In the beauty industry, there can be BIG differences in the work people do. It’s getting harder and harder to find a great hairdresser or brow lady, or like me – a lash technician…
And like me, in the hunt for a good deal, you’ve probably phoned half a dozen lash salons to get their prices.
But before you pull the trigger on the $50 full set in the back of an unmarked van, I want to give you a little knowledge about what you might encounter, and more importantly – why really horrible lashes will last longer than great ones.
Oh, and I know you’re probably thinking “of course you’d say all this”, since I’m the owner of The Lash Spa, but I think this info will help you choose a better salon – even if you don’t book with me.
So let’s get started with a little general lash 101…
Your Natural 6 Week Cycle
No, I’m not talking about that cycle. I mean the rate at which your natural lashes naturally fall out and are replaced by new ones.
For most of us, this is around 6 weeks.
So all the lashes you have right now will be gone in 6 weeks, and they’ll be replaced by new lashes.
That means that no matter what, your eyelash extensions won’t last longer than 6 weeks (unless your lashes cycle slower, or the lashes are glued to your eyelid – ouch!)
Why Bad Lashes Last Longer
I do a LOT of repair work where I remove previous bad lash extensions, which has given me an insight into exactly what’s going on in the lash industry right now.
I believe that the lash technicians doing this work are either not properly trained, majorly pressed to do clients faster, or don’t care about the quality of their work.
The method they’re using goes a little something like this:
- Separate single eyelash (doesn’t matter which growth phase the lash is in)
- Coat lash in plenty of glue
- Add one or more extensions to the natural lash
- Quickly move onto next lash and repeat
This results in a thick and full lash appearance at the end of the appointment, so the client usually leaves quite happy with their new lashes!
But here’s where the problems begin…
Because of too much glue, I often see five to ten natural lashes glued together with extensions tangled in the clump.
This leads to unnecessary tension on natural lashes, and pain on the eye and eyelid (imagine little pins jabbing your eyelid while you try to sleep).
Eventually, the natural lashes follow their cycle and fall out, but they’re stuck in the glue clump with the extensions so there’s nowhere for them to go – they just hang there until all the natural lashes in that glue clump have fallen or been ripped out due to strain!
And THAT’S the reason bad lashes often last longer than good ones. They’re not able to fall out naturally – instead, they’re held tight within the glue clump, adding more strain to your poor remaining natural lashes!
The other big problem is that they can’t be brushed (because of the glue clumps it’s like trying to brush tangled hair, but instead of knots, it’s literally superglue clumps!)…
This means they get tangled over the weeks and end up pointing in all different directions.
Here’s an example of a client I did a removal for…
You can see the thickness of the glue, and the lashes stuck together, as well as areas where her natural lashes had been ripped out too early because of excessive tension, leaving her with gappy lashes.
What You’re Left With After Bad Lashes
Now here’s a photo of her lashes after the full lash removal…
The process takes around 30 minutes to do, but it’s the best thing for ensuring the remaining natural lashes aren’t damaged more.
Most people have fairly even and consistent lashes, so what you see here is a moderate amount of damage where the more significant clumps of glue have prematurely yanked out several natural lashes, leaving gaps that only the baby lashes remain (the little lashes in the early stage of their cycle which shouldn’t have extensions stuck to).
You can also see big gaps on the inner and outer sides of the eyelid with no natural lashes left. That’s because this is the most delicate and fragile area, so if glue and extensions are clumped on in those areas you’re almost certainly going to have your natural lashes in that area totally ripped out (which is what happened here).
Once the removal was done on the client pictured, the new extensions could only be placed on the remaining strong lashes (of which there weren’t many), so even the new properly done extensions will have some gaps until the natural lashes grow back in.
The good news is that if you start getting good extensions your lashes will become healthy again within around a month because there will be no tension on your natural lash 🙂
Why Good Lashes Fall Out Sooner
It’s true, but it’s also great and healthy that way!
To fully explain it, here’s the method good lash technicians will use when applying extensions:
- Ensure room humidity is between 50% and 70% to allow the glue to work properly
- Separate a single fully grown natural lash (never the small lashes which aren’t strong enough to hold an extension)
- Add a tiny dot of glue (the size of a toothpick head)
- Place extension on and keep separated from other lashes
- Move to the other eye to allow the glue on the previous lash to fully dry to guarantee no lash clumping
- Repeat from step 2
This means that there’s only 1 extension per strong natural lash.
At the end of the appointment, I’m able to comb through the lashes – they feel light and look natural. There’s absolutely no glue clumping or tension of any kind.
It also means that when one of your natural lashes falls out the extension that’s attached to it will obviously go with it.
So since your natural lashes cycle completely every 6 weeks, that means that after around 3 weeks, half of your extensions will have fallen out, so getting infills (which is just half of a full set) will bring you back to the full lashes you love!
This photo shows my own work where I’ve applied one extension per strong natural lash. The glue used was so minimal that it’s not visible (the shininess is the extensions, not the glue) which make the extensions look much more natural.
You can see the gaps (C) where she didn’t have any strong natural lashes to add extensions to.
You might also be able to see that there’s around a 0.5mm gap between where the extension is glued and the skin of the eyelid. This is a CRUCIAL thing many inexperienced lash technicians don’t know about, but it is essential to avoid any pain or irritation from the lash poking back into the skin.
I’ve heard horror stories from clients of their lashes hurting so much that their eyes constantly watered, or they had trouble sleeping…
One client even said that her lash technician had a “pain scale” where 1 was light irritation and 10 was excruciating! She would pause for her clients when their pain level got above a 7.
It SHOULD NOT hurt to have eyelash extensions – if it does then something is going horribly wrong.
What You’re Left With After Good Lashes
After good eyelash extensions, you’ll be left with your normal natural lashes. They’ll just follow their natural cycle since there is no added strain or tension on the lash.
Another benefit of having lashes done this way is that you won’t get any pain if your eyelash touches the pillow in the night (whereas bad lashes can be very uncomfortable)
This is a photo of a client who hadn’t been in to see me for around 6 weeks so all her previous extensions were gone but you can see her natural lashes are in perfect condition. There are hundreds of strong healthy lashes compared to the earlier photo of the client who had a removal after a bad set and only had around 50 to 60 strong lashes remaining.
Your lashes should always be kept in the condition you see above, and eyelash extensions shouldn’t degrade your natural lashes in any way if they’re done properly.
So now that you know all this, you’re probably wondering…
How Can I Find a Good Lash Technician or Salon?
Now that you know the difference between good and bad lash extensions – the question becomes “How do I find a good lash tech?”…
And my only real answer is to call around and ask a few specific questions – sure you might sound a little pedantic, but at least you won’t end up with lash extensions that look like the end of a broom.
So here’s what I’d ask:
“Do you glue one extension to one natural lash?”
If they answer “yes of course”, then ask,
“So there’s no chance the glue could stick two or more of my lashes together?”
You can simply say that you’ve been elsewhere and your lashes got clumped together which caused a lot of damage.
Their answer to those questions should give you a good idea of whether they’re good or not.
Another thing to look into is photos on their website. Not those ‘stock photos’ you see of models that were clearly bought from the internet, like this…
I’m talking about photos of their real clients. That’s a great way to see if their work looks good, or clumpy.
So The Lash Salon You Choose Is Up To You…
I’d never tell you how to spend your hard-earned money…
My goal is just to equip you with the knowledge to make a better decision when picking a salon, rather than only having price as a comparison.
So use my tips above to find a good lash tech because even if you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford the more experienced salons you should still be able to find someone who does great work (even though I think we’re probably in the minority!)
If you found this article helpful I’d LOVE if you could click the share button because it really helps me a lot 🙂
Bad Lash Extensions Can Damage Your Natural Lashes
When applied properly, lash extensions will not damage your eyelashes. In fact, they will look beautiful, natural, and full. But, when lashes are not applied properly, they can result in damage to your lashes, leaving you with thin, broken, and damaged lashes.
Bad eyelash extensions can cause damage including:
- Premature shedding, which can have a negative impact on the natural growth cycle of your real lashes
- Thin, sparse eyelashes, even when they grow back
- Thin lashes for up to 12 weeks
Will My Lashes be Damaged Permanently?
The good news is your lashes will eventually grow back to their natural state following bad lash extensions. The bad news, it can take up to 12 weeks for this to happen. Eyelashes will go through a complete growth cycle in 9-12 weeks. So, you may experience thin, splotchy, and sparse lashes for up to 12 weeks following a lash extension fail.
How Can I Restore My Natural Eyelashes Faster?
Unfortunately, it can take up to 12 weeks for your lashes to go through a complete growth cycle and grow back after being damaged. There are some things you can do to help strengthen the lashes and get them to grow in quicker, including:
- Take vitamins such as biotin to promote healthy hair growth
- Use an eyelash growth serum
- Take Omega-3 fatty acid supplements
- Apply natural oils to your lashes such as coconut oil, castor oil, or olive oil
- Use regular mascara instead of waterproof – when you use waterproof mascara, you have to scrub harder to remove it, causing extra breakage which you want to avoid on already broken and brittle lashes
- Be extremely gentle when removing eye makeup and never leave eye makeup on overnight as it can cause dryness and further damage to your lashes
- Try to avoid makeup as much as possible so your lashes can breathe and grow back in healthier
- Do not rub your eyes as this can cause more breakage
- Eat a healthy diet full of protein, fresh fruits and vegetables
What are the Signs of Bad Lash Extensions?
When lash extensions are properly applied, they should not irritate your eyes or cause redness. Signs of bad lashes can include:
- The lashes poke your eyes
- The lashes cause irritation to your eyes
- Brushing your eyelashes hurts can be a sign there is too much glue applied to the lashes
- The lashes are all one length from the inner to the outer parts of the eye can mean the lash technician does not know how to properly apply lashes
- Your eyes itch or burn long after the lash extensions are put in
If your lash extensions are causing you any type of discomfort or pain, you should consider having them removed by another technician. After you have them removed, you may want to use a lash growth serum for a month or two so they can have a healthy regrowth cycle. Once your lashes are back to normal, switch eyelash technicians for better results!