How to Tell If a Brow and Lash Extension Salon Is Sketchy or Legit

Now that eyebrows are basically the most important part of every woman’s face, you might be tempted to have yours artificially enhanced at a salon. But this can be risky — what if it backfires and your eyebrows are messed up for life?

Basically, good eyebrow and eyelash extensions can make your look, but bad ones can ruin your face. So we talked to dermatologist Christine Choi Kim to find out what makes an eyebrow and eyelash extension salon legit — and what the red flags are.

What are some side effects that can result from improper brow/lash extensions? 

Allergic reactions to adhesives that may contain formaldehyde releasers, and bacterial infections are possible as well. Swelling, itching, redness, pain, pus, and discharge are all warning signs, and you should immediately go to an ophthalmologist or the Emergency Department.

What are the typical places where a girl should go for eyebrow/eyelash extensions? 

Each state has its own requirements for who can perform extensions. Most require a cosmetologist or esthetician license, which should be displayed in the salon.  You can also ask if they have a certification for specific training in extensions.

What should every good eyebrow/eyelash extension place have?  

A license, a sink to wash hands, an autoclave (sterilizer) for instruments.

What questions should you ask before getting your eyebrows or eyelash extensions to make sure they’re going to be done right?

Are you licensed? Who trained you? How long have you been doing this? What are your lashes and adhesives made of, and where do you purchase them? Do you have before and after pictures? How long is a treatment going to take? How long should my extensions last? What is the proper aftercare?

What’s a red flag at an eyebrow/lash extension salon? What should never be happening there?

The biggest red flag is multiple unlicensed technicians practicing under one person’s license.  Happens in other types of salons (like nail salons) as well.  You should never see a technician eating or drinking in the middle of a treatment (hygiene issue). Or talking on the phone for long periods of time for that matter… that means she is not paying attention to the task at hand.

What are some other things to make sure of when looking for a good salon?

General cleanliness. Visit first before booking an appointment. Ask to talk to the manager/ owner. Check out the bathroom!  Ask about policies for touch- ups/refills.  Also, if you are unhappy with your lashes, is there a reasonable customer service policy in place?

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