First things first, what is a stickie?
So, as most of you probably know, a “stickie” is lash industry slang to describe one lash getting stuck to a neighbouring lash. This is usually due to poor isolation or applying too much glue to the lash extension. It’s perfectly normal to have a few stickies come up during your work -it happens to us all - just be sure that you spend a good 10 minutes at the end of treatment to find them and separate them
Different types of stickies
The first type of stickie is when a tiny baby lash gets stuck to an extension. These are one of the most common, and one of the most damaging types of stickies.
The second type of stickie is when 2 extensions are stuck together. This type of sticky is the easiest to spot when checking your work at the end of the treatment, and arguably the easiest to separate, as you would just grip one with your isolation tweezers, and pull the other one off of it with your tweezers for picking up lash extensions.
Finally, the third type of stickie is when 2 natural lashes are stuck together. This can happen when you have placed an extension on a natural lash but have taken it off again, either due to bad positioning or too much glue. The natural lash is still covered in glue and can easily adhere to the neighbouring lash when you come to re-isolate the surrounding lashes. These are the ones you have to watch out for because they are very easy to miss!
Why are stickies so bad?
The reason it is so important to check your work for stickies is that they are extremely damaging to the natural lashes. But what makes them so damaging?
Well, we know lashes have different stages of growth, just like people. Baby lashes grow much quicker than a full-grown lash that is in its “resting stage”. If a baby lash becomes stuck to a fully grown lash, it will keep growing and could simply pull the resting lash out, permanently damaging the hair follicle. If you are very lucky and it doesn’t rip the lash out, it will create a loop (as shown in the image) and push the extension in the wrong directions, creating a very unflattering look.
Remember we want a full and fluffy set of lashes, not spider’s legs! Not only are stickies damaging to the natural lashes, they also damage the reputation of the lash industry. How many times have you heard “lash extensions completely ruined my lashes/my friend’s natural lashes”? Well, if it wasn’t for dreaded stickies and poor application, eyelash extensions should never cause any damage to natural lashes whatsoever!
How to prevent them
The first step to prevent stickies is to correctly isolate the lash. However, regardless of how careful you have been, stickies will occur from time to time which is why it is vital to always check your work when you have finished.
Always use the correct amount of glue, just a tiny ball but not a blob. A glue that dries too slowly can contribute to stickies.
There are different techniques you can use to avoid stickies, the first of which is called “lash by lash”. This is where you simply apply the lash, then apply the lash directly next to it. This technique is risky - if the lash you just applied hasn’t dried properly, you can easily get into a sticky situation when applying for the next extension. This technique is better used by more advanced technicians who are using rapidly drying glue.
The next technique is probably the safest - it’s what lash artists call “carcass”. This is where you apply one lash, then leave a gap of, say, 10 natural lashes before applying for the next extension, giving the first extension time to dry. It is also beneficial to work evenly across both eyes - giving glue even more time to dry before lashes are moved once again.
How to check your work
Checking your work for stickies is as important a part of your lash procedure as applying eyepatches - it’s all about safety! Always ensure you save 10 minutes at the end of a treatment in order to do this thoroughly and correctly. The first way you can check for stickies is to check each individual lash from root to tip with your tweezers, not forgetting to check every natural lash to ensure that two baby lashes are not stuck anywhere. Secondly, you will need to check layers, because lashes don’t grow in just one row - you are almost guaranteed to find at least one stickie between the layers!