Talk the Talk: Lash Extension Adhesive Terminology

Talk the Talk: Lash Extension Adhesive Terminology

We’ve outlined everything you need to know when it comes to terminology for lash adhesive. If we were to teach a class about lash adhesive (surprise, we do!) this is everything we want lash artists to know about lash adhesive terminology.

As a lash artist, it’s important to understand the terminology surrounding eyelash extension adhesive to be prepared for client’s questions and when talking with other lash artists. No one wants to feel left out of the conversation because you’re unsure what other lash artists are referring to!

First, let’s start with the lash adhesive ingredients. Get ready for a quick chemistry lesson…

Adhesive Ingredients

Cyanoacrylate [sahy-uh-noh-ak-ruh-leyt] the main ingredient; colorless liquid that’s easily polymerized and used as a powerful, fast-acting adhesive. This is the sticky part of your adhesive.

Offers a wide range of viscosities (textures) from thin to thick formulas. Cyanoacrylate is the reason that some lash adhesives feel thinner or thicker to lash artists.

Cyanoacrylate undergoes a chain reaction called polymerization when exposed to moisture. Moisture is necessary for the adhesive to cure but if it gets inside the adhesive bottle the adhesive will polymerize (or cure) inside the bottle. This could ruin a whole bottle. It’s important for lash artists to prevent additional moisture from getting into the bottle.

Hydroquinone - [hahy-droh-kwi-nohn] a weak acid used as a buffer to prevent the adhesive from curing immediately. Commonly found in many facial and skin care products.

How does it work? In short, it helps the adhesive last longer by controlling the reaction in the bottle.

Hydroquinone finds the free radicals that will cure the adhesive and stops the polymerization or curing process. This helps control the reaction in the bottle and allows the adhesive to last longer in the bottle.

Learn more about Hydroquinone here.

Poly (alkyl methacrylate) provides the elasticity or flexibility within the adhesive.

Carbon Black - Gives the deep black color.

Other Lash Adhesive Terminology to Know

Retention - Refers to how long the lash extensions are staying adhered to the natural lashes. There are two types of retention: immediate and long-term.

Immediate retention refers to the retention after extension placement, meaning no pop-offs when you brush through the lashes during the appointment. Long-term retention refers to how many extensions are still on the natural lashes after 2-3 weeks.

Dry Times - Refers to how long it takes for the adhesive to adhere the eyelash extension to the natural lash. As a lash artist, look for an adhesive that dries in the time you need to work in an effective and efficient manner.

Viscosity [vi-skos-i-tee] the state or quality of being vicious, meaning of a glutinous nature or consistency. Basically, this is the fancy word for the texture of adhesive. Typically, lash adhesives come in a small variety of viscosities, you’ll hear artists refer to an adhesive being thin, thick, etc.

Polymerization [puh-lim-er-uh-zey-shuh n] Cyanoacrylate is composed of single monomers (aka molecules) in liquid form. When these single monomers are exposed to water they attach to one another to make a polymer (chain of multiple molecules). This process is known as polymerization.

As the monomers link together and become polymers, cyanoacrylate turns into a solid. This process is a chain reaction and can be thought of like dominos: a finger pushes on one domino, and all the other dominos fall down. Water triggers the cyanoacrylate reaction. The water is analogous to the finger pushing the dominos over, and the monomers are the dominos. We commonly describe this process by saying that the adhesive is drying or curing, when in reality, a chemical reaction takes place to change the adhesive from a liquid to a solid.

Learn more about polymerization here.

How to Choose a Lash Adhesive

When looking for a new adhesive, it truly comes down to two things:

1. Either it works for your clients or it doesn’t.
2. Preference. As a lash artist, you’ll have preferences of which viscosity you like best! Try a few to find what you love!

Additional Adhesive Resources

Caring for Your Lash Adhesive

Storing Your Lash Adhesive

Four Things Your Lash Adhesive Wished You Knew

Ready for Borboleta’s Lash Adhesive? Visit the collection.

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