Glue Drying vs. Curing

As a lash artitst, we all know that adhesive is crucial for achieving long-lasting and beautiful results. They are the unsung hero of the lash extension world, holding everything together with precision and strength.

Two terms that often come up in discussions about lash glue are "drying" and "curing". While they may sound similar, they actually refer to different processes.

So in this blog post, we will explain the distinctions between "drying" and "curing", providing you with a deeper understanding of these critical steps in the application process.


What is lash glue and why is it important in eyelash extensions?

Lash glue is the adhesive that holds the extensions in place on the natural lashes. It is a critical component of the lash extension process, as it ensures that the extensions stay put and look seamless.

What does 'Drying' mean?

When a lash artist refers to the "drying" process, they are talking about the initial setting of the adhesive. This is the period immediately after the lash extension is applied when the glue starts to lose its moisture components and begins to harden becomes tacky, allowing the extension to attach to the natural lash. is crucial for achieving a secure and long-lasting attachment between the extension and the natural lash. This happens from only just within a fraction of a second to a couple of seconds

This process is fundamental to the durability and longevity of lash extensions.

What does ‘Curing’ mean?

In contrast, "curing" is the complete polymerization of the adhesive. "curing" is the process by which the glue fully bonds and hardensThis process involves the chemical reaction that occurs over time, resulting in a fully bonded and secure lash extension. Curing ensures that the adhesive reaches its maximum strength and durability.This typically takes place over the course of 24-48 hours after the extensions have been applied. During this time, the glue reaches its maximum strength and durability.

It is important to avoid getting the lashes wet during the curing period to ensure optimal bonding.

Drying vs. Curing

So, in short: While both "drying" and "curing" involve the setting of the adhesive, the key difference lies in the completeness and time of the process.

"Drying" is the initial stage where the adhesive begins to harden, while "curing" is the final stage where the adhesive is fully dried and reaches its full strength and bonding capacity.

While "drying" is a relatively quick process that occurs within seconds after the glue is applied, "curing" is a longer and more gradual process that continues over the following day or two.


Why are drying and curing important?

Proper glue drying is crucial for successful lash application for several reasons:

1. Bond Strength

Proper drying and curing times directly influence the strength and durability of the bond between the natural lash and the extension. Insufficient drying or curing can result in a weak bond, leading to premature shedding of the extensions.

2. Retention

Adequate drying and curing times help ensure that the lash extensions stay in place for the desired duration. Extensions that haven't been properly dried or cured may fall off more quickly, reducing the overall retention period.

3. Comfort

Incomplete drying or curing can leave residual tackiness or discomfort for the client. Fully dried and cured extensions feel natural and comfortable, enhancing the overall client experience.

4. Safety

Proper drying and curing minimize the risk of adverse reactions or irritation caused by uncured adhesive coming into contact with the skin or eyes. This is particularly important for clients with sensitivities or allergies.

5. Appearance

Lash extensions that have been adequately dried and cured maintain their desired shape, appearance, and curl. Insufficient drying or curing may result in misshapen or clumped lashes, compromising the aesthetic appeal of the final result.


Different stages of drying

Understanding the various stages of the drying process provides insights into the timeline and characteristics of lash adhesive application.

1. Initial tackiness

At this stage, the adhesive begins to set but remains slightly tacky. Lash artists often use this tackiness to adhere the extension to the natural lash, allowing for precise placement.

2. Setting time

Following initial tackiness, the adhesive continues to cure and solidify. This period, known as setting time, varies depending on the adhesive's formulation and environmental conditions.

3. Full drying time

The final stage involves complete drying of the adhesive, which is known as “curing” where it achieves its maximum bond strength. It's essential to wait for the adhesive to fully dry before exposing the lashes to water or other substances to ensure a secure bond.


Factors affecting drying time:

Several factors influence the drying time of lash glue, including:

Humidity levels

Lower humidity can slow down drying time, while higher humidity speeds it up.

Humidity affects moisture-curing products, as the adhesive requires moisture to initiate the curing process. The higher the relative humidity (e.g., in a room), the faster the product cures. That's why many lash artists use nano mist or a fan to ensure the adhesive cures correctly and faster.

If humidity is too low (< 30%), the setting time can become very slow, causing slippery lashes and making it harder to fix the position of the extension. Additionally, it can cause the lash strands to stick to each other, leading to a clumpy lash set or an unattractive result.

If humidity is too high (>70%), a phenomenon known as shock polymerization occurs. This provokes a certain shrinking process of the adhesive layer, resulting in less bond strength and causing the lash glue to turn into white residue, which makes the overall lash set unattractive.

The best humidity conditions for good, reliable bonds depend on the manufacturer, so check the information provided by the manufacturer for the exact optimal humidity. For our Glue collection, the optimal range is between 45 to 60% humidity.


Warmer temperatures facilitate faster drying, while cooler temperatures prolong the process.

Temperature or heat affects the rate of reaction of a curing adhesive. Generally it can be said that a 10°C hike in temperature results in twice as fast polymerization time. The optimal room temperature for curing of these adhesives is between 20 and 24°C.

Viscosity of the adhesive

Thicker adhesives tend to dry more slowly than thinner ones.

Temperature directly affects viscosity. Lower room temperatures lead to higher viscosity, while higher temperatures result in lower viscosity.

Low viscosity facilitates cleaner and neater bonded lash sets, while high viscosity may cause excess glue application, resulting in longer drying times and a slippery, clumpy appearance.



Increased airflow can help remove moisture and speed up drying.
Also, the flow of air over the surface (wind in external applications) will dramatically increase the rate of evaporation of solvents and water from an adhesive film.

Thickness of adhesive layer

Thinner layers dry faster!

There are two reasons why the adhesive layer should be as thin as possible. First of all the setting time is determined by it. The thinner the adhesive layer is, the faster polymerization will take place. also the adhesion strength are better if the layer remains thin.

And as a natural lash strand and lash extension is very thin, ranging only 0.02 to 0.3mm. Concerning Cyanoacrylate adhesive, the bond layer should be as much thin as possible.


Effects of incomplete drying

Inadequate drying can lead to several issues, including:

Poor adhesion: Lashes may not bond securely, leading to premature shedding.

Inadequate drying of the lash adhesive can result in poor adhesion between the extension and the natural lash. When the adhesive hasn't fully dried, it may fail to form a strong bond, leading to premature shedding of the lash extensions. This can be frustrating for both the client and the lash artist, as it diminishes the longevity of the lash set and may require more frequent touch-ups.

Irritation: Uncured adhesive can cause discomfort or allergic reactions in clients.

Uncured adhesive can cause discomfort or irritation to clients, particularly those with sensitive skin or allergies. When lash extensions come into contact with skin or eyes before the adhesive has fully dried, it can lead to redness, itching, or even allergic reactions. Ensuring proper drying not only enhances the client's comfort during the application process but also minimizes the risk of adverse reactions post-application.

Retention problems: Lashes may not last as long if the adhesive hasn't fully dried.

Proper drying is essential for maximizing the retention of lash extensions. When the adhesive hasn't fully dried, the bond between the natural lash and the extension may be compromised. As a result, the lash extensions are more prone to falling out prematurely, reducing the overall retention period. This can lead to client dissatisfaction and may require additional appointments for touch-ups sooner than expected.

Tips for ensuring adequate drying time

To optimize drying time and achieve the best results:

Control Environmental Conditions

Make sure you maintain moderate humidity and temperature levels in your lash application area. Consider using a dehumidifier or air conditioner to control humidity and avoid working in overly humid or cold environments.

Use the Right Adhesive

It's essential to choose an adhesive with a drying time suitable for your skill level and working environment. Different adhesives have varying viscosity and drying times, so selecting the appropriate one ensures optimal results. If you're just starting out, opt for adhesives with longer drying times to allow for more flexibility during application. As you gain experience, you may prefer faster-drying adhesives for quicker appointments.

Avoid Excessive Manipulation

Remember to minimize touching or fiddling with the lashes during the drying process to prevent disruption of the bond. Excessive manipulation can disturb the adhesive's curing process and weaken the bond between your natural lash and the extension. Make sure your clients avoid touching or rubbing their eyes immediately after the application to allow the adhesive to fully dry and set.

Educate Your Clients

It's crucial to provide comprehensive aftercare instructions to your clients to ensure proper drying and maintenance of lash extensions. Emphasize the importance of avoiding moisture and friction during the initial drying period, as these factors can compromise the adhesive's bond strength. Advise your clients to refrain from wetting their lashes or engaging in activities that may cause friction, such as rubbing their eyes or using oil-based products.


How to Accelerate Drying & Curing Times

If you're eager to enhance your lashing skills and shorten your lashing sessions, follow the tips for ensuring adequate drying time we've mentioned earlier. To further optimize them, here are some personalized suggestions you should consider:

1. Optimize Prep Stage:

Before diving into the application process, focus on prepping the surface, namely your natural lashes, to ensure optimal conditions for adhesive bonding:

- Use lash primer on your real lashes to remove dust, oils, and impurities, thereby speeding up the drying time of the glue, strengthening the adhesive bond, and improving retention.

- Apply glue accelerator at the base of the lash extension to speed up both the drying and curing time of the adhesive, increase retention, and remove oils, dust, and impurities. This is especially beneficial in low humidity conditions.

- Incorporate a deep-cleansing shampoo to balance the lash surface, creating a clean and optimal surface for extension application.

2. Use Super Bonder:

Consider using a super bonder to further accelerate the curing time of the adhesive while adding elasticity to the bonds:

- Apply the super bonder to the base of the lash extension before dipping it into the glue.

- Experience immediate effects as the super bonder begins to take effect, maximizing lash retention without causing shock curing.

3. Warning:

While it's tempting to speed up drying and curing times, it's essential to avoid rushing the process. Rapid drying can lead to a phenomenon known as shock curing, resulting in white residue forming on the lash glue.

This can necessitate removing all the applied lashes and starting over, ultimately costing you more time and resources to fulfill the set. Remember, "haste makes waste."

By implementing these personalized tips, you can accelerate drying and curing times while ensuring optimal results and efficiency in your lash application sessions.