Is Lash Prep Really Worth Doing, or is it All an Elaborate Hoax? We’ll Give You Our Two Cents, and Then Let You Decide…
The short answer is yes, it’s worth doing, and no, it’s not a hoax designed for Lash Suppliers to make more money, but we did say we’d let you decide, so we’ll give you some info to help you do that…
Before we really get started, what even is Lash Prep?
Lash Prep is exactly what it sounds like: preparing the lashes for eyelash extension application. You’ll probably have heard of lash prep being all about how to make your lash extensions last longer, and while that is undeniably a reason to have a good lash prep routine, it isn’t the only reason. There are three really good reasons to have a good lash prep routine, so let’s get into it.
Reason 1: Retention
You want the lashes you apply to last, and you can bet your bottom dollar that your clients want their lashes to last. If you don’t do any lash prep, then the extensions simply will not last more than a few days if you’re lucky.
Even if your client comes in without any makeup on and says they washed their face before they came to you, what’s the harm in carrying out even a little bit of lash prep? Even if their lashes look super clean, there’s a chance that there is some makeup residue, lash serum or skincare residue that you simply cannot see on the lashes, so it’s well worth at the very least giving the lashes a once-over with some Lash Shampoo.
Here’s where we get where some Lash Techs are coming from when they say that Lash Prep is a waste of time and/or is just lash brands trying to make a quick buck: we actually recommend a 5-step routine. You’re right to think critically and not take everything at face value, but we hope that you’ll believe us when we say that, as Lash Techs ourselves, we really try to provide you with all of the necessary tools to do your job perfectly. We’ve been where you are, we’ve had issues with retention, we’ve even lost clients to it, and we don’t want that for you. Good Lash Prep is a HUGE part of good lash retention, and lash retention is client retention.
While you don’t HAVE to use every single product in the 5-step routine for every single client, each step has its own important role.
Lash Shampoo: It’s really important to properly cleanse the lashes AND the skin around the eyes prior to treatment, and Lash Shampoo does just this. By cleansing the skin, you are helping your eyepatches and/or tape stay in place while you work, and by cleansing the lashes, you’re helping the glue to bond well with the lashes.
While you can use Lash Shampoo as a single step, it is better to use additional steps to really ensure that the lashes are completely free from ALL oils, makeup residue, unseen skincare products, dead skin, sebum, and everything else that can sit on the lashes.
Protein Remover Cleansing Pads: While these do a similar job to Lash Shampoo, Protein Pads allow an even deeper cleansing of the lash line. If you skip Lash Shampoo, you should use Protein Pads to cleanse the skin and the lashes.
Lash Cleanser: If you skip both of the steps above, you’re going to have some difficulties with keeping your eyepatches and/or tape in place, but you will absolutely have to use Cleanser if you want your lashes to stay in place.
Cleanser is alcohol-based, which means that it strips everything from the lashes. This gives the glue nothing to bond with BUT the lashes, which is how it aids lash retention.
Lash Primer: If you’ve used Lash Cleanser, you will need to use Primer. The reason for this is that Cleanser can be drying on the lashes, and Primer reintroduces moisture, which in turn helps your glue to cure exactly as you need it to. Glue drying too slowly is slightly less of an issue than drying too quickly, but it can make your work messy, can lead to fans closing, and can also lead to more stickies in your lash sets.
Booster: This is an optional step, and there’s no pressure to use Booster at all. The reason that we recommend it is because it prolongs retention time even more than great cleaning alone. Booster has an alkaline pH, which means that it causes the hair cuticles to open slightly, giving the glue more surface area to grip onto.
If you’re a beginner, it’s not always the best idea to use Booster because it does speed your glue up a little, which might actually give you some issues with retention.
We’ve gone into more detail about each product and their respective costs per treatment in this blog post, so be sure to take a look at that if you’re still a little unsure.
Reason 2: Enhanced Client Experience
Just as with any beauty treatment, the preparation process contributes significantly to the overall experience. If you paid for a facial and your facialist skipped a few steps, you’d be pretty annoyed/upset, wouldn’t you? Imagine going to get a manicure and your Nail Tech telling you to wash your hands and doing nothing else – you and they both know that those gel nails aren’t going to last for very long before they’re lifting at the edges and peeling off.
While lashes are a lifestyle to many clients and are something that fits into their routine, their appointments should never feel like a chore. Taking the time to carry out a lash prep routine will add to their relaxation and the feeling of being pampered, as well as making their lash retention times as long as they want them to be, which all paints you in a better light.
Let’s imagine for a moment that your client has never had their lashes done before and doesn’t have a clue about the procedure. You can get away with not doing lash prep for them because they don’t know any better, but imagine then that you take a vacation and the stand-in Lash Technician that they visit does carry out lash prep. You’re not getting that client back – they’ve had a taste of something that feels luxurious, and their lashes lasted way longer than they did before. Now imagine those tables turned, and YOU are the Lash Technician who carried out the incredible lash prep and made their lashes last for weeks longer than they’re used to. Client. For. Life.
Now, because we’re in an imaginative mood, imagine that your clienthas been to other Lash Technicians before or, at the very least, has done their research before booking in. Carry out at least a bit of lash prep, and you’re all good. Skip it entirely, and that savvy client is going to know for a fact that you cut corners. That’s how you end up with less than favorable reviews. The fact of the matter is that clients these days are way more likely to know when any beauty service is done well, so why even take the risk of having a string of one-and-done clients, when you could create loyalty simply by making each client feel taken care of?
Reason 3: Client Health and Hygiene
Beyond mere aesthetics, the omission of Lash Prep can compromise client safety. The importance of a clean lash area cannot be overstated – if you’re not cleansing the lash area and then are working with tools close to the eyes, there’s every chance that you’re going to be getting that dirt into their eyes, which can lead to eye infections.
Neglecting this step not only heightens the risk of infections, but also conveys an impression of inadequate care – it puts the idea into their mind that if you’re skipping Lash Prep, you may be skipping other important steps that are designed to keep them safe. You should instill in your clients the confidence that you care about their entire experience from the moment they book their appointment (or even enquire about prices) right up until they’re booking in their lash fill appointment at the end of their first full set with you.
Skipping lash prep might mean that they doubt the cleanliness of your tools, the quality of your products, and the depth of your knowledge. While you might know how to create the most stunning lash mapping styles, or how to get the exact amount of lash glue on the base of your extensions to make the lashes last perfectly in theory, there is a definite gap in your knowledge if you skip lash prep entirely.
The Lash Industry is still growing and developing, so of course, new products are popping up all the time. In the last decade, extensive work has been done to ensure that eyelash extensions are safe for clients, and a huge part of that safety includes proper cleansing to maintain health and hygiene. If this article seems dramatic, it’s only because we’ve seen instances of skipped lash prep leading to horrible and completely avoidable results. We’ve advocated for thorough lash prep from the very beginning, and we hope that if you came here with an air of skepticism, you’re leaving with at least a little more of an open mind.