How To: Improve Lash Extension Retention
Did you know some of us lose 3-5 natural lashes a day. It’s completely natural for lashes to fall out. Depending on your lash growth cycles, healthy new lashes will come in to replace them. That’s why if you’ve spent even 5 minutes watching TikToks, or youtube videos about lash extensions….chances are you’ve heard of “lash retention.” Retention is about how long lash extensions last on your natural lashes before they fall out. Prioritizing lash retention can help to prevent your client’s lashes from looking like a hot mess! Let’s talk about a few ways you can improve lash retention for your clients:
There’s No Better Base than a “Clean Slate”
First on the list is cleanliness! It’s important to spend time cleansing the lash line before applying your client’s lash extensions. Prepping the lashes will help to wash away any remaining gunk like makeup or oil-based products to ensure that you have an ideal work surface and your extensions have a good foundation to take hold. Whether you’re working on a new set or just doing a fill, you can prime clean lashes from the base to ensure proper application and longer-lasting extensions.
Lash Pro Tip: Try using micropore tape to separate and get deep in-between the layers to clean.
Keep it Fresh
Someone wise once said: “An artist is only as good as her tools..” or something like that. We’re fairly sure they were talking about lash artists! Adhesive should be replaced approximately every 30 days (unless your books require it sooner), as it starts to degrade and weaken from the moment its seal is exposed to moisture. Cutting corners with your adhesive could negatively impact the quality of your work and possibly tarnish the trust your clients have with your business. It’s worth it to have fresh, full-strength adhesive, versus hoping that the “last few drops” will cover the next couple of clients.
Workplace conditions will determine the supplies you need. For example, working in Hawai’i during an extra-muggy summer is way different than creating client sets in spring in Alaska. Not fully understanding your climate can hinder your retention. Since humidity and temperature can often change, it’s helpful to have both low- and high-humidity adhesives available to adapt to the job. In the long run, your sets will last longer when you adjust your tools to the conditions where you work.
Lash Pro Tip: Invest in a digital hygrometer/thermometer (to measure humidity/temperature) for your workspace, so you can feel confident in the types of adhesive you use for your clients.
Remember that lash adhesive sets on contact with moisture - this is why storing your adhesive properly is about as important as buying the right one. Improperly storing your supplies can mean that your adhesive has the potential to degrade and become less effective. As a result, the lash extensions will seem to stick at first, but will later fall out, as soon as the same day of service. New, unopened bottles can be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 90 days. Any opened bottles should be stored in an airtight container with an oxygen absorber to prevent any additional moisture from making its way in. Taking the time to properly store adhesive can mean better retention.
Don’t Treat Aftercare as an “Afterthought”
It’s last on the list and could be one of the most important ones, so we’re glad you stuck around! Before your client dances out of your chair in pure lashtastic bliss, please make sure you two have a full understanding of aftercare. Providing a lash cleanser that hasn’t been formulated specifically for lash extensions can ruin your client’s set. When you’re using the right product, you can get an extra 1 to 2 weeks of life out of your extensions, which means happier clients (and more where they came from!).
Retention relies on a number of factors, but what’s great is that a number of those factors are controllable. Understanding what can affect retention is a great starting point to making sure you’re producing the best work. How clean your lashes are before application, humidity, temperature - these factors all have their own weight on retention. The importance you place in each step of your work process can make the difference between being fully booked and wondering when business will pick up again! If you’ve been struggling with retention issues lately, be sure to check out our Retention Trio that includes our customer favorite lash adhesive, a sealer, and a primer.