Eyelash extensions seem to be hotter than ever. Eyelash extensions should be fun, not over priced, and most importantly, not harmful to your natural lashes. So how does one decipher where to go since the market in inundated with lash bars? My personal opinion will be laid out below. I learned the application in 2008 and it wasn’t until 2014 that I felt like I had mastered the technique. It took a lot of trial and error to be able to: 1) know what your client wants and to provide; 2) know the product inside and out; 3) be able to see the signs of irritation and reactions; 4) be able to tell your client when they need to take a break; and 5) know when to tell your client what they want is too long or too thick. There are many factors that play into the application of lashes: width, length, and curl. For classic lashes there are typically three different width sizes, 10 different lengths and multiple curl shapes. So how does your lash stylist pick? Well after a lot of questions asked to the client I typically listen to what they want and then take that information and look at their natural lashes to see what they can hold. If a woman with super fine and short lashes tells me she wants a super thick, long lash, I sadly will have to tell her I can’t. That doesn’t mean I can’t do her lashes. It means her expectations need to be revised. The most important thing is to keep the integrity of your natural lash intact. That is where you weed out the bad stylists from the good. You don’t want to go somewhere where they will put anything on you just to please you. You want someone that will tell you and educate you on what you can hold. So for the woman who wants super long and thick lashes I would tell her you can have either length or fullness but not both, so what is more important to you? And then from there I would try and customize as best as possible but in a way to keep her natural lashes in the best shape.
The second thing you need to look out for is time and technique. Typically a full set takes 2 to 2 ½ hours. Why? Well we are taking one synthetic lash and applying it to one natural lash one by one so if done correctly that takes time! Also and probably most importantly, your lash stylist needs to separate and spend time doing so. In my full sets, an hour in to lashing, I stop, dry, and separate. That means I make sure that there isn’t a hair attached to an extension that shouldn’t be. Sometimes if you are working fast, you get two natural lashes stuck to one synthetic. That is not good. Why? Well when your natural lashes grow if there are two lashes stuck to one synthetic, the one natural lash that shouldn’t be there will get pulled out by the root and that is when you get damage. So your lash stylist at some time during the appointment should be separating if not at least once, but twice. If someone tells you a full set take an hour I would start asking a ton of questions just to make sure they are doing things properly. I know 2½ hours seems long, but believe me its worth it in the long run!
Third point: client education. So I get asked all the time, “Are they going to ruin my natural lashes?” “Are my natural lashes going to fall out?” Well, first no, they will not ruin your natural lashes if they are applied properly as discussed above. Second, your natural lashes fall out on a daily basis. Most people don’t realize that. But just like the hair on your head your lashes do fall out. Typically you will lose 3 natural lashes per day, 21 in a week, 42 in two weeks, and 63 in three weeks. That’s a lot! So no, eyelash extensions do not make your natural lashes fall out; it’s just the opposite. The synthetic lash falls off with your natural lash when that natural lash is ready to fall off. Crazy, right! So like I said earlier the only time your natural lashes will get ruined is when you wear lashes that are too long or thick for your natural lash to hold.
Enjoy the lashes; they are fun and supposed to make your life easier and for you to feel pretty all the time. Do your research, ask questions, listen to your stylist when they tell you how to care for them and when best to come in for a fill. If you are spending the time and effort in getting them, then care for them properly. The information I have provided has come from years of experience. Please keep in mind these are my personal opinions and could differ from others. Have fun and Happy lashing!