Eyelash extension aftercare is not rocket science — with a little know-how, you’ll be able to maintain your extensions for 3 to 4 weeks with no problem.
In this article, I will share the 7 most impactful tips I tell my clients on how to take care of lash extensions. Yes, there are more than 7… But this list is what will truly move the needle if you want to keep your extensions for as long as possible.
Don’t get me wrong, there are other things you can do to improve the longevity of your lash extensions (I cover an extensive number of them in my do’s and dont’s article), but these 7 tips will make the biggest difference for retention.
Let’s dive into it!
How to Take Care of Lash Extensions
1- Avoid Water in the First 4 Hours After Your Appointment
The adhesive used to attach the extension to your natural eyelashes takes approximately 4 hours to completely cure. During that period, exposure to water, or even steam, could weaken the adhesive, causing the extension to fall prematurely.
Some outdated advice on the internet will tell you to wait for 24 hours. This is just wrong. Nowadays, most lash artists will cure the lash adhesive at the end of your appointment using moisture.
After the curing period is over, feel free to use water whenever you want on your beautiful lashes. As a matter of fact, you have to! (more on that in a second).
2- Cleanse Your Lashes Daily
This is the best advice hands down. Washing your lashes daily with a lash cleanser will help to remove any build-up of dirt, oil, makeup, dead skin, and bacteria. It’s also imperative to avoid lash mites!
Some clients may find this advice counterintuitive. They might think you should never get eyelash extensions wet. But this is just plain wrong.
Daily cleansing of the lash lines insures the removal of oils, dirt, and residue that would be detrimental to your lash extension retention.
I once had a client who was so afraid to get her extensions wet that she would wear goggles when taking a shower. After a while, she, unfortunately, had an eyelash mite infestation. Ok, that’s an extreme case, but it illustrates the point. Check out her story here.
Be sure to use a cleanser that is specifically designed for lash extensions. I wrote an article about the best ones here.
3- Avoid Cosmetics With Oils
Nowadays, a lot of cosmetic products use various forms or oils in their ingredients (coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, almond oil, sesame oil, etc)
While it’s fine when you’re not wearing extensions, oils affect the bond between the adhesive and the natural lash when they seep into the lash line. Over time, the lash glue will weaken and the extension will eventually shed.
For that reason, I always advise my clients to carefully check the ingredient label of any makeup remover, facial cleanser, or moisturizer (anything that goes near the eyes) they use, to make sure it’s oil-free.
4- Don’t Sleep on Your Stomach
Your sleeping position is a key factor in your lash extension aftercare toolkit. Ideally, you should sleep on your back to avoid any friction between the extensions and your pillow.
I know it’s not always easy. I myself hate sleeping on my back.
Moreover, cotton pillowcases can snag or pull on lash hairs too. That’s why silk pillowcases are a good option for lash extension wearers.
My clients that made the switch have seen much better eyelash extension retention.
5- Brush Your Lashes Daily
You can use a small spoolie brush to comb through the lashes daily. It honestly just takes a few seconds and I usually recommend doing it in the morning after your makeup routine.
Doing so will prevent the extensions to tangle or clump together. It’s important to do it with all types of extensions but even more so with volume lashes because volume fans are more sensitive to tangling.
Besides improving the longevity of your lashes, this tip will give them a nice fluff every morning!
6- No Water-Proof Makeup
Water-proof makeup is the bane of eyelash extensions.
Why is that?
Simply because it’s so hard to remove (it was intended to be in the first place).
You’ll either need considerable force (with a lot of rubbing) or a strong cleanser like an oil-based one. All of this is a straight pathway to losing your extensions prematurely.
The most frequent culprits I see a waterproof mascara. These products will coat the natural lashes and are notoriously hard to take off.
7- Maintain Your Lashes With Regular Refills
Ok, I know. This may sound like a sales pitch coming from a lash tech. But hear me out.
Refill appointments are much less expensive than a full set of lash extensions. You’ll typically see refill prices about 3 times less expensive. So just from a financial standpoint, it’s a no-brainer.
Most of my clients come every 3 to 4 weeks for refills. As such, it’s much better economically to pay the refill cost than to wait until week 5 and pay a full set price.
According to our Case Study on how long lashes last, 60.1% of users go in for a refill every three weeks. Here’s a glimpse from the total of 1,100 clients analyzed:
Most eyelash salons (including mine) will have policies for refills. For instance, after 5 weeks, you might automatically be charged the full set — no refills available. Other salons go with the number of extensions left. If you have less than 50% of extensions left, you’ll be charged a full set.
What Happens if You Don’t Take Care of Your Eyelash Extensions?
I know it may sound like a lot at first, but taking care of your extensions is vital for a few reasons:
- Damage to the natural lashes: poor hygiene habits with extensions can lead to an excess of oils and residue on the lash line. Over time, you may experience itchiness, redness, and even lash loss.
- Lash Mites: This is for extreme cases. I’ve rarely seen it in my clients, but it can happen. An eyelash mite infestation can occur with excessive neglect.
- Poor retention: You’ve paid good money for your extensions — the last thing you want is having wasted your money with extensions falling in the next few days. My clients who practice these aftercare tips enjoy e beautiful extensions for 3 to 4 weeks easily before being in a need of a refill. I’ll immediately know if a client took good care or not of their lashes.
- Excessive costs: This goes hand in hand with the previous point. You’ll be forced to go for more frequent refills, or even worst, new full sets (if you don’t meet the minimum requirements of the salon for a refill).
Eyelash Extension Aftercare Tips (For Lash Artists)
For any lash technicians starting their business, I always suggest creating a beautiful eyelash extension aftercare card to give clients at the end of the appointment.
It will solidify your advice and you’ll be seen as a more professional artist.
Additionally, I also like to give my clients a little “lash care kit” for free after a full set (not for refills). I do it because:
- It helps ensure my clients are taking good care of their extensions with the right products. I include a lash foaming cleanser, a spoolie brush, and an aftercare instruction card.
- It builds trust with my clientele
- My clients have something to show their friends and family. It essentially turns them into brand ambassadors.
Lash Extension Aftercare FAQ
After talking to some of my clients, I realized there are a few common things about eyelash extension maintenance that most users don’t know.
So, remember these if you want to keep your lashes in excellent condition every day.
Should I Wash My Eyelash Extensions Daily?
Yes. I always tell my clients to clean lash extensions at least once a day, whether they wear makeup or not. This is an excellent way to prevent the natural oils, salt, dust, or grime from seeping into the lash line and degrading the bond made by the lash glue.
Is Aftercare The Same For Classic And Volume Lashes?
Frankly, aftercare for classic and volume lashes is pretty much the same.
However, volume lashes last quite longer than classic styles if you engage in good aftercare. In any case, you should ensure that the base of your natural lashes is clean at the end of the day.
Can I Let My Lash Extensions Air Dry?
Yes, air drying is the best way to dry your eyelash extensions if you’re not in a sweaty place. If you’re blow drying your lashes, please don’t do it on the hot setting or hold it too close to your lashes.
The Bottom Line
I’ve been lashing clients for more than a decade now, so I can confidently say that I’ve seen it all when it comes to caring (or not caring) for eyelash extensions.
While the medical-grade glue resists natural wear, your extensions can fall off much quicker if you have bad habits. On the flip side, just a few simple tricks shared in this article will ensure you keep your extensions flawless and looking gorgeous for far longer.
Just for fun, check out this beautiful volume set 😉
So, how long are you able to keep those beauties on with proper aftercare? Share it with our community here!
— Asako 🙂
Additional Readings: on DivineLashes.ca: If you want to learn more about caring for your eyelash extensions, check out my guides on how to sleep with lash extensions, how to clean your extensions and how to apply mascara when wearing lashes.
So…I’m trying to find a facial cleanser that avoids all of the no-nos you mentioned (salt, oil, alcohol, glycols, waterproof mascara/eyeliner). Is there one that you typically recommend to your clients?
I’m a believer in simplicity 😉 I always give a bottle of baby shampoo to all my clients and continue providing it for them. I also like the Chrissanthie foam cleanser if you want to purchase something.