How to Become an Eyelash Extension Specialist

Long, thick eyelashes call attention to the eyes, which are often referred to as "windows to the soul." Countless authors and poets have used descriptions of eyelashes to evoke images of beautiful women. This is even true in animated films—did you know that long, fluttery eyelashes are the only difference between Disney’s animated Robin Hood and Maid Marian characters' faces? 

Since not all women are blessed with naturally long lashes, beauty experts help augment this feature using eyelash extensions.  In fact, there's an entire career path available for eyelash extension specialists.

What is a Lash Extension Specialist?

A lash extension specialist is a beauty professional who has taken specialized training in the application of semi-permanent eyelash extensions onto existing lashes. It's a task that requires training, good vision, steady hands, and great patience because the lash extensions are applied one by one onto existing lashes. The procedure typically takes one to three hours and the client is left with full, beautiful, natural-looking eyelashes that last a long time.

Many lash extension specialists first get a cosmetology or esthetics license and then take an eyelash technician course. Anyone interested in such training should first check eyelash extension state requirements.

Some of the areas of study in an eyelash extension training program include:

  • Eyelash extension isolation and separation procedures
  • Eyelash extension application
  • Lash bonding and effective bonding tips
  • Allergic reactions
  • Infectious and contagious diseases of the eye
  • Proper sanitation practices
  • Occupational health and safety practices

Eyelash extension specialists may be called lash specialists, eyelash technicians, or lash artists. Whatever label they carry, they typically enjoy flexible schedules and high career satisfaction.

An eyelash technician may work in a salon, spa, or boutique. Experienced lash extension specialists may teach at beauty schools, work with plastic surgery offices, or open specialty eyelash salons where they perform eyelash extensions, eyelash lifts, eyelash color tints, and other services.

Lash Extension Specialist Salary and Career Growth

Earnings for eyelash extension specialists can vary significantly due to multiple factors such as the area you live in and whether you work full-time or part-time.  Earnings differ depending on whether you work as an employee, a 1099 contractor, or rent booth space. Profits can also change dramatically if you open your own specialty shop.

Regulations in some states require eyelash extensions to be applied in licensed facilities.  However, in states where it’s allowed, some eyelash technicians choose to work from home.

Information on eyelash technician salaries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is typically grouped with other beauty industry jobs. The most recent report available showed 2018 median annual pay of $24,830 for cosmetologists and $31,290 for skin care specialists, also known as estheticians/aestheticians.

The Board of Cosmetology salon jobs listed in December 2019 for eyelash technicians had salaries ranging from $20,000 to $58,127. During the same timeframe, a Glassdoor survey of 2,900 salaries (submitted anonymously) showed lash stylist salaries ranging from $22,000 to $50,000 annually. Those with the highest earnings were licensed cosmetologists and estheticians. As there is no centralized governmental report for this career specifically, the best way to know the pay for your area is to check job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed.

CareerOneStop (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor) doesn't provide information specifically for eyelash technicians or eyelash extension specialists, but they report a bright job outlook with projections for positive job growth of 11% for skin care specialists and 9% for cosmetologists.

How do I Become a Lash Extension Specialist?

The key to a successful career as a lash extension specialist or eyelash technician is to become a professional licensed through the state. Even if your state has no special requirements, it's best to have esthetician or cosmetologist licensure. This assures clients that the individual to whom they're entrusting a sensitive and essential part of their body is qualified and has the knowledge and skills necessary to provide the service. Building a trusting, repeat clientele helps ensure a rewarding career.

Estheticians and cosmetologists who've decided they'd like to add eyelash extension specialist to their resume may choose to complete eyelash extension certification requirements.

Always be sure your state board approves any training you invest in.

Once trained, an eyelash technician specialist can confidently market and use their skills to complement other services they provide. As their clientele develops, some find this part of their work to be so gratifying and financially rewarding that it becomes their sole focus.

Kentucky offers an Eyelash Extension Specialty Permit, and Texas has specific licensure requirements for lash technicians. Other states are considering similar regulations. Currently, almost every state requires that anyone who performs eyelash extension services have a cosmetologist or esthetician license. Even in states where there are no specific requirements, there are schools that offer training in the subject—always a good idea!

It's important to note that licensing and regulations vary by state and are subject to change, so it's essential to check your states' rules via the licensing sites below. All requirements are specifically in reference to eyelash extension technicians.

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Alabama

Available to: No specified requirements
Find a program at: Bodylogic School of Cosmetology & Esthetics
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Alabama Board of Cosmetology & Barbering

Available to: Licensed Hairdresser, Esthetician
Find a program at: Academy of Hair Design
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Alaska Board of Barbers and Hairdressers

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Lash Out Academy
Licensure Required: Eyelash extension license required

For more information, visit your state board at Arizona State Board of Cosmetology

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician, Barber
Find a program at: Academy of Professional Cosmetology
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Arkansas Department of Health

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Sinful Lashes Academy
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: College of International Esthetics
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Colorado Office of Barber and Cosmetology Licensure

Available to: Licensed eyelash technicians
Find a program at: International Institute of Cosmetology
Licensure Required: Eyelash Technician - 50 hours approved study and certificate

For more information, visit your state board at Connecticut State Department of Public Health

Available to: No specified requirements
Find a program at: Delaware Learning Institute of Cosmetology
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Delaware Board of Cosmetology and Barbering

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Dermal Science International Aesthetics and Nail Academy
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at DCRA

Available to: Cosmetologist
Find a program at: Pearl Lash Extensions Beauty School
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Florida Dept. of Business & Professional Regulation

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: School of Glamology
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician, Barber
Find a program at: Hawaii Massage Academy/Esthetician School
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Hawaii Board of Barbering and Cosmetology

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Aveda Institutes
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Idaho Barber & Cosmetology Licensing Board

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: New Age Spa Institute
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at IDFPR - Cosmetology

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Lash Therapy
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Indiana State Board of Cosmetology

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Artisan Brow & Lash
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Iowa.gov - Cosmetology

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Eric Fisher Academy
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Kansas Board of Cosmetology

Available to: Eyelash extension specialist
Find a program at: Lavish Lashes
Licensure Required: Eyelash Extension Specialty Permit requires certification training from Board-approved training provider

For more information, visit your state board at Kentucky Board of Cosmetology

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: LA Lash Academy
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Louisiana Board of Cosmetology

Available to: Cosmetologist
Find a program at: Novalash Training - Maine
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Maine.gov - Professional Licensing

Available to: Cosmetologist
Find a program at: Xtreme Lashes
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Maryland Board of Cosmetology

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Lash L'Amour
Licensure Required: No specified requirements, though Lash L'Amour does provide certificates.

For more information, visit your state board at Mass.gov - Board of Cosmetology and Barbering

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Xtreme Lashes
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Michigan.gov Licensing and Regulatory Affairs - Cosmetology

Available to: Eyelash technician
Find a program at: Nova Academy of Cosmetology
Licensure Required: Eyelash Technician license

For more information, visit your state board at Minnesota Board of Cosmetology

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: B Dazzled Day Spa & Lash Lounge
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Mississippi State Board of Cosmetology

Available to: Esthetician
Find a program at: Nova Lash
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at MO Board of Cosmetology

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Lavish Lashes
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Montana Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: The Lash Studio
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Nebraska Dept. of Health and Human Services - Cosmetology and Esthetics

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: House of Sassy
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Nevada State Board of Cosmetology

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: EyEnvy Lash Studio & Academy
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at New Hampshire Board of Barbering, Cosmetology, and Esthetics

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Lash Pro Academy at Love Some Lashes
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at State of New Jersey State Board of Cosmetology

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Shea Beauty Institute
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at New Mexico Barbers and Cosmetologists

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Beauty World NYC
Licensure Required: Not specified for individuals, but workplaces need an Appearance Enhancement Business license

For more information, visit your state board at New York Cosmetology

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: April's Creative Expressions
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at North Carolina Cosmetic Arts

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: The Salon Professional Academy
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at North Dakota State Board of Cosmetology

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: B-Lashes
Licensure Required: No specified requirements for individuals, though facilities must be licensed

For more information, visit your state board at Ohio State Cosmetology and Barber Board

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Elite Academy
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Oklahoma State Board of Cosmetology

Available to: Esthetician
Find a program at: Smart Lashes Eyelash Extension Training Center
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Oregon Board of Cosmetology - Esthetician

Available to: Esthetician
Find a program at: Lashbee
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Pennsylvania State Board of Cosmetology

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Noir Salon and Lash Lounge
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Rhode Island Barbering Hairdressing and Cosmetology Licensing

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Venice Lash Lounge
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at South Carolina Board of Cosmetology

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Stewart School
Licensure Required: 16 hours of approved eyelash extensions training required

For more information, visit your state board at South Dakota Cosmetology Commission

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Tennessee School of Beauty
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Tennessee Cosmetologist License

Available to: Cosmetologist
Find a program at: Dallas Lash Academy
Licensure Required: Texas Eyelash Extension Specialty license - 320 hours approved training

For more information, visit your state board at Texas Cosmetology - Eyelash Extension Specialty License

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Sirene's Beauty Place
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Utah Professional licensing

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Pure Beauty
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Vermont Secretary of State Barbers & Cosmetologists

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Eye Candy Lash Boutique
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Virginia Dept. of Professional and Occupational Regulation

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Evergreen Beauty College
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Washington State Department of Licensing

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Pash Volume Lash Training
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at West Virginia State Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: I.M. Beauty Trainings
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at State of Wisconsin Dept. of Safety and Professional Services

Available to: Cosmetologist, Esthetician
Find a program at: Rocky Mountain Academy
Licensure Required: No specified requirements

For more information, visit your state board at Wyoming Board of Cosmetology

Esthetics/Skin Care