Eyelash Extensions: What You Need to Know

Interested in eyelash extensions but don’t know how they work? We created a guide that outlines the basics of eyelash extensions so you can be informed before your first visit with an esthetician.

Eyelash extensions started their trend upwards only a few decades ago, in the 1990s and early 2000s. Today, they’ve evolved so much as an art form and expression of beauty. Many salons and spas offer eyelash treatments for all of your eyelash needs to keep you looking beautiful and on trend. But what if you’ve never worn anything but your natural lashes? How do you know what kind of lash extension is right for you? We’ve compiled a guide of eyelash extension basics that will help you start your eyelash extension journey.

The Difference Between Lash Strips and Lash Extensions

woman with eyelash extensions and colorful eye makeup

False eyelashes–or falsies–are widely popular and commonly used, but there are two distinct and different types. There are lash strips and lash extensions. Lash strips are a set of fake eyelashes that glue onto your lash line. They can’t be worn overnight and aren’t really reusable for longer than a few days. But if you’re looking for longer-lasting lashes, eyelash extensions are a better choice than lash strips.

Lash extensions are a lot more precise than lash strips. Lash extensions are put on by a professional and licensed esthetician. This is because instead of gluing one big eyelash strip on, lash experts attach small bunches of lashes on at a time. There’s a wide variety of styles and types of lash extensions, and each type must be done a certain way by a lash professional. Lash extensions can last for weeks, depending on the style you get. They’re a more permanent eyelash treatment than lash strips.

Lash Extension Basics

 esthetician holding eyelash extensions

Before you head down to your nearest salon or spa for lash extensions, you should be familiar with the basics of lash extensions. First, you’ll want to know if you’re going for a classic look or a volumized look. Classic lash extensions are an enhancement of your natural lashes, so they won’t be too bold. Volumized lash extensions fill out your lashes, and they tend to be more dramatic than a classic look. A hybrid lash extension means a mix between classic and volume. Each style affects how your lashes turn out, so it’s important to know what you want.

Once you know what kind of style you’d like for your lashes, you have to consider thickness, curl, and extension volume. Lash thickness is measured in millimeters and ranges from .07 to .20. The thicker the lash is, the heavier it will be. It’s typically best to avoid the thickest lashes as your natural lashes can’t always hold the weight of the extensions. The thinner the eyelash is, the more than can be placed together over your natural lashes. Clients usually average from .10 mm to .15 mm when choosing the thickness of their lash extensions.

The curl of the lash extension is next on our list of basics. Curl styles are J, B, C, D, and L, with J being the smallest curl (like the slight hook on the letter J) and L being the sharpest curl (like the capital letter L). The amount of curl you choose is important because it can affect the overall look of your lash extensions. J and B curls look more natural, while D and L curls are more dramatic and visible.

Finally, the length of the lash extension is also very important to know beforehand. Lash extension length can range from 8 mm to 15 mm. Like the thickness of lash extensions, you have to be careful with how long you go because it’s your natural lashes that have to hold the extensions. Too heavy lash extensions can damage your natural lashes.

Thickness, curl, and length all come together to create a variety of different combinations to choose from. We encourage that you consult with your esthetician about what your natural lashes can handle and what would work best for your eye shape. Understanding these basics of lash extensions helps clients know what to expect and ask for when meeting with their lash professional.

Understanding Lash Extension Hygiene

Here at Multimedia Makeup Academy, we stress the importance of sanitation and cleanliness within the beauty industry. Hygiene for eyelashes is as crucial as hygiene for anywhere else. Many estheticians have clients who don’t properly take care of their eyelashes, which can cause problems for both the clients and lash experts. Here’s what you need to know to maintain hygiene with your lash extensions.

First, lash experts stress how crucial it is to not get your extensions wet or use makeup within 24 hours after your initial appointment. Water and makeup could hinder or weaken the adhesive used on the extensions. Using makeup on your extensions or the eyelid right above the lash line can also affect the extensions if not cleaned properly after. Improper cleaning of the lash extensions means the esthetician has to spend more time cleaning them, which may harm your natural lashes. For more information on proper lash extension hygiene or what products to use, always consult your lash expert. Lash Affair also provides quality products for MMA that we encourage students and clients to use.

Your Future as an Esthetician

esthetician putting eyelash extensions on client

There’s a lot more that goes into lash extensions than what we’ve listed above. Becoming a licensed esthetician opens up a world of beauty and science through different types of skincare and facial treatments. At Multimedia Makeup Academy, lash extensions are just one of many different areas of study that aspiring estheticians become skilled in. Paired with a comprehensive makeup education, students of esthetics at MMA gain extensive knowledge on everything eyelash: lash extensions, lash tinting, lash perms, and lash lifts.

Surveys have found that in the U.S., over 80% of lash professionals have reported being satisfied or very satisfied with their career choice. Further, with eyelash treatments like lash extensions continuing to grow in popularity, licensed estheticians will continue to be in demand.

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