their lashes fell out! There are many factors to what can cause retention issues and it’s our job to make sure we’re doing everything we can on our end and not just blame it on our adhesive.
In this blog, we’ll fill you in on the best retention tips to keep your clients coming back to you. When your clients come back with a good amount of lashes, their appointment will be so much quicker since you’re spending less amount of time filling it in!
START WITH A CLEAN BASE
Ensure your clients are arriving with a clean lashes. There should be no makeup residue, mascara, or false lash glue. Trying to remove them will require more additional time to their appointment. Any remainder left on their lashes along with dirt and oils will not let the extension stick to it properly.
Always start with a lash bath to make sure you’re starting with a clean base. You never know what is sitting on their lashes! You can offer a wash washing station for your clients when they arrive or you can just wash it for them using a clean cleansing brush or lip applicator, a safe lash shampoo, a drip bottle, and a towel. Apply primer after to remove any extra dirt and oil while balancing the PH level of their lashes.
It is crucial to be working in an environment that fits the range of your adhesive. Every adhesive on the market has a temperature and humidity range that your workspace must fit in order to use it. They play a big role in how it dries and the viscosity of it. You should always have a hygrometer in your space to regulate the temperature and humidity.
For example, if an adhesive has a 30-70% humidity and a 65-80 F temperature range, your room must stay in between that in order for your adhesive to work properly. For most adhesives, the ideal humidity level would be 40-50%.
In high humidity, your glue will dry quicker and in low humidity your glue will dry slower. Invest in a humidifier or a dehumidifier to manipulate your environment if you ever find your glue drying too slow or too fast.
YOUR GLUE SHOULD MATCH YOUR SPEED
Every adhesive has a drying time wether it be 0.3 seconds, 0.5-1 seconds, 1-2 seconds, or 2-3 seconds. When you’re first starting out, don’t expect to be as fast as a person who has been lashing for a couple of years and using a glue that has 0.3 seconds drying time.
Using a glue that’s too fast will result in the extension falling off prematurely when your client brushes or washes their lashes later on. While it may look like it’s placed on the natural lash, the glue may have already cured before you even placed the extension on the natural lash. Using a glue that’s too slow will result in stickies which causes damage to the natural lashes. You’ll need to hold the extension in place for a longer time before letting go of your isolation tweezers.
CHANGE OUT YOUR GLUE EVERY 15-20 MINUTES
Make sure your adhesive is always fresh as it’s constantly being exposed to humidity. Change your glue out every 15-20 minutes. You’ll know when it’s time to change it out when it starts to lighten in color and become stringy or tacky.
Shake your glue at the start of the day for at least 2 minutes. Always shake your glue before dispensing a new drop! If you’re shaking it by hand, shake for at least 1 minute. Your arms might be a little sore every time! Consider purchasing a glue shaker will save you so much more time and you’ll only need to shake for at least 20 seconds. This is because the ingredients will sit at the bottom and need to be properly mixed in order to work properly.
Store your adhesive in a airtight container away from any excessive heat and isn’t exposed to more humidity. Replace your bottle every 4-6 weeks once opened.
Isolation is vital in keeping your client’s natural lashes health in perfect condition. Always, always, ALWAYS check for stickies during and at the end of your set. Stickies are when two or more extensions are stuck together. There should only be 1 extension placed per 1 natural lash! If there are stickies, this can cause your client to experience pain, discomfort, and even a bad reputation on your name!
Every lash has it’s own growth cycle. If two natural lashes are glued onto the same lash, one might be growing faster than the other, resulting in pulling out the other lash. Us lash artist should know the importance of lash integrity and providing a professional and relaxing experience for our clients. We only want the best for our clients!
Proper placement is one of the most important keys in achieving the best retention! We cannot stress this enough. You could have the best products and follow all these other tips but placement is what matters the most.
Place the extension at least 0.5-1mm away from the eyelid. You NEVER want to place it on the skin or too close as it can become itchy or painful for your client when they blink. Placing it on the skin can lead to an allergic reaction from the adhesive.
There should be at least a 2mm bond between the extension and the natural lash. Your base should not be sticking up, otherwise it will pop right off when your client brushes them. Make sure you’re using enough glue but not too much as it can add unnecessary weight. There are different ways to place the lash - top, bottom, or side. Don’t just place it and call it a day - give it a gentle tug after holding it in place for a couple of seconds to make sure it’s full attached.
LASH WRAPPING TECHNIQUE
The lash wrapping technique is a game changer in increasing retention! Lash wrapping refers to when the base of your extension hugs around the natural lash instead of just being placed on the top, bottom, or side of it. It lessens the chance of popping off faster. It will be able to withhold your clients brushing, washing, pressure from the shower, etc.
However, this technique can only be achieved with handmade fans. Use a slower drying adhesive so you have enough time for the glue to wrap around.
1. Create your fan and isolate the lash before dipping it in glue.
- Dip your fan in glue.
- Place the fan on the natural lash, applying downwards pressure on the base.
- Use small circular micro movements, allowing the base to open up a little and hug the natural lash while keeping a firm grip on your tweezers.
- The base will eventually tighten when the glue dries.
- Give the lash a gentle tug to make sure it’s properly attached.
USE SUPER BONDER AT THE END OF YOUR SET
If you don’t use super bonder at the end of your set, then what are you doing?? There are so many benefits to using bonder and the best part is it increases your retention by 30%! It cures the glue without causing any shock polymerization. Make sure to apply it to the bond with a micro brush or lip applicator 2 minutes after you’ve placed your last fan.
With super bonder, your client is able to get their lashes wet immediately without having to wait 24 hours! It also reduces fumes and lessens the likelihood of your clients feeling any irritation.
EDUCATE CLIENTS ABOUT AFTERCARE
When it comes to lash retention, the responsibility is 50% the lash artist and 50% the client! The moment they step foot out of their appointment, now it’s their job to take care of their lashes until their fill. You’ve done your part and it’s up to them how they care for them. We all know that dreadful feeling when your client comes back needing a full set instead of a fill!
You’ll need to educate your clients about all the aftercare steps as lash extensions require a bit of high maintenance, otherwise your hard work may go to waste and they’ll blame you. It’s always a good idea to sell some aftercare kits for your clients.
Here are the main aftercare steps you should always inform your clients.
1. Wash your lashes twice a day - in the morning and at night.
2. Do not wear mascara.
3. Do not use a eyelash curler.
4. Do not pick or pull your lashes.
5. Sleep on your back to prevent your lashes from rubbing on your pillow.
6. Avoid oil-based products around your eyes.
7. Stay away from excessive heat like ovens or smoke as it can cause your lashes to become frayed.
8. Brush your lashes throughout the day.
9. Schedule your infill every 2-3 weeks.
Some clients will have better retention than others. Remember, achieving great retention takes proper patience and practice! We’ll have to go through a bunch of products to find the right ones that work for us. Don’t ever be discouraged because we can always learn from our mistakes to become the best lash artist we could be!