Lash Extensions 101: The Eyelash Adhesive

Move over falsies, the era of false lashes has ended and it’s officially the decade of the lash extension! Lash extensions have garnered popularity over recent years as a convenient and long-lasting alternative to false lashes. Through professional application, women can enjoy the length, volume, and curl that false lashes afford without the everyday hassle of reapplying lash strips.

Lash extensions can last anywhere from 4-5 weeks without retouches, but the staying power of your lashes really depends on the type of lash adhesive that your technician uses. Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about lash adhesive so your next set is your best set yet. 

What is Lash Extension Glue?

Eyelash extension glue is the key factor used to attach a lash extension to a person’s natural eyelashes in the lash application process. While it may seem that any adhesive can be used to achieve this, using the incorrect type of glue could wreak havoc on your natural lashes. Low-quality adhesives can make your extensions uncomfortable, flaky, and can cause pain and discomfort.

Because lash extensions can be pricey and are a true investment into your beauty regimen, it’s important that the adhesive your technician uses is of the highest quality so that you’re left with the natural-looking lashes you’ve always dreamed of. 

The main ingredient in all lash adhesives is cyanoacrylate, a fast-drying, glue-like chemical bonding agent. This compound is made from cyanide and acrylate, which both sound like things you definitely shouldn’t put near your eye, but stay with me here. Cyanide is a carbon atom that is triple-bonded to a nitrogen atom. 

On its own, cyanide can be extremely dangerous, but it is necessary as a thickening agent for adhesives. Once the adhesive is fully processed and manufactured, the cyanide is completely neutralized and isn’t found in the final product at all. Acrylate is a conjugate base of acrylic acid. Acrylic acid is an organic acid that quickly hardens or thickens when exposed to air which aids in the fast-drying component of professional lash adhesives. 

Now that we understand the chemical makeup of lash adhesives, let’s dive into the factors that differentiate lash adhesives from one another. 

Drying Time

The process of applying lash extensions requires adhering a single lash extension to a single natural lash. This process requires a level of precision that will align both the natural and fake lash long enough for the adhesive to dry. As you can imagine, holding these two tiny lashes together for long amounts of time can be extremely difficult. This is where the drying-time of the lash adhesive comes into play. 

Cyanoacrylate, the main ingredient found in lash adhesive, dries almost instantly so your technician doesn’t have to hold the lashes in position for more than a few seconds. Cyanoacrylate cures when it comes into contact with water, so the higher the humidity of the room your extensions are applied in, the faster the adhesive will dry. 

Make sure that your technician is using a lash adhesive with a quick drying-time to ensure that your lashes turn out as natural looking as possible. 

Adhesion Strength

Unlike traditional false lashes, lash extensions are intended to last anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Because of this, the lash adhesive used needs to be much stronger in order to keep your natural lashes attached to the extensions for long periods of time. This is where methyl methacrylate comes in handy. Methyl methacrylate is a monomer made of methyl (a single carbon atom) and acrylate, the organic acid found in cyanoacrylate that causes the adhesive to harden. When this compound is polymerized and used in conjunction with cyanoacrylate it acts as a reinforcer that strengthens the adhesive’s bond. 

In summary, methyl methacrylate is the strong arm of your lash adhesive. So next time you wake up in the morning with beautifully full week 5 lashes, make sure to thank methyl methacrylate


Lash adhesives generally come in either clear or black. Most people that opt for lash extensions want long, full dark lashes so the black lash adhesive is generally the most popular option. Using black lash glue allows for better blending and adds some definition to the lashes. Although the black lash adhesive is the standard, some people experience an allergic reaction to the carbon black ingredient used to achieve the rich tone so clear lash adhesives may be a better alternative for those with sensitive skin. 

Lash adhesive is the reigning MVP when it comes to lash extensions. High-quality, cyanoacrylate-based lash adhesives will ensure that your extensions last as long as possible while looking long and voluminous. If you’re interested in trying out lash extensions for yourself, give us a call at (951) 817-5611 or book here to get started on the lashes of your dreams. 

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