#15 - Issues with retention?

There are so many different perspectives on this subject and we're all way quick to blame our tools, before ourselves.

It's only natural, we all have been there and done it, focusing on the products as the problem, and not the procedure.


I continually see things on forums, e.g.; Looking for the best glue for retention, my client lost all her lashes within a week, my retention is not as good as it used to be, my lashes aren't lasting as well as they used to, my clients are now reacting to the glue, my client is losing all her lashes from only one eye, I don't like my glue anymore it's not working why are all the lashes coming off one eye?


Why do you think lash masters, never appear to have retention issues?


It's because their skill-set has improved over time and their foundation skill-set is always on point. Winning the battle with retention can be frustrating and can cost you customers!

I am going to bust some myths and help you understand why these things could be happening to your clients; it's going to be important to keep and open mind if you have ever had issues with retention, I know it's super frustrating. I have done many experiments to my ideal clients trying to understand the moody, temperamental "cyanoacrylate."

Realistically if it was a girl, she's very moody; certain temp, certain humidity she'd struggle on tropical holidays! She suffers from extreme wind burn, ages poorly when exposed to the natural conditions. She's stubborn; chucks fit's over anything she doesn't like or doesn't want work with, everywhere has to to be super clean around her! "She's rather high maintenance, isn't she."

While my quest for the perfect glue continued I was happily trailing ones that were suggested online, I was always looking for the one! Well ladies, here's the ball breaking news - no such adhesive that fits everyone's requirements exist because we're all in different conditions.

Asking for recommendations online through open forums, about what glue, is similar to "can someone recommend me some new shoes?" You have no idea what size my feet are, if they're chubby (mine are) or do I want flat or high heels?

But people wouldn't ambush us with Reebok and Jimmy Choo hyperlinks; people would ask and figure out, things like, is it an event or are they for work, you would get loads of pinpointed questions, so you get the best response.

99% of the time we have no idea what your conditions are in your room, or how you cleanse or maybe you prefer not to wash them; it's all a mystery, and it's a stab in the dark when commenting.


I have noticed, that is not the case when It comes to products, I seem to be a freefall all, try this try that, It's hectic out there. "Dealing with glue that does not work, can give you as much frustration as terrible high heels, but yet it still happens." Let's take a look at a few things we can control before we jump to think it's our adhesive.

Having your lash room regulated for humidity and temperature is important. If your room conditions are not suited, with your choice of adhesive, you're going to struggle to get the optimum results.


"It's just science and science is intellectual, factual information."


Someone once told me, I should have multi types of glue so that I could work with the conditions of my room. Being from Perth the conditions can change very quickly, the conditions were always different at least twice a day. So that's a few different types of glues at all times opened and slowly expiring closer to their foreseeable death.

I was like um, that seemed like a hard task to manage, I thought I would regulate my room instead, it was going to be a bit of trial and error, to be able to get in the perfect conditions, but I was doing it for the long haul.

I wanted to be able to stick to particular glues I like to work with.

I knew I had to get an aircon unit, as my aircon unit is a wall unit in the living room, so I was looking at a portable one. Dimplex was the brand of aircon unit I bought; it was also a dehumidifier, I purchased an installation pack for the connection to go through the window, it found it was easy enough, I managed only to swear a few times and learnt to never use a hot glue by myself.


So I had temperature and the capability of lowering the humidity, now I needed to be able to bring the humidity up, I got a humidifier of eBay, cheap but be careful of placement within your room, and if you have carpet. Test on tiles first and watch the amount of mist that explodes like a little volcano! (I remember when I first used this it was like I had re-created a scene for Disney on ice, I had filled the room with mist haha) There are loads of different sizes, so really think about your room setup and what is best for your situation, I have even seen one that is quite tall and skinny now, so many options out there.


Dyson recently made a remarkable humidifier with Intelligent Climate Control; the Dyson humidifier always measures both the temperature and the humidity of the air. At one touch of the remote, it calculates the exact amount of moisture needed to maintain the most comfortable level of hydration for the room; It pushes the 99.9% bacteria-free mist throughout the room effectively.

Yes, it's expensive, it's Dyson. Anything innovative and new to the market is always going to be pricey.


My room was in direct heat when I first started; I used to get so hot and struggle to lash all day, once I had my aircon unit It was so much easier to control my conditions. I did take it one step further and moved into a room out of direct sunlight; this was the defining moment for me when I realised the conditions in my lash room were paramount to the retention.

I noticed clients were coming back with a lot more eyelash extensions on, so the bonds I was making, were adhering extremely well to the natural lash. My treatment menu at this stage was only 1.1 I was wrapping, but it was something I was still getting the grasp of, I didn't learn to masters the technique quickly, but slowly I began to understand the concept. When you're setting your room up you need to take into account so many factors, no direct heat, no fans blowing a breeze over your glue palette, air circulation for fumes, etc.


"Stop, and think about the best way you can set you room up effectively for your business, not your decor."


Monitor your conditions, making notes about clients' booking, e.g., temp, humidity, cleaned well, no makeup on arrival. When you're new to lashing or struggling with retention, taking a few notes can help you immensely when finding the issue out. There are many contraindications (things that would prevent you from doing a treatment) and things to take note of; it can be very overwhelming. But they're all little lessons, and most of the mistakes, are caused by human error.


I see loads of people comment on posts, expressing inadequate information, in regards to retention, not asking enough, countless sales pitches and blurting out, things like "oh it's her, she's sleeping on that side", "she went swimming", "she apparently damaged them", I see this daily. I would say 99% of the time it's you have not correctly made the BOND, in its desired conditions.


That why your retention is suffering.

What cause loss of retention?;

  • Your room is not regulated, poor conditions for your adhesive.
  • Inadequate, cleaning of the lashes, cleanse with a LASH shampoo.
  • (Note, insurance won't cover you for baby shampoo, we have come a long way in the lash world, so move ahead with the industry)
  • Old lash glue left remaining on natural lash, can't get a clean bond.
  • Bond not made correctly} a skin has formed on the bead of glue, caused by a breeze, or its very fast setting glue, your speed on that eye can compromise the bond made.
  • Not changing your glue drop frequently.
  • Blooming or polymerization reaction. (Blooming is that white stuff that can sometimes be found when working with this type of glue)
  • Your glue is off, or not being stored correctly.


It's just science and understanding the concepts, will help you with retention.

I am a full on face sleeper and don't even know how I breathe, but I don't lose lashes because my lash lady has got her method down pat!

If your bond is not made correctly, yes sleeping will cause loss, but so will brushing them.

Now I am sure there are a few people, that will completely deny this statement, but I would encourage them to look at the science in the glue. I can cleanse my client's lashes before and after, and they have incredible retention, because of the bonds made.


And I don't know any wild sleepers, think about it, if you put the crazy length on and she a manic sleeper and the bond is perfect you're more inclined to pull the whole natural lash out.

Yes, you may lose a few through sleeping as well as daily activities, but you shouldn't be losing a bulk amount. Any inadequate information can potentially cost you business, if you have customers that are losing lashes, it's best to look at all areas you can control first before we blame the tools/glues.

Documentation is great if you are struggling to figure out, where it seems to be going wrong.

I understand that some customers are terrible when it comes to cleaning their lashes, and they pick at them lashes, but you can tell the difference in the condition of the Natural Lash when they return. "


"Perfect retention is in the bond made, if you want excellent bonds, create the perfect conditions."


So if you're suffering retention issues, use the simple steps to figure out why, because if your glue is fresh, it's probably human error.


  • You need to regulate your room. 
  • Thorough Consultation. 
  • Create to optimum conditions for your adhesive. 
  • Thoroughly clean and rinse your client's lashes. 
  • Prep natural lashes effectively for the client's needs. 
  • Change your adhesive drop out regularly, so it's fresh. 
  • Make bonds correctly. 
  • Wrapping the lashing, and encasing the bond are better, especially in volume.


I hope this gave you a bit more understanding :)


Esther, The Lash Socialite