How to choose the right treatment for your client’s lashes

For an instantly polished look, there’s no better service than a lash treatment – be it dramatic extensions for an ultra-glam vibe or an ever-so subtle lift that opens your client’s eyes and makes them look wide awake. 

In the past few months, the popularity of lash training has soared in Angela Sanderson’s Glasgow training academy, The Beauty Base School. She says she believes lash treatments remain top of clients wish lists because it’s a look they can’t achieve at home. Plus, it’s a service everyone can book in for.

“What I love about lash services is that they suit near enough everyone,” adds salon and academy owner Katie Godfrey. “But with all the different types of lashes and techniques available, you need to check you’re offering the best option for your clients to make sure there isn’t any damage and that their lashes are long- lasting and suit their needs.”

We take a deep dive into the vast variety of lash treatments to equip you with the knowledge you need to tailor your lash services to each client. 

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Lash lifts: who are they for?

The most discreet, yet still impactful lash service, a lash lift makes natural lashes look longer and more defined.

“Lash lifts have been extremely popular since Covid-19 lockdowns and I think they are here to stay for clients who want a low-maintenance treatment,” says Godfrey.

“With a lash lift you can still achieve a dramatic effect if that’s what your clients want.” She recommends using smaller shields to create more drama and lifting the bottom lashes too.

“I advise lash lifts for clients who are active and on the go, who require minimal upkeep as they only need redoing every six-to-eight weeks,” says Sanderson. Think regular gym goers and new mums.

Lash extensions: who are they for?

“Lash extensions are perfect for clients who have time and are happy to commit to regular infills/top ups every two-to-four weeks,” says Sanderson.

With lash extensions, there is more variety to the looks you can create. “They can still look natural or you can make them full and dramatic with more lashes,” she adds.

Short lashes: which service is best?

Both lash extensions and lifts work well for short-lashed clients. However, if they want a low-maintenance look, perform a lash lift using a small shield to amp up the appearance of length. A black tint can add drama too.

When it comes to extensions, Sanderson and Godfrey both advise not going too long if your client has naturally short lashes. “I would recommend going no more than two millimetres longer than their natural lashes,” adds Godfrey. 

“For example, for someone with eight millimetres naturally in length, the longest lashes I’d apply are 10mm.” Any longer and they could be too heavy for the natural lash and could cause breakage, plus they’re unlikely to last as long. 

Godfrey recommends using C curl lash extensions on short lashes as they give the illusion of length because they aren’t as curled as a D curl. She also suggests using a strong glue as it will help short lashes stay put for longer. Be aware that stronger glue tends to dry faster, so you need to be confident you can work quickly if using this.

Woman having a lash extension treatment

Best services for thick lashes

If your client is naturally blessed in the lash department, a low-maintenance lift can create the look of extensions, according to Sanderson, but because the lashes are strong, they can also take a heavy set of ultra-glam extensions if that’s what your client is after. “Thicker lashes can take the weight of going longer too, so feel free to be more creative with your styling,” says Godfrey. She suggests using a D or DD curl for a more open look.

How to treat weak lashes

Tread carefully if your client has weak lashes. “Lash safety needs to be at the front of your mind at all times,” says Godfrey. “Even if it means telling the client what they want isn’t possible as it will cause damage in the long term. Education is key for your clients.”

If their lashes are strong enough for extensions, Godfrey advises making sure the extensions are nice and light. “Just because the extensions are light, it doesn’t mean they won’t be thick, as once applied to 80–100% of lashes they will still look full,” she says.

“I also wouldn’t go too long, 2mm longer than their natural lashes is enough so they aren’t too heavy. “With weak lashes, I would always work with 0.10–0.12 lashes if I’m doing classic looks, and if they want volume, I would do 0.05 in 2D–4D depending how weak they are,” she adds.

If you’re going for the lash lift option, Sanderson recommends leaving the lotions on for minimal time and ensuring the client uses an aftercare product to keep lashes healthy.

Best services for sparse lashes

Don’t shy away from clients with sparse lashes; Godfrey explains that if you apply extensions correctly, you can actually help them to grow the lashes back and make them stronger. “Working with sparse and weak lashes is similar in that you need to keep extensions light and not too long as you don’t want to cause more damage,” she advises.

She explains that classic lashes don’t really work on sparse lashes as there isn’t enough coverage. Using Russian volume instead, you can add 2–4D lashes to the weaker lashes and 4–6D on the stronger ones to give the illusion that your client has more lashes.

“If your client has gaps in their lashes, then you could always use a bridging technique to bridge the gap and apply volume fans on the bridge. This can help your client’s lashes grow back,” she adds.

Lashes for clients with cancer

A lash treatment can be a pick-me-up for clients living with cancer or undergoing chemotherapy, but a thorough consultation is needed. “I would check with your insurer,” says Godfrey. “If someone is going through cancer, it’s a distressing time and they definitely need a pick-me-up.”

If a client has no lashes as a result of chemotherapy, you can’t offer them extensions or a lash lift but you can suggest strip lashes, Godfrey says. “If the client has got natural lashes and wants the treatment done, I would offer a patch test and let them know clearly that the lashes might not last depending on how their cancer treatment is going to affect the lash extensions,” she adds.

If they have come through cancer treatment, treat the lashes as you would sparse or weak lashes, Godfrey says. Use lightweight, dark extensions. The darker the lashes, the fuller they will look.

Treat clients with alopecia similarly – either with strip lashes if they have no natural lashes, or as you’d treat sparse or weak lashes. “Use the bridging technique again to fill the gaps in the lashes and give the illusion of more,” Godfrey says.

Woman getting lash extensions mapped out

2022's hottest lash trends are:

Brown Lashes

Clients are sidestepping jet black lashes in favour of a more natural, doe-eyed brown lash. “They still look fab but more natural,” says Sanderson, who believes this subtler look gained popularity when people began going out less and didn’t want a full-on glam look at all times.

Pre-made lashes

These have taken the industry by storm and are here to stay, according to Godfrey. “Clients want speedy treatments – and using pre-made lashes you can achieve the Russian volume look in half the time.” She cautions you should still charge roughly the same amount as longer services as these styles of lashes are more expensive to buy in. 

Wispy lashes

“Everyone is loving the wispy look right now,” says Godfrey. “You can create this with Russian volume or hybrid lashes.”