Consumer Information about Eyelash Extensions

lash-extensions-xtreme-lashes-banner1.jpg

All eyelash extension services are NOT created equal.

The Eyelash Extension industry is in its infancy and is currently unregulated.  Any Esthetician or Master Cosmetologist can take a lash training class; and sadly, some schools even offer eyelash extension training to industry familiars such as nail technicians and make-up artists depending on if they can pass a simple sanitation quiz.  This is SCARY!!!

There are so many places looking to make extra money.  Even Walmart.  Yes, Walmart has eyelash extension services.  BEWARE!  You get what you pay for, and when it comes to applying eyelash extensions or working around the eyes, as our client, L. Davis, clinical educator of a major pharmaceutical esthetics line said it best, “The eyes are grad school, the rest is college”.  L. Davis waited a long time to have her lashes done; and has worked in Aesthetics for over 10 years.  She’s seen a lot of work, and The Lash Extension is the only place she trusts to apply her eyelash extensions.

The Lash Extension offers a specialized, personalized, customized service.  We are State-Licensed Estheticians, trained in making all skin types and eye-shapes beautiful.  This is absolutely what we love doing.  We have trained with XtremeLashes, a world-renowned training program featured on CBS TV’s The Early Show, USA Today, The Daily Buzz, American Woman, and a barrage of others.

Make sure your Esthetician or Master Cosmetologist is certified with ADFEE.  (Association for Damage-Free Eyelash Extensions)ADFEE is “an independent association of advanced lash technicians who are passionate about proper application and delivering the highest ethical standards in the industry of Eyelash Extensions”.   ADFEE Exam Proctors personally evaluate each lash extension is applied to a single, natural lash and that applicants are delivering the highest quality and safety standards in eyelash extension applications.

NO EXCUSES.  MAKE SURE YOUR STYLISTS IS ADFEE CERTIFIED.

But if you can’t find an ADFEE certified stylist…please take note.  These are your eyes.  They are the only ones you have and you should take care of them.  We at The Lash Extension know this and we take pride in providing each client with sterilized implements, top of the line supplies; formaldehyde-free adhesives, and quality service which yields beautiful, healthy results.

There are many places jumping on the “eyelash extension service” bandwagon.  No doubt, eyelash extensions are hot!  At The Lash Extension our priority services are all about eyelash extensions.  This is not just an add on service for us it’s our primary focus.

The “add-on place” could be your regular esthetician or even your nail salon.  It could be the deal of the day.  Whatever it is, if it’s $35.00;  if it takes 30 minutes or 15 minutes; if you’re NOT lying down on a bed; if your eyes are open and NOT CLOSED; and if the service is NOT performed by a Licensed Esthetican or Master Cosmetologist– DON’T DO IT!!   Stand your ground and ask to see your Stylist’s State issued license and training certificates.  Do your homework.  Anyone applying eyelash extensions that is not a Licensed Esthetican or Master Cosmetologist is not only risking your health; but is also in violation of the Georgia State Board of Cosmetology rules and therefore should be reported.

(See page 24 of this link:) Georgia State Board of Cosmetology Policy #4 Salons, Section G: Eyelash Extensions. Licensed master cosmetologists or licensed estheticians may be allowed to perform eyelash extensions.  Neither nail technicians nor hair designers are licensed to perform eyelash extension services.  Adopted March 11, 2009

If you are reading this article and it’s too late and you can’t comb through your new extensions; your eyelid has chunks of glue on it; your eyelids are swollen; or if your lashes just feel painful and your new extensions are pulling out your natural lashes — All of these things are huge signals that something is very wrong.

This is truly a tragic lash experience – and it is a sad day for you and for us.  You, because you spent your money and trusted an unqualified person to apply what you hoped would be fabulous extensions; and us because we wish we could’ve helped you before you made an uninformed decision.  At The Lash Extension we want you to have healthy, beautiful, voluminous lashes.  But in reality if you went somewhere else first,  we may be looking at a month or so of natural lash rehabilitation and likely removal of your current painful, heavy, long, clumped extensions.

Our best advice is for you to save your money and have your extensions applied safely – by a Licensed Esthetician who is Certified by Xtreme Lashes or another highly recognized Eyelash Extension Training Provider.  There are very few places in town (and around the world) that take time to meticulously isolate each individual eyelash hair and attach extensions one-by-one.   The danger with some of these “add-on places” is not only the technician’s lack of qualified training, but also their choice in adhesive may contain formaldehyde.  As you may already be aware, formaldehyde is an eye irritant, it weakens hair, and is a known carcinogen.

If you want quality as the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.”  Dr. Charles Crutchfield of Crutchfield Dermatology says it best: “The bitterness of poor quality lasts far longer than the sweetness of low price.”  It’s up to you to examine the potential studio’s pictures and observe the quality of the studio’s work closely.  Look for REAL clients not just beautiful, sleek stock photos.  Check the close-ups and see if any extensions are twisted or clumped together.  Read the reviews, and don’t be afraid to call and ask questions.  Eyelash extensions are wonderful – but you really need do your research.  To draw a comparison, would you rather have Jackson Pollock slop on your extensions or Norman Rockwell‘s steady, precise hand applying your extensions?  It’s pretty much the same difference.  What experienced, licensed eyelash extension stylists do is a fine-tuned, detailed art.   (No offense to Pollock, his work is amazing. The statement is referring to his unconventional technique).

What should you look for when examining potential Eyelash Extension provider photos? 

The best indicator is if you see dark clumps in a photo it may mean there is a ton of extensions attached in one area, (possibly stuck together) or the extensions are clumped together with a ton of adhesive.  Also, if you observe the bases of any extensions lifting at the lash line or if the extensions are placed too close to the skin this will definitely be a source of irritation.  There should be no “ball of glue” dried at your lash line or any adhesive touching your skin.  Take it upon yourself to carefully examine the lash line of their after photos.

Extensions should look like you were born with them

Take note as well:

  • Are the lashes fanned out in a flattering manner?
  • Are the extensions different widths and lengths?  If your potential salon uses .20 or .25 thickness extensions and any extensions longer than .14mm:  RUN AWAY!   (Most clients wear 8-12mm long; and .10, .12, or .15mm thickness – depending on the health of their natural lash).
  • Do they appear smaller toward the bridge of the nose and longer under the arch then decrease toward the outer corner near the temples?  (Our natural eyelashes taper and are shorter toward our nose.  They are not all one length; and they are not like doll lashes with the longest lashes on the outer corner.  Our natural lashes gradually taper to a shorter length on the outer corners of our eyelids).
  • Do the extensions appear organized and straight (not tangled or pointed in awkward directions)?
  • Do the extensions appear heavy, or light and fluttery?
  • Does the salon offer a variety of curls, widths, and adhesives?  This is important, especially for adhesives because if you develop an allergy, you may need to switch to a sensitive glue to maintain your extensions.
  • Does your potential new Eyelash Extension Stylist seem concerned about the health of my natural lashes?  The health of your natural lashes should be their top priority.

Also consider how the extensions are applied.  Properly applied eyelash extensions are applied with the client lying down.  Their lower lashes isolated from their upper lashes and the client’s eyes are closed for the entire application service.  Each eyelash is individually isolated, the extension is applied to one natural eyelash approximately 1mm away from the skin at the lash line.  The initial service should last between 2-3 hours, depending on the skill of the Eyelash Extension Stylist.

Clean and neat setting.

Clean and neat setting.

Upon entry into the Studio/Spa/Salon examine the cleanliness of their environment.  Their equipment and room should be dust free and clean of debris.  There should be no pets, no one eating food, or no garbage cans overflowing.  If you don’t see a sterilizer (a small uv light box with a shelf or two), ask them where it is – and ask them what the date was they last changed their bulb.  Bulbs, as most things get old too and lose their effectiveness.  If it’s over a year, it may be time they change their sterilizer bulb.

You should also see a glass-bead heat sterilizer or a closed-top jar of sanitizer such as Barbacide.  This blue or purple tinted water that should be clear – not cloudy – and free of debris floating around in the bottom of the jar.  Look to see that the implements are FULLY submerged.  If they are not, basically all the germs/bacteria/etc. are crawling to the top of the item and not being properly sanitized.  If you want to be a little more careful, take note of the condition of the liquid.  Is it cloudy?  Is there debris floating?  if so – ask them to change it and wait 15 minutes while they soak your implements and rinse them.  This is great practice to look for in your local nail salon.  If items are not being properly cleaned it opens up a huge risk for everyone.  Albeit, there shouldn’t be any chance of broken skin associated with lash extensions, but you want to be sure your implements are clean.

You also want to be certain your potential studio is using a quality adhesive that is formaldehyde free.  Most all eyelash extension adhesives contain cyanoacrylate.  Be aware there are different grades of cyanoacrylate.  Some of the most effective adhesives come in black.  If your eyes are sensitive, and you may develop an allergy to the glue, it may be the black dye (carbon black) that is causing the irritation.  Note, if back in the day you used to have acrylic nails and developed an allergy, it is likely it was from cyanoacrylate contained in the adhesive.  If so, it is best to avoid a reaction in your eye area and forgo extensions.  What’s your best bet?  Ask for medical-grade formaldehyde free adhesive made in the USA or deemed safe by the EU.

Take note if the treatment room has a humidifier and a hygrometer.  Believe it or not, humidity plays an integral part in the application of your eyelash extensions.  Most adhesives cure within a dedicated humidity range.  This is very important because if your lashes are not cured properly, you could be in a world of hurt later.  Your uncured glue could cause your extensions to clump together and as mentioned earlier, cause a painful mess.

Make sure where you’re laying down is clean.  You’ll be spending the next hour plus there and don’t want to take home anything you didn’t arrive with (lice being one of these things).  There are still a few places that do not change their linens in between clients.  Yes, I know…it IS gross!  Why?  My best guess is they don’t have access to a washer and dryer or doing laundry is expensive.  Some places, as nice as they appear, like to cut corners to cut costs.  A disposable barrier for where your head will rest is the best practice; along with freshly laundered sheets for each client.  This isn’t just about presentation – It’s actually a practice enforced by Georgia State Board of Cosmetology:

130-5-.02 Linens.  Towels/linens, after being used once, must be placed in a closed container until properly laundered. Clean towels must be kept in a closed cabinet, container, or closet except linens, which are designated for use on current patrons.

Be wary of what the bedding looks like and don’t be afraid to ask about when the last time it was cleaned.  Demand fresh, clean linens for yourself.  It’s for your own safety.

Be certain your Eyelash Extension Stylist has washed her hands and used hand sanitizer.  Even if she is using rubber gloves, little microbes love to travel and this is for your health and safety.

Make sure your Eyelash Extension Stylist has at least 6 months of consistent, full-time practice.  Anyone with less than 6 months experience will likely be still in need of fine tuning, especially if they are only applying lashes part time.

We realize this is a lot of information for you to be armed with but we want you to make a healthy decision when it comes to your extensions.  We, at The Lash Extension have a vested interest in the health of your natural eyelashes and will never use extensions that are too heavy or too long which will damage your natural lashes.  We want you to have a positive eyelash extension experience and continue a long-lasting relationship with you.  We are comprised of State-Licensed professionals who have been educated by institutions that specialize in Esthetics; and we operate our business compliant with the State Public Health and Safety Codes set by the State Board of Cosmetology.  Each of our stylists have invested their time in furthering their education in our specialized field of eyelash extensions by being trained and certified by Xtreme Lashes.  We love what we do, and we want you to love what we do for you!