There may be a step you’re leaving out that’s vital to successful lashing: cleansing clients’ natural lashes prior to adhering extensions. Why is this step so crucial? “Cleansing is important for maintaining natural lash health as well as extending retention,” says Sandra Duarte, lash artist and LASH411 creator. She likens it to caring for your hair: “People wash their hair because it stinks, it’s dirty, it’s oily. Lashes catch debris and dust, preventing them from getting into our eyes. Plus, buildup from finger and cosmetic oils collects at the lash root so, like hair, lashes need a washing, too!”
Agrees Soo-Jin Yang, Illumino Lashes founder and CEO, “You may not notice residual buildup of skin and eye care products [on the natural lashes] or, if you do notice, you may not be able to identify it. This product buildup could interfere with the lash adhesive fully absorbing onto the cuticle (the outermost part of the hair), and this could lead to a less-then-stellar attachment.” Think of it this way: “You want to bond to the lash, not to the dirt on the lash,” Duarte asserts.
Why do lash artists skip this cleansing? Yang points to three reasons: saving time, not having the proper tools and product on hand, and not knowing the correct cleansing technique. Here, Yang helps knock out that third reason with helpful steps to proper lash preparation protocol.
The Tools You Need
For proper cleansing, have a lash cleanser and a lash-cleaning brush on hand. “You need a brush because it can help physically dislodge miniscule objects (think: dirt, oils, debris) between the eyelid where the eyelashes grow in layers,” Yang says. Avoid the temptation to use rubbing alcohol for this; “it’s far too drying for the hair,” she says. As a soothing fi nishing touch to cleansing, Yang suggests having lukewarm towels in a towel warmer to, after rinsing, wipe away all cleanser from the lashes and eyelid.