Troubleshooting Bond Breakdown
When your hair system begins to lift off of your scalp earlier than anticipated, it can be very frustrating, especially for beginners. Although this is a common problem among hair wearers, there can be quite a bit of confusion as to what’s causing the bond to break down early. Undoubtedly you’re wondering why this is happening and what you can do to fix it.
There are four primary issues that cause a bond to break down and your system to begin lifting early. We will discuss new lace systems, bond not curing, oily skin, and sweat.
1)New lace system
Early lifting during the first attachment of a brand new lace system is very common and very easy to fix. When you receive a new system, the lace has silicone residue left on it from the factory. The silicone gives your hair sheen and softness, but adhesive can’t stick to it. The lace is very fine, so the tape can’t grab on properly if there’s any residue.
The most effective way to remove residue from your lace base is to wash it with blue Dawn® Ultra Dishwashing Liquid (or a strong grease-cutting dish soap with no hand softeners). Please note: the first time you attach a new system (only the first time), you may still experience early lifting even if you’ve washed properly with Dawn. Be prepared for the possibility of having to touch-up or reattach after a few days.
This information only applies to new lace hair systems, not poly perimeters or skin bases.
2) Bond isn’t curing
If you notice the tape or liquid adhesive you used isn’t sticking to your scalp, but is remaining attached to the base, then the bond isn't curing. After attachment, we recommend waiting a full 24 hours before allowing your system to get wet, so the bond can cure. This includes no swimming, showering, working out, or sweating for a full day. If you notice you have lifting on the second or third day of your attachment, evaluate your activities from the day before — were you sweating during your attachment or right after? Do you sweat when you’re sleeping? Did you take a brisk walk during your lunch break or stop by the gym after work? These regular activities will loosen your attachment if they raise your body temperature or make you sweat before your bond has cured.
If you don’t see positive results, and the application of the adhesive doesn’t seem to be the problem, you may need to try a different adhesive. Be patient; it will take some trial and error to find the right one.
3) Oily skin
If you are still experiencing early lifting, the issue might be oily skin. Oily skin shows as a yellow-colored tint on the tape or liquid adhesive when the system is removed. Another good indication is if you’re someone who needs to shampoo daily to avoid “greasy” hair.
Whether you already know you have oily skin or are in the process of determining it, it’s important to know that it’s the most challenging skin type for hair wearers. Even if you’re doing everything correctly in preparation for your attachment, you may still struggle with early bond breakdown if you have oily skin.
You’ll know if sweat is the cause of your bond breakdown if you notice a milky white color on your tape or liquid adhesive if the hair system is lifting. A milky white color after a long attachment (3 or more weeks) is normal. However, if you’re seeing it after two or three days, sweat is an issue.
When you wear hair, troubleshooting is more or less a continuous process. If you’re experiencing early bond breakdown, it may take several months to find a solution. There are new products being released regularly; we encourage you to try them. Eventually, you will find the right fit for you. If, after all your experimentation, you’re still not getting the hold time you’d like with your system, you may just need to remove and reattach your system more often than you prefer.
Top Three tips when troubleshooting
1. Body chemistry changes over time.
Fluctuations in hormones can affect your bond. What works now might not work as well in the future.
4. Climate change will affect your bond.
If you move or travel, be prepared for changes in your attachment.
5. Expect it and accept it.
Experimenting and troubleshooting are part of the process of wearing hair. although we will keep notes, you’ll find it helpful to keep your own so that we can have as much information as possible. Be patient and try not to get frustrated; we will figure out what works for you as a team!