The Eyelash Extension Industry: Is regulation Idaho’s next step? - by Kendra E.

Long beautiful full lashes, little to no hassle for day to day care, affordable on most budgets, & it’s already a multi-million dollar business? Are eyelash extensions the new mani/pedi? Who should we trust to apply them?

Eyelash Extensions have been rising in popularity since 2005 and are the new esthetic craze in many countries. Girls everywhere are wanting to know the details about this trade. This new industry has brought salons and medi-spas great success over the last couple years with getting clients in the door. With increasing popularity, comes increased regulation and the demand for better education. Idaho has found itself as one of the last 5 states remaining that still has no laws or regulations regarding who can perform eyelash extensions.

Eyelash extensions are applied very carefully by applying one synthetic lash to each individual natural lash with a strong adhesive bond. If not applied by a professional, injury & infection can occur. Being not without controversy, some believe that the industry requires better regulation for safety of clients while some argue that you can still achieve a quality education without going to esthetics school to attain a license.

What regulation are some looking for? Requiring an esthetics license is what most states require and that is what is being pushed for by many licensed salons in the area. By requiring this, the industry would be much more regulated. What does this mean? Lash artists would then have to adhere to the state board of cosmetology and esthetics by having active licenses, reporting where they are employed, being required to have a state approved workspace that they deem safe and acceptable, paying state fees, and be required to graduate from a state recognized esthetics program.

Taylor Powell (LE), a recent Premiere Aesthetics Institute graduate, thinks that regulation is the way to go. “When you think about the risk of eyelash extensions and dealing with somebody's eyes, you definitely need to know the proper sanitation and correct placement. You can’t just learn off of Youtube & think you’re good to go.”

Idaho in particular, has always had a large issue with untrained technicians performing extensions even as young as 15 years old. However, the argument has been stated that some certification courses in the area, even though not requiring a license, are still effective & safe. Both sides of the aisle seem to agree that while certification can be acceptable, the issue remains that with no regulations at all, completely untrained technicians are allowed to practice which is the problem that needs to be addressed and eliminated. Where do these two groups opinions separate?

While regulation can mean a cleaner industry for some technicians, it can mean the destruction of livelihood for another. Many certified technicians while still sometimes just as educated and talented as licensed practitioners, have built their business’ and made their livings by lashing, if the regulations were to change, those technicians would be left out in the cold and would be unable to continue at their jobs until they received an esthetics or cosmetology license. This has certified technicians constantly nervous for new laws and regulations surrounding the eyelash extension business.

Gretchen McCants, owner of Royal Beauty Boise & multiple times certified technician, says “I feel as there are pros and cons with both sides. Being currently multiple times certified, and now fishing up my esthetics program for a license, i can say that i’ve been on both sides of the situation.”

While it will probably always be a topic of discussion in the beauty industry, there are good points to both perspectives. Only time will tell for the future of Idaho’s newest “golden boy” of esthetics.