Being a lash stylist is more physically demanding than you’d think, and the way we hold our tweezers is very important. Step by step, I’ll explain how I grip my tweezers and how I position my hands so you can have an easy, pain-free lashing experience.
Set yourself up for success by holding your tweezers correctly, so you can have total control without damaging your health.
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How to Hold Tweezers for Eyelash Extensions Correctly
1- Hold the Isolation Tweezers
The isolation tweezers always go in your non-dominant hand. It’s important that you hold tweezers near the top between your thumb and middle finger, with your index finger adding a bit of extra control and support.
The end of the tweezers should rest gently near the base of your index finger. Then, fold your ring and pinky finger underneath, so they can act as a support and guiding point for your entire hand.
This kind of grip distributes pressure in a more balanced way, so it’s kinder to your hands, but still lets you have a lot of control over the tweezers.
Below is an example of how to position your hands using a non-professional tweezer.
2- Hold the Application Tweezers – Classics
The application tweezers should go in your dominant hand since attaching the extensions requires a lot more control. Hold the tweezers very similarly to the isolation tweezers, with your thumb and middle fingers controlling most of the opening and closing.
The key here is that you place your fingers neither too close nor too far from the tip of the tweezers. You need to find the spot where you have the maximum amount of control over the opening and closing, so you can easily pick up and place the lashes.
3- Hold the Application Tweezers – Volume
Once again, grip the volume tweezers so that your thumb and middle fingers are responsible for the closing and opening action. There are a few key differences, though, that will make it easier to pick up, fan out, and lay down volume fans.
In addition to the middle finger, also position your ring finger near the tip of the tweezers for an additional level of control. The tweezers should be angled upwards a little more, with the bent tip of the tweezers parallel to your client’s lash line. The end of the tweezers should rest against the second knuckle of your index finger.
This thorough demonstration from Yegi is helpful if you’re having trouble picturing all of this:
4- Position Your Hands and Body
As you’re lashing, it’s important that you keep your hands and wrists supported. I like to place a soft towel over my client’s forehead, which I use as a gentle resting point for my fingers and the base of my wrists. Note that I’m not putting any pressure or weight on the client’s head.
Depending on the positioning of your treatment bed and the eye you’re working on, you might be able to rest your wrists on the table and your fingers on your client’s forehead – that’s okay too! The key is to avoid the unnecessary strain of having your hands float in the air.
It’s also important to maintain good posture. Bring your chair close to the treatment bed, so that you can keep your arms close to your body.
I talk through these tips in detail in this video:
3 Common Mistakes
There are a few mistakes I see new lash stylists making often, and I recommend you watch out for them when you’re lashing.
The most common is holding the tweezers with only the index finger and thumb. While this can be okay once in a while, it can take its toll over time, so practice holding with your middle finger and applying more pressure.
Next, there are artists who hold the tweezers either too close or too far from the tip. Holding too far doesn’t give you enough control. Too close forces you to apply a lot of pressure to get the tweezers to close. If you feel like you don’t have enough control over where you’re gripping the tweezers, practice using your ring finger near the tip in a four-finger hold.
Finally, some stylists forget to fold their pinky and ring finger under the tweezers. This makes you lose out on an important resting point for your hand and can be very fatiguing.
Since we’re already on the topic of how to position yourself for lashing, I have a few more suggestions!
- Play with your hold or adjust it a little based on what’s comfortable for you. It’s possible that varying your hold over the course of a busy day could help you prevent repetitive strain. Some lash stylists find that they prefer to grip the tweezer with their index finger instead of the “dynamic quadropod hold” that uses the middle finger.1
- Perfect your setup. Make sure that the treatment bed is positioned high enough (about chest level) so that you don’t have to round your back in order to look down on your client, and make sure to have a comfortable chair that supports your back well.
- Stretch your hands. Daily stretching will help keep your hands more agile and pain-free. If you’re already experiencing pain, speak to a physiotherapist, but otherwise, the stretches recommended by Harvard Medical School are a great place to start.2
The Bottom Line
We don’t spend a lot of time thinking about how we hold our tweezers for eyelash extensions, but it’s actually a very important topic! I’ve found that by being mindful of how I grip my tweezers, I can be a much better lash stylist.
For my clients, a correct hold means a faster, more comfortable experience. For me, it means I have an easier time controlling my tweezers while reducing my risk of injury.
How do you usually hold your tweezers? Have you run into any issues with how you position yourself for lashing? Leave a comment below and let me know!
– Asako 🙂
- Rebecca Joy Stanborough (2019). Healthline. A Gripping Tale: How to Hold a Pencil. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-hold-a-pencil (Accessed on March 12, 2023)
- Harvard Health Publishing (2018). Exercises for pain-free hands. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/exercises-for-pain-free-hands. (Accessed on March 12, 2023)
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Asako Ito is the Co-Founder of Divine Lashes and a certified eyelash stylist. She has garnered acclaim for her cutting-edge techniques in the lash industry.
Holding multiple certifications and licenses, including Luxury Eye, THE LASH SHOP, World Microblading, and The Lash Bible, she has a constant thirst for knowledge. These credentials reflect her commitment to excellence and staying at the forefront of lash and brow artistry.
With over 10 years of experience, Asako continuously increases her knowledge both as a technician and educator by collaborating with top lash artists worldwide. You can read her full bio here.