As the lash industry grows and evolves – so does our understanding of products and how to optimize results for our clientele. Humidity is a largely misunderstood aspect of lash application and aftercare that has lash artists confused about how to store their adhesives, and also what to tell their clients regarding aftercare of their new lashes.
Humidity & Moisture – is it good, bad, necessary – or all of the above?
At controlled amounts, humidity plays an essential role in performance and application of lash extensions and helps our adhesive perform properly. Too much of it though – and it can cause things to go awry!
HUMIDITY IN YOUR LASHING ENVIRONMENT
Here’s the scoop: Cyanoacrylate polymerizes (cures/hardens) in the presence of moisture. While too much moisture during application can cause lash adhesive to go gunky, or to “shock polymerize”, a stable amount of humidity in your lashing room aids in the lash application grabbing and “setting up” to the natural lash quicker.
Humidifiers (or de-humidifiers if you live in extremely humid climates) are important tools to get your lash area to optimal performance. Your room should read between 45-55%RH (relative humidity) for all Adhesives. Having your humidity at the right level ensures lash adhesives perform to the level and speed that you would like (after all – you bought them for certain specifications, so you want to get what you pay for!).
HUMIDITY ON FRESH LASH EXTENSIONS
For years, we were under the impression that ANY moisture within 48 hours of a lash application was to be avoided and would ruin the eyelash adhesive bonds. We now know that moisture is NEEDED to cure the lash adhesive properly, and without moisture the lash adhesive couldn’t properly cure. The key is CONTROLLING our moisture.
In the past, we didn’t have things like LashCure Misters, or nebulizers to force cure our lash adhesive in a controlled manner. However, this didn’t mean that moisture wasn’t still curing the lash adhesive. Back in the day women would avoid showers, saunas, and sweat for 48 hours because this would be too much moisture too soon on the fresh adhesive bonds. Getting them wet (in showers, swimming or at the gym) causes a shock to the bond. Shock polymerization happens when too much moisture is introduced too soon to wet adhesive– and this can also cause what is known as blooming; a white/grey dust-like substance that forms on the lashes. What lash companies were going for in the past by telling clients to wait 48 hours was still a slow controlled cure by coming into contact with moisture in the air. This way, the lashes were not exposed to too much moisture too soon – and could slowly cure layer by layer over time into a perfectly strong bond.
The downside to avoiding showers, swimming and the gym for 48 hours is that:
-the lash adhesive can give off irritating fumes during the curing process for those with sensitive eyes
-sensitivies and risk of intolerances to adhesive are heightened by prolonging exposure to fresh lash adhesive over 2 days
- if a client is oily, their eyelids cannot be washed and this will cause adhesive bonds to weaken
-the lash bonds stay more vulnerable to things like friction and movement for 48 hours and are more likely to be affected by client error
Using Moisture to our Advantage
We now understand that moisture is needed to cure the lash adhesive in a controlled manner, and too much moisture too soon is harmful to the lash bond. We now have the answer of how to force-cure the lash bonds while keeping the integrity of the bond strong, and therefore negating the need to “keep lashes dry for 48 hours after application”. LashCure Misters are now available as a tool to finish your lash applications. These misters are filled with distilled water droplets which are dispersed as a super-fine mist over the newly applied lash extensions. The aim is not to get the lashes wet or shock the bonds – but instead to deliver a gentle amount of moisture around the lashing area so the bond “takes what moisture it needs” to fully cure – soaking up the humidity like a sponge layer by layer. Because lash adhesives cure in layers, we can confidently cure the outer-mid shell of the adhesive bonds in 30 seconds using the mister. If a mister Is used, clients only need to wait 4 hours before washing their faces, showering, or going to the gym (as the final core layers cure). The aim is to provide the same amount of controlled moisture in 30 seconds with our mister, as they would receive on their lashes from the environment in 48 hours when told to keep them dry.
By curing the lash adhesive before your clients leave your space:
-you greatly reduce any sensitivities by getting rid of any fumes within 30 seconds
-your clients can shower and work out the same night of their lash appointment
-you provide a soothing treatment at the end of your appointment
-your clients can keep lash hygiene optimal by being able to wash their lash line daily. We recommend LashPure cleanser.
HUMIDITY AND LASH ADHESIVE STORAGE
There are 2 main contributors to the breakdown of lash extension adhesive when being stored in your business: heat, and moisture. Lash adhesive likes to be kept in a cool, dry, and preferably dark place. Many lash artists have been told to keep their lash adhesive in the fridge – but this is a dangerous habit which could compromise the integrity of your bottle. Here’s why: Fresh lash adhesive works as a sponge – soaking up moisture from it’s surroundings in order to cure. Whenever you open your bottle of eyelash adhesive it has the ability to draw a small amount of moisture into the bottle. If this bottle is then placed into a refrigerator, and then taken out – condensation can form on both the inside and the outside of the bottle which can ruin your bottle of adhesive long before it’s intended expiry.
Lash adhesive can be put into the fridge or freezer to extend it's lifespan as long as it is UNOPENED. Once opened, it should always stay room temperature to avoid any sweating. *All adhesives can be stored in the freezer for up to 12 months prior if not being used right away. Once ready to use, remove from the freezer and let the bottle thaw in room temperature for 24 hours before opening*
To keep your lash adhesive fresh, and good to the last drop:
-make sure to clean your nozzle with each use. Dispense your lash adhesive, and then “blow” any excess adhesive drops left in the nozzle into a paper towel or lint free wipe to avoid clogging. Wipe the outside of the nozzle to ensure no build up occurs that would cause the cap of the adhesive bottle to not properly seal.
-When not in use, store your lash adhesive in a vacuum sealed container along with rice, or silica to control moisture. Foil bags, or glass seal-tight jars also work well for this.
That about wraps it up! I hope this post was insightful to you all in understanding the crucial role controlled humidity plays in our lash world, and how we can harbor it to work to our advantage!
Posted by lashlover at 10:24 PM