What is a Skilled Eyelash Extension Technician and why is it important?
This story will explain the difference between a Skilled Eyelash Extension Technician and a not so good one. It is a story that I’m sure most people and technicians are familiar. One which I hear and see many times. This is not a bad technician as such, but are ones that rush, don’t care or don’t know any better. It comes down to lack of training, ongoing education, skill or experience.
This is Mary’s story….
Mary has made an appointment for a new set of eyelash extensions and is very excited. She choose this technician because it is close to where she lives. She has them applied and they look amazing. They are thick, luscious and long, everything she imagined they would be. Friends start to comment and tell her how great they look. People ask her questions about the experience and she shares her story.
The next day she starts to feel some itchiness and irritation. She thinks nothing of it because she has never had lashes before. This has to be normal, right? As the week continues she notices the eye lid is a little puffy, like you have been crying for a whole day. This could be normal, maybe the natural eyelashes are adjusting to the extensions? She asks her friends who all say, “I can’t see anything, they still look great!”. Mary’s eyes start to calm as she gets used to the extensions, she is now convinced this is normal. Her friends would tell her if they notice anything, right?
Over the next week, the natural lashes grow a bit and that itchiness back again. She doesn’t want to rub her eyes and risk losing a extension or damaging it so she ignores the slight irritation, thinking it’s normal. The price of beauty, right?? After another week, she barely notices any irritation. Any irritation now can’t be the lashes. It gets other names like, must be something in the air or allergies flaring up again.
Over the 3 weeks, Mary only brushed the extensions because that was the only advice given. Not wanting to touch them in case they fall out and being ever so gentle with them. She loses a few and thinks it must be because she is brushing them, so she limits her brushing to once a day after she wakes up. That should keep retention, right? All her friends agree.
3 weeks comes by and it’s time for the refill. She books in for her appointment with the same technician. The only thing she has noticed is a few gaps here and there and they are looking a bit wild. The lashes are infilled, she pays the money and leaves feeling like a new woman again. Again, nothing mentioned about cleaning them. NO instructions on how to maintain them, NO time spent or allocated checking for stickies and NO questions at all or any guidance, just the usual relaxing experience. She leaves thinking everything is ok and is doing all the right things.
4 weeks go by and she starts to google eyelash extensions because she feels something isn’t right. The itchiness comes back sometimes as well as the slight swelling and what is that on the lashes? No matter how magnified the mirror is or what angle she tilts her head she can’t get close enough to see anything wrong. After searching and reading, she doesn’t find anything to worry about. Must be normal. Another refill later and everything seems normal. They look and feel fine. Friends still say they look great. They do feel a little long now but is still loving them. She will ask her technician about the length and any questions she has at her next appointment.
She tries to book in for her next appointment but unfortunately the normal technician isn’t available. OH NO! She would feel naked without lashes!! Friends suggest a couple of local salons. She does some Facebook and website searches. Mary looks at pictures and reviews until she is happy that she has found the right salon. She didn’t do this for the first technician because she didn’t know any different. Now she wants someone that knows what they are doing and comes recommended. After a lot of research, she finds another technician. The new technician agrees to look at the lashes. The Skilled Eyelash Extension technician warns that without knowing the condition of the lashes, the glue used or how the extensions are applied, they may need to be removed and a new set applied. Mary thinks, “That’s fine! There is nothing wrong with my lashes!”
The day of her appointment comes with the new technician. Mary is a little apprehensive with this new experience, but all techs are the same, right? The new lash technician looks at the lashes and starts to ask a couple of questions because somethings not right. How long have you had lashes for? How do you maintain your lashes? Have you had any reactions or uncomfortable experiences like irritation? How do they feel from day to day? She answers the questions with a confident “I’ve had lashes a few times and LOVE THEM. I brush them in the mornings after I wake up. I did have some slight irritation when I first got them but they feel fine now”.
She gets on the lash bed and the lights come on. After a few minutes the lash tech says. “I’m sorry, but we will have to remove these lashes completely. I will just take some photos so I can show you what I am seeing” Ummm what?! WHY?! The lash tech takes a couple of photos and explains what has happened and why they need to come off. Mary sees the photos from different angles and zoomed in. The lash tech explains and can’t believe that a couple of lashes are stuck to the skin! If they are not removed they will cause further or permanent damage to the lashes, eyelid or eyes themselves if an infection was to form.
The Skilled Eyelash Extensions technician also sees that there a few lashes stuck to each other or natural lashes beside them. She also shows Mary some weird funky build up on the lashes that looks similar to mascara. Mary knows she hasn’t had mascara anywhere near the lashes for months! She can see why they have to come off and agrees. Wondering what she did wrong. She starts to wander if she wants more on or will this happen again? The lash tech removes the extensions while Mary ponders the questions.
The extensions were completely removed and the natural lashes were cleaned. Mary notices how nice it feels, refreshing, clean, soothing and no irritation or itching. She looks in the mirror and feels completely naked and disappointed. “I have to have more on!” Mary was shown all the extensions after they were removed. She points out the ones that were stuck together and how the natural lashes had infused together. Explained how this would have caused irritation and that it wasn’t Mary’s fault.
The pain and irritation Mary was feeling was because the extensions were infused with each other. She also explains what has caused the build-up and how natural skin cells, daily dust in the air and oils build up on the skin at the base of the lashes. By not cleaning them, this has caused build up and infused more of the lashes together. There was no information given so how was Mary supposed to know how to clean them? The tech also explains how once build up forms, this can weakens the root of the natural lashes. Unfortunately now the remaining natural lashes have been weakened by the experience. Therefore, they are not as healthy as they were.
All is not lost! She goes on to explain that eyelash extensions are still possible but they need to be shorter and thinner. Hence, this will allow the healthier lashes to grow and not damage the lashes further. The natural eyelashes need to come back to healthy state. With a proper cleaning routine, nutrition and maintenance, the lashes will be back to health in no time. When the natural lash is healthy and strong, we can apply thicker and longer lashes. A vitamin serum will also help maintain the health of the natural lashes. Mary agreed and was glad her eyelashes were now in safe hands.
From that day on, Mary cleaned her lashes 2 -3 times a week with a specified last cleanser. Over time, she was able to increase the length and thickness of the eyelash extensions. There was no further damage to her lashes and is now confident they are healthy and strong. Her lashes are now the best they have ever looked. Clean, healthy lashes with no damage or build up. Mary is very happy with her Skilled Eyelash Extensions technician and now knows the difference between a good and a great one.
In conclusion, the health and well-being of the natural lash is paramount. Applying extensions to natural lashes that are not strong or healthy will always cause damage. . All clients should have a thorough understanding of how to clean and maintain their lashes. All of us want nice long, thick lashes but we have to work with the quality of our natural lashes first. For instance, short lashes can’t have extremely long extensions. Therefor, education, care and patience is key for great lashes. A skilled eyelash extension technician should be able to help you reach your lash goal. There should never be any damage or compromising the health of the natural lash.
To learn how to clean your Eyelash Extensions go here.
*Disclaimer* The names in this article are fictional. This story is based on a culmination of events and experiences of the author.