Combining treatments! Lash lifting and Eyelash Extensions.

Posted on 8 May 2020

A super-hot topic for the lash and beauty industry is combining treatments – who doesn’t love being able to maximise their time and profit? We live in a modern world where so many of us are time poor, we all have those clients that love being able to walk in and walk out of the salon as quick as humanly possible.  Some treatments combined are a match made in heaven, so when our very own managing director and cosmetic chemist, Otto Mitter, delivered a recent presentation he decided to tackle the very relevant question “Can I perform a lash lift before attaching eyelash extensions?”

The short answer here is yes you can, but I am pretty sure you clicked on this blog because you want more than just a short answer, so…

The first thing to know is that there is a chemical reaction that takes place between Cyanoacrylate (eyelash extensions adhesives) and the permanent wave lotions used in the lash lifting process.  When these two products come into contact the reaction is called heat evolution.

When performing an Elleebana Lash Lift, you need to rinse the lashes to remove the lotions, which in turn, reduces the chance of these two products coming into contact, if you choose to apply lash extensions after a lash lift. It is vitally important that you rinse/soak and bath the eyes after the lash lift. Elleebana’s lifting and setting lotions are designed to penetrate the hair, wrap around the entire hair which means, wiping to remove the lotions is not enough.  If you are using another brand that doesn’t require rinsing to remove the lotions, you may have some product remaining on the lashes and you may find your lash extensions adhesive behaves very differently or that the heat evolution reaction occurs.

Additionally,  if you are using a brand of lash lift or lash lamination that requires an application of lash botox, a nourishing lotion, a sticky coating or a serum applied to the lashes as a third step in the treatment, you will need to rinse this and cleanse the lashes well or your eyelash extensions adhesive will not behave in its ideal manner.  Therefore, consulting with your current brand of lash lift to determine the best course of action here is mandatory.

As the chemical process of eyelash lifting, lash lamination or similar treatments are designed to break the chemical bonds found naturally within the eyelash this leaves the hair in a slightly more porous condition.  If you perform lash tinting after a lash lift, you will notice that you don’t need to tint the hair for the same duration as a normal lash tint processing time because the hair scales are raised and the cuticle is swollen, thus allowing the colour to deposit much faster into the lash.  When we apply eyelash extensions, having a well-prepared lash with the scales along the lash shaft raised, we can create a greater bond and potentially increase the retention of your lash extensions applications.

Better retention for eyelash extensions is always a bonus, however, your infill process for the lash extensions application can become more difficult. This can be worked with, but the overall finish might become a little messy because as the natural lash line sheds, the new growth that comes through will not be lifted – it will be in its normal state (only slightly curled, straight or downward facing – depending on what your natural lash growth direction is like).  Infills may sit differently across the lash line due to the inconsistency of which lashes are lifted and which lashes are new, straighter growth, also, while wearing eyelash extensions, you are not able to re-lift the client’s lashes again.  You might not notice this at a 2 or 3 week infill appointment, but by their second infill appointment, it will be evident and this is because of our natural lash growth cycle.

For clients whose lashes are naturally extremely curly, criss-crossed or downward facing, consequently making the process of applying eyelash extensions much harder and more time consuming, performing a lash lift or a lash relaxation process (you can watch how to perform this treatment on our YouTube channel) before eyelash extensions application can help the application process for the technician.  You will need to educate your client that a full removal of their eyelash extensions and a new lash lift/lash relaxation process would be required most likely at their second infill (however that would be determined also by their natural lash regrowth cycle – which can also alter seasonally – but that is for another blog entry…)

Careful consideration of your processing time and rod selection before performing the lash lift will also assist with a cleaner finish. Creating a soft/gentle lift with a shorter processing time ensures you don’t over-process which could see all your lash extensions applications needing to be removed in order to relax the lift, acting with caution is key here. By choosing a rod size that is larger than you would normal select for your client’s lash length, will offer a smooth and soft lift that raises the lash ends enough without the risk of over-curling the lashes.

Please consider that the treatment time spent with your client for their lash lift and following with lash extensions might see the treatment time extending longer than either you or your client wants. While this service can be performed together, we feel it may not be an overly viable service/treatment for salons to combine.

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