BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Eyelash extensions have become overwhelmingly popular over the past few months and while the trend is growing across the country, there are dangers that you could be facing if you aren't informed beforehand.
According to the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology, in order to legally perform lash extensions, the minimum requirement is that your artist must be a licensed esthetician or a cosmetologist.
The practice of applying eyelashes, eyelash extensions, eyelash strips and make-up to any person is only within the scope of practice of licensed cosmetologists and estheticians. As stated in section 7316 of the California Business and Professions Code in part reads as follows: (c) Within the practice of cosmetology there exist the specialty branches of skin care and nail care. (1) Skin care is any one or more of the following practices: (A) Giving facials, applying makeup, giving skin care, removing superfluous hair from the body of any person by the use of depilatories, tweezers or waxing, or applying eyelashes to any person.
As stated in section 7317 of the California Business and Professions Code reads as follows: Except as provided in this article, it is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to engage in barbering, cosmetology, or electrolysis for compensation without a valid, unexpired license issued by the board, or in an establishment or mobile unit other than one licensed by the board, or conduct or operate an establishment, or any other place of business in which barbering, cosmetology, or electrolysis is practiced unless licensed under this chapter. Persons licensed under this chapter shall limit their practice and services rendered to the public to only those areas for which they are licensed. Any violation of this section is subject to an administrative fine and may be subject to a misdemeanor.
Board officials say however that they don't provide eyelash extension training in any other fields. This means that many lash artists have to seek outside extension certification training before they provide any services to customers.
One lash artist, Jenny Y goes to two different training sessions to ensure clientele safety.
"I took a classic lash training in LA and then I took another advanced master volume training in Beverly Hills," she said.
According to Jenny, the classes can range from $12 hundred dollars to $2 thousand dollars, while the training can be expensive, its vital to ensure a customers safety. Those that don't learn from a certified professional like Jenny Y, may not be following proper maintenance recommendations as Empire Eye Laser Center Optometrist Vin Dang said.
In some cases, improperly trained lash artists wont do a good enough job cleaning the eyelids, which can lead to eye infections.
"Sometimes what's happening is that the glue patients don't realize they can be allergic to the glue that can cause a severe red puffy eyelid irritation," Dang said. "Last week I saw an esthetician glued her eyelash, the personal eyelash and it was creating an abrasion on the surface of the eye."
Dang said that abrasions on the eye can lead to blindness because of the harmful bacteria that can seep into your eye. Dang said that clients may not see critical signs of irritation to the eyes right away because of delayed allergic reactions.
At Bella Lash Boutique, all clients are also required to sign a waiver that specifies the complications and allergic reactions that may occur. By signing that waiver, the client is agreeing to the risks and maintenance instruction that are required to avoid infection.
Despite all the risks that come with the trend, Bella Boutique is still seeing that the popularity hasn't died down. Nearly 220 clients were seen ach month when the boutique first opened in May 2017. Now, they are seeing more than 600 clients each month across the different locations.
Lash Client and Lash Expert, Megan Sheridan said that the growing popularity is what makes the upkeep more challenging and recommends customers book appointments as soon as possible to assist in proper upkeep.
According to the Cosmetology Board Officials, license requirements can differ from state to state with the only consistency being the national exam that cosmetologists and esthetician are required to take.