Eyelashes have a particular and essential function – they prevent foreign matter from getting into the eyes. Specifically, lashes protect the eye pupil; therefore, the lashes are always longer and denser in the center of the eye and become sparser in the inner/outer corners. Each eyelash has nerve sensors that cause the eyelid to instantly close when foreign matter, such as dust, hits it - this filters out foreign matter and protects your eyes


Natural lashes are composed of 2-3 layers of vertical layers. The number of layers is influenced by genetics and health.

The outer and inner corner of the eye usually has 1-2 vertical layers, and the middle usually has 2-3 vertical layers. More vertical layers are in the middle to prevent foreign matter from entering the eyes.

On average, there are 90-150 lashes on the upper eyelid and 70-80 lashes on the bottom lash line. The number of lashes an individual has is dependent on genetics and health.


Natural lashes can point downwards, straight or upwards and have a straight or curly curvature. Genetics is partly responsible for the shape of the hair follicle; however, hormones, drugs and chemical treatments can potentially change the shape of the follicle, which means that the natural lash direction and shape can change over time


As with any hair in the body, lashes have a growth cycle – it sheds and grows back. Lashes usually have a life cycle of 100-150 days. Typically 3 to 5 natural lashes are shed per day, depending on genetics, health and environmental factors. It takes approximately 4-16 weeks for a lash to complete an entire growth cycle. If they are pulled out prematurely, they usually grow back in 90 days - given that there is no damage to the hair follicle.

There are three different growth phases in the life cycle: anagen, catagen and telogen.

Phase 1: Anagen (Growth) Phase – Baby Lashes – 30 to 45 Days

The anagen phase is when the lashes are actively growing - approximately 40% of the upper lash line and 15% of the lower lash line are in this phase. Each lash has a daily growth rate of 0.12mm to 0.14mm, and will usually reach a maximum length of 12mm by the end of this phase (30 to 45 days).

Phase 2: Catagen (Transition) Phase – Teenager Lashes – 14 to 21 Days

The catagen phase is when the lashes stop growing, and the hair follicle shrinks. It takes approximately 14 to 21 days for this phase to complete. If an eyelash falls out or is pulled out during this phase, it will not grow back immediately as the follicle needs to complete the catagen phase.

Phase 3: Telogen (Resting) Phase – Adult Lashes – 100+ Days

The Telogen Phase is when the full-grown lashes is resting - this can last more than 100 days before the lash falls out and triggers the growth cycle to begin again.

At any point in time, clients will have eyelashes in every phase of the lash cycle. As such, it is normal for clients to naturally shed 2-5 eyelashes daily. This is important to understand since the lash cycle is the reason why lash lifts only last up to 6-8 weeks. Eyelashes grow, shed, and eventually a new eyelash will replace the old one.

Lash Lifts only change the shape of the hair that Is processed – it does not change the shape of the hair that grows out. The lashes may appear wonky or kinked at the tip when it grows out. It is recommended to re-lift lashes every 6-8 weeks (when the client’s lashes are new) depending on the clients growth cycle and aftercare. The faster the natural lashes grow, the sooner the lash lift will grow out. To maintain neat and lifted lashes, the natural lashes will have to be re-lifted every 6-8 weeks. 


Medications are designed to treat various health conditions, but may have side effects that can disrupt the natural growth and composition of hair. The severity of side effects depends on the type of drug, dosage, and time they've been on it.

Depending on the medication, it can contribute to excess hair loss. There are two types of hair loss caused by disruption of the growth cycle: anagen effluvium and telogen effluvium. Anagen Effluvium hair loss is caused by a disruption in the growing phase and hair follicle damage - this usually occurs in those undergoing chemotherapy or radiation. As 80-90% of lashes are in the anagen phase, a large number of lashes and follicles are affected. Telogen Effluvium hair loss is caused by the shortening of the growth cycle. The hair follicles enter the telogen phase too soon and cause the lashes to shed prematurely. Those with this condition will usually shed 30-70% more than normal.

Common Medication with Hair Loss as a Side Effect

- Acne medications containing vitamin A (retinoids)

- Antibiotics and anti-fungal drugs

- Antidepressants

- Birth control pills

- Anti-clotting drugs

- Cholesterol-lowering drugs

- Drugs that suppress the immune system

- Drugs that treat breast cancer and other cancers

- Epilepsy drugs (anticonvulsants)

- High blood pressure medications (anti-hypertensives), such as beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and diuretics

- Hormone replacement therapy

- Mood stabilizers

- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

- Parkinson's disease drugs

- Steroids

- Tamoxifen blocks the estrogen receptor to prevent breast cancer.

- Thyroid medications

- Weight loss drugs


Clients who are on medication are still suitable for lash lifts, given that there are no other contraindications that would deem it unsafe to do so. Medication affects everyone differently, so not everyone will experience hair loss. Regardless, it is important to discuss the possibility of the medication affecting their results. 



Natural lash growth is regulated by hormones – androgens, estrogens, thyroid and parathyroid hormones, prolactin, corticosteroids, somatotropin and melatonin.

The most crucial hormone contributing to lash growth is the thyroid hormone, as it ensures the proper metabolism of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Once metabolized, these nutrients are delivered to different organs. High levels of thyroid hormones causes lashes to grow faster. Low levels of thyroid hormones causes lashes to grow slower. Changes in the environment will change the thyroid hormone levels in the body. The body has the lowest thyroid hormone level in the winter, medium level in summer and autumn and the highest in the spring. As a result, hair grows the slowest in the winter and fastest in the spring.

Adrenaline is a hormone that is naturally produced by the body. During high-stress periods, the body produces an excess amount of adrenaline which gets converted into cholesterol. The raised levels of cholesterol results in increased levels of testosterone. In women, a raised level of testosterone can affect the hair growth cycle by prematurely causing the hairs to enter the telogen phase, which results in hair loss.


Vitamin A, B, C, D and E are vital for hair growth. Vitamin A helps cells grow and help skin glands produce sebum to keep hair moisturized and healthy. Vitamin B is essential for keeping hair follicles oxygenated and helps deliver nutrients to the hair follicles for growth. Vitamin C prevents damage from free radicals and hair from aging. It also aids in iron absorption, which is essential for hair growth. Vitamin D is linked to the production of new hair follicles, which leads to increased hair density. Vitamin E prevents oxidative stress and promotes hair growth.


There are so many changes that happen as the body ages, affecting the lash growth cycle and health of the lashes. It is entirely normal for lashes to start thinning as we age. The lash growth cycle can slow down or completely stop due to a drop in certain hormones. The skin surrounding the lashes become drier, which prevents the lashes from retaining moisture and therefore causes them to become brittle and break. 

Age also has a huge effect on the strength and growth cycle of lashes, due to change in hormonal and protein levels. Lashes get weaker and thinner with age as hormone levels and building blocks for hair growth decreases. Older clientele should be lifted with caution, as the natural lashes are weaker. Lifting weak lashes can damage the lashes. 

Pregnancy, Postpartum and Menopause

These are the three most significant hormonal shifts women will go through, which will affect the hair growth cycle. These hormonal shifts are phases, meaning that the disruption in the growth cycle is usually temporary. Typically, the hair growth cycle will return to normal once the body's hormones are balanced again.

Pregnancy causes a surge of hormones going through the body that affects the growth and texture of the lashes. Some women notice quicker growth and shinier lashes by week 20 of pregnancy. Extensions will grow out quicker due to the growth cycle speeding up, and extensions may not last as long as the natural lashes can become oilier. In other cases, lashes can also become drier and more brittle, resulting in them breaking.

Postpartum lash loss (and hair loss) is due to the drop in estrogen levels after giving birth. The decline in estrogen causes the hair to grow slowly and triggers the increase in the production of androgens which causes the hair to fall out. The most significant loss usually occurs within 4 to 5 months after giving birth and typically slows down after three months.

Menopause is the time that marks the end of the menstrual cycle. It can happen anywhere between the age of 40 to 58. Lash (and hair loss) is caused by the drop in estrogen and progesterone, and the increase in the production of androgens.

Hormonal shifts are different for everyone, so it's impossible to predict whether a client will have good or bad results, and how often they'll need a re-lift. It's important to discuss with your client to ensure that they're aware of the results, retention and frequency for refills to maintain their sets.



Hair is composed of two elements: hair follicle and hair shaft. The hair follicle/root is the living part of the hair located underneath the skin responsible for the growth of the hair shaft. The hair shaft is the non-living part of the hair that lives above the skin. The purpose of hair is to regulate body temperature, extend our sense of touch, and protect our bodies from harmful objects.

Sebaceous Gland is an oil-producing gland that deposits sebum onto the hair and skin.

Hair Root/Follicle serves as an anchor for the hair shaft.

Dermal Papilla is responsible for the regulation of hair growth.

Nerve acts as a sensitive touch receptor.

BloodVessels provide nourishment to the hair follicle and also remove waste.

SweatGland regulates temperature and removes waste by secreting water, sodium salts, and nitrogenous waste onto the skin.

Did you know? The hair shaft is actually made up of 3 different layers: the cuticle, medulla, and the cortex.

The Medulla is the innermost layer of the hair shaft found in only thick hair. It's a very soft and spongy material. This layer does not play a significant role in lash lifts.

The Cortex is the centre of the hair shaft and consists of keratin fibres. It is responsible for the strength, colour and texture of hair. The majority of the hair consists of this layer, which is made up of protein. Elasticity of the hair is due to the protein in the cortex. The main protein in the cortex is called keratin.

The Cuticle consists of 6 to 10 layers of long cell remnants that protect the cortex. The cuticle is the outermost layer of the eyelash. This layer is comprised of an overlapping layer of fish scale-like cells to protect the inner structure of the eyelash. The thicker the cuticle layer, the more protection the eyelash/hair has. Eyelash porosity is dependent on this layer. Some clients have non porous eyelashes where the scales of the cuticle layer are very tight, and closed. Others may have porous eyelashes where scales are more open. Porous eyelashes allow lash lifting product to penetrate quicker.


The lash cuticle is the outermost layer of the hair shaft. It consists of layers of dead cells. The cuticle layers can be loose, slightly bound or tightly bound. The processing time for a lash lift can be impacted by how the cuticle layers are arranged.

Loose Cuticle: Lash lift lotions can easily penetrate the lash, therefore, will process very quickly.

Slightly Bound Cuticle: Lash lift lotions can easily penetrate the lash, therefore, will process very normally.

Tightly Bound Cuticle: Lash lift lotions cannot easily penetrate the lash, therefore, will take longer to process.


As we have mentioned earlier, the majority of the eyelash is made up of keratin. Keratin is a strong, fibrous protein rich in the amino acid called cysteine. The shape of the eyelash (the structure of the hair shaft) is dictated by bonds that hold the keratin chains together. These bonds include hydrogen bonds, and disulfide bonds.


Hydrogen Bonds

This bond is easily broken by water or heat, and is therefore a weaker bond. Think about when you wash your hair – the shape of your hair is temporarily changed. However, once your hair dries, it goes back to the original shape. Another example is when you curl your hair with a curling iron – the shape is also temporarily changed, but is not permanent.

Disulfide Bonds

Approximately 18% of the amino acids (building blocks of protein) contained in keratin is cysteine. This amino acid is important to understand when it comes to lash lifting. It is the disulfide bonds in cysteine amino acids that dictate the shape of the eyelash. This bond is the strongest bond that holds the eyelash hair shaft together, and accounts for approximately 33% of eyelash's strength. The majority of the disulfide bonds are located in the cortex of the eyelash. 

This bond cannot be easily altered, and cannot be broken with simply water or heat. A disulfide bond is the bond between two sulfur atoms on neighboring cysteine amino acid of the keratin proteins. In order to manipulate the disulfide bond, chemicals must be used to break and re-form the bond. This is the bond that we work on when performing a lash lift.



Lash Lift is a process in which the shape of the hair is restructured permanently to achieve a lifted effect. Results can last up to 6-8 weeks depending on the procedure, aftercare, and the client’s natural lash growth cycle. The faster the natural lashes grow, the sooner the lash lift will grow out. To maintain neat and lifted lashes, the natural lashes will have to be re-lifted. We recommend re-lifting the client’s lashes once their previous lash lift completely grows out. In some cases, some clients may wish to have their eyelashes lifted earlier than this. If this is the case, you may do so on a case-by-case basis in order to prevent over-processed eyelashes. Always ensure that their eyelashes appear healthy, and that the client uses aftercare products like THE LASH SHOP Renew: Keratin Lash Conditioner.


This section of the course is important to understand and be familiar with because it provides you with fundamental knowledge to help you achieve beautiful, long-lasting lash lift results. We will dive into detail about the science behind a lash lift so that you fully understand the process every step of the way. You will realize that by understanding the science behind a lash lift, it will help you troubleshoot issues you may encounter with your lash lift results.

How Does a Lash Lift Work?

In the previous section on hair theory, you have learned that hair consists of protein chains called keratin. Keratin chains are held together by physical and chemical bonds - altering these bonds will change the shape of the hair. A physical change is when hair takes a new shape with heat or water, causing a temporary change. The shape is reset through the addition of water or heat. A chemical change is when the disulfide bonds (the bond between two sulfur atoms of neighboring cysteine amino acids in the keratin proteins) of the hair are broken and reformed, resulting in a permanent change. Lash Lift uses a Lift Lotion and Set Lotion to chemically change the hair structure for a permanent result.  


The results are only permanent for parts of the hair that have been processed. As the lash grows out, the lift will grow out as well. The new growth will have to be processed to maintain a neat lift. To make it easier to understand - if you dyed your hair a different color, you'll have to consistently touch up your roots as your hair grows out to maintain the color. 


Instant Lash Lift System is a Health Canada registered system. It is manufactured to be in compliance with Health Canada Regulations. 


THE LASH SHOP is all about Science and Innovation. All our products go through extensive R&D to ensure that beautiful results can be achieve by every single Artist. 


Instant Lash Lift System is a system that we created to evolve the industry and raise industry standards for Lash Lifts & Tints. Our system is the only one in the industry where a Lift AND Tint can be completed within 14 minutes - this is unheard of in the industry! Traditional systems take about 45 minutes to complete. We understand that time is money, so we created a system that would cut down appointment times without compromising results. After extensive research, trials and errors, we finally formulated the perfect system! 


Step 1

Lift Lashes (Processing time 10-15 minutes) 

Step 2

Set Lashes (Processing time 10-15 minutes) 

Step 3

Tint Lashes (Processing time 10-15 minutes) 


Total Time

30-45 minutes 


Step 1

Lift Lashes (Processing time 3-7 minutes) 

Step 2

Set & Tint Lashes (Processing time 3-7 minutes)

Total Time

6-14 minutes 

The Instant Lash Lift System consists of a Lift Lotion that efficiently and effectively breaks the disulfide bonds, and a Set & Tint Lotion that rebuilds the disulfide bonds and can tint the lashes at the same time! We've completely eliminated the additional step needed to tint the lashes - we are the only system that makes this possible! 


Instant Lash Lift System is a Health Canada registered system. It is manufactured to comply with Health Canada Regulations. 


A Lift Lotion is used to break the disulfide bonds in the hair. Remember that these bonds are what determine the shape of the eyelash hair shaft. The industry has three types of lift lotions: Acidic, Alkaline and Cysteamine


Active ingredient: Glyceryl Monothioglycolate  

Hair Type: Chemically treated or compromised hair  

pH: 4.5 to 6.5  

Heat: Requires addition of heat  

Pros: More gentle  

Cons: Breaks fewer disulfide bonds, resulting in poor restructuring of hair. Results are not as long lasting. Frequent exposure results in allergy or sensitivity. 


Active Ingredient: Ammonium Thioglycolate  

Hair Type: Normal or resistant hair that has not been chemically treated 

pH: 8.2 to 9.6  

Heat: No heat  

Pros: Breaks more disulfide bonds for long-lasting results.  

Cons: Stronger than an acid perm. It can result in damage if used improperly. 


Active Ingredient: Cysteamine Hydrochloride

Hair Type: Thin, soft, and chemically treated lashes

Heat: No heat 

Pros: More gentle, less odor. Less chance for overprocessing eyelashes compared to other methods.

Cons: Slower processing time 



The natural structure of each lash fibre is held together by disulfide bonds. Disulfide bonds are permanent bonds responsible for each fibre's strength and structure. During a lash lift, the disulfide bonds are broken so the fibre can be physically reshaped. Once the fibre is physically reshaped, the disulfide bonds are reformed so it permanently takes up the new shape.

There are two active lotions used during a lash lift: LiftLotion and SetLotion.

The Lift Lotion is the active lotion that adds hydrogen to break the disulfide bonds. Once the disulfide bonds are broken, the fibre becomes very soft and flexible, allowing it to be manipulated into any shape and direction.

The Set Lotion is the active lotion that removed the hydrogen to reform the disulfide bonds. Once the disulfide bonds are reformed, the fibre takes up the new shape permanently.


The Lift Lotion breaks the permanent disulfide bonds in the hair so it can be reshaped.

The Instant Lash Lift System uses an Alkaline Lift Lotion, consisting of two active agents:  Thioglycolic Acid (TGA) and Ethanolamine

TGA is the agent responsible for separating the disulfide bonds by adding hydrogen. Once hydrogen is added, the lashes become soft and flexible.

Ethanolamine is the agent responsible for swelling up the fibre and opening the cuticles so the fibres so the lift lotion can efficiently and effectively penetrate the cortex.

The Lift Lotion has a pH of 9 (alkaline), which attributes to its quicker processing. Improper use such as processing the eyelashes for longer than the recommended timing can result in damaged eyelashes. Always use professional eyelash products with care and caution.

The disulfide bonds are responsible for the shape and strength of the fibre. Once the disulfide bonds are broken, the lashes become soft and flexible, which allows them to be reshaped. 

Be very cautious when handling softened lashes, as the strength of the fibre is compromised due to the broken disulfide bonds - the fibres can easily break.


Set & Tint Lotion that we offer is a Hydrogen Peroxide based lotion. Our Set & Tint reforms the broken disulfide bonds in the hair by removing the hydrogen atoms that were added in the previous step to soften the eyelashes. Once the disulfide bonds are reformed, the shape of the hair is permanently changed. 

The pH of the Set x Tint lotion is acidic. Acidic conditions affect the eyelashes by closing the cuticles. Therefore, the application of Set x Tint is important to also close the cuticle layer after the lashes have been lift and set.  

We are all about Science and Innovation! We created a never before seen 2-in-1 Set & Tint Lotion - this is a Set Lotion and Tint Oxidant all in one. The disulfide bonds in the lashes can be reformed and the lashes can be tinted at the same time. This formula is exclusive to us! 

Sodium Bromate and Hydrogen Peroxide are common ingredients used for neutralizing.  


Sodium Bromate has been banned in Canada as of December 2019, and is now prohibited in all cosmetic products. In 2019, Health Canada issued a statement stating that “Sodium bromate is toxicologically equivalent to potassium bromate, which has been prohibited since March 2011 due to its carcinogenic potential, as assessed by the Government of Canada's Chemicals Management Plan”. What this means is that the chemical structure of sodium bromate is very similar to that of potassium bromate. When chemical structures are very similar, the function of the chemicals can also be similar. Since potassium bromate was banned in 2011 due to concern for causing cancer, Health Canada is concerned that sodium bromate could also cause cancer.


Using a Sodium Bromated-based lotion can result in voiding your insurance (if you are Canadian based) – it is a huge liability. Most International brands still contain Sodium Bromate as an ingredient for the set lotion since this ingredient is still an approved ingredient in many other countries. Always ensure to pay attention to the ingredients when purchasing lash lift products internationally if you’re located in Canada.


Long lasting results are dependent on both the procedure and aftercare. The chemical bonds in the hair must be stabilized after they have been restructured, in order to achieve long lasting results. 


Natural hair is acidic, with a pH of 4.5-5.5. Instant Lash Lift uses an alkaline lotion to break the disulfide bonds, so the hair can be restructured. Although the bonds are reformed with the Set Lotion, the hair can still be a bit alkaline after the appointment and therefore the chemical bonds may need a bit of time to stabilize.  


The first 24 hours after the service is crucial to maintaining the results – avoiding steam, heat, and products will allow the bonds to stabilize. Exposing the lashes too soon to the mentioned elements could cause the lift to relax. Once the bonds are stabilized (after 24 hours), the lashes can be treated with steam, heat, cleansers and eye products and make up without affecting the lift.

The lashes can be safely exposed to cold or lukewarm water and pH-balanced cleansers - it will not affect the lift results.