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Lash Extensions 101: Safety and Sanitation
Lavish Lashes® Safety Protocols
Mary Jane Roy
Lavish Lashes CEO
Training and certification of lash extension professionals are vital to consumer safety
Training and certification of lash extension stylists are essential to achieve thicker, natural-looking lashes. Lash extensions were introduced in the US in 2004 as a unique service whereby people may have longer, thicker, natural-looking lashes that would wear, shed, and feel like their natural lashes.
Lavish Lashes® has been operating in the US lash industry since 2005. Semipermanent lash extensions are different from what has been traditionally taught in esthetician and cosmetologist programs: the adhesive is different, the lashes are different, the application is different, and the results are different.
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. This is not the case. Licensing does not automatically equate with training and certification. In most states, a licensed esthetician or cosmetologist may legally perform lash extension services, regardless of whether or not they have been trained and certified to perform lash extension applications safely.
Curricula currently used for licensing do not include content and training materials regarding lash extension applications. In addition, the evaluation for licensing does not require demonstrating lash extension skills. We cannot stress the importance of professionals being appropriately trained in the procedure and consumers engaging only in the services of a trained and licensed professional enough.
Consumers can choose between a certified lash extensions professional and a licensed esthetician or cosmetologist without training and certification. Are Lash Extensions Safe? Absolutely, when done by a trained and certified lash professional.
This being said, it would be a disservice to professionals and consumers not to discuss the potential safety risks associated with lash extensions, especially if the person applying eyelash extensions is not trained in eyelash extensions by an experienced and reputable company like Lavish Lashes®.
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 address any issues that may arise. Professionals and consumers should be aware of the following five health risks associated with lash extension applications.
WHY LAVISH LASHES
How can you know if a lash extension stylist has been trained and certified by a reputable company?
Ask your professional lash stylist for their certificate and then research the company that issued the certificate.
Check on the company website to see if they require training for certification and what their certification requirements are specifically
Avoid companies focusing primarily on selling products rather than having an emphasis on training, safety, and certification
Check if the company automatically certifies just with attendance, and look for companies where course attendees have to demonstrate their skills face-to-face
Products in use
Investigate the brand of product used and if the company that sells thScrutinize the brand of product used by your lash professional, and make sure 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 due to the extension being too heavy for the natural lash. An individual sheds, on average, one to four lashes daily.
A normal lash growth cycle is between 90 to 120 days. However, several things can influence the shedding cycle, and this varies from person to person; for example, it can be caused by a sharp change in an individual’s hormonal levels.
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.
Consumer tips -
If your lash extension professional does not work with you to identify your 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 reactions to an ingredient in the adhesive
All lash extension adhesives are cyanoacrylate based. Cyanoacrylate is a chemical compound that reacts with water to quickly form strong adhesive bonds on most surfaces, including nails and skin. It is a known allergen. Formaldehyde is also a natural by-product of the curing process because as the bonds solidify and become strong and effective, tiny parts per million are released into the air.
Lavish Lashes® requires all certified Lavish Lashes® Stylists to have their clients complete an intake and consent form prior to the procedure.
Consumer tips -
A formal screening and allergy identification via intake and consent forms, used by certified lash extension stylists, vastly reduces the risk of allergic reactions. Since all lash extension adhesives are cyanoacrylate based, lash extension services are not for you if you are allergic to nail glue or surgical glue. Never get lash extensions if you are experiencing seasonal allergic reactions like hay fever.
Adhesive in eyes or on the skin – can it be prevented?
Can lash professionals prevent adhesives from ending on the eyes or the skin? Absolutely, when the lash application is made correctly.
A lash extension application is performed correctly if the following applies:
1) the client’s eyes are closed
2) the lash professional applies appropriate protection to cover the lower lashes and prevent contact with the upper lashes
3) the upper eyelid is 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
5) only one extension is attached to one eyelash
In the unlikely case that the adhesive makes accidental contact with the skin, a trained professional can safely remove it with adhesive remover explicitly formulated for eyelash extension removals.
Consumer tips -
Lash extensions should never touch the skin or stick to other lashes. You should not feel the extension at all. However, if you feel your extension is stuck on the skin or attached to another lash, never pull on the lash. Pulling may cause permanent damage to your natural lash, and the lash does not grow back. Immediately contact your stylist to have it corrected.
Wearing contact lenses during the procedure
Removing contact lenses before a lash extension application is critical! Contact lenses can block the flow of irrigation needed during the procedure.
Consumer tips -
To avoid a serious eye infection or injury caused by the inappropriate handling of a contact lens case, we recommend customers bring their own contact case or ensure the case provided is new.
Bacterial infection due to non-aseptic procedures
A trained and certified lash stylist will deliver an aseptic procedure via the appropriate disinfection, sanitation, and disposal of lash extension supplies and treatment areas.
Consumer tips -
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.