Drying speed, the level of fumes, viscosity. This is a shortlist of the eyelash extension glue main features which are important to navigate for the understanding of HOW the glue works. But knowing the answer to “WHY it works” question is just as essential for a lash artist.
First, knowing the behind the scenes helps you to raise your professional awareness. Second, your clients may show curiosity about this or that adhesive ingredient too, and your ability to explain this is vital.
Let’s do a quick skim of the most popular lash glue ingredients “starring” in each and every lash adhesive list of ingredients
Ethyl Cyanoacrylate is a chemical responsible for the adhesive drying speed. When cyanoacrylate undergoes a polymerisation reaction, its monomers form incredibly strong bonds in a matter of seconds.
However, for the sake of great eyelash extension’s results polymerisation, like the rest of us, has to meet its deadline. Among all the things facilitative of it, we care for water and air primarily. Those two are the ones stopping the ethyl cyanoacrylate from initiating a blooming effect on your client’s lashes.
Okay, and what about the rule of 24 water-proof hours after the appointment?
Active work-out or walking in the rain, these simple pleasures are temporarily out of reach particularly because the amount of water, and hence the humidity level, should be strictly restricted not to cut off the eyelash extension adhesive main powers - making your client look fabulous and fast curing flow.
A tiny historical background. Cyanoacrylate was invented in 1949. At that time there were attempts to use cyanoacrylates for military purposes. Specifically, gunsights precision and jet plane canopies. Luckily for us, in 1951 one student, participating in the research, made Ethyl Cyanoacrylate and discovered its “sticking” properties, which in the course of a handful of decades morphed into a multimillion adhesive industry.
Cyanoacrylate + Cotton = a homemade fireshow
Since cotton’s main component is cellulose, it takes a micro amount of it to lead to an extremely rapid polymerization reaction mostly accompanied by fire.
That’s why using cotton pads when working with a cyanoacrylate adhesive probably isn’t the best idea...unless you’re a retired chemist and just want to add some show-time element to your appointment routine (we do not recommend this though).
This organic compound helps the adhesive to stay liquid while waiting for you in its bottle before opening or between the appointments.
Why is that needed? Because though we still can manage it without a diving suit, the water is everywhere. At least, Ethyl Cyanoacrylate-based adhesives surely learn it first hand.
Even a trace amount of moisture initiates a chain reaction of polymerisation which, unfortunately, doesn’t pay much attention to the location. It just happens whenrever the conditions are suitable, and with water contained in the air, it is quite easy to meet the requirements.
And that’s the moment when Hydroquinone comes to the rescue. Its job is to track down and then neutralize free radicals - extremely small particles created by the curing process and stopping it from ending until there is no monomer unengaged in the chain left.
Thus, the contribution of Hydroquinone is difficult to overrate. Shielding the adhesive from too early polymerization this component makes the adhesives’ shelf life last longer and keeps all ethyl cyanoacrylate molecules “calm”.
In the next part of this article we will talk about other popular ingredients of the eyelash extension adhesive. Bear with us to know such useful and interesting guys as Poly Methyl Methacrylate and Carbon Black a little bit better, coming up in the next part ;)