Lash Extensions - what do I need to know?

Lash extensions are becoming more and more popular, and it seems that no self-respecting star ventures out without a full set of voluminous lashes. But are they for you – and what do you need to know before you go ahead and book the appointment?

How do you find a reputable clinic/lash professional?

This is so important because we're working so close to your eyes – you don't want to trust the job to an amateur. Always make sure that the person you choose to carry out lash extensions (or lifts, tints and any other lash work) has the correct certification to do the treatment. Ask about training, and what brands they use –it's important to use good quality professional products too. If they have before and after pictures, recommendations and reviews, check those out before you book. Here at Elysian we carry Sugarlash Pro Lashes, Lash Snob Elite adhesive and Bella Lash Cleanser.

What are the most common types of lash extensions?

There are three common lash extensions: faux mink, flat, and silk. They also come in different sizes; from 7mm to 17mm. The lashes the technician chooses are applied one at a time and stuck to your natural lashes with a semi-permanent adhesive that's designed to be gentle on your eye. You will need to have a patch test before a first treatment; a reputable clinic or spa will insist on this because even though they are formulated to be suitable for this delicate area, there's always a chance of an allergic reaction. Even with regular use of lashes a client can become allergic to adhesives.

Everyone's natural lashes are different, and the type of lash extension you choose and the effect it can achieve depends a lot the condition of your own natural lashes. If your own lashes are quite short, very long extensions won't work. The technician will apply up to 3mm in added length; a good technician will not go more than double the length or weight as that is where you see damage.

How long do they take to apply?

If you're having a full set, be prepared to book out up to two hours. After the initial treatment, you can have them, "touched-up" regularly – most estheticians suggest having them topped up around every two to four weeks.

Will they fall out over time?

Yes, all extensions will eventually fall off with the natural lashes that they are attached to. A touch up every two to four weeks will keep them looking good, though. Avoid picking at them or playing with them too, as that can weaken the adhesive. Another thing to be aware of is that it's important to attach each extension lash to one natural lash – inexperienced estheticians can occasionally apply one synthetic lash to multiple natural lashes, which can cause the natural lash to fall out faster or a clumping effect to occur. This can cause a stunt in growth cycles creating a risk of bald spots. Make sure your professional is fully qualified and that should avoid the problem.

Can you wear mascara?

One of the main reasons that people love their lash extensions is that they remove the need for mascara, but if you absolutely must add some, keep it to the tips and don't be too heavy with it. Using mascara at the base of the extensions can make them look clumpy. Keep in mind as well that the use of mascara will reduce the retention rate of your lashes and you will require more frequent fills.

Do extensions damage your natural lashes?

Not if they are applied correctly, by a trained professional. As long as you don't rub your eyes or pull at the extensions your lashes will be fine.

How should I care for them?

Proper aftercare should be followed. Cleansing your lashes and lid is very crucial to the health and retention of your investment! Many think they shouldn't touch their lashes but contrary to their belief it is very important; many infections can happen if the lashes are not properly cleansed of daily pollution, make up and oils. Your aftercare products are included with a full set of lashes at Elysian.