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Eyelash extensions are used to enhance the length, curliness, fullness, and thickness of natural eyelashes. The extensions may be made from several materials including mink, synthetic, or human hair. The main method of applying the extensions on is by using an adhesive glue to individually sticking them to the eyelashes one-by-one. This is to prevent the eyelashes from sticking together. False eyelashes and eyelash extensions are not the same.
In 1879, James D. McCabe wrote The National Encyclopædia of Business and Social Forms, where, in the section "Laws of Etiquette," he stated that eyelashes could be lengthened by cutting the ends with a pair of scissors. Other beauty books, such as My Lady's Dressing Room (1892) by Baronne Staffe and Beauty's Aids or How to be Beautiful (1901) by Countess C also state that the trimming of eyelashes along with the use of the pomade Trikogene benefit eyelash growth. Countess C also suggested that eyelashes can be given extra length and strength by washing them every evening with a mixture of water and walnut leaves.
In 1882, Henry Labouchère of Truth reported that "Parisians have found out how to make false eyelashes" by having hair sewn into the eyelids. A similar report appeared in the July 6, 1899 edition of The Dundee Courier which described the painful method for elongating the lashes. The headline of which read, "Irresistible Eyes May Be Had by Transplanting the Hair." The article explained how the procedure achieved longer lashes by having hair from the head sewn into the eyelids.
In 1902, German-born hair specialist and noted inventor Charles Nessler, (aka Karl Nessler or Charles Nestle) patented "A New or Improved Method of and Means for the Manufacture of Artificial Eyebrows, Eyelashes and the like" in the United Kingdom. By 1903, he began selling artificial eyelashes at his London salon on Great Castle Street. He used the profits from his sales to fund his next invention, the permanent wave machine. A permanent wave machine was commonly called a perm that involves the use of heat and/or chemicals to break and reform the cross-linking bonds of the hair structure. In 1911, a Canadian woman named Anna Taylor patented false eyelashes in the United States.
In 1916, while making his film Intolerance, director D.W. Griffith wanted actress Seena Owen to have lashes "that brushed her cheeks, to make her eyes shine larger than life." The false eyelashes which were made from human hair was specifically woven piece by piece by a local wig maker.
Types of lashes
False eyelashes and semi-permanent eyelash extensions both enhance the length and volume of eyelashes, although they differ in various ways.
Temporary false lashes
Temporary false lashes are applied with temporary lash glue, and are not designed to be worn when showering, sleeping or swimming.
Semi-permanent lashes, also known as individual eyelash extensions, are eyelashes applied with an adhesive which is usually cyanoacrylate. There are different types of cyanoacrylates including ethyl, methyl, butyl, and octyl, which is designed for bonding to different surfaces. Lash adhesives are made from methyl-2-cyanoacrylate which is designed to bond a smooth surface (the eyelash extension) to a porous surface (the natural eyelash). It is designed to be used around the eyes and on the natural lashes, but not on the skin which can cause irritation.
Eyelash extensions give the appearance of having mascara on without the messy clumps and smudging of makeup. Generally, a single lash is applied to each natural lash. When applied properly, neither the eyelash extension nor the glue should touch the eyelid because it may cause irritation. This was design to last until the lashes naturally fall out, which is usually around 3–4 weeks. After those 3-4 weeks, new lash growth will need to be bonded, making lash extensions a regular monthly service if one wishes to maintain the full look.
In the United States, eyelash extension services can range from $100 to $500, depending on:
- The number and type of lashes being used
- The skill level of the cosmetician or 
- The venue where the extensions are applied
Because an average person might have anywhere from one hundred to two hundred lashes per eye, it can take from one to three hours to attach a full, new set. The amount of lashes one can put on varies upon the existing natural eyelashes. Because we lose natural eyelashes every day the eyelash extensions usually last between 3–4 weeks and during that time period, natural lashes start falling out or thinning. Maintaining a full set of eyelashes requires a refill every 2–3 weeks or a full set every four weeks.
Training and certification
Professionals trained in Lash Artistry go by various titles including "Lash Technicians," "Lash Artists," and "Lash Stylists." There are different companies that provide training and certification for a potential Eyelash Extensions Technicians.
In the UK, the Guild of Professional Beauty Therapists accredit courses for the safe application of semi-permanent individual eyelash extensions. The value of the course content can be judged by the number of CPD (Continued Professional Development) points that the course is awarded.
Applying eyelash extensions in the state of California requires a Cosmetology or Esthetician License. As stated in section 7316 of the California Business and Professions Code.
- Baronne Staffe with introduction and additions by Harriett Hubbard Ayer (1892). My Lady's Dressing Room. New York: Cassell Publishing Company.
- The Countess C-- (1901). Beauty's Aids or How to be Beautiful. Boston: L.C. Page & Company. pp. 97–98.
- George Frederick Shrady and Thomas Lathrop Stedman (1882). Medical Record, Volume 22. p. 252.
- "IRRESISTIBLE EYES MAY BE HAD BY TRANSPLANTING THE HAIR". The Dundee Courier. The Quack Doctor. 6 July 1899.
- A New or Improved Method of and Means for the Manufacture of Artificial Eyebrows, Eyelashes and the like. British patent GB000190218723A, submitted August 26, 1902, approved November 6, 1902.
- Williams, Neville (1957). Powder and Paint: A History of the Englishwoman's Toilet, Elizabeth I--Elizabeth II.
- "Art Eyelashes". Nashua Daily Telegraph. July 14, 1903. p. 3.
- "Hair Waving Machine is 50 Years Old". The Milwaukee Sentinel. September 21, 1934. p. 11.
- "Beauty Boon Has Made Many Changes in 50 Years". Rome News Tribune. p. 28.
- ARTIFICIAL EYELASH. Anna Taylor, Ottawa. Ontario. Canada. Serial No. 607,810. US994619. Filed February 10, 1911.
- "Maksymilian Faktorowicz - człowiek, który dał nam sztuczne rzęsy". Retrieved 24 May 2017.
- "Makeup Masters: The History of Max Factor". Retrieved 24 May 2017.
- California, State of. "Industry Bulletin Lash Extensions - California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology". www.barbercosmo.ca.gov. Retrieved 2017-10-23.
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