Why Training &
of Lash Extension Professionals
is Important to
Written by Mary Jane Vega, Lavish Lashes CEO
From the perspective of both thicker naturally looking lashes that the lash extension professional and the consumer, training and certification of lash extension stylists is of paramount importance. Lash extensions were introduced in the US in 2004, as a unique service whereby women may have longer, thicker naturally looking lashes that wear, shed, and feel like their natural lashes. The adhesive is different, the lashes are different, the application is different, and the result is different than what has been traditionally taught in esthetician and cosmetologist programs.
In this country, there is a misconception that if a person is a licensed esthetician or cosmetologist they are automatically qualified to perform lash extension services, which is not the case. Licensing does not equate with training and certification. In most states, a person licensed as an esthetician or cosmetologist may legally perform this service, regardless of whether or not they have been trained and certified to safely perform lash extension applications. Curricula, that is currently used for licensing, does not include content regarding lash extension applications and testing for esthetician and cosmetologist licensing does not evaluate or require the demonstration of lash extension skills. Therefore, the importance of professionals being properly trained in the procedure and consumers engaging only the services of a trained and licensed professional, cannot be stressed enough.
When a well-educated consumer can discern between a certified lash extensions professional and a licensed esthetician or cosmetologist without training and certification, any safety risks associated with lash extensions will be greatly minimized. Are Lash Extensions Safe? Absolutely, when done properly by a trained and certified lash stylist.
This being said, it would be a disservice, to both lash extensions professionals and consumers to not discuss the potential safety risks associated with lash extensions, particularly if the person applying eyelash extensions is not trained specifically in eyelash extensions by an experienced and reputable company. Quality training and certification programs benefit both the professional and the consumer by emphasizing the safety and well-being of the consumer and providing the professional with the skills to appropriately address any issues that may arise. Professionals and consumers should be aware of the following five health risks associated with lash extension applications.
How does a consumer know if a lash extension stylist has been trained and certified from a reputable company?
The following are some tips:
• Ask to see the professional lash stylist’s certificate and then research the company that issued the certificate.
• Look on the company website to see if they require training and what are their certification requirements?
• Is the company’s emphasis primarily on selling product rather than training, safety, and certification?
• Does the company automatically certify or are there skills that must be demonstrated face-to-face?
• Investigate the brand of product used and if the company that sells that product requires training and certification?
PREMATURE SHEDDING OF NATURAL LASHES
The most common risk in eyelash extensions is the premature shedding of the natural lash. If the extension is too heavy for the natural lash, the lash may shed prematurely. It is normal for a person to shed one to four lashes daily.
A normal lash growth cycle is between 90-120 days. However, a number of things influence this shedding cycle such as sharp changes in one’s hormonal levels and it varies from person to person. The Lavish Lashes® curriculum teaches students the importance of, and how to choose, the proper lash weight for each individual client’s eyelash tolerance. If an extension is too heavy it produces too much stress on the hair follicle, which may cause premature shedding.
If your last extension stylist doesn’t work with you to identify your own design preference and lash tolerance (lash extension weight/ diameter) and you can feel the lash extensions are too heavy or stuck together in clumps, head for the door.
ALLERGIC REACTIONSWHAT’S IN THE ADHESIVE?
All lash extension adhesives are cyanoacrylate based, a chemical compound that reacts with water to quickly form strong adhesive bonds on most surfaces including the nails and skin for suturing skin and internal organs together. It is a known allergen and formaldehyde is a natural by-product released into the air in tiny parts per million during the curing process as the bonds solidify and become strong and affective. Lavish Lashes® requires Certified Lavish Lashes® Stylists have clients complete an Intake and Consent Form prior to the procedure.
Allergic reactions can be minimized by proper screening and allergy identification through Intake and Consent forms used by certified lash extension stylists. Since all lash extension adhesives are cyanoacrylate based, if you are allergic to nail glue or surgical glue, this service isn’t for you. Never get lash extensions if you are already experiencing reactions due to allergy season.
ADHESIVE IN EYES OR ON SKIN – CAN IT BE PREVENTED?
Can adhesive ending on the eyes or on the skin be prevented? Absolutely, when the application is performed correctly! A lash extension application is correctly performed with 1) the client’s eyes shut, 2) proper protection to cover the lower lashes to prevent contact with upper lash- es, 3) upper eyelid covered to protect the skin from tools, adhesive, and light (this also provides a gentle reminder to keep eyes closed), 4) the extension does not touch the skin, and 5) only one extension attached to one eyelash.If the adhesive makes accidental contact with the skin, a trained professional can safely remove it with the appropriate adhesive remover formulated specifically for eyelash ex- tension removals.
Lash extensions should not be touching the skin and not stuck to other lashes. Properly applied, you should not feel the extension at all. However, if it does feel as though it is stuck on the skin or attached to another lash, do NOT pull on the lash. Pulling may cause permanent damage to your natural lash, and the lash not to grow back. Immediately, call your stylist to have it corrected.
WEARING CONTACT LENSES DURING THE PROCEDURE
Removing contacts prior to a lash ex- tension application is vitally important because contacts can block the flow of irrigation, if needed during the procedure.
To avoid serious eye infection and/or injury from improper handling of a contact lens case, bring your own contact case or ensure the case you are provided is new.
BACTERIAL INFECTION DUE TO NON-ASEPTIC PROCEDURES
A trained and certified lash stylist will provide an aseptic procedure through proper disinfection, sanitation, and disposal of lash extension supplies and treatment areas.
As a consumer, observe the general hygiene of the lash stylist’s work area:
Is the stylist washing his or her hands thoroughly?
Are instruments being properly disinfected?
Are lashes placed on dirty surfaces? Reused?
Are lashes in contact with porous surfaces, like a sponge, that cannot be disinfected?
If you have any questions, or concerns, talk to your stylist. As a professional, he or she will be happy to explain their safety process.
Lash extensions have been offered since 2005, with thousands of consumers experiencing safe and beautiful outcomes. With its launch in April 2005, Lavish Lashes® became the third company in the United States to market lash extensions, and the first to require hands on training and certification. Lavish Lashes® has consistently put consumer safety at the forefront by requiring licensed estheticians and cosmetologists, who desire to offer the lash extension service, to successfully complete a training program and become a trained and certified lash extension stylist, therefore producing highly skilled professionals and increasing consumer safety.