Retention Issues. The Reasons and Solutions

Retention Issues, The Reasons and Solutions.

By Tara Fisher - Owner of Farnham Eyelashes (UK Salon)

"OMG I need a new glue!"

"What’s the best glue for retention?"

"My glue is rubbish!"

"My glue was really good and now it’s not working properly help!"

How many times do we all see these posts on social media? Literally every day! We’ve all had bouts of bad retention, even me but it’s not our glue that is the issue when our clients experience bad retention. There are several factors you need to consider.

Firstly, you need to ask yourself whether this is happening with one client or a handful? If it’s only one client then, to be honest, it’s probably her fault, but we will come back to this later in the blog. If it’s a handful of clients, then it could be your fault. This could be for several reasons and there are some questions you need to ask yourself:

The first thing to think about is how long you’ve had your glue, and how long has that glue been opened. Are you storing it correctly, has it been sat in your lash room all day getting warm? Believe it or not how you store your glue can have an effect on retention. In addition to this, if you're using lash shampoo on your clients, you need to make sure you are rinsing the product off completely before carrying on with the treatment. If your client is coming to you with makeup on their lashes, you need to ensure that there is no residue left on the lashes, and their natural lashes are squeaky clean, or retention will be comprised. Preparation is key.

This then brings me on to primer. Primer is often overused; I personally only use primer on clients with oily lashes and skin. If you use primer on a client who doesn’t have oily skin then it can dry the lashes out and this can affect retention. It’ also worth looking at your application, are you taking your time to make sure each extension is correctly bonded? If your isolation is poor with snags and has a T-bar base, then this will result in the client experiencing premature loss when washing and brushing their lashes.

You need to take a step back and look at all the steps in your preparation just to make sure that you are crossing all the t’s and dotting all the I’s. Make sure to look at your humidity and temperature and ask yourself the below questions:

  • Has your heating been on all day?
  • Is your room getting warmer as the day goes on?
  • Have you left your glue out overnight?

We get so hung up on humidity and temperature, but we should know when our glue isn’t performing well. Are you leaving the glue on the jade stone or well too long? We’ve all had that client when we are almost finished but you don’t want to waste a new drop of glue so try to stretch out the current stringy glue dot just a tad longer. Once you have considered your environment and you can 100% hand on heart say all the above is correct, then maybe have a think about the client.

What’s her beauty routine like? Does she wear a lot of makeup (especially this time of year with the party season, there’s a lot of glitter and face planting the pillow)? Does she arrive at her appointment with dirty lashes? Has she got oily skin? Do you think she’s washing her lashes daily? Have a chat with your client and ask some open questions. It could be she’s recently changed up her beauty routine and started using a new moisturizer at night-time. In this case, I would advise the client to apply any face creams at least 30 mins before bedtime so the moisturizer has time soak into the skin and not transfer/slide on to the lash line. Are they letting their hair shampoo/conditioner run on their face in the shower? It sounds silly but often clients don’t even realize they are doing anything wrong.

I had a client recently who had really bad retention, but she also had super oily skin, we just couldn’t work out how to improve her retention, she was cleaning them twice a day and blotting the oil off her skin. As soon as she washed the oil off, 30 mins later it was back on her eyelids, and then one day she came for an infill and I was amazed that she really did only need an infill and not her normal full set, and when we talked about what she had done differently we discovered she’d worn eyeshadow – it had literally soaked up all the oil on her eyelids. She now wears clear powder on her eyelids during the day and hey presto her retention is amazing!

If you're still baffled and can’t pinpoint your retention issues, consider having that chat with your client about their medical history and find out if anything has changed. Are they taking a new medication, have they been ill, hormonal changes play havoc with retention, as do periods, pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause and so much more. Any medication can have a detrimental effect, even stress or a weekend of partying. Oh, and don’t forget the dreaded lash shed. The bain of any lash artist's life, twice a year.

So, you can see there are so many factors as to why you may be experiencing poor retention, but blaming your glue is probably not one of them. I hope this blog has been helpful and provided some more information into lash retention.

Thank you to Tara for writing this blog, we hope you have found it informative, please do share amongst your lash buddies.