Individual Lash Extensions vs Clusters – Why All The Confusion?
This topic comes up on every single training event. Our trainers are always faced with the challenge of breaking the bad news to unsuspecting students. Before each training begins, our instructors always try to familiarize themselves with each student by engaging in conversations about their previous experiences with eyelash extensions, being on the customer end of the spectrum of course.
The answers we continue receiving led us to believe there is a huge misconception that is being marketed by the “less expensive” lash artists. Our marketing department set out to put some sense into this nonsensical misconception. We have come across an amazing article that has been brilliantly put together by our wonderful colleagues and friends from one of London’s top Lash Bars “The Lash Edit”, Moka & Sarah. Please enjoy, hope this will put an end to the “cheap eyelash extension” craze and educate our future students and fans on the delicate and expensive art of true individual eyelash extension application.
Ladies we need to talk about cluster eyelash extensions…
We really don’t like to be negative but it’s important we mention this as they are turning into a bit of a health hazard.
Cluster extensions are currently being sold in London as eyelash extensions but they are nothing of the sort, far from it.
A gorgeous client booked with us saying she had eyelash extensions applied but they were far too heavy for her liking and she needed a removal and new set. This happens from time to time and we expected she was wearing a heavy volume set. But as soon as we saw her we realized they were cluster eyelashes. They had been sold to her as £30 eyelash extensions, applied in 30 mins and she was told she could wear them for 5 weeks. If she had worn them for 5 weeks she would have lost most of her natural lashes. She was in a considerable amount of pain and wanted them off as soon as possible.
This client had been wearing them for one week and it took 40 mins to remove as we had to be so cautious as not to cause any further damage. They shed in cm long lumps and there was glue all over her lash line and it was pulling her eyelid taught.
Now this may be a severe case but we are seeing a lot of bald eyelids from clients who have previously been wearing clusters so we thought it was time to report back:
In our humble opinion they are a really, really bad idea. The reason being they can really damage your eyelashes and in some cases you may not be aware this has happened or you may think you are wearing eyelash extensions.
WHAT ARE CLUSTER EYELASH EXTENSIONS?
They are a fan of eyelashes knotted at the base (not to be confused with volume lashes)
They are applied with glue on top of each other along the lash line. Eyelash extensions/volume lashes are applied to one single eyelash with military precision. Clusters are closer to gluing an entire false eyelash to your eyelid as they are glued together and therefore don’t shed with your human eyelash.
WHY THEY CAUSE DAMAGE.
They are far too heavy and they pull on all the eyelashes, overuse could lead to permanent eyelash loss (traction alopecia). Your natural hairs cannot shed at the end of their cycle and your eye becomes a breeding ground for infection. There is a lot of adhesive involved and in many cases it’s touching the skin and blocking the follicle, so new eyelashes are unable to grow and you risk ingrowing hairs or styes.
Eyelash extension adhesive should be kept away from the skin. It’s not designed to touch it and should be used extremely delicately.
WHY DO CLIENTS LIKE THEM?
They are cheap, they last and a very dramatic look can be achieved.
However they are not designed to be worn for longer than a week (we would never recommend wearing them at all given the amount of adhesive required).
The client won’t experience cluster extensions shedding with the natural eyelash (this is crucial to maintaining healthy natural lashes whilst wearing extensions) and therefore thinks they are a longer lasting, cheaper option.
WHAT’S THE LONG TERM EFFECT?
When clusters are applied the start to weigh down and pull out your natural lashes whilst creating a matted breeding ground for infection.
The amount of adhesive (we’ve seen cases of very high strength adhesive being used) and skin contact could easily trigger a severe immune response from the body and, once that’s occurred; the client is allergic to eyelash extension adhesive for life.
A recent client had worn cluster eyelash extensions for three months and had about 20% of her natural lashes remaining. Sadly we could not apply individual extensions and we just hope her natural eyelashes can begin to grow back.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
If you suspect that the technician may be applying cluster eyelashes then simply ask to look at the extensions they are about to apply. If you see anything like the image of clusters shown above then avoid. You want to see something that looks like one of the Premium Eyelash Extension Trays from Pearl Lash below:
Or something like the eyelash pods (which are also safe) below:
Volume lashes will also look like this as the fan is made during application. The technician may show you an individual eyelash, which again, is fine.
If you see anything fan like that’s pre made, or they refuse to show you anything, then seek another professional.
Big Thanks to mokaandsarah.com for the article. Please visit their website thelashedit.com and if you are ever in London and need your lashes done, The Lash Edit would be your choice! @mokaandsarah @thelashedit_london
As always, our talented training staff is always here to answer any questions you might have about the world of eyelash extensions. Please do not hesitate to chime in and share your stories.
If you are interested in becoming a part of The Pearl Lash Family and would like to register for one of the upcoming training events, please visit our Training Page for all the details.