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Are your eyelash extensions harming your natural lashes?

Did you know ANYONE can apply eyelash extensions? Missouri does not have any state regulations on lash extensions or who can apply them. States like Texas and California require at least 320 hours of classroom and practical experience, as well as at least eight hours of theory on topics such as infectious and contagious diseases of the eye and allergic reactions to materials, proper sanitation, application, isolation, and separation procedures.

What does this mean for us in Missouri? It means that whether you are getting your lashes done by someone in a reputable high-end salon, a lash studio, or someone in their home, none of those people are required by the state to have any training. Whether they are a licensed cosmetologist or esthetician, does NOT ensure any certification classes because there is not a standardized curriculum that the Missouri State Board oversees, like the curriculum mentioned above.

The pictures on this page are just a few examples of improper lash length and diameter chosen by the lash tech, poor isolation and adhesive amounts used, as well improper after-care maintenance.

Unfortunately, it's not up to the client, what individual eyelash extensions are applied. More often than not, I hear "I want the longest and the fullest". Classic lashing is determined by each individual client's natural lashes. If they are short, sparse and fine, the extensions will be shorter and lightweight. They will not add density. You cannot extend a lash that isn't there. So for those clients that do not have a lot of lashes, volume lashes will provide a better solution, but they are also much more expensive because it takes a very advanced lash artist to develop volume lashing skills.

With continuous improper extension application, damage to the natural lash WILL happen. And depending on how long you endure it, will depend on how severe the damage will be. This can happen in as little as a month, where you get a full set of lashes that are too long and too much adhesive is used, having multiple natural lashes glued to one extension, not allowing them to freely grow. Lashes with too much weight (over 4mm's past the natural lash) can break off, others (that were accidentally glued to the extensions) will be pulled out as the strongest lash that was intended to be extended continues to grow . If this is continually repeated, you deplete all of your long healthy lashes that can support an extension. Once there is repeated damage to the hair follicle, your natural lash will not grow back. Lash serums will regenerate a lash in the damaged follicle, but only as long as you are using the serum. Once you stop, you are back to where you started, gaps in your lash line.

The other side of eyelash extensions that improperly trained lash techs may not explain, is the importance of keeping them clean and what kind of cosmetics can be worn with lash extensions. You cannot wear anything waterproof. If wearing mascara or eyeliner (top or bottom of eyes) it must be formulated for eyelash extensions, as it will not break down the adhesive bonds. You want to protect your investment, not destroy it! The more you put improper cosmetics on them, the harder it is to get them off. And when you go in for your fill with all that build up you cannot see, it creates a barrier between the extension and natural lash, inhibiting a strong bond. If you were not shown an eyelash cleanser by your lash tech, GET SOME! Do not go buy something off the shelf at Ulta or Walgreens. Order it online so you know it is safe to use. Oil-based products and extremely oily skin both break down adhesive (if you use our lash extension foaming cleanser nightly, these will not be as detrimental). Just because Mary Kay has an "oil-free" cleanser, if you turn over your bottle, you will probably find oils on the list of ingredients. Companies substitute synthetic oils for natural versions in order to call the product oil-free because it's a buzz word and the FDA does not regulate what goes into cosmetics. Even if you are not wearing approved cosmetics on or around your eyelash extensions, they still collect pollen, dirt, debris and oils from your skin. Cleaning with a sponge, or a makeup brush (my preferred method because it gets in-between each eyelash), will keep your eyes from getting infected and will extend the life of your extensions between fills. Who wouldn't want to invest a couple minutes every other day for that?