There are few professions that require performance of a task as delicate and detailed as applying lash extensions. Lash professionals’ eyes are their most precious asset and should be cared for. After all, self-care is vital to maintaining your top earning potential. Employ these tips from eyestrain professionals Gary Heiting, OD, and Larry K. Wan, OD, to ensure that your eyes are performing at peak condition.
- Exercise and Rest Your Eyes: Relax your focusing muscles with the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, fix your eyes on an object roughly 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Looking away relaxes the focusing muscles and prevents “focusing fatigue.” To prevent dry eyes, run a humidifier. This will not only increase the curing speed of the adhesive, but it will also create a moist environment for your eyes.
- Invest in Ergonomic Seating: Many lash professionals struggle with getting a clear view of their clients’ eyelashes because chairs are too high and beds are too low. If a client’s lashes are too far away, the chances of eyestrain are greatly increased. To seat yourself properly, the chair should be close enough to the bed/table that your knees and legs completely fit under it and your abdomen is almost touching the top of the table. Any other position will cause unnecessary eyestrain.
- Get Regular Eye Exams: A thorough eye exam should be done prior to any initial training and every six months thereafter—no exceptions. Explain to your optometrist what you do for a living (showing a video, if necessary) and alert the doctor to how many hours each day and week you spend applying extensions, as well as how much time you have between clients.
- Wear Magnifying Lenses: Whether your vision is 20/20 or you wear corrective lenses, additional magnification is critical when performing a task that requires extreme precision and visual focus. The larger the lashes appear, the less strain there is on the eyes.
- Modify Your Lighting: First, it’s important to invest in a good quality lamp. Then, you want to direct your light source to the client’s lashes, right over her face, as close to the lashes as possible. Do not allow the light to shine in your eyes. You can also modify the color of the light to a subtle orange hue with lighting gels. Ambient room lighting should be no more than 50 percent as bright as the task lamp used, and all lighting (including overhead) should be full-spectrum rather than fluorescent.
This story first appeared in the March/April issue of Eyelash magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.