Updated: Sep 27, 2019
I have been in the lash game for quite a few years and will be the first to tell you that our industry is skyrocketing to the top and with that come amazing innovations, techniques, and ideas that make the lash business all that much more exciting and vibrant.
With that said, one of the things that has changed is how to take care of our lash extensions, specifically when it comes to water. A few years back, when the adhesives were not at all what they are today (amazing, medical-grade stuff) you were told not to get your lashes wet under any circumstances. With this advice, women would avoid not only washing their lashes but getting them wet altogether.
Well, times have changed! Having clean lashes is one of the keys to extending the life of your lash extensions and in turn letting you go longer between fill appointments. Everyone agrees that going to see your lash tech is way more affordable when it's every three weeks, instead of two. My girls love to stay full and many of them have a standing, three and four week fill in appointment. Want to make your lash extensions last too?
I know to some this is a no brainer to most of you beauties out there (my clients 100% know this), but it has come to my attention, time and time again, that there are badly educated lash techs out there who are unknowingly damaging their clients natural lashes by teaching them to carry on in their harmful ways while performing damaging services!!! What happens then? Lash follicles get so damaged they will no longer produce a hair follicle. You see where I am going with this? If damaged severely enough, your lashes will not grow back. And in some cases this is permanent. This is where education and extended education come into play, but that's another post.
When I start a relationship with a new client one of my main concerns and priorities is to educate my client about lash health and show them easy ways to follow a lash healthy routine that will give their lash extensions (and natural lashes) the longest, healthiest life possible. For example, a client coming in, wanting 16mm lashes is probably going to be disappointed to find out that I do not carry lengths beyond 14mm and seldom use anything beyond 13-14mm.
Spoiler Alert: one of the keys to great lash extension care is cleaning! Yes, believe it or not I can't tell you how many times I've been told that a clients old lash tech told her NOT TO WASH HER LASHES . . . EVER. Can we say Eew?
Read on for all of my magical eyelash extension aftercare tips.
Aftercare Tips for Gorgeous Lash Extensions
CLEAN AND THEN CLEAN AGAIN
Clean your lashes daily. Preferably, twice a day. The morning cleanse will wash away any oil secretions that have collected on the lids and lashes throughout the night, giving them a squeaky clean start to the day. The evening lash extension shampoo will get rid of any debris, dust, pollution, pollen, makeup, sweat, and oil that have collected throughout your day. Leaving any of this yuck will break down the adhesive bond with the lash and will result in poor retention. Not to mention, this is kind of a gross habit that can also lead to eye infections or disease.
SKIP THE OIL
Water based products are the way to go when wearing lash extensions. Whether it's your makeup remover, lash shampoo, eye cream, or eyeliner, choose these products with care. Check the ingredients for oils and avoid them as they, too, weaken the bond of the adhesive.
BE A FAN OF YOUR LASHES
Wetting your lashes is a-okay! Ocean, pool, shower, happy (hopefully always) tears, you name it, they can typically handle the situation. A secret tip to keeping your lashes (especially the hybrid and volume ones out there) looking fluffy and flawless is fanning them dry from the bottom. This little trick will keep your fans feathery and your curl as tight as the day you got your set/fill. You're welcome!
This is a "no-duh" kind of rule, but, please, don't pull or tug on your lash extensions. Rubbing or pulling on your lashes can damage the hair follicles and we know where that leads us (read the first few paragraphs, if you haven't already). If you are experiencing any pain, please call your lash technician as soon as possible.
Eyelash curlers, perms, lifts, or tints are not for the lash extension girls out there. These procedures are typically quite unnecessary when you are rocking a gorgeous set of lash extensions, but in case you are curious, curlers kink the lash which is irreversible and will result in a removal and reapplication of lash extensions. Perms, tints, and lifts weaken the adhesive tremendously resulting in more frequent fill appointments.
DANGER: KEEP AWAY FROM HEAT
Lashes melt! Yes, you read that right. So, please take extra care when you are taking dinner out of the oven, checking in on the burgers on the grill, or are lighting that cigarette. Even a little bit of heat can deform lashes.
One of my favorite movies, had to be done!
BRUSH. BRUSH. BRUSH.
Brushing your lashes will keep them healthy and strong. Brushing your lashes stimulates the blood flow to the lid and lash area bringing oxygen and food to the area. This feeds and nourishes the hair follicles promoting healthy, strong eyelash growth. Brushing your lashes can also help redirect those confused ones that grow towards your nose instead of your ear. Brush often and you will see them start to straighten out. Lashes that grow in the correct direction have the best retention and we strive for that!
GET YOUR FILL
Getting your fills on time means the difference between ravishing and ratty lashes. Everyone is different in their fills. Typically, the length between fills is determined on how each individual cares for their lashes at home, how oily you are, how active, how fast or slow your hair growth, and how important it is for you to look as full (in your lashes) as possible (some care more than others). I suggest getting your fills 2-3 weeks, given that we look at the following average lash client. Lets call her Jane:
Jane has 120 eyelashes per eye (average is about 90-150)
Each eye sheds 2-4 lashes per day (we'll use 3 for this example).
1 week lash shed = 21 lashes
2 week lash shed = 42 lashes; 120-42=78 lashes left at 2 weeks (less than low end average of 90)
3 week lash shed = 63 lashes; 120-63=57 lashes left at 3 weeks
I hope this example shed some light on how often to schedule your fills. No pun intended. I also suggest not scheduling your fill right away (lash artists are going to kill me for saying this) and take some time to figure out what time span is best for you. However, keep in mind that most lash artists, myself included, require that you have at least 50% of your lash extensions at the time of your fill. With that said, 4 week retention is definitely NOT unheard of. I have plenty of clients coming in every 4 weeks but they are aware that they need to have at least half of their lash extensions.
When you are ready to part with your lash extensions, please see a trained professional to do so. Removing them yourself can result in damage that could've been easily avoidable if you see a lash tech with the right knowledge, equipment, and products.
THE WET MYTH
It was once a rule not to be broken, but getting your lashes wet as soon as 5 minutes after lash services is a-okay. Some lash veterans even insisnt on a full lash bath after each service for a great retention. I will dip my toe into this one slowly with willing participants, but getting your lashes right after services is no longer a big deal.
I hope you enjoyed this little lesson on how to take care of your lash extensions and keep them healthy and strong for as long as possible which saves you money and keeps your looking effortlessly beautiful.
Please leave a comment if you enjoyed this write up or have any other suggestions.
And, please, enjoy this moment and the next, always.