I guess I should start by saying this is my truth about eyelash extensions. There is an amazing Facebook group for the moms who live in South Surrey and White Rock, which is where I live. I love the group! The women are supportive, informative and gracious. A lot of my clients have come from this group, so the other day when someone posted about wanting to treat themselves to lashes for their birthday (I think it was) I was surprised and disappointed by the number of people who scared her off. Then I realized they were telling their truth about eyelash extensions, and the truly disappointing part is it should never be this way. They were unhappy with how long the lashes lasted, the maintenance involved and what happened to their natural lashes afterwards. I decided I should turn my frustration into my next blog.
Let's be clear: eyelash extensions are not permanent. We have 90-160 lashes on each eye, about 60% of which are old/strong enough to hold an extension (you've all heard me talk about your baby lashes), and their average life span is 45 to 90 days. We lose 2-5 eyelashes per day, per eye. If we do the math 60% of 90-160 is 54-96 extensions per eye at a rate of loss of 2-5 lashes a day means extensions could last as few as 10 days and as many as 48 based on natural eyelash shedding alone. This is why most eyelash technicians will tell you to get a fill every 2-3 weeks which is the point at which you should have at least 50% of your extensions remaining. I always hope my clients will get more like 3-4 weeks out of them and some do and some don't because, and here's a key point, everyone is different. This is a best case scenario, by the way. By that I mean, this is for the person who takes immaculate care of the extensions and doesn't lose a single lash due to the loss of lash glue integrity.
Some of the maintenance instructions (which I'll get to in a minute) are because the glue is not impervious. One thing that happens is it will degrade with oil that can be from makeup, makeup remover, sunscreen and natural oils in the skin. People with oilier skin will not have lashes last as long as those who tend to have drier skin. People who wear a lot of eye makeup, or wear it daily, will not have lashes last as long as those who wear very little eye makeup, or wear it infrequently.
These are the two (there are many more, mostly client specific) main reasons lash extensions fall out and get gappy. Does it happen after 3 days? Well, yes, some will fall out daily but it should by no means be gappy after 3 days. If it is, you should be contacting your lash tech who can troubleshoot what might be happening. Does this mean every time you get lashes they will be gappy after 3 days? Absolutely not, unless you have very few lashes to begin with, and they cycle quickly and/or they are not properly cared for. After 2+ years of applying lash extensions, and 10 years (on and off) of having my own I can tell you that I can never predict how long lashes will last, but for most people they will still look good for at least 2 weeks.
Let's talk about that maintenance. I'm not going to lie, it is maintenance, but it's pretty simple and takes a couple of days to get used to it and then it doesn't feel like maintenance at all. Most importantly, don't get them wet for 24 hours. That's it, 24 hours. The glue is still curing on the inside so if they are exposed to excessive water in those first 24 hours, they'll just fall off. I have a long time client who can tell you all about that because she once she forgot this rule and had a shower the same day. That set of lashes didn't do so well. It's music to my ears when clients come in saying they showered that morning because they know they can't that night. After the 24 hours, no problem. I have been to the pool with my kids many a time with my extensions and they do fine. A week at a beach resort where you're in the water for 6 hours a day and wearing sunscreen is different, but regular showering and pool time is fine. Next, don't sleep on your face. If you're lying on your face you're basically going to rub the lashes and you will lose some. I now sleep on a silk pillowcase which reduces the friction on my lashes, my hair and my skin. Now my lashes last longer, my hair doesn't get as frizzy and my face won't get as wrinkly. The next piece of maintenance is washing the lashes. There are a couple of conditions that can result from dirty natural lashes, and those conditions will mean your lashes aren't healthy and will fall out, taking the extensions with them. I send every new client home with a special lash and brow wash that should be used a few times a week. I feel that regular face washing and showering is good enough for the remainder of the days. Again, too much rubbing of them will lead to loss. There are other maintenance instructions for keeping them pretty (brushing them and avoiding high heat), but these are the main three for keeping them on.
The last thing I wanted to clear up, which I hear very often, is that lash extensions will damage the natural lash. No, no, no, no, no. If lashes are applied correctly, with the correct weight and length, and cared for properly they will not damage natural lashes. Damage comes from lashes being glued to multiple natural lashes at once, being applied to lashes that are not strong enough to hold an extension, or using an extension that is too long or too heavy even for the adult natural lash. Lashes come in many different lengths (5mm up to 16mm and sometimes longer) and many different thicknesses (0.03mm up to 0.25mm). Some of you may recall that my most feared lashing words are "Can we go longer?" This is why. Chances are that there are longer lashes that I could use, but not safely. I never want to disappoint anyone, but sometimes longer just isn't possible. Find yourself a trained, experienced tech who knows these rules, follow their instructions (even if that means taking a break from lashes, or using a growth serum) and you won't get damaged lashes.
Lash extensions are a luxury. It takes proper training, practice and products to create quality sets. It takes time to apply one tiny extension to each tiny natural lash. It is an art and a skill and it honestly breaks my heart when clients come back with a less than normal amount of extensions at their fill appointments. I guess this is why it broke my heart (ok, it didn't break it in half or anything) to have people bad mouth my passion. So please, if you ever have any questions about lash extensions (or lifts or teeth whitening) please ask someone or two or three who provide the service and make a decision based on their information.
Thanks for reading. I hope you've learned one or two new things. Please share, post, like or comment and let me know if there's anything you want me to cover in an upcoming blog.
P.S. Happy Mother's Day to me! =)
P.P.S. Normally I get my husband to proof read these, but he's asleep now too, so I apologize if there are any grammar or spelling erros.