Lash extensions need to be cleaned thoroughly and you will need to instill this into your clients as many will be scared to touch them for fear of them coming off. Not only is this not the case but not cleaning them can lead to eye infections like blepharitis. This is a condition that is caused by an excessive number of lash mites (Demodex Folliculorum) living in your lashline. Normally harmless, the excretions that these mites produce can cause the lash follicle to become inflamed which without treatment can lead to lashes become thinner and sparser. Sufferers may also suffer with crusting on the eyelid, swollen and itchy eyes, white flaking on and between the lashes and redness.
The main cause of Blepharitis is poor hygiene and clients need to be educated to clean their lashes whether they wear makeup or not. Two to three times a week is enough for clients that don't wear makeup but it should be daily for those that do. There are lash cleansers available to buy but you can also make your own.
If you think that your client has developed Blepharitis you need to advise that she see an eye specialist immediately. It is a good idea for her to have a break from lashes temporarily while she is applying the appropriate treatment to fix the problem. It is easily managed and she will be able to have her lashes back again.
As I mentioned earlier, many clients will be under the impression that the less they do with the lashes, the longer they will last. In actual fact, cleaning them will help with retention. If they are not cleaned, the oils from the skin, from creams and makeup will coat the lash and start to break down the adhesive bond. It is especially important to clean volume lashes as any oil secreted by the skin (or makeup) will travel up the fan and cause it to close. After all that effort and expense they will end up with a set that resembles classic lashes.
Poor hygiene can also result in increased sensitivity and and increased likelihood of allergic reaction.
How to Clean them..
There are a couple of ways I advise clients to clean their lashes, mostly depending on which cleanser they want to use. If they want to use a foaming cleanser, I advise them to gently wash their lashes with warm water and the lash shampoo. Disposable lip wands, a soft makeup brush or microbrushes can be used to remove any makeup of debris. The foaming cleanser can be applied and gently massaged into the lash line and then rinsed away thorougly. Brushing their finger along their lashes in upwards direction will help to remove any excess water and then they can be left to dry naturally or using a cool setting with a hair dryer. They can then brush through their lashes with their lash wand.
Alternatively, if their cleanser is more of a solution than a foam then I advise them to dip their lash wand into it, dab off the excess, and brush through their lashes firstly with the cleanser and then with water. They should repeat this 2-3 times, ensuring they have also removed all the cleanser and then leave to dry. I also supply a couple of disposable lip wands in their aftercare packs so they can swipe along their lashline to remove any mascara or eyeliner. Your clients shouldn't really be wearing any mascara or eyeliner as it causes poor retention but if they insist on it they will probably find the foaming cleanser a better option.