Lather, Rinse, Repeat: Why the Key To Lash Extension Retention Often Lies in the Hands of Your Clients
Let’s assume you prep lashes to absolute perfection, and know exactly how to get the absolute best out of your lash glue, whatever the weather. How can it be that your client is coming back to you for their lash refill appointment with nothing but a couple of extensions hanging on for dear life? Well, it could well be that the damage happens when your client leaves the salon…
First, A History Lesson
Cleaning lashes daily seems like an obvious thing to any of us, but the advice to clients used to be to not get their lashes wet at all, this stems from the days where lash glue wasn’t quite as strong as it is these days, and when lashes used to be made from actual mink fur, silk, or cashmere, which would lose their curl as soon as water touched them.
Thankfully, those days are long gone – all of our lashes (and the majority of lash extensions on the market) are made from a synthetic fiber called PBT, which is a sturdy type of river that’s typically used in wiring, making then vegan friendly, cruelty free and hypoallergenic as well as incredibly resilient. We have a lot more info about the different types of lashes that we offer in this article, but the important thing to not here is that while the names may live on, mink lashes, silk lashes, and cashmere lashes are simply industry relics that serve to indicate that one collection of lashes looks different to another.
Anyway, while education has changed for the better with regards to aftercare advice, it hasn't necessarily trickled down to clients, which means that we need to be there to educate them – even if someone says they know what they’re doing with lash care, run them through it again as their knowledge might be outdated, and you’ll be doing them a huge favor!
Keep ‘em Clean
With the above in mind, we need to be educating our clients that they should be washing their lashes with specially formulated lash shampoo each and every day. It’s up to them if they want to use a cleansing brush or their fingertips to get the lash foam cleanser into their lashes, so long as they’re cleaning the extensions and their lash line nice and thoroughly.
This is doubly true if your client is using lots of oily products, which is quite common in the summer as they’re likely to be using more sunscreen, which is designed to be a bit heavier than regular moisturizers (particularly the waterproof kind).
Also be sure to advise them to wash their lashes after a dip in the pool or the sea, to ensure they’re nice and clean and fluffy! A clean lash is a long-lasting lash, and lash retention is client retention!
Other Advice for Clients
Ensure that clients are also advised to take care of their lashes in the following ways:
- No picking! This is easier said than done if your client is a habitual picker or peeler of things, but advising them to at least be aware that picking or pulling at their lashes will at best lead to their extensions falling off prematurely, or at worst damage to the lash follicle if they’re pulled out from the roots.
- No rubbing! Similar to the above, excessive rubbing will cause the lashes to fall out before they’re supposed to
- No mascara. Mascara won’t make your lashes look any nicer – it will actually completely ruin the way a volume set looks. Add to that the fact that mascaras usually contain oils and you’re on the way to a retention nightmare.
- Avoid waterproof eyeliner. Similar to mascara, waterproof eyeliner contains oils to make it waterproof. It also requires lots of extra rubbing to get it off, and it will make your job far more difficult when your client comes back for their lash fill and you have to put lots of extra time into cleaning it out of their lash line.
What Else Can Affect Lash Retention?
There are a few other factors that can affect retention. If your lash extension prep is on point, if your glue and room conditions are working in perfect harmony, and if your client’s aftercare is absolutely flawless (note here that they will almost always say that it is flawless) then you can also take a look at some of these factors:
- Hormones. Hormonal fluctuations are quite normal so you’re not always going to notice them, but big shifts in hormone levels can cause hair growth to speed up, or can completely change the skin and the hair. Check with your client whether they might have started any new medication which is hormone based, keep this in mind in the first or third trimester of pregnancy and also for a good few months postpartum, or just let them know that this could be a potential reason for the change.
- Summer. Plain and simple – the heat and the extra time spent in the sun makes our hair and nails grow faster than usual. With lashes being on a shorter growth cycle than our hair, we’re going to notice when they fall out more than usual.
- Changes in medications. This is similar to the point about hormones – anything we’re putting into our body is going to have an effect on our physiology in one way or another, and while some might not have any noticeable effect on the growth rate of our lashes, others might have a big impact.
How Can You Help?
In most of the above instances, just providing education and understanding can help you maintain a good relationship with your clients – they know that you’re knowledgeable and are taking an interest in their lashes in particular, and no-one is blaming each other for the sudden change in lash retention.
Scheduling in more regular lash fills will help to keep their sets fresh and full, and then you can drop back down to your normal lash fill schedule with them once their hair growth rate goes back to normal.
And that’s a wrap on client aftercare! If you aren’t already, it’s well worth retailing lash shampoo to clients to keep their lashes clean in between appointments – knowing what they’re using to clean their lashes means that you are also going to know that their aftercare isn’t actually an issue if they come to you with retention problems!