Relative humidity is only one factor in the application equation; technicians also must take into consideration how fast or slowly they can—or prefer to—work. “Some are thrilled to work in the maximum possible relative humidity with an adhesive that dries as quickly as possible, to speed up their productivity,” explains Mirizio. “But some need a slower pace to produce perfect results, so a dry work environment is preferred.”
Merszei offers her golden rules for lashing in high temps or low temps, in high or low humidity, with recommendations for “fast hands” (completing a full set with no mistakes and no skipped lashes in less than 1.5 hours) and “slow hands” (still learning how to bond every lash with no errors in just over two hours). “By tricking the glue into drying faster or slower, the environment can be manipulated to allow both groups of artists to work at the speed that is appropriate for them,” Merszei explains. “Relative humidity in the workspace can be increased to help experienced lash artists work faster, while those who should be working slowly can do so more easily by decreasing relative humidity levels.”
To speed up drying time, run a facial steamer, humidifier or mister.
Try not to turn up the air conditioner or heat too much; both reduce water molecules in indoor air.
Choose adhesive products labeled “high speed.”
Keep track of temperature and humidity by placing a thermometer and hygrometer on the wall or counter, within your line of sight. If you can find one that also has a clock, keep track of how changes in your environment affect your timing.
- Reduce ambient moisture levels by increasing the use of air conditioning. (Keep cozy blankets on hand for chilly clients.)
- If there is too much relative humidity in the workspace during colder months, turn up the heat to a reasonable level. Keep a fan on hand for client comfort and adjust the temperature—while maintaining your own comfort level to perform at your best.
- If you experience difficulty spreading the adhesive perfectly, try opting for adhesives that are formulated to dry more slowly. Sometimes, adhesives for sensitive eyes have a slow dry time.
- Keep track of your timing as it relates to changes in your environment, using a thermo hygrometer, but never place speed above safety or quality!
- Warning: Bare in mind, if you’re working in a hair salon, your adhesive will either dry faster or seize up in midair due to the high levels of ammonia from haircolor or perming products. Depending on how good or poor the air circulation is, even the most experienced and talented lash artist sometimes will need to find alternative spaces to rent if the ammonia levels cause CA adhesives to solidify in midair before she can apply them.
–by Tracy Morin