How To Become a Lash Tech: Six Tips
So you’ve dabbled in the world lashes and brows yourself as a client. Now you’ve decided that you would like to become a lash technician. Good for you! This field is one of the most fun and rewarding beauty fields out there.
You have inevitably arrived at this important question: how do I get started? There are a few different pathways you can take to become a lash professional.
What Exactly Is a Lash Technician?
This question is actually a little bit more complicated than you might think. Lash technicians go by many names: lash tech, lash artist, eyelash professional, eyelash extension specialist, and so on and so on. You catch the drift.
Essentially, a lash technician is a beauty expert who has received specific training in applying semi-permanent lash extensions onto their client’s natural lashes. This is a job that demands patience, keen vision, and steady hands, not to mention a good deal of training.
Lash technicians can work in a variety of settings, which is a benefit to most people considering the career. You may choose to work in a spa, salon, boutique, or (depending on your country’s or state’s regulations) even in the comfort of your own home.
There are some great benefits to becoming a lash technician, which you may have already considered in making the choice to pursue this career. Some perks include:
- Flexible schedules
- The ability to work wherever you want
- High career satisfaction
- A relaxed atmosphere that YOU get to create!
- Job security
- Amazing clientele
- Growth opportunities
- A reliable income
The Pathways to Becoming a Lash Tech
Like many careers, there’s more than one way to arrive at your dream job of making people beautiful all day. Some people choose to pursue a cosmetology license, while others go the route of becoming a licensed esthetician. In either case, you will likely need to receive specialized training specific to the eyelashes.
It is important to check on the rules and regulations where you live. For example, in some states, you must be an esthetician to do lash extensions. In other states, a cosmetology license is enough. And there are some states (and countries like Canada) in which eyelash extensions are not regulated at all.
It would be truly frustrating to jump through the hoops of getting one particular license only to find that your local government requires you to have a different one, so do your homework!
Becoming a Cosmetologist
A common career path for those who want to pursue a career in eyelashes is the path of cosmetology. Cosmetology is a growing field with plenty of potential to take your career to the next level.
To become a licensed cosmetologist, you will first need to go through a training program. When people refer to the time spent learning, they often call these “training hours.” This refers to the amount of time spent in school, both in classes and in hands-on experiences.
Between 1,400 and 1,600 hours of training are required on average across the country. However, from state to state, that number can vary by hundreds of hours. No matter where you live, you will have to take and pass a licensing exam before you can practice your craft.
Your cosmetology program can prepare you for many different skills, and you can learn the basics of nails, makeup, hair, and skin. Or, you may choose to concentrate in one or more areas and become a specialist (hello, lashes!). If you’re certain that eyelashes are for you, make sure that you choose a school that offers a concentration in that area.
Another Option: Become an Esthetician
Estheticians are licensed skincare professionals who have completed apprenticeships or formal esthetics programs. They are trained to perform treatments that promote the health and beauty of the skin, such as waxing and peels, as well as educate clients on proper skincare and products.
Whereas cosmetology branches out into makeup, hair, etc, estheticians are more specialized in skincare. Estheticians cannot diagnose clients or treat skin conditions; rather, their expertise is in cosmetic skincare.
However, an esthetician can do a lot of amazing things for their clients! Some common therapies and treatments estheticians perform include sugar or salt scrubs, hair removal, facials, chemical peels, light therapy, microdermabrasion, makeup application, dermaplaning, and body wraps.
Some estheticians also dabble in more invasive services like Botox.
More and more frequently, estheticians are also getting involved in the eyelashes industry. The knowledge that can be gained from esthetician training is invaluable to those who want to pursue a career in eyelash extensions.
Surprisingly, most states don’t require as many training hours for estheticians as they do for cosmetologists. It varies greatly from state to state, but in most cases, the requirement is between 500-600 hours, plus of course taking a licensing exam. Despite lower state requirements, many esthetician training programs still require more hours than the minimum.
Whether you choose to go the route of a cosmetologist license or an esthetician license, most clients will want to see that you are licensed in some way. Though it is possible to take eyelash education courses on your own, having a license will really boost your chances of making this a solid career. And don’t forget, some states require you to have one if you want to legally do lash extensions.
It’s important to note that most cosmetology and esthetician programs do not cover lash extensions. This needs to be taken as a course after school is complete.
What Can You Expect From Lash Extension Training?
Training in this area is offered in a number of ways. For example, Sugarlash PRO offers online courses. Such courses are extremely beneficial because of their flexibility and attention to detail.
You may find, depending on your program, that lash extension training is worked into the program. Or, you may find that you can take lash extension training as some of your elective courses in cosmetology school. Here are some topics that you can expect to learn when training to become a lash artist:
- Application of eyelash extensions
- Lash bonding and adhesives
- Isolation and separation procedures
- Health and safety practices
- Allergic reactions
- Marketing your business
- Infections eye diseases
- Supplies and equipment of the industry
Often, the training that is specific to eyelash extensions can be done fairly quickly, which is an added bonus. If you already have the license required by your state, you could become a lash artist in just a few short months.
Top Six Tips for Becoming a Lash Pro
#1: Do Your Research
The very first thing you should do before you even think about becoming a lash professional is making sure that you completely understand the requirements where you live. If your state requires you to get a cosmetologist license, then that's what you should do!
There are so many training options out there, and so much information right at your fingertips, so you should really spend some time looking into the many training options that are available to you before committing to one.
Sugarlash PRO trained artists make an average of $95 an hour (2.3x the industry average!). Quality lash training matters, so make sure you choose the best program. We offer training in lash lifts, classic lash extensions, volume lash extensions, mega lash extensions, and a customized styling course.
#2: Consider Where You Want To Work
The beauty of the flexibility for a lash technician is undeniable. You may want to consider where you are most comfortable working. Some people enjoy working in a salon, while others might want more of a spa atmosphere. Depending on the regulations where you live, you may even enjoy the luxury of working from home.
#3: Get Serious About Your Education
Like any career field, you will have to learn your trade. Whether or not you were an all-star student when you were in school, you will definitely need to focus on your education, and take your learning seriously.
The great thing about getting training in the eyelash industry is that hopefully, it's something you are passionate about, and will truly enjoy learning.
#4: Reach Out to Experts Near You
Chances are, you already know of lash artists in your area. We are a tight-knit group! Most lash professionals would be so happy to answer any questions you have about the job, so don't be afraid to start making connections.
These connections will not only help you get started but will be invaluable to you when you actually get your business going. Healthy competition is normal, and even though your fellow lash professionals might be your direct competition, you will probably find that they will also become important resources to you, and maybe even friends!
#4: Know Your Products
When you are becoming a lash professional, you will certainly learn techniques and tricks of the trade. One thing that you will want to do on your own is to research the products that you want to use. This is especially important if you plan on eventually starting your own business.
You want to make sure that you are investing in a quality product that is built to last, such as Sugarlash PRO’s line of adhesives, extensions, and solutions. A quality product might cost just a little bit more, but it will pay off in the long run.
Sugarlash PRO will help you attract a strong clientele and increase consumer demand. We are the most covered lash company in the world when it comes to press, which will work to your benefit.
#5: Be Versatile
Remember that there is more to life than just lash extensions. You may start off thinking that extensions alone are your thing, but do not be afraid to branch out. Services such as brow tinting and lash lifts are becoming more and more popular, so when you are considering your training, you may want to keep your options open.
#6: Start Your Marketing Early
Once you have completed the required training, you should start marketing yourself right away. You might know that you’re amazing, but not everyone does. You should consider implementing customer rewards programs and incentives for referrals.
Social media marketing is a great way to start, and you can make it authentic and tailored to who you are.
Don’t hesitate to get started in the rewarding field of lash extensions. This is a growing field that shows no signs of slowing down! The sooner you start investing in your education and yourself, the sooner you can start making people beautiful and happy, and making your career take off.