EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EXTENSIONS
Lash extensions have an amazing way of taking years off of our face, brightening our eyes and slimming down the maintenance time of our morning beauty routine.
Extensions have been around for years, however they had gained real popularity in the U.S. around 2004-2005 with A-list celebrities touting their dramatic lash lines all over the red carpet. When the general population caught wind, the lash craze quickly exploded. Over the years more and more technicians and artists have started performing this service and as the immense demand for lashes increased, so did the demand for quality extensions at reasonable prices. With so many places now offering this service, one must ask the question; who out there is the best and who is to be trusted with the safety of your eyes and your wallet.
We have been performing lash services for over 6 years and have as a whole completed well over 3,000 full sets and far too many touch ups to count. Needless to say, we have seen some of the best work from other lash studios and artists walk through our doors and sadly some of the most terrifying, unsafe and unhealthy methods of application.
Our philosophy is based on the principle that you should be able to wear your lash extensions for many years without damage. Yes, years, with the proper application, knowledge and care you will be able to wear your extensions for as long as you like. We are here to educate and inform you on the best practices, what to expect from your service and how you can easily maintain your lashes. If you are not local and can not come see us please, by all means, use us as your guide to finding the best lash service providers in your area so you can enjoy the benefits that lashes provide; the healthy way.
TYPES OF LASHES
There are two types of materials that are used for eyelash extensions. Synthetic silk or synthetic mink (PBT or Polybutylene terephthalate a synthetic semicrystalline engineered thermoplastic) and real, biological fibers or hair from an animal; the Sable or the Mink.
The synthetic styles are also referred to as “Synthetic Mink”. These lashes are the prime choice for most of our clientele.They allow more control over the look that you are wanting to achieve due to how they can withstand everyday wear and tear. Minimal or maximum drama can be acquired based upon your natural lash line and what your lashes can “handle” in terms of weight, length and curl. Our stylists will consult with you regarding your lifestyle, how much makeup you typically wear and what style you are looking to achieve.
As a general rule of thumb: a natural lash should be 1/2 the length of a synthetic lash, any longer can cause breakage and damage to the natural lashes.
Real MINK LASHES are made from the Siberian Mink or Sable. (these animals are brushed to collect hair and not harmed in the process) These are real, biological materials that are trimmed, sanitized dyed and curled. Because it is a biological material there tends to be a lack of consistency in length, thickness and curliness. There is only one thickness which is considered: fine. These are the most natural looking eyelash extensions you can get. Because of their fineness and lack of consistency, they look like natural lashes that are a bit longer and a touch more volume than your own. Mink lashes are more expensive to obtain and require more skill to apply, which is why the price is higher than synthetic lashes. People who want EXTRA discreteness may like minks, or those who have very thin, smaller lashes would benefit from this application.
CURLS, WEIGHTS AND LENGTHS
There are many different curls out there, however, we will focus on the main 3 that are used.
J: A “J” curl lash has the least amount of curl and is typically used on clients who want a very natural look or have very stick straight lashes.
C: A “C” curl lash offers a medium curl and literally is the shape of a C.This curl is the most popular and is what we use most often as they give our clients the look of a soft mascara curl and eye opening effect.
D: A “D” curl is a very tight curl and can really lift the lash line for bright eyed appearance. We use these on clients who like a tight curl or have curlier lashes naturally.
Length: Lashes range from the shortest lash; 8mm to the longest lash at 16mm. The average sizes are typically range between 9 -12.
Weight: There are many different weights of lashes, however, we promote healthy lashes and use a weight that is the closest to that of your natural lash. The average weight is .15. Any heavier, you risk the extension “weighing down” the natural lash causing it to break or pull out before it’s time. Real Mink lashes are the lightest weight lash out there as they are real hair.
Extensions are applied with a dark medical-grade semi-permanent adhesive that is FDA approved.These types of adhesives are commonly used in the medical field for wound closure and are safe to use around the eye area. However, the glue should never touch your skin as lashes must be applied 1 millimeter from your lash line. Adhesive should only be applied to the hair itself.
Lashes are applied by a one on one formula: 1 synthetic lash to 1 natural lash. Synthetic lashes should never be attached to multiple natural lashes and should remain a millimeter or so away from the lid and lash line.
MAINTAINING YOUR EXTENSIONS
Lashes just like hair on your head go through a 3 phase growth cycle.
- Anagen or growth phase. This is where the lash is actively growing and the phase lasts anywhere from 30-45 days. Only 40% of your lashes are in this phase at any one time.
- Catagen or transition phase. This is where the lash actually stops growing and the follicle starts to shrink.
- Telogen phase or resting phase is where the falls out and starts a new.
Because your lashes are all growing in different phases, you typically lose between 3-5 lashes per day.
The average touch up time is between 2 – 2.5 weeks as your natural lashes and normal wear will have you needing a refill. Since you have already started new growth, we will replace the fallen ones with new extensions and remove any that are grown out or twisted.
HOW MUCH WILL YOU LOSE OVER A MONTH
You can expect between a 15-25% loss of your extensions around 2 weeks after your full set or touch up.
3-4 weeks you will now have around 40-60% loss and will therefore need a longer touch up appointment.
5-6 weeks, you will have lost 70-90% and more than likely will now need a full new set.
*these percentages vary depending on your volume or number of natural lashes and how your hair grows within the cycles.
TIP: Always schedule your appointment aggressively, meaning, give yourself the extra time if you think you have more loss or have not been in a while.
For instance: if you know it’s been about 3 weeks since your last appointment, schedule a touchup plus or a 1 hour fill versus a 45 minute fill. This way you are guaranteed the time and will not be leaving without being filled to the extent you should be, if you don’t need the extra time once we see your lashes, we will not use it or charge you for it.
- While you have extensions you want to avoid heavy oils or creams directly on the lashes or close to the lash line as it will break down the integrity of glue faster.
- Avoid steam facials and steam rooms as this will loosen the bond of the glue and shed them faster.
- You will not need to wear mascara with them as it will look like you already have it on, however if you want to wear eye makeup, make sure you are using water-resistant makeup, not water-PROOF.
BEFORE YOUR VISIT
- Always clean your lashes with oil free cleanser prior to your appointment.
- Try and avoid caffeine a couple of hours beforehand to avoid fluttery eyes.
- The less you mess with them, the longer they last.
- Be as gentle and kind to them as you can and be sure to schedule your fills in a timely manner to maintain proper care.
- Use lash growth and conditioning agents to help keep your natural lashes healthy and strong.
And remember, these are customizable, if you want to change the shape, length or style it can be easily accomplished at each touch up appointment.