As it’s spooky season, we thought we’d put together a post all about a topic that’s sure to send shivers down the spine of even the most seasoned lash techs - horrifying retention! If you’re brand new to lashes, these will be some things that you might not have come across just yet, but which you can look out for and avoid. If you’ve been lashing for years and years, you’ve more than likely fallen victim to at least some of these!
Retention Killer 1: Poor Pretreatment
Before anything else even has a chance to go wrong, incomplete pretreatment will ruin any lash set. At the very least, we recommend using a foam cleanser to cleanse the lashes and eyelid area of makeup, oils, sebum, etc. that commonly builds up around the lashes. A good cleanse also helps to keep your eye patches in place, so that’s one less thing to be irritated by!
Thorough pretreatment gets rid of everything on the lashes that might prevent the glue from bonding with the natural lash - any kind of dirt on the eyelashes will be what the glue bonds with, so as soon as your clients wash their lashes their extensions will start to slide right off. Eek!
If you can, we recommend our tried and tested 5 step pretreatment routine to cleanse the eye area and lashes to perfection, keeping your client healthy and happy with long lasting lashes!
Retention Killer 2: Your Glue is Too Fast
That’s right - using the wrong glue will ruin your retention faster than you can say candy corn! We all want the fastest glue, the strongest glue, the best glue - but what does that mean? Well, the fastest and strongest kind of mean the same thing, but they might not be the best for you, and if a glue is too fast it simply won’t be able to form a great bond!
Let’s take a look at Royal Bond (0.5-1 second drying time) - when we were in the testing phases of Royal Bond my lash tech used it on me, 5 weeks later I still had the majority of my lashes intact and I really wanted to take a little lash break. My lash friend then spent a LONG time removing them for me. We were shocked by how long it took us to remove them (not quite as long as this set, of course), but it made sense - the glue is stronger than Superman and I had loads of lashes left! Now if I tried to use Royal Bond, my retention would be dreadful, but why? It’s a great glue! I’m also a pretty good lash tech, but I’m used to Lady Bond - I’m not in a rush but Royal Bond is, so in the time it takes me to put a lash down, the glue would be most of the way to cured, so it wouldn’t form a good bond between the extension and then natural lash. Always use the glue that suits you - the fastest glue isn’t always the best glue for every lash tech!
Retention Killer 3: Client Error
It’s not always you that’s responsible for poor retention - that’s something so important to keep in mind! If you’ve done everything perfectly on your end and then your client isn’t looking after their lashes properly, you can forget about retention! So what can go wrong on your client’s end?
Not washing their lashes properly
If they’re using an oil-based cleanser they’re setting themselves up for failure. Oil won’t break down the glue but it can get between the glue and the natural lashes (remember that both are porous so they have teeny tiny little spaces between them) so then the extensions can just slide right off.
Not washing their lashes at all is another problem - they might have okay retention in this case but they’re opening themselves up to the possibility of eye infections like blepharitis, which is neither comfortable nor cute!
Exposing their lashes to high heats
Glue is pretty resistant to heat, so a little bit of heat won’t be too much of an issue. When they start going to saunas, steam rooms, hot yoga etc. though, they’re likely to start noticing that their retention will suffer. You may also find that these clients have an increased rate of chemical burns as the glue softens and lets out some fumes - this can also increase their risk of allergic reactions, so it’s really advisable to try and avoid high heat as much as possible with lash extensions
While we’re discussing clients, we should also mention a couple of things that can lead to poor retention, which isn’t at all their fault, but might just need to be taken into consideration.
- Medications can affect retention if it’s altering their hormone levels or their physiology. It might be worth them speaking to their doctor if this is concerning for them
- On the topic of hormones, if your client is in their first or third trimester of pregnancy, you might see some changes to their retention. The same can be said during breastfeeding
- Illness, just like medication can affect our physiology and can affect out retention
So what are the main takeaways here? Well, have a thorough consultation with your client to see if there are any factors that might affect their retention, always advise them on proper aftercare, carry out proper pretreatment, and always make sure you’re using the best glue for you!