Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty


ASK THE Experts


What are the common brow lamination troubleshooting issues and how can I overcome them?

When doing brow lamination treatments, a consultation is not only a legal requirement but a great way to build a rapport with your client – it’s a chance to get to know their likes and dislikes so you can tailor the service to their needs. A consultation is also vital to check your client is safe to have the service, as well as identifying any health risks and contraindications.

It also gives you the opportunity to manage expectations. I’ve found from talking to potential clients that some are put off brow lamination because they’ve only seen pictures of extreme looks; they’re not aware you can create different styles – from big and strong, to smooth, sleek, and fluffy.

This conversation lets you dispel any myths, discuss what style would suit them and why, and reassure them that it won’t look “too much”. You can discuss what make-up they tend to wear daily as this will help you decide on the colour and style.

Also, check if they have any scar tissue in their brows, the texture of their hair, and if there are gaps that need to be addressed.

All this information will help you tweak your service and deliver brows that complement the client’s face shape.

Some clients can have incredibly thick, layered brows, so if you’re only applying product on top of this hair, there is a risk of missing the lower layers. Only laminating the upper layer will result in a brow lamination that isn’t even. My best advice is to apply product against the growth first and then with it, so the hairs are sandwiched between the product and sufficiently covered.

If the hairs are resilient and tend to stand up straight, place clear wrap over the brows once the product is applied. This replaces the need to glue and keeps hairs flat and coated, ensuring a good process.

Be aware that brow hairs respond fast to the chemical, and the structure of the hair can change very quickly, which is why timing is so important. Don’t just apply it and leave the product on; you need to be really observant throughout the entire process. I always teach my students not to assume the hairs will need the full process time.

When laminating brows, we have the luxury to see the structure change – you can feel the texture of the hairs become softer – so you know when they’re processed. The key really is to not overprocess and avoid using tools that scratch and scrape against the skin when applying the product, as this can result in sensitive and sore skin.

Aftercare is incredibly important, so give clients a list of things to do, such as avoiding getting wet, no heat or steam sessions, and no make-up for 24 hours. Clients also need to understand that the hairs will move during sleep – the treatment doesn’t freeze them – so their brows will need to be brushed back into that perfect position daily.

Lisa Stone is a Salon System educator and an expert in brow and waxing treatments.

What are the best strategies to manage the pressures of running a small business?

Running a small beauty business is extremely rewarding but, like anything worthwhile, it also has its challenges.

Pursuing your passion and directing your vision might fuel your drive and motivation but, often, this alone is not enough. Hard times hit, markets shift and juggling a handful of job roles can make the day-today overwhelming. Keeping up with trends is also a challenge, but leads to an increase in demand in the long run.

These struggles are all part of the process, and although they can feel consuming at times, you can take steps to make these stressors more manageable.

When we manage pressures well, we can reconnect to why we started doing what we do and remember to enjoy the process.

As a clinic or salon owner, dealing with problems and solutions probably makes up the majority of your day, and amid myriad challenges, it’s easy to forget how far you’ve come. That’s why celebrating the wins is essential – the big and the small ones. Praise yourself and your team whenever you reach a milestone on a project. It can be tempting to hone in on areas that need improving, but try not to fall into this trap. Taking time to accentuate the positives boosts morale and productivity.

As a business owner, you’re in charge, so master the art of objectives. You will have short-term weekly goals as well as longerterm monthly and yearly ones, and it’s important to differentiate these. Sometimes we make plans in our subconscious minds, with a vague direction of where we’re heading. While it’s good to understand the next steps, partly formed ideas can cloud your consciousness, making you feel overwhelmed and diminishing your focus.

Mastering the art of objectives involves setting your vision in stone. Taking time out of your weekly working week to check in with progress is a must. This will allow you to prioritise the most important tasks, stay on top of timelines and craft plans for the future of your business. The initial hour out of your day might seem like a blow to the schedule, but it’s worth it.

Be aware of burnout too. It affects us physically, mentally and emotionally, and leaves us unable to perform at our best. Burnout is caused by chronic stress, and as a small business owner, this is something you’re likely to be exposed to over a period of time, so it’s important to be aware of signs.

Key indicators include feeling constantly worried, trouble sleeping, eating more or less than usual, a lack of self-confidence, and irritability. Remember, your health should come first – don’t neglect it. Prevent burnout before it takes over by knowing your limits, learning to say no when needed and taking time for yourself.

"Key indicators include FEELING CONSTANTLY WORRIED, TROUBLE SLEEPING, EATING MORE OR LESS THAN USUAL, a lack of self-confidence, and irritability."

It’s easy to underestimate the power of a pocketful of “stress-busters”, but when you identify the coping mechanisms that work for you, it can be a gamechanger.

A coping mechanism can be the difference between a good decision and a bad one. It could be a brisk walk in the fresh air, finding things you’re grateful for or just pausing to breathe. Having these techniques handy discourages you from spiralling into a negative thought cycle or falling into unhelpful habits.

Nick Babington is director of Croner Group. He advises on employment law, health and safety legislation, and good commercial practice.

How do I get the best retention from my lash sets every time?

This is one of the questions I get asked about the most when doing training, and which I see time and time again on lash artist Facebook forums. Lash retention is simply how long eyelash extensions last on the natural lash before falling out.

When lash artists have bad retention on a set of lashes, or on a client’s infill, many automatically assume it’s the glue, but there are so many factors that could have affected it.

Prepping the lashes is key. Even if your client arrives with what looks like clean lashes, it’s best to prep them completely yourself, before the full set of extensions is applied. I recommend protein wipes on a full set and lash shampoo on an infill. When you clean the lashes, make sure you’re getting in at the base of the natural lash where you’ll be applying the extension as it needs to be super-clean and oil free.

Next, focus on your lash attachment.

Applying the extensions correctly is essential for them to bond well with the natural lashes. If the extensions aren’t sitting flat to the natural lashes, then oils, dirt, and make-up will sit between the bond, which results in bad retention and potentially infection. The lash extensions also need good grip on the natural lashes, around 2mm.

Glue can be an issue sometimes. Make sure you always have fresh glue that is not past its expiry date, and give it a good shake before using. I recommend using a jade stone with fresh micropore tape to dispense your glue on to as this will keep it at a constant temperature.

Apply a small dome of glue on the stone and dip the lash extension in the middle of the dot as that’s the freshest part of the glue. A new dot of glue will also need to be used every 15 minutes or so, depending on your room temperature. Not applying enough glue will cause bad retention, but by the same token, too much glue will cause stickiness, which we don’t want.

Coverage is equally important for good set retention. Applying lash extensions is a long treatment – until you get your speed up with experience – and the better coverage you have, the longer the extensions will last. You want to try and get at least 80% coverage on each set.

Like any beauty treatment, aftercare is hugely important for the set to last well. Go through the aftercare rituals with the client while they are still lying on the couch having the lashes applied because you know they’ll be listening. Have all the key information on your website and social media pages too in case they forget.

Clients also need to make sure they are brushing and cleaning their lashes every day, so offer them the correct aftercare products to take home, such as lash shampoo, which is great for keeping lashes clean and avoiding any nasty infections or, worst of all, lash mites.

Katie Godfrey is a lash artist, owner of KG Salon in Barton Le Clay, and founder of lash brand KG Professional.


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This article appears in the May 2022 Issue of Professional Beauty

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This article appears in the May 2022 Issue of Professional Beauty