What is the best humidity for my adhesive?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions we see being posted on a daily basis.
Each adhesive will have a recommended range for storage and use - for example, our flirties adhesives tend to work best if they are stored and handled in 20-24 degrees C and 40-70% humidity
You will notice that I have mentioned the temperature alongside the humidity and there is a good reason for it.
Adhesives react to both, temperature and humidity and even if the humidity is perfect you might find that the adhesive behaves differently, which could be due to the temperature and vice versa.
In a nutshell, the temperature is as important to an adhesive as the humidity.
To make matters even more complicated, there is also a connection between the two and you will find that both will change if you change either temperature or humidity so ignoring the temperature and just focusing on the humidity would still not give you reliable results.
Right, so we know that both - temperature and humidity are important for the adhesive but how do you know what will work best?
Take as an example our adhesives.... 20-24 degrees C temperature is considered normal room conditions so it seems easy and straightforward, BUT remember it should also be a constant temperature so if your room drops to fridge conditions at night then you can't expect the adhesive to behave how it would in the summer months.
Consistency is one of the keys for good working adhesives. Keep the temperature level at all times and if need be put a background heater into your room or use a stand alone heater on low through the night.
Here is another thing to consider: heat can affect the adhesive so it is important to position any heater carefully or likewise move the trolley so that the adhesive is not affected by rising heat or by being too close to any radiator or heater (especially fan heaters can be prone to cause trouble!)
If you think about the adhesive in an unheated treatment room you can guess why it isn't such a great idea to leave your kit in the car?
Any temperature fluctuations from cold to warm and vice versa will result in the "fridge effect" which means condensation and we all know what moisture or high humidity does to our adhesives.
Ok, so let's look at the humidity levels. We recommend 40-70% for our adhesives (other brands might have different recommendations) which seems like a wide spectrum and we hear of therapists asking for more precise ranges. Likewise we see therapists panicking when the humidity is a few percent up or down from their normal readings.
First of all, don't panic! These recommendations are there to help you and not to worry you! Whilst the spectrum is generally what works best for the adhesive, a lot of it has to do with your technique, the amount of adhesive you use and the speed at which you are working at. Oh, AND your personal preference.
You can have an adhesive that is best to use in low conditions and yet you will find therapists who prefer to work with it if the humidity is 70% or even higher. Likewise you will find therapists who got used to working with their adhesive at 30%. Both might be getting reliable results and perfect retention.
Don't take the numbers on the hygrometer too literal and find out what works for YOU! Everyone works slightly different and even two therapists, both equally skilled and experienced, both working next to each other with the same adhesive, in the same room, ie the same temperature and humidity can get different results or find that the adhesive seems to behave differently (this is a true story, by the way).
One of the main factors in these circumstances is what you are USED to.
If your room has normally low conditions and all of a sudden the weather changes then you might struggle unless you adapt the way you work (speed, technique, amount of adhesive) and the therapist who is used to working in high humidity or certain conditions will also struggle if these change.
You can guess what comes next?
Exactly! Autumn and winter pose a particular problem as we are used to a certain way of working with our products, then suddenly we get rain (lots of it) so the humidity increases, at the same time the temperatures start dropping (especially at night) and then to make it even worse, it gets colder and we have to put the heating on which then can result in low humidity so you have a whole array of conditions fluctuating for a while until you can find a happy medium and a way of working with the adhesive so don't be disheartened and don't give up. It takes a bit of tweaking and experience to learn how to adapt your technique under different conditions.
Alternatively you might have to regulate your room (heater, humidifier or dehumidifier) for a more reliable playing field OR you can swap adhesives (most therapists work with 2 adhesives to swap depending on the conditions).
This might all sound very technical and it is a lot to take in when you first start your venture into the wonderful world of lashes but the main thing is to find out what works for YOU. Ignore others and what works or doesn't work for them. Everyone is different, everyone has different preferences, what works for others might not work for you and vice versa.
Try different things, tweak it and adjust until you find a way that works.
And last but not least......If you don't have any issues and everything is working, ignore the hygrometer. A lot of therapists haven't got one or feel the need to have one and they work perfectly fine for many years.
It is only when you encounter problems that you need to look at the reasons why things are not working and as part of your troubleshooting checklist the hygrometer and your room conditions are just one of the points to check so that you can find the culprit and make the necessary changes to avoid trouble in the future.