How Long Do Eyelash Extensions Take to Apply (And Why)

How long do eyelash extensions take to apply? Lash stylist applying extensions on client.

Many people want to know how long eyelash extensions take to apply before booking an appointment. It only makes sense to find out what to expect so you have time to plan your appointment and get ready.

Of course, an experienced stylist will most likely be able to apply lashes faster than a more junior stylist. For instance, because I have been a lash stylist for so many years now, my speed and the quality of my work is lightyears of what it was at the beginning of my career. But today, I wanted to give you a general idea of how much time to put aside when booking an appointment. So, how long do eyelash extensions take to apply?

A full set of classic eyelash extensions takes anywhere from 90 to 120 minutes to apply. On the other hand, a periodic refill takes between 30 to 60 minutes. Refills require less time because some extensions will still be left on your lashes when you come back for your appointment.

This article aims to give people a guide about what appointments look like and how long they take. It will also help you understand why your stylist requires time to complete this delicate procedure.

How Long Do Eyelash Extensions Take

I prepared the table below to give you a general idea of what to expect in terms of appointment length. From my experience, there are two main variables that will influence how long your lash appointment will take:

  • Technique (classic vs volume)
  • Type of appointment (full set vs refills)
Classic LashesVolume Lashes
Full Set90 to 120 minutes120 to 180 minutes
Refills30 to 60 minutes45 to 75 minutes

The above numbers are what I use for my lash studios but your local lash studio may vary. It is always best to contact them directly to confirm before you book your appointment. In summary:

  • A full set of classic eyelash extensions takes anywhere from 90 to 120 minutes to apply.
  • A full set of volume eyelash extensions takes anywhere from 120 to 180 minutes to apply.
  • A refill of classic eyelash extensions takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to apply.
  • A refill of volume eyelash extensions takes anywhere from 45 to 75 minutes to apply.

Other factors such as experience and health of your natural lashes will have an impact on how long your appointment will take. The more healthy your lashes are, the faster your stylist can work. The stylist will also need to spend more time on your lashes if they are relatively new to the field of eyelash extensions.

Why Volume Lashes Take Longer to Apply

Close-up of volume eyelash extensions

Volume eyelash extensions are applied by adding a fan of extensions to one natural eyelash (one-to-many). This gives the illusion of having thicker eyelashes and helps to hide gaps between natural lashes.

On the other hand, classic eyelash extensions are applied by adding extensions to each natural eyelash individually (one-to-one). This gives the illusion of longer lashes.

The main difference between these two techniques is the number of extensions used to cover your natural lashes.

Because volume lashes require the stylist to carefully create a fan with extensions before applying it to the natural lash, the application process takes longer than with classic lashes. Volume lashes is an advanced technique and requires a lot of skill and attention to detail.

So, how long do volume lashes take to apply?

A full set of volume eyelash extensions takes anywhere from 120 to 180 minutes to put on. On the other hand, a refill takes between 45 to 75 minutes. Refills require less time because some extensions from your prior appointment will still be intact.

Why Full Sets Take Longer to Apply

A full set of eyelash extensions consists of 60 to 80 extensions per eye. This means that your stylist will need to repeat the exact same steps 60 to 80 times per eye!

  1. Isolate the natural lash with one hand.
  2. Select the extension with the other hand.
  3. Dip the extension in the lash glue.
  4. Carefully apply the extension to your natural lash

The above steps are a little simplified and in reality it’s much more complicated. For example, People can have gaps between their natural lashes, weak natural lashes or even lash mites.

As a rule of thumb, I generally assume a retention rate of at least 50% when my client comes back for a refill.

For example, If I applied 80 extensions per eye during a full set and the client comes back in 3 weeks for a refill, at least 40 extensions per eye will still be there.

Less time is needed for the refill since I only need to apply 40 extensions per eye to reach the initial fullness the client had with the full set 3 weeks ago.

So, how long does a lash fill take?

A lash fill of classic eyelash extensions takes anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes to put on. For volume eyelash extensions, a lash fill takes between 45 to 75 minutes.

How Long Does It Take a Beginner to Do Eyelash Extensions

The appointment lengths discussed so far are for stylists that have experience in the field and can apply lash extensions with the highest level of precision.

Beginners will require more time to complete the same tasks since they are still getting used to the skills needed to apply eyelash extensions. A new stylist will also need more time for lash consultations and ensuring that the client is happy with the lash style before applying them.

Beginners will take anywhere from 120 to 180 minutes to apply a full set of classic eyelash extensions. A refill will take 60 minutes so that the beginning stylist can apply enough extensions.

When I first started applying lash extensions, I remember how long it took. Because I had little experience, the length of my appointments was way too long.

Practice makes perfect. Once I got the hang of the art of applying eyelash extensions, I reduced my appointment lengths gradually.

Keep in mind that clients will always prefer longer appointments to maintain the quality of the service. You should never shorten your appointment just to arrive on time and offer a poor quality service.

Take the time to have perfect isolation, avoid stickies and always check your work.

Respecting Your Lash Stylist Time

Woman looking at her watch for time

I personally run an appointment based business. Therefore, when a client books an appointment, I reserve a specific amount of time to service the client.

It is very important to come on time to your appointment . I once had a client arrive 45 minutes late for her appointment. It is very unfortunate but I had to reschedule her for another day.

I explained the reason why and she completely understood. If I had taken her while being late, I would have had to rush the appointment so that my other clients would not be delayed as well.

This would mean applying not enough lashes or compromising on the quality of the application.

Both options are not acceptable for my brand and my reputation. I want to offer the best eyelash extensions possible. I want to be proud of the work I do. It can be frustrating to reschedule a client but you should never compromise on your quality of work. Stay true to your brand.

Make the Most of Your Time

Your time is valuable. Here are a few tips to make sure you get the most value from the time spent at your lash salon.

  1. No makeup. Make sure to come to your appointment with a clean face. Remove any makeup, lip gloss, mascara, etc. before coming to your appointment. If you come with makeup on, your lash stylist will ask you to remove it. Remember, you are paying for the service, not the makeup removal.
  2. No drinking like you are in a desert. Everyone needs to go to the toilet once in a while and that’s completely understandable especially if your appointment lasts more than one hour. However, excessive toilet breaks during the appointment will just eat away your time and you will end up having less lashes on your eyes.
  3. Be honest with your lash extension stylist. If you are allergic to any of the products used during the appointment, tell your stylist right away so that she can use allergy free products.
  4. No food. Food can get in the way of the lash service and distract the lash expert from their job.
  5. No phone. Your phone should not be on during the time of your appointment. Cell phones interfere with the stylist’s and client’s concentration so keep them away from the salon.

Final Thoughts

Eyelash extensions take time for both the stylist and the client. A clean application that lasts for weeks can only be done with a lot of dedication, hard work and passion.

As a client, your expectations must be managed. You are paying the stylist to apply lashes on your eyes.

Time is precious and we should all do our best to always give 100% during an appointment.

If you have any questions, please drop me a comment and I will reply as soon as possible.

Additional Readings:
How Long do Eyelash Extensions Last
How Much Do Eyelash Extensions Cost [Case Study]
Eyelash Extensions Before and After Pictures & Videos
Do Eyelash Extensions Damage Your Eyelashes?

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