One of the most important factors that determines good vs bad application is ensuring that the eyelash extension is attached to one individual natural eyelash. This is paramount in achieving long term wear that does not permanently damage the natural eyelashes. Eyelash extension training is important in teaching the fundamentals of proper application. There are many live and online courses available today. For eyelash extensions to feel like your own, they must only be attached to one single natural lash. This is done by a process referred to as isolation. Using eyelash extension tweezers, the natural eyelash is found, and separated from the rest by moving natural lashes from the left and the right side, completely away so that the lash artist can place one single extension on that one single natural eyelash without it touching another natural eyelash. This is an extremely difficult technique to learn because it requires the use of both hands at the same time, and most people are not used to using both at once.
There are three phases of hair growth including anagen, catagen, and telogen. Anagen lashes are “babies”, new little lashes that need time to breathe before having the weight of an eyelash extension on it. Catagen are “middle”, or “teenager” lashes. These are ideal for an extension, because they still have quite a bit of life left but are also strong enough to support an extension. Telogen are the “adult” eyelashes. They are strong enough for an extension, but are also technically dead, and in the resting or shed phase and will be replaced by an anagen lash soon.
When permanent damage happens, the anagen lash does not come back, and the cycle stops forever. This form of permanent hair loss is called, traction alopecia. There are seven different types of alopecia. Traction alopecia happens when the hair is forcefully removed before it was meant to shed. Picking, pulling, and rubbing can also cause this. When referencing traction alopecia to eyelash extensions, this occurs because the glue pulls out the natural lashes from improper application. Improper application is sometimes hard to spot in pictures immediately after application, and are usually more noticeable once the natural lashes have grown some. This is because the
eyelash extensions do not grow out straight like they would if they were applied to just one natural eyelash.
If this fundamental technique is not mastered from the beginning, all other aspects of good application will suffer as well. The extensions will not look “real”, because there is no way for the eyelash extension to lay flat and natural, lining up with the real lash line, if other natural
lashes are stuck to it as well. This creates “wonky”, or “crazy” looking eyelash extensions. No amount of brushing or fixing will straighten them, because they were glued on this way. Initially, most clients that have never had extensions before often think that this is, “supposed
to be this way”, or “just how eyelash extensions are”. This could not be further from the truth.
Full sets that are applied incorrectly are often tolerable in the beginning. The real problems come from continually getting them filled again and again. This creates a snowball effect that results in real damage to the natural eyelashes that is often not reversable. The eyelashes grow each at their own pace. Every eyelash is at a different phase of growth and will shed at a different time. The average shedding is 1-6 eyelashes per eye, per day. If eyelash extensions are stuck to multiple natural eyelashes, they are not able to shed as they should, causing stress to the hair follicle, and frequently resulting in the lashes being pulled out before its time. Each hair follicle is different. Sometimes a follicle can only withstand this one time and will never grow back. Sometimes it can happen repeatedly and still come back. Every person’s biology is different too! Permanent damage is caused when the hair follicle does not grow back again.
You will not know when this point will be until it happens. Feeling a pull, or irritation can be signs that the natural lashes are not isolated correctly, along with many other factors, such as multiple extensions “hanging” down below the lash line. If you’ve had eyelash extensions for a longer period of time, and they started great, but seem to get thinner and thinner with time, this could also be a sign of damage from poor application. Isolation is something that must be consciously achieved 100% of the time. Once in a blue moon, you might miss a tiny baby lash, and see this mistake while doing the fill 2-3 weeks out. But this is something that should rarely happen. Maintaining perfect isolation is a skill that is learned with time. This is the first building block of many when applying eyelash extensions, and without it, clients will suffer from permanent eyelash loss.
If you are unable to isolate natural eyelashes to apply an extension, you are not ready to take regular paying clients! Continue practicing on models that are aware you are not ready yet, until you have achieved perfect one on one isolation. Sometimes an adjustment on your prescription is needed if you wear contacts/glasses. If you are unable to isolate because your vision does not allow you to see well enough to get one natural eyelash by itself, it is best that you do not continue to apply extensions to clients’ natural lashes. Continuing education in the topic of eyelash extensions will help achieve the best possible results for clients every time. Choosing an online training program that allows access indefinitely might benefit you the most, because new updated information would be accessible when the trainer updates the material.
The best online training programs will offer online support via the training platform directly, email, or sometimes even a Facebook group.
When learning how to apply eyelash extensions, remember that the most important first step is application! The isolation of one natural eyelash will ensure the health of your clients’ natural lashes and allow them to wear extensions for years and years to come without having
problems. Continuously taking classes and courses, online or live, will benefit you immensely and allow you to broaden your knowledge and stay current with new eyelash extension techniques and information.