Have you ever wondered what it would be like to get lash extensions? I have. The most I’ve ever done with my lashes is falsies. My first experience was almost five years ago when a makeup artist sold the idea to me. “They’re quick, easy and elevating,” she said with the enthusiasm of a voice over artist in a mascara advert.
I believed her. To be fair, I’d seen them on women and they looked good. I just didn’t know what to expect – how she was going to apply them to my eyes or how I was even going to look.
It’s the same feeling with lash extensions. Light reading has made me understand that falsies only require a strip of lashes and lash glue (if they aren’t magnetic) but lash extensions are a semi permanent beauty procedure.
Everybody wants to try something new, and unfortunately, they may not get the expected results. At this point, they’re regretful. That’s a valid fear. But for some others, it’s exactly as they imagined.
In order to gain more understanding on the feeling and process of lash extensions, I caught up with a client and a lash tech.
Below, their experiences which are set to guide you through the entire process and share what to expect at every stage of your lash extension journey…if you’re considering it.
POV: The Client
As a client, Lawrence, 24, has been getting her lashes done since she was in university. As someone with scanty natural lashes, she needed something non-surgical that could change that. “I started fixing falses but was frustrated by the fact that I always had to remove them when I returned home. I decided to start getting lash extensions because they lasted longer for me,” she says.
On discovering a lash tech:
“My lash tech was first my makeup artist. I started following her page and noticed that she’s been putting her work out there as a lash tech as well as the process. She was very educational and transparent with her prices. When I was ready to start fixing, I had her in mind and went to her.”
On what she wish she knew before her first appointment:
“I wish I knew what to wear to be more comfortable while I laid for the number of hours I did. I wish I knew what exactly I wanted to do earlier because there were a lot of options. I had to give my lash tech the freedom to use her discretion. Thankfully, she did a good job and I loved it. I also wish I had eaten prior (lol) because laying for that long knowing I couldn’t open my eyes or move frequently was a struggle for me. Finally, I wish I asked my lash tech what to expect so I wouldn’t have to have been so wishful on my first time. “
On thoughts around lash extensions, longevity for her and recommendation:
“There’s always a different look that lash extensions give you. The experience is calming. It’s like that moment of stillness you experience when you go for a massage. I really don’t do any makeup or frequent hair appointments. Lash extensions are everything beauty to me. So, they have a budget in my world. I love them. I’ve been on this for years now and I know how to maintain them well. I’ll definitely recommend it to anyone. Try it out. You just might like it as much as I do.”
POV: The lash tech
On the professional side of things, I spoke with Akon, a lash tech based in Lagos to walk me through the world of lash extensions, common mistakes and misconceptions about booking and getting lash extensions.
As a beauty technician, Akon has been working professionally for over 2 years now. She was inspired to follow this path after her encounter with someone with lash extensions 6 years ago. “It was fascinating because I couldn’t see the band where the lashes were being placed. Her lashes were looking longer yet natural,” she said. “I was made to wonder what happened. I went up to compliment her and ask if she used mascara and she said they were lash extensions. After that encounter, I enrolled into a school to learn that skill.”
On lash extensions and options to explore:
“Lash extensions are basically the application of false individual lashes to our natural lashes to make them either look longer or fuller. There are various extensions. The basic full lash styles and other extended lash styles.
When you talk about classic, hybrid, volume and mega volume lashes, these styles are differentiated by the fullness of the lashes after the installation. Classic is when you match one one human or synthetic strand of lash extensions to one natural strand of eyelash hair, hybrid is slightly fuller, volume lives up to its name and the mega volume is pretty much x2 of the volume. With the other extended lash styles, fullness isn’t the determinant but length is. You can explore the cat eye, squirrel, central eye, wispy or dolly. You have to match the fullness with the length as we have three stages of the eye: the tail, the middle and the tear duct all of which you need to balance out.”
On the process:
“As a professional, I find it very engaging and it heightens all my senses. For the client, I’ll say it’s therapeutic. You have your eyes shut for an hour or two depending on the set you’re going for. The fuller the set, the longer the time. I’ll recommend you use the time to sleep because you can’t open your eyes during the process”.
On timeline and maintenance:
“A lash set is to last 4 weeks but a refill every 2 weeks is recommended. If you really keep to the after care policy, you can go three weeks without a refill. Don’t vigorously wash your eyes. Don’t sleep on your face. Brush your lashes regularly. These are the quick and easy ways to maintain your lashes.”
“I find it’s best to always work with clients’ preferences. However, for a first timer, I look at three things: the eye shape, lash style and lash length.
For the shape of the eye, if your eyes are hooded, it’s better to stay away from a look with a lot of volume. For the natural lash style, if you have curved lashes, we know to work with a D or DD curve. With length, if you want 10 inches and your lashes are 12, I may need to advise that you do an inch longer than your natural lash length. That’s about how it goes.”
“I have clients who pick out their lashes (like nail biting) and come in for volume then compare with their experiences outside. It makes the session more tasking. In addition, clients want the best but don’t want to lay down for the number of hours required to achieve their given set. Also, there’s fear. Some clients fidget and are uneasy when a professional is working on their lashes. I’ll say, give the professional the freedom to work well on the set so we can achieve a good result.”
On what she wants people to know before they book their first appointment:
- Have it at the back of your mind that the technician can only work with what your natural lashes can give.
- Don’t take coffee before coming for a lash set. You might be restless or your eyes may be twitching.
- There are different lash sets and you should have a preference. Where you don’t have one, allow the professional to choose for you.
- Lash extension applications are different from a lash strip. The process takes hours and will require you to be steady for that length of time. Hold off all phone conversations for the time being.
- Technicians have different charges, based on skill, experience and products used during an appointment.
- Everyone’s eyes are different. Just because you saw a lash set on someone, doesn’t mean it will work on you.
“People believe lash extensions should last for up to 3 months because they’re semi permanent. It’s possible but only with a refill. People also believe they shouldn’t fall off. They will. Especially when your lashes grow out or are weak and that’s normal. It’s not always a deficiency on the path of the technician. Finally, some people think lash extensions are a waste of time. They aren’t. I’ll say try it once and you may never go back.”
If you didn’t think lash extensions were your thing, how about now?