History of eyelash extensions (part 2)
In the early 2000s, semi-permanent lash extensions were further developed in South Korea as strip lash wearers looked for a safe solution to have their lashes last longer. It’s hard to confirm who exactly came up with eyelash extensions since there’s no clear record, but the rumor is that somebody at an eyelash strip factory used leftover synthetic lashes to create individual lash strands that can be applied on one natural eyelash.
At the early stage of production, the quality of lash extensions left much to be desired. Factories were only capable of producing hard, plasticky, straight J curls.
Not only that, but the huge range of lash extension glues for all sorts of different humidities and drying speeds we see these days didn’t exist back then. Lash technicians in the early 2000s had to actually mix the sticking agents and drying agents to their needs by themselves.
The quality of supplies was poor and retention short, but because there were almost no lash technicians in the world, getting a set of eyelash extensions cost over $2,000 back then. Only after lash extensions rose in popularity and more and more lash technicians began providing their services did prices start to come down.
In the mid-2000s, early adopters of this soon-to-be mega-trend, Paris Hilton and Madonna, famously wore lash extensions and helped the lash industry take off.
Semi-permanent lash extensions finally provided a way to create natural-looking lashes that wouldn’t peel off in the blink of an eye (pun intended). Lash addicts loved the ease of lash extensions. Waking up every day for a month with your lashes still looking perfect? What’s not to love!?
From J Curl to…every imaginable curl
Around the early 2000s, lash mapping was not really a thing. Why? Because when there is only one available curl (J curl), and at that with a thick diameter and only 1 or 2 lengths to choose from, there’s not much room for customization!
Thankfully, lash artists these days are gifted with an abundant range of curls (B, C, CC, D, DD, U, L, M, and more!), which helps them design a variety of sets, all tailored for each individual lash client’s lash condition and eye shape.
We at BL Lashes are proud to be the FIRST to have created unique curls such as B, D, U, M, L, L+, EZ.
Classic to volume and many more styles
Early on, only classic lash extension (1-by-1 technique) was performed. Then one day in the 2010s, one smart lash artist in Russia reportedly developed a never-before-seen technique for grabbing two or three lashes and wrapping them around one natural lash. That’s how our beloved Russian volume lashing technique was born.
In the early stage of volume lashing, only thicker 0.15-0.20mm lashes were available. As a result, volume lashing was limited to only 2D to 3D. Then, lash manufacturers like us caught wind of the volume lashing technique, and we started developing thinner 0.05-0.07mm lash extensions, which then launched the volume lashing trend.
As we approached the mid-2010s, even thinner 0.03mm lashes were developed. This advancement in production allowed lash artists to create mega-volume lash sets using up to 20 strands per natural lash.
The popularity of volume lash extension has expanded the creative boundaries of lash artists, and every few months it inspires innovative lashing techniques such as hybrid, Kim-K style, Wispy lash, and Wet look. In recent years, the development of pre-made lash fans has made lash extensions even more popular since they significantly reduce application time.
With a wide variety of lash supplies available in every imaginable curl, thickness, length, and color, lash artists can create safe, customized lash extension sets while still having room to stretch their creative muscles.
Thanks, Kim K!
Whether you love her or hate her, we have Kim Kardashian, reality star and contour queen, to thank for the lash industry’s parabolic growth.
She has popularized lash extension more than we could have even imagined, and it truly has become an everyday aesthetic embraced by millions of women worldwide. Lashes have now become a must-have for the Instagram generation.
This is still just the beginning, and we can’t wait to see how our industry grows and evolves in the coming future. What new trends will be popping up in 5, 10, 15 years? We’re just as excited to find out as you are.