Glue Shock Polymerization: What is it and How to avoid?

Eyelash extensions have become a dream come true for many, offering a durable way to achieve beautiful lashes. However, even the most experienced lash artist can encounter a challenge known as shock polymerization during the application process.

In this today blog, we will get you through all about shock curing: what it is, what causes it and how to prevent it for you to get through the following lashing sessions

What is Shock Polymerization?

Shock polymerization or Shock curing or Blooming refers to a situation where the eyelash extension adhesive cures too quickly due to unexpected moisture exposure. This rapid curing creates a weak bond that can negatively impact lash retention and aesthetics.


Shock Polymerization in lash glue

Photo: London Lash

Shock curing might sound like a scary complication, but it's simply a technical term for a situation that can occur during lash application. Here's break down the science behind it:

The Power of Lash Adhesive

We all know that lash glue is used to securely bond each extension to our natural lashes. This adhesive undergoes a curing process, similar to hardening, over time. The ideal cure creates a flexible bond that allows our natural lashes to shed while the extensions remain securely attached.

Moisture Disruption

Now, imagine this adhesive as a tiny chemist, carefully following a specific curing process. But what happens when this process gets interrupted? This is where moisture comes in. When the adhesive encounters too much moisture in the air (high humidity) or from unexpected tears, it can react by curing much faster than intended.

Fast But Fragile

While a speedy cure might seem like a good thing, it actually creates a problem. This rapid curing results in a brittle bond that won't hold the extensions as well. This leads to shorter retention and potentially an unsightly white residue at the base of the lash, the opposite of the desired flawless look.


What causes Shock Curing?

Now that we understand what shock curing is and its unwanted effects, before getting to how to prevent them, it is necessary that you know the sneaky little culprits that can cause it

1. Humidity: The Silent Enemy

That's high humidity in a nutshell! While a relaxing hot shower might sound lovely, it's not ideal for lash extensions.

The main ingredient in lash adhesives, cyanoacrylate, goes through a process called curing to form a strong bond. This curing process relies on a reaction between moisture in the air (humidity) and moisture on the surfaces being bonded (lashes and adhesive). High humidity levels in the air can introduce excess moisture, causing the adhesive to cure much faster than intended.

Thermometer for Lash salon

Photo: Lash Affair

For optimal results and reliable bonds, the ideal humidity range falls between 40% and 70%. However, if the humidity climbs too high (above 80%), the curing process can become very rapid, leading to a shock curing. This rapid cure leads to that dreaded brittle bond, compromising lash retention.

2. Client Tears

Tears are a major source of moisture for the adhesive. Ask beforehand if your clients are prone to watery eyes. If so, eye patches and potentially faster-drying adhesives (if suitable for you) can minimize shock curing risk. Focus on fast application for flawless, tear-proof results.

Watery eyes during lash extension application

3. Eyelid Sweating: A Hidden Culprit

We all sweat, and sometimes it happens around the eyelids. This might seem insignificant, but even a small amount of sweat can introduce unwanted moisture and potentially trigger shock curing. That’s why you should recommend clients avoid caffeine and eye irritants before appointments in advance and ensure a comfortable, cool environment in the lash room.

4. Lash Technician Techniques

Even the most skilled lash artist can face the occasional shock curing challenge.

Nano Mister Misuse: A nano mister can be a helpful tool for you, lash artists, but over-misting can be detrimental. Fine, controlled mists help with curing, but a heavy mist introduces too much moisture, potentially causing shock curing. 

nano mister use when applying lash extension

Photo by: The Lash Professional

Skipping the Drying Step: After cleansing your natural lashes, it's crucial to allow them to dry completely before applying extensions. Any residual moisture can interfere with the adhesive's curing process and increase the risk of shock curing.


How to Prevent Shock Curing?

Understanding the causes of shock curing is the first step, but the real power lies in prevention! 

1. Environmental Control: Creating the Perfect Setting

Humidity is a major player in shock curing, so creating an optimal environment in the lash room is key. You should ideally maintain a cool, dry atmosphere with moderate humidity levels. This might involve using a dehumidifier to regulate moisture in the air.

2. Client Preparation

A few simple steps on your clients’ end can significantly minimize the risk of shock curing:

Avoid eye Irritants: Caffeine and certain eye irritants can cause watery eyes. Consider limiting your client's intake of coffee or tea before their appointment.

Inquire carefully before applying: Review with the client any potential contributing factors (allergies, tears) that might require future adjustments, like using eye patches or recommending a faster-drying adhesive (if suitable).

classic eyelash extension application

Let lashes totally dry: Before application, it is mandatory that you cleanse your client's natural lashes. This cleansing routine ensures complete removal of makeup, oils, and debris. Most importantly, allow ample drying time after cleansing to eliminate any residual moisture that could interfere with the adhesive's curing process.

Never rush the process! A clean, dry surface is essential for optimal adhesion and prevents shock curing.

3. Lash Technician Technique

Shock curing can be a real application buzzkill! But there are ways to prevent it and achieve flawless lash extensions for your clients:

  • Use a nano-mister properly:

A nano mister can be your friend, but proper technique is crucial. Use your nano-mister 30-40cm away from the clients face to avoid over-misting and ensure that no fans are placed near the lash bed, as they can diminish the effectiveness of the mister.

  • Combine with Pre- and Post-treatment products:

While not always necessary, consider incorporating these products into your lash arsenal:

    • Primers: By removing oils from the natural lashes, primer creates a clean, dry surface for the adhesive. This allows for better adhesion and can potentially minimize the risk of moisture interfering with the curing process.  
LiiLash's lash primer key features


    • Glue Accelerator: This product can directly help prevent shock curing because it speeds up the drying and curing time of the adhesive without causing shock curing. By reducing the time the adhesive is exposed to moisture, it reduces the chance of blooming. This is particularly beneficial in low-humidity environments where curing can be slower.
LiiLash's lash accelerator key features

    3. Adhesive Choice

    Not all lash adhesives are the same; they vary in their ideal working humidity and temperature. Therefore, when purchasing lash glue, always pay attention to the product information provided by the manufacturers, and choose products that best match your climate conditions and surrounding environment.


    How to fix shocked lashes 

    Sometimes, shock-cured lashes might not cause discomfort but appear clumpy or white due to a rapid cure. In these cases, you can often isolate and replace the affected extensions without needing to remove a larger area. Even skilled lash artists can encounter shock curing. But don't worry. By handling it professionally, you can ensure your client's satisfaction

    Prioritizing Client Comfort and Safety

    Safety always comes first. If a client experiences discomfort or irritation due to shock-cured lashes, prioritize their well-being. Gently remove the affected extensions using a lash remover. Remember to do it gently, as forcefully pulling can damage natural lashes!

    Transparency is key

    Clear communication is essential throughout the entire process. Calmly explain the situation to the client. Briefly discuss the potential cause (tears, humidity) and offer a solution, like removing only the shock-cured extensions and reapplying new ones. Reassure them that this is a minor setback and won't incur additional fees.

    Setting Expectations

    Removing and reapplying extensions might extend the appointment time. Inform the client of the estimated additional time needed to adjust their schedule accordingly.

    Managing Client Perception

    While shock curing isn't a big deal, your clients may understandably be concerned if the session didn't proceed as smoothly as expected. To address this positively, reassure them by explaining that you have everything under control. Emphasize that your fast action has effectively resolved the issue, ensuring optimal lash health and retention from now on.



    While shock curing can present a challenge, understanding its causes equips you to create flawless lashes. Open communication with clients about potential tear triggers allows for technique adjustments. Maintaining a cool, dry lash room environment minimizes humidity. Mastering application techniques like nano misting, ensuring proper drying time, and potentially incorporating lash primers and accelerators can further optimize results.

    By prioritizing client comfort, staying informed, and implementing these preventive measures, you'll be well on your way to conquering shock curing and delivering stunning, long-lasting lash extensions.