A pair of freshly done lash extensions can enhance your lash line and make your eyes stand out without any makeup. But, everyone who tried lash extensions before knows that their flawless shape and look don’t last forever.
Read this article to discover what happens with lash extensions a couple of weeks into the appointment and what can affect lash extensions retention, plus find some useful retention tips for lash techs and clients.
First Off, Let’s Explain Lash Retention Meaning
Lash extensions retention refers to how long eyelash extensions last on the natural lash before they shed or fall out.
The main factor that determines the longevity of eyelash extension retention is the growth cycle of each individual’s natural lashes.
But, aside from the speed at which your natural lashes grow and fall out, there are other factors that can influence both the length and quality of your lash retention. We’ll cover more about that below.
Image source: Instagram @lashedby.lc
So, How Long Should Lash Extensions Last?
The simplest way to answer this question is to say: it depends.
The average lifespan of your natural lashes is about 4 weeks. Because each individual lash extension is attached to one natural eyelash, this time frame is directly related to the longevity of your extensions.
For best lash retention, extensions should never be applied to natural lashes that are in their anagen, or growth phase, as this will put stress on the lash causing it to break and fall out prematurely.
As the natural lash leaves the anagen phase and progresses through the cycle, it grows and once it reaches the end of that cycle, sheds. This is why it’s normal for lash extensions to fall out at the same pace your natural eyelashes would.
Keep in mind that not all lash extensions fall off uniformly. This can lead to some patchiness which you can correct by booking an infill appointment with your technician every 2-3 weeks.
If you don’t want to prolong the effect of your extensions, you can get them professionally removed once the patchiness and growth become more noticeable.
What Other Factors Influence Lash Extensions Retention?
Whether or not your lash extensions last the full 4 weeks or shorter depends on a number of factors besides the natural hair growth cycle. The factors that influence bad lash retention are:
- The type of lash extensions you got.
- The lash adhesive used to apply them.
- Environmental factors such as humidity.
- Improper application by the technician.
- How well you take care of your lash extensions post-treatment.
Image source: Instagram @idajanelashes
Lash Extensions Retention – Classic vs Volume Lashes
The type of lash extensions used to create your lash look greatly affects the retention time, and here’s why:
Because multiple extensions are attached to a single natural lash at once, you get a much larger surface area for the lash adhesive to bond with. This means the lash adhesive is less likely to break down, and your extensions are less likely to fall out.
The classic lash extension type has a much smaller bonding surface due to the technique in which one individual extension is applied to one single natural lash. This means that the extension will fall out with the natural lash at a much faster rate than a volume fan would.
Image source: Instagram @pmuhub
Let’s take a closer look at what lash retention looks like for both of these types after a few weeks:
2 Week Lash Retention
Lash extensions retention should be at about 70% for classic lash extensions and about 80% for volume extensions after 2 weeks.
Keep in mind that those are the average percentages you can expect when your lashes are attached properly and when you’re following the rules of proper lash care and maintenance.
If you haven’t been taking care of your extensions properly, you can expect to see a retention of 55% or less after 2 weeks for classic extensions, and about 60% or less for volumes.
Image source: Instagram @alosbeautybar__
3 Week Lash Retention
For volume lashes, the retention rates are a little bit better because of the stronger adhesive bond that we mentioned above. Having said that, you still can’t stop your lashes from shedding normally at the end of their growth cycle.
After 3 weeks from your initial appointment, it is normal for your classic lash extensions to have 55% retention and about 60% retention for volumes.
If you haven’t been taking care of your lashes, you can expect to have 35% or fewer extensions left after 3 weeks for classics and about 40% of extensions left for volumes.
Image source: Instagram @utahlashes
Lash Extensions Retention Tips for Clients & Techs
Now that we covered the factors that can affect eyelash extension retention, it’s time to get into some lash retention tips for clients and technicians:
Lash Retention Tips for Clients
If you want to enjoy the benefits of your lash extensions for the longest possible time without compromising their integrity, you first need to keep them clean.
Make sure you’re giving your lashes a nightly lash bath and cleaning off oil residue as it can affect the lash adhesive and shorten your retention span.
Next, brush your lashes regularly with a spoolie or a clean mascara wand to keep them in good shape. Make sure you’re brushing your lashes when they are completely dry and try to avoid brushing at the base as this can cause the extensions to lift and shed prematurely.
Summer lash retention is a topic on its own but to keep things short, avoid hot and humid environments as well as saunas and hot tubs, as too much steam can affect the lash adhesive.
Make sure you clean and dry your lashes after exposing them to pool water as chlorine can harden up the lash adhesive and cause your lashes to break.
Lash Retention Tips for Technicians
Bad lash retention can happen due to several reasons – you’re not using an appropriate amount of lash adhesive, your choice of lash adhesive isn’t the best one, or you’re not storing your lash adhesive properly.
The most important thing to consider is investing in high-quality lash retention products. So, here are some of our recommendations for the best lash glue for retention:
For Beginner Lash Techs
For Experienced Lash Techs
Always remember to tighten the lid of your lash extension glue or adhesive and store it in an airtight container, in a dark place. This will regulate the temperature of the adhesive and protect it from moisture damage, ultimately improving your clients’ retention.
Lash extensions are meant to last on your lashes for about 4 weeks.
Their retention time depends on factors such as the natural lash growth cycle, the type of lash and adhesive used during the application process, but also on the aftercare and maintenance routine you choose to follow.
To get the most out of your extensions, we recommend getting regular infills with your technician every 2-3 weeks and avoiding hot and humid environments.
Cover image source: Freepik