Something that isn’t talked about when it comes to eyelash extension retention is the importance of your health, biology, and medications. Just like how our skin and hair are affected by our health, so does it affect our lashes as well. It's important to figure out these important health issues during the consultation phase or afterward, as it would help set your client’s expectations on their maximum retention period based on their own circumstances as well as possible changes they can do to improve their retention.
How medications and health affect eyelash retention
Before we continue, it is important to note that we are not medical professionals and we should not give any medical advice to our clients. Medical advice should always be sought out by qualified professionals like a general practitioner or physician. If you are ever unsure about any medication or health condition, refer your client to their general practitioner.
First, It is important to do a thorough consultation with your client so that you can have an understanding of any conditions they may have that may prevent them from benefiting from or going through with eyelash extensions
Always explain to your clients why you are asking them these questions. We are lash professionals and it is very important to let our clients know that we need this information to provide the best possible service and aftercare tailored to our client’s needs. Make sure to also tell them to inform you of any changes to their medical or health situation in future appointments.
Main factors of bad eyelash retention
One of the big factors in eyelash extension retention is hormonal imbalances. An underactive thyroid (or hypothyroidism) can reduce retention. By asking open questions about these types of conditions during your consultation you can explain to your client what to expect, such as more frequent needs for infills.
Other conditions to look out for include uncontrolled diabetes, Celiacs disease, arthritis, and Crohn's disease. All of these can also severely reduce retention.
If you are sure that your treatment was perfect but your clients are struggling with retention and are following your aftercare advice, then it's time to ask them about their lifestyle and medication. When we are unhealthy or struggling with an illness our body will shuttle nutrients to the most important parts of our body. Eyelashes are unfortunately one of the least important parts of our bodies.
It can take a minimum of a day for toxins or medications to leave the body and antibiotics can take a minimum of 30 days to fully leave the body, so take that into account each session and adjust retention expectations accordingly.
Stress is another major factor when it comes to retention. We all know how some of us tend to lose more strands of hair when we are stressed out and eyelashes are no exceptions. It can take up to 6 months for the elevated cortisol levels caused by stress to return to normal, so it is likely that your client can suffer poorer retention during this period as long as their stress levels are not managed properly.
Pregnancy, menopause, birth control, and your client’s menstrual cycle can also affect retention. While pregnant or on birth control, it is possible that your clients may have improved retention due to the increased circulating estrogen levels in their bloodstream. But after giving birth, or menopause, their hormonal balance will be highly out of sync, this could lead to unpredictable retention rates.
Supplements can also change how well your clients retain their eyelash extensions. We like to think that we can never have enough vitamins and minerals, but in the case of eyelash extension retention, this may not be the case. This is because some vitamins such as vitamin A and C can promote healthy eyelash growth, but also increase sebum and oil production, reducing retention and requiring more aftercare. Supplements such as vitamin D and B however can improve retention due to improved blood circulation, promoting a healthier and longer-lived natural lash. This is especially the case regarding vitamin D during the winter months, as most of us are deficient in it due to the lack of natural sunlight.
Diet is also an important factor. Keto is a popular diet these days and a diet high in fat will also increase the production of natural oils. Make sure to consider this possibility during a consultation or if a client suddenly has bad eyelash extensions.
We’ve all had clients that suddenly had better or worse retention, and this could easily be due to lifestyle changes. If your client has started exercising, eating healthier, getting better sleep it's likely their eyelash health improves as well, leading to much better retention. Likewise, if your client has been slacking on their routines and diet, or been partying way too much, their eyelash extensions will likely be reduced.
As you can see, eyelash extension retention is very complicated, with a multitude of factors that can affect it even if you and your client do all the right things in terms of treatment and aftercare. It is important for you to discuss with your client all these potential factors to get a clear picture of what can be done to improve eyelash extension retention.