ISA Carstens Academy

Cheap lashes aren’t nice and nice lashes aren’t cheap

Article published on 19/07/2015 by Suthentira Govender Doe-eyed maybe, but Dangerous


As the principal of a local Lash Training school, I feel it necessary to address the above mentioned article on behalf of the lash industry of South Africa.

Whilst a lot of the statements presented by Govender can be the case when using poor quality products, it is definitely not the case for all lash products on the market.

The lash industry of South Africa is still largely unregulated, and as such there are a lot of unqualified therapists offering the treatment to clients using inferior products and generating a bad reputation for the treatment and industry as a whole. As the lash industry continues to grow in South Africa, more importance and focus needs to be placed on the regulation of products and training, and the necessity of good health and hygiene measures when working with client’s eyes.

As a consumer, there are a number of questions you are responsible for asking before committing to having the treatment done. Firstly is the product being used medically graded and certified? If you are having your lashes done at a reputable salon by a qualified therapist, they should be able to advise you on whether the product they are using contains formaldehyde or not. Majority of the good quality medically graded lash adhesives on the market in South Africa contain no formaldehyde. Secondly, is the product being used on your eyes a professional product that can only be purchased by qualified extentionists? There are a number of lash products available for purchase off the shelf without having to produce a training certificate and these are the ones to watch out for. And lastly, can your therapist show you a certificate of their qualification? As we are working with people’s eyes, it is imperative that anyone attempting to carry out this treatment has qualified through a reputable and recognised training school. As mentioned the industry is still largely unregulated and as such there are a lot of therapists offering lash extensions that have not been trained properly or at all. This is when the damage can be done and customers can have bad experiences, putting them off lash extensions for life.

A lot of lash training schools offer one day courses after which students are presented with certificates straight away, regardless of their performance on the day. This is not enough time and training to properly grasp the technique. Look for a school that offers post training support, case studies and follow up assessments before qualifying their students.

When eyelash extensions are applied correctly by a well trained professional using a good quality product, they should not do any damage to the natural lashes. An individual light weight extension should be attached to each individual natural eyelash. When your natural eyelash sheds, the extension that is attached to it will shed with it. The natural lashes will continue to grow and shed in their regular life cycle without causing any damage to the hair follicle.

A well trained extentionist should also be able to advise on the most suitable length, shape and weight of extension for your lashes. If you have very fine, short natural lashes, an experienced extentionist will know not to apply long and thick extensions as this can cause damage. They should be qualified enough to be able to advise on a lighter weight lash that is no more than 2mm longer than your natural lash.

A well trained extentionist should also be able to advise you on the correct homecare for your lashes. It is their job to educate the customer on how to care for their lash extensions correctly. Correct homecare and maintenance will not only prolong the lifespan of the extensions, but will also ensure that customer’s lashes remain clean and free of irritations and infections.

Another factor to look out for when choosing a salon to have your lashes done, is price. Unfortunately due to the intricate nature of the application, eyelash extensions are not a cheap treatment and neither is the training. Trying to cut corners with cost is not the answer and you will pay for what you get. As the saying goes: CHEAP LASHES ARENT NICE, AND NICE LASHES ARENT CHEAP. If a training course or lash treatment is alarmingly cheap, there is a reason for it.

With proper education and training I hope we can strive towards ensuring that the lash extension industry in South Africa becomes more reputable and that there are less and less customers having bad experiences with under qualified staff and inferior products.

This is a hugely exciting industry to be a part of and there is so much potential amongst our beauty therapists in this country to produce some really stunning, and safe, results for our customers!

Carla Ortlepp

The Lash Collection Training School