The Retention Troubleshooting Process

Retention is a word we hear a lot in the lash world. As a lash artist, you’ll experience clients whose lashes will last forever, and you’ll have others who experience excessive lash loss. Sometimes it’s easy to blame the adhesive, however, lash retention can be affected by so many different variables some in your control and some out of your control.  It’s always difficult to determine exactly why this happens, however, we’ve put together a troubleshooting process which may help. So next time your client has problems with retention ask yourself the below questions:

1. How old is the adhesive?

Sounds like a simple one, but make sure to check the date on your adhesive. A good tip is to write the date on your adhesive once you have opened it. We recommend changing your adhesive (whether it's opened or unopened every 6 weeks).        

A few other things to think about:                                         

How did you store the adhesive?                                                                         

What was the consistency of the adhesive like?                   

2. Cleansing and Prepping

How did you prep the lashes ready for application?               

Did you cleanse the lashes using a lash cleanser?

Did you rinse and dry the lashes?                                                         

Did your client have oily skin or arrive to their appointment wearing a lot of eye makeup?

Remember less is more! Try not to use too many products as part of your prep process. If a client doesn't have overly oily lashes, then they won't need a Primer. Primers can dehydrate the lashes and therefore completely strip the moisture from the lashes. However, you do need to make sure you give the lashes a thorough cleanse before starting the treatment. If there are any oils/makeup or residue left on the natural lashes then this will affect the bond and retention. If you lash clients who have oily skin you may want to think about using a Primer as part of your prep.  Primers are great at removing oil, dust, and small particles of make-up before the eyelash extension is applied (but only use if necessary).

2. Client Consultation Form

Has the client started a new type of medication?

Could the client be pregnant / experiencing a change in hormones?  

Does your client have any new medical conditions?

Check the client’s skincare routine. What kind of products are they using?

Make sure to check and refer to your client consultation cards, they can be really useful! Believe it or not, hormones and medication can have an effect on lash retention, and result in lash loss. During lockdown, your clients may have experienced a lifestyle change/started taking supplements, etc. So, if your client has any changes to their medical records then you’ll need to know.

4. Humidity and Temperature

What was your humidity and temperature like whilst lashing?   

Was the temperature and humidity in your lash room consistent or did it change throughout the day?

It might be obvious, and we tend to talk about temp/humidity a lot when it comes to retention, but the temperature of your lash room can drastically change from the morning to the afternoon.

So, you need to check the temperature regularly and ensure your lash room is well ventilated. One way to do this is by using a hygrometer, however, be aware that cheap Hygrometers can give inconsistent readings so it's worth investing in a reliable one.  

5. Speed

Does the adhesive you’re using suit your speed and technique?

Are the lashes adhered at the base?  

We always recommend selecting an adhesive that suits your speed and technique. If you are using an adhesive that is curing too quickly, then your lashes will not adhere to the natural lash. Likewise, if you are working with an adhesive that is too slow.

The last time most of you would have lashed would have been March (pre lockdown) and now we are in the middle of summer. So, remember that the temperature change will affect the speed of the adhesive so it’s worth keeping this in mind. We know that doing lashes is like riding a bike however, after having a 3-month break it may take a little while to get back up to speed again.

6. Application

Did you apply the correct length extension for the natural lash?

Did you use enough adhesive?

When it comes to application you need to make sure you are using the correct length of extension. If you apply an incorrect length, the extension could cause damage to the natural lash, increasing the weight and causing it to fall off prematurely. You can add an extension that is shorter than the natural lash or up to 3mm longer. You should never go more than 50% longer.

When you get back to lashing your main focus will probably be on the application, but it’s also important to remember to isolate correctly – take your time to isolate safely.

7. Client Aftercare

Has the client followed the aftercare provided?

Are they likely to have had a hot shower, used a sauna/steam room post treatment?

Does the client wear a lot of mascara/eye liner?

Is the client cleaning their lashes daily using the correct cleanser?

Client aftercare is so important, all clients will tell you that they’re looking after their lashes, however, we know this is not always the case. Clients need to wash their lashes daily, brush through with a lash wand, and be gentle around their eyes. A lot of clients are worried about getting their lashes wet, so you’ll need to educate them on the correct aftercare. If the client is cleaning their lashes every day, then they will last longer!  

8. PPE

PPE is perhaps the biggest change to our working environment. You may ask your clients to wear a mask during their lash treatment. However, a mask can have an effect on lash retention! The reason a mask could affect retention is that the client’s breath can affect the lash adhesive. If your client has worn a mask to their appointment, this could increase the temperature of their skin, and therefore make them sweat more meaning the skin could be oiler than normal. This is something to consider before you start lashing.

If your client chooses to wear a mask, this may mean their breath goes in an upward direction and spreads over the eye area, whilst you are trying to lash. However, one way to resolve this is to tape down the mask.

Final Things to Consider...

Last but not least, there are a few products that can affect the adhesive/retention.  

What are you placing your adhesive on? Are you using a jade stone?

Jade stones or glass stones can be slightly alkaline which affects adhesive quality.  

Are you using lash tape? If your lash tape is poor quality, it may have cotton fibres which will cause an exothermic reaction with the adhesive. Oil from fingers can also affect the adhesive as well as primers that are inadvertently transferred into the adhesive.

Do you use a light?

Look at the position of your light, lash lights let out heat, so if they are positioned too close to the adhesive source, this can have an affect too.

We know this may seem like a lot to take in! But that’s because lash retention can be affected by so many factors. We know it’s easy to blame the adhesive however we hope this post has shown that there are so many variables that affect lash retention. Next time you have a client come to you with excessive lash loss, run through these questions in your head.

We hope this post has been helpful! As always if you have any questions please get in touch with us on Instagram @LashBase_Uk and we’ll be happy to answer any questions  x