THE LASH GROWTH CYCLE
Our natural lashes go through a growth cycle in 3 phases; Anagen (growth), Catagen (transition), and Telogen (rest).
Anagen phase is when the lashes are actively growing and lasts from 4-7 weeks. Since they are too weak, you should never place an extension on them. They will not be able to hold the weight. We can also refer to these lashes as “baby lashes” as you’ll notice that they’re shorter and smaller.
Catagen phase is when the lashes stop growing as the follicle shrinks. It lasts from 2-3 weeks. Lashes in this phase are perfect for applying lash extensions. These lashes are more stronger, thicker, and flexible.
Telogen phase is when the lashes are resting. It’s the longest phase and lasts from 3-4 months. A new lash is growing underneath and soon it will push out the lash and take it’s place. This is where we see lash shedding.
We can shed up to 5 lashes a day which is why maintaining fills every 2-3 weeks is necessary. You can also place extensions on lashes in this phase, however they won’t be as flexible and are more coarse.
INVEST IN GOOD-QUALITY TWEEZERS
Lash artists have two tweezers - one to place the extension and one to isolate the natural lashes. Tweezers are in our hands for the majority of the appointment so it’s important to invest in some good quality tweezers. Choose some that are comfortable and don’t have too much tension as it can cause some discomfort in your fingers and hands.
Isolation tweezers are used in your non-dominant hand. You hold it with your thumb and pointer finger. We offer isolation tweezers in a straight or a curved version. These babies come in the cutest baby pink or white and are here to help make lashing a breeze! Our personal favorite is our curved e06 tweezer! It offers maximum precision to get all those stubborn baby lashes out of the way. The curve allows you to rest it comfortably on their eyelid with soft tension, minimizing any hand fatigue.
You can use your other tweezer or even your fingers to help you isolate. Use your other tweezer to move around other lashes in the way. Use your pointer or middle finger to move the extensions so you’re able to see the natural lashes hiding under them. Make sure your fingers are properly sanitized first and wear gloves!
USE AN ADHESIVE THAT FITS YOUR SPEED
All adhesives in the market offer different drying times. Some will be as fast as 0.3 seconds and some can take up to 4 seconds to dry. Choose an adhesive that works perfectly with your speed. Glue that is already dry looks matte while wet glue looks shiny.
WORK IN LAYERS
You can speed up the process when you work in layers using a gel pad to separate your client’s lash layers. Do this by placing a gel pad on top of the natural lashes and use your tweezer to pick out each layer your client has.
ALWAYS CHECK FOR STICKIES
Check for “stickies” or lashes that are stuck to each other throughout your appointment. Gently pull them apart if you find any. Leave some time at the end of your appointment to go through each and every lash to ensure that all lashes are properly isolated. Stickies happen when the glue is drying too slowly and be caused by low humidity in your room. Once you’ve placed the extension, hold it for at least 2 seconds while still isolating. This ensures that it’s dry and no other natural lashes or extensions will stick to it once you let go.
Isolation takes plenty of patience and it’s important to remember to take your time as you won’t get better by just rushing! Rushing can lead to improper isolation with lashes stuck in clumps. Bald spots will occur and can even prevent the hair follicles from ever growing again, turning away unhappy clients. We know that with enough practice, you’ll be a natural at what you do!