Just The Gloss Guide to Extension Maintenance and Aftercare

When meeting new clients who have had extensions previously with other salons or artists, it is very common for them to tell me that their lash artist didn't give them any aftercare instructions OR they received instructions that were completely wrong. There seems to be a lot of different opinions on how to care for extensions after they've been applied. Here are the recommendations that I give my clients on how to keep their extensions looking as fresh as possible:

Avoid Excess Wear and Tear: Try to keep any unnecessary touching to a minimum. The only time you should need to touch your extensions is when brushing them and cleaning them. Avoid pulling and picking at them throughout the day. If you need to rub your eye, do so by placing your finger on your eyelid and gently massaging - NOT digging your whole fist into your eye.

Cleansing: I prefer to give my clients personalized cleansing routines based on their lashes, skin type, and lifestyle. Some clients may need to cleanse more than others. As a general rule, if you have worn make up, worked out, been in a hot and humid climate, engaged in outdoor activities, or have very oily skin, you need to wash your lashes that night. If you had a lazy Sunday and didn't put on make up or leave the house, it's okay to skip cleansing that night, however I don't recommend going over 2 days without cleansing. If you have damaged or sparse lashes I recommend using a foam cleanser and being very gentle while cleansing. If you have strong lashes and got a very dense set, I recommend a gel cleanser and a being a bit more aggressive while cleansing with a cleansing brush to get in between the lashes. The biggest mistake I see with cleansing is clients only washing the mid to tips. The area you want to wash is the very base of the extension near your eyelid. Don't squint your eyes while washing or you won't reach this area.

Brushing: Make sure to brush your lashes in the morning and after cleansing to keep the lashes standing up right and in shape. If your lashes look like they are laying to the side, or not spread out, give them a good brush to get them back in place. Brushing also stimulates blood flow and oxygen to the hair follicles to keep your natural lashes healthy and growing.

Heat and Steam: Avoid getting close to heat sources. Blow driers, campfires, opening a hot oven, cooking/grilling, or lighting a cigarette will potentially singe, burn, or straighten the curl on your lashes. If this happens, sometimes a complete removal and new set is required because the lashes will be ruined. Also avoid sitting in steam rooms and saunas while wearing lash extensions.

Make-Up Use: The less make up on the eyes the better. Avoid eyeliner and mascara. If you're a make-up junkie, read my blog post on How To Wear Make-Up With Lash Extensions.

Fills: Book you fill for no longer than 14-21 days between your last appointment or full set. Ask your Lash Artist for a personalized recommendation, as some clients will need to come back sooner and more frequently than others. If you want them to look full and their best at all times, come back every 2 weeks. There is almost always work to be done at 2 weeks - grown out lashes, sparse areas, etc. It's better to stay on top of it and not wait until they're really struggling to get your fill!

Preparing For Your Next Fill: Come to your fill appointment with no make up on your eyes and clean lashes. This includes lower lash mascara or liner. If your Lash Artist does not have time to cleanse you before your fill and they are filling on top of dirty lashes, the extensions will not stay on. It is beneficial for you to come to your appointment with your lashes as clean as possible.

Lash Serum and Vitamins: Healthy lashes = better retention and more options for extensions. To get the most out of your lashes, look into a growth serum (organic/prostaglandin free if you're concerned about side effects) and hair/skin/nail vitamins such as Biotin to keep your lashes in great condition. This is optional but recommended. Be sure to check with your doctor before using any supplements, especially if you are nursing, pregnant, or planning.

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