Starter Guide for Lash Specialist

2021-04-08

The Reason For Writing This Article

Although eyelash extensions are now widely recognized, because of their short history, there are no unified standards or qualifications, and until now, only a very few textbooks describe the basic essential knowledge for safe application procedures. As a result, a lot of eyelash extension artists have learned to do things their own way, which has caused the emergence of various problems along with the explosion of the eyelash extension market. The cause, more often than not, is due to the lack of knowledge rather than obvious mistakes that are made during an application.

As a starter guide, this article will help you understand the industry.

What are eyelash extensions?

Eyelash extensions are considered semi-permanent make-up and can dramatically change one’s physical appearance by adding length and thickness to their own natural eyelashes.

Benefits Of Having Eyelash Extensions

  • Eyelash extensions create a natural look; they can make your eyes appear bigger, and can even make your face appear smaller.
  • Eyelash extensions also create an eyeliner effect.
  • Eyelash extensions can last a long time (up to 2 months) and once cured, they are waterproof.
  • Eyelash extensions can cut your makeup application time in half, and they may even promote going out without makeup on at all.
  • Eyelash extensions can heal and/or repair short or sparse-looking natural eyelashes.
  • Eyelash extensions can also build self-confidence, and acceptance of one’s appearance.

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Lash Specialist

Lash Specialist is becoming a more and more popular occupation. Since Celebrities have glamorized eyelash extensions through social media, eyelash extensions have quickly become the center of the mainstream public’s attention, and “Lash Boutique” has been popping up everywhere to meet the ever-increasing demand.

The importance of a professional lash specialist

Eyelash extensions come in a wide variety of lengths, curls, thicknesses, materials, and of course, many different colors. Whether an eyelash tech is an amateur or a professional will be very obvious, you can see right away how the artist presents their work (how they attach each lash). An amateur lash artist will leave hairs pointing in several directions, looking unorganized and unnatural, whereas a professional lash artist will glue the hairs in an organized manner according to length and curl, leaving a full, natural, fan-like look. Most importantly, people will compliment you on your lashes if they are done by a talented lash artist.

Lash Specialist's Income

The average salary for this position ranges from $14 to $25 an hour.

Price Per Service 5 Services Per Week 10 Services Per Week
$100 $2000 per week $4000 per week
$150 $3000 per week $6000 per week
$200 $4000 per week $8000 per week

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Eyelash Extension Hair

As a lash specialist, picking the wrong length and diameter eyelash extensions for a customer could cause serious harm to their lashes! A natural lash will break if we will put unbearable weight on it, and it can also result in permanently thinner/shorter natural lashes.

Types of Eyelash Extensions Hair Materials

There're three common types: Silk Lash Extensions, Mink Lash Extensions, and Faux Mink Lash Extensions.

Milk Lash

By far the most popular natural eyelash extension material. Mink is super lightweight, fluffy, and it mimics the look of your own lashes.

Mink eyelash extensions come from, well, a mink. It is said that their tiny hairs are collected by brushing them, but if you’re going for a vegan or cruelty-free vibe, we suggest you stay away from real mink eyelash extensions. Not only that, but they’re the most expensive eyelash extensions on the market, meaning your clients will be paying between $300 and $500 for a full set. Unlike the faux mink and other synthetic alternatives, mink lashes will not maintain a curl. You’ll need to periodically re-curl them yourself.

Advantages: lightweight, fluffy, and it mimics the look of your own lashes.

Disadvantages: no cruelty-free, expensive, not maintain a curl, risk of fur allergy.

Faux Mink (PBT)

Faux mink eyelash extensions are the way to go, we think. They’re comparable in cost to silk extensions, but they’re made of polyester, which is a lot more versatile than silk. Faux mink extensions are highly customizable and you won’t have any issue with weight. Not only that, but there’s no mink involved, and you can make sure that your supplier or manufacturer is entirely cruelty-free and vegan. So, they’re made specifically to be gentle on natural lashes, they’re cruelty-free, and they have the look of mink extensions.

Advantages: lightweight, cruelty-free, budget-friendly, no risk of fur allergy.

Silk Lashes (PBT)

Silk eyelash extensions have some pros and cons. One of the great things about them is that they’re one of the cheaper options on the lash extension market. They’re also thicker than some other options, so they’re noticeable, which is what clients are paying for! However, these should only be used on clients with super-strong natural lashes, because thick = heavy. And we already know that too-heavy extensions can damage a client’s natural lashes.

Silk lashes are commonly used for weddings and special occasions.

Advantages: the heaviest and most rigid, thick.

Disadvantages: heavy, the least comfortable extensions.

Other Lashes

  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). PET is a material often called polyethylene. It may be used for making bundles of multiple artificial hairs called Flare type extensions.
  • Vinyl Chloride(PVC). PVC artificial hair is found in hair extensions or wicks. It is characterized by easy deformation at relatively low temperatures.
  • Human Hair. Extensions are made by processing actual human hair, this is also mainly used for hair extensions.

Tip: PBT (Polybutylene terephthalate), which is the mainstream material used in artificial hair for eyelash extensions, is also called Shape Memory Fiber. PBT is a fiber material capable of maintaining its shape and it is excellent at resisting chemicals and heat. We wrap the fiber around a glass or aluminum rod and heat it to curl it. The way in which the curls are applied depends on the time and temperature of thermal processing; PBT artificial hair that is not properly thermally processed may cause problems such as failing curls. Normally, even if you sit in the hot sun in the middle of summer, they do not easily lose their shape, but if you apply pressure under certain conditions, or if you apply heat then cool them suddenly, it will cause the curl to weaken.

Different Types Of Artificial Hair

Classic/ Single Lash (One On One Lash)

The Single Lash is mainstream in eyelash extensions. The single lash will create the Classic Lash Set which is also called the One on One Lash set, or a Russian Volume (3D~6D) Lash set which is multiple ultra-thin lashes glued to each natural lash. The length and thickness of the natural lash determine the length and thickness of the eyelash extension; the extension itself is tapered to conceal the entire segment of natural hair, so each individual lash will just look like one long, beautiful, healthy eyelash.

Pre-Made Multiple Lashes

Pre-Made Multiple Lashes include 2D or 3D lashes, in which 2 or 3 artificial hairs are glued together at the bottom end, or Cluster Lashes, which have multiple lash lengths bundled together at the bottom end.

Eyelash Extension Curl Chart and Guidelines

Types of Lash Curls

Curls range from weaker “J curl” to stronger “L-curl” or from J (B), C, D, and L these being the most popular in North America. The “L” curl is very dramatic and looks as though it could have been curled with a curling iron.

Although the client's request is important, it is also important to consider the shape of the client’s eyes as well as the condition and health of their natural lashes when considering which extensions to use.

Also, if the curl is too strong against the natural lash, it weakens the point of contact with the glue which may shorten the longevity of the eyelash extension. When attaching each eyelash extension, make sure the glue sets securely at the base of the extension, if not, they can “float” to the base of the lash causing the glue to adhere to the eyelid, creating even more problems.

Eyelash Extension Sizing and Instructions

A visual of lash lengths and diameters has been given on the chart below. It includes all the variety of our lashes.

Thickness Chart

Length Chart

Picking Lash Extension Sizes

So how we will go for the right length and diameter?

For volume lashes, usually, we only use .03 – .10. Moreover, these two are the rules of thumb:

  • Length of no more than 2-3 mm longer than the client’s natural lash should be chosen.
  • The diameter should be matched to the client’s natural lash (for a more dramatic look go for a slightly thicker one).

*Why it is necessary to pick extensions only 2-3 mm longer than the customer’s natural lash and matching of the diameter?? Lengths up to 20mm and diameters as thick as .30mm are available! If you put 20mm/.20mm lashes on your client’s 10mm/10ml natural lashes, as a result, they will not last long, and moreover, they will be too heavy to carry! Heavy lashes will ultimately cause tension on the lash follicle and scarce regrowth can also occur.

Store Your Lash Extensions Properly

If you don't store your lash extensions properly, they may grow fungi or bacteria on them, the same way clothing can get moldy when stored improperly.

Mildew can occur due to poor storage habits or supply management, such as letting people touch the extensions directly with dirty hands or leaving the extensions sitting in an environment with high temperature and high humidity for long periods.

Unlike ordinarily invisible germs, mold is very unsightly. In addition, bacteria WILL spread from the extension once it is attached. Recently, eyelash extensions with an antimicrobial ability to suppress the growth of bacteria have been developed and it is expected that the risk of eye disease will be more reduced than with conventional eyelash extensions.

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Eyelash Extensions Glue

The special adhesives used for eyelash extensions are specifically designed for bonding eyelashes to the natural or artificial hair of the extensions.

Since the application time and bonding time differ depending on which kind of glue is used, it is very important not to use it on a client unless you are familiar with the product first. You should always test on a practice strip or somewhere similar before using on a client.

Typical Ingredients Found In Eyelash Extension Glue

1. Adhesive: Cyanoacrylate

  • principal component blending usually 80% or more

Cyanoacrylate is the principal component of adhesives, it is widely used in the name of instant adhesives (or super glue/krazy glue etc…). There are different types of cyanoacrylate and its usages vary depending on its type but it is used in various fields for industrial and medical uses as well as general household use.

Curing Traits Of Cyanoacrylate

The active ingredient in all eyelash extension adhesives is Cyanoacrylate. When cyanoacrylate comes into contact with the moisture in the air, it creates a chemical reaction called polymerization which forms a chain reaction as it solidifies; this is called curing.

If your humidity levels are too high, the adhesives will not cure correctly, which results in Shock Polymerization, thus creating a much weaker bond with the natural eyelash.

If your humidity is too low, the curing time will be slower as there is not enough moisture to cure the eyelash adhesive and again your client will have poor retention with the adhesive becoming hard and stiff.

Types Of Cyanoacrylate

The types of cyanoacrylate mainly used for eyelash extension glues are as follows:

 
Name Characteristic
Ethyl Cyanoacrylate
  • Most commonly used for eyelash extension glue.
  • The curing rate is fast and adhesion strength is strong, but the irritating smell is slightly overpowering.
  • Used for industrial, medical, general household purposes. Among the Cyanoacrylates, Ethyl Cyanoacrylate is the most irritating and you should avoid using it on the skin and or near the mucosal membrane.
Butyl cyanoacrylate
  • Low irritation, Low odor
  • The curing rate of Butyl Cyanoacrylate is slower than that of Ethyl Cyanoacrylate, and the adhesion strength is slightly weaker.
Ethoxyethyl cyanoacrylate
  • Among the Cyanoacrylates, Ethoxy Ethyl Cyanoacrylate is the LEAST IRRITATING and almost odorless.
  • It was developed to solve problems caused by Ethyl Cyanoacrylates and Butyl Cyanoacrylates due to irritancy and odor.
  • The curing rate is slower and the adhesion strength is somewhat weaker as compared with the Ethyl series.

2. Thickening Component: Acrylic resin

  • used in trace amounts for viscosity and curing rate adjustment COLORING COMPONENT: Carbon etc..
  • mix as trace coloring or for color reinforcement

Curing Times in Glue

Curing times in glue differ depending on the consistency of the ingredients used and the humidity and temperature of the application environment. Since the glue is greatly affected by temperature and humidity, it is essential to choose your glue according to the relative temperature and humidity of your salon.

It is also necessary to know whether your glue has passed the medical grade standard. Failure to do so may result in negligence if any complications arise.

It takes at least 24 hours for most glues to fully cure, so it is highly recommended to tell your clients in advance so that they have enough time to prepare before the eyelash extension application. (You can remind your clients to shower BEFORE their appointment and also to come WITHOUT any makeup on, especially mascara).

How to Use it Correctly

Eyelash extensions are usually glued into position at a distance of about 0.5~1mm from the base of the natural eyelashes. This basic technique achieves the best results and keeps the lashes looking very natural and beautiful as well as being functional.

If you glue the lash extensions too close to the eyelids, there is a possibility that the glue will adhere to the eyelid causing inflammation, itching, rash, redness, and even severe swelling to occur. This will only lead to further complications like full removal and/or loss of clientele.

Some Notes On Eyelash Extension Glue

  • Eyelash extension glue bonds the natural eyelashes and the artificial hairs of the eyelash extensions, not yours or your client’s skin.
  • Many of the accidents or mishaps that occur during the application are due to failure and lack of skill and/or knowledge from the lash technician.
  • Glue is one of the most volatile tools in eyelash extensions. The method of application differs depending on the type of glue, but lash technicians mainly use only 2-3 types of glue. There is a low odor medical-grade glue (for those clients who are sensitive to fumes) and a fast-drying glue for general use.
  • There are many dangerous scenarios you may encounter when using these types of glues such as glue adhering to the eyelids, or when too much glue is used and the weight causes the lashes to droop, this may also cause the glue to cure improperly causing the other lashes to stick together. Allowing your client to leave before the glue is cured can lead to their lashes falling out prematurely, and using deteriorated glue can cause the eyelids to itch, swell, and/or irritate the eyes.
  • It is NOT recommended to mix multiple types of glue, transfer containers, or use anything other than the recommended glue trays/pallets, or stones.
  • Melting solid or dried-up glues is prohibited, as is using expired glues.

Bad Examples:

Things To Remember Before Closing The Cap Of Your Glue

  1. Do not close the cap with air still inside of the container, make sure you gently squeeze the air out until the glue can be seen at the top of the nozzle.
  2. Next, wipe off any remaining glue that may be stuck to the nozzle and at the same time check if there is any glue stuck to the inside of the cap and wipe it off as well.
  3. After wiping off the excess glue, close the cap tightly and re-check to see if it has been closed properly.

Store Your Lash Extensions Glue Properly

Store it in a cool dark place, somewhere other than the refrigerator. (between 18-23 degrees Celsius) Be careful not to cool the product too much as this may lead to component separation and condensation inside the bottle.

We recommend that you store the product standing upright in the aluminum foil bag it came in.

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Eyelash Extensions Glue Remover

Glue remover is used when you need to quickly remove eyelash extensions, or if you have an accidental drip.

When necessary, apply a few drops of glue remover on a makeup brush and lather it up on the affected area for 3-5 minutes until the glue starts to dissolve, when this starts to happen you will then be able to easily remove the artificial hairs.

Must Know About Remover

  • Do not use nail polish remover, diluted or high concentrations of anhydrous alcohol, ethyl acetate, acetone, or paint thinner as eyelash extension glue remover. - Only use glue remover that is specifically made for eyelash extensions, NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Be sure you fully understand how to use the remover properly by reading the instructions before using it.
  • Do not use products with unknown principal components or from unknown distributors or sources.
  • If you keep the glue remover in a warm place, it may evaporate slightly, this can cause the container to expand from the gasses. Please be extra careful the remover does not squirt out all over your station from the buildup of excess pressure inside the container.

Types Of Glue Removers

Cream removers

These are the newest type of glue removers. They will not drip easily which makes them very easy to control and use.

Gel removers

This type of glue remover is commonly used. It also does not drip easily, and it is much easier to use than the liquid remover.

Liquid removers

This type of glue remover is the first generation of glue removers. No one likes to use this type of remover anymore because it easily drips into the client’s eyes or onto the sensitive skin around their eyes which can be dangerous.

How To Use Glue Removers

1. Before using this product, be sure to clean off the eyelashes and makeup as well as any dirt or oil from around the eyes and try to remove any extra moisture from the area.

2. Hold the container horizontally and twist open the cap.

3. Apply a small amount on a cotton swab or micro-brush and apply this product to the joint between the eyelash and the artificial hair.

4. After applying this product, leave it until it penetrates into the glued joint.

5. After the remover penetrates the joint, gently remove the artificial hair and glue with a micro-brush or equivalent.

6. In case you drop the glue remover on your client’s skin, wipe it off immediately, and clean the area with purified water.

Usage Notes

  • Use the remover only after dispensing the necessary amount onto a jade or crystal pallet. If you try and dispense the remover directly from the container onto your brush, the amount you dispense may be larger than you expect, so you will either have to waste the excess or try and put it back. You should avoid developing this habit altogether for hygienic reasons as you do not want to cross-contaminate your supplies.
  • Always make sure that the glue remover does not touch your client’s skin or get into their eyes, even if you use low irritation glue remover.
  • Spread some remover on a cotton swab (lip-gloss applicator, micro-brush, doe-foot applicator, etc.) first, then apply it to the lashes.
  • In case you drop remover into your client's eyes, wipe it out as quickly and as safely as possible with a cotton swab or cotton pad soaked in purified water.
  • Do not mix glue removers with different products.

Storage Method And Period Of Use

Store your glue remover at room temperature. Be sure to avoid temperatures above 25 degrees celsius and excess humidity, also avoid direct sunlight and water. Be sure to close the cap tightly and securely after each use.

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Eyelash Extensions Tweezers

Types

When applying for eyelash extensions, we use 2 or 3 types of tweezers:

1. A tweezer for your dominant hand, which is used to “grab” or “pick” the artificial hairs.

  • Curved type tweezers, with different body shapes
  • Russian Volume or Volume tweezers

2. A tweezer for your opposite hand to isolate each of your client's eyelashes so you can attach an extension.

  • Straight type tweezers

3. A round-tip tweezer for removing eye patches and tape from around your client’s eyes.

  • Round-tip type tweezers

Must Know

1. Always make sure the tweezers work the way they should before purchasing them. Not just visually, but make sure to actually pick some artificial hairs with them to check if they are precise and easy to use.

2. The force you will have to apply to each tweezer will vary depending on the shape or weight of the tweezers you decide to use. Keep this in mind when you are purchasing a new set of tweezers, as you will need to get used to squeezing them a few thousand times per day. So, if you choose a heavy/hard-to squeeze set of tweezers, you may just trigger hand fatigue.

3. It is also a good idea to have an extra set of titanium tweezers on hand, in case you encounter a client who has metal allergies.

4. Make sure you learn to keep your tweezers running parallel with your client's face while working so you do not stab their face by accident if and when they move during the application process.

5. If you work in a salon or you work with multiple people in the same space, make sure to have enough workspace for yourself to easily move around so that no one can bump your arms during the applications.

6. Eyelash extension tweezers are precision tools that are made specifically to grasp tiny, ultra-thin, little hairs securely and because you will have to be so precise they will need to be cleaned and maintained regularly.

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