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Many stylists and salon owners choose water based adhesives for their hair system client services—and for good reason! If you’re wondering, “are water based hair products good?” water based hair products are a great option for hair system clients with sensitive scalps, among other advantages.

Here are some key benefits of water based vs solvent based adhesives:

  • Water based hair products make for a quick cleanup 
  • They’re liquid adhesives that are non-flammable
  • Water based adhesives are easy to apply due to non-stringiness
  • They go on white and dry clear, so you know when to apply the hair system
  • Water based hair products are gentle on sensitive skin with a low odor and bacteria-resistant formula 

Beyond these perks of using water based adhesives, as a stylist who applies hair systems, ensure these adhesives are being used properly for the best possible performance! Use our guide for water based adhesives to make the most of these water based hair products for your clients.

Top Tips for Applying Water Based Adhesives

Achieving the best results with water based adhesives is easy when you have top-quality products and an effective and efficient application method. Here’s how to get that perfect application every time!

Start With a Skin Patch Test

skin patch test is an essential first step to check for allergies to any ingredients in the water based adhesives and to ensure water based hair products work well for your client. Every person’s skin type is different and can have sensitivities to various products, even with gentle water based adhesives. Assure your clients that their comfort is your main priority, which requires a skin patch test to avoid any adverse reactions to the water based adhesives.

To perform the skin patch test, start by applying a small amount of the water based hair product to the client’s skin on a sensitive area such as behind the ear. Cover the area with a bandage and advise them to remove it after 24 hours to see if any reaction has occurred. If the skin is free from irritation or redness, they’re good to go with using water based adhesives for their hair system application.

Clean Your Client’s Scalp with an Alcohol Solution

Using an alcohol remover to rid the scalp of any leftover adhesives, dirt, oil, or dead skin is crucial. The alcohol in the solution helps to create a clean slate for applying water based hair products to your client’s skin. Anything left over on the scalp will stick to the adhesive and block the bond on the scalp, so this step is important to create a strong hold and comfortable wear experience (you can use this alcohol solution to clean the hair system base as well!)

Prep the Scalp with a Protective Spray

This is a tip that might be overlooked, yet it makes a massive difference in how well your water based adhesives will hold and perform for your clients. Use a skin prep spray to create a waterproof layer that helps prevent any irritation from liquid adhesives. This protective layer is beneficial for clients with an active lifestyle to prevent sweat from interfering with the hair system adhesive. To use, spray a thin layer of the skin prep spray directly onto the scalp and allow it to dry before applying the adhesive.

Apply the Water Based Hair Product Evenly

To get that perfect application on the scalp, ask your client to wrinkle their forehead to avoid the water based adhesives creating a bond affecting natural facial features and expressions. Next, spread a thin and even layer of the water based liquid adhesive (we recommend either our Sunshine Skin Safe White Glue Extended Wear or Daily Wear, depending on the hold time desired!) Remember, less is more when applying water based adhesives, as a thin layer will hold best for your clients. 

Wait for the Adhesive to Dry Clear Before Applying Hair System

Water based adhesives go on white and dry clear, so it makes it easy to know when it’s time to apply the hair system on your client’s scalp (if you don’t wait until it’s clear, the adhesive can form bubbles that can become visible where the hair parts resulting in a less natural look.) If you’d like to speed up the drying process, you can use a blow dryer during this step. 

Finally, press the hair system firmly onto the adhesive and hold for about 10 seconds. Advise your client to wait at least 24 hours before showering, swimming, or working out to prevent moisture from affecting the adhesive.

Now that you’ve got the proper technique down for applying water based adhesives, you’ll need high-quality water based hair products to use on your clients! Sunshine Tape offers two water based adhesives options:

Contact us if you have any questions about our water based hair products—our hair system experts are here to help!