Let Us First Go Back To 1892…
To extend the lash, we must first look back at how our ancestors shortened them to create a similar, dramatic effect that we pursue today. Our first textual recording of lashes goes back to 1892, thanks to Baronne Staffe, co-author of ‘My Lady’s Dressing Room.’
In it, the Baronne writes that a technique involving the trimming of the lashes, combined with the application of pomade, could increase the length of the lashes and promote accelerated growth. This growth is partially what we know today as trimming dead ends.
However, unlike hair follicles, eyelash follicles don’t create dead ends, debunking the need to “trim” them. Later on, in one Parisian news article, a headline about the process as well as several ‘new’ methods could be found. In it, we find out that the transplantation of hair, by being sewn through the lid, could extend the overall length as well as the spread of lashes.
Obviously, beyond the idea of how painful this application could be, the possibility of infection and disease to spread made this an ultimate dangerous and costly process. Not to mention that the use of the various random hairs could create an uneven, even unsightly look.
In 1902, German inventor Charles Nessler created and patented the first successful artificial eyelashes and eyebrows. In doing so, he was able to replicate the process for mass production in the United Kingdoms.
By 1903, his Salon offered the two services, allowing him to fund many of his other inventions and his eventual move the United States. D.W. Griffith’s film, ‘Intolerance’ popularized the standard for lash extensions in Hollywood when he asked for actress Seena Owen to have lashes that “brushed her cheeks.”
By the 1930’s, false eyelashes became a huge success that everyone had to take part in! The 50’s and 60’s also saw a trend in the beauty industry as lash modification became a staple for salons. The ‘falsies’ style became a massive hit with Model/Actress Lesley Lawson, better known as ‘Twiggy.’
With her dramatic look, she popularized the style, named after her, by layering several sets of flash lashes to her lower and upper lids. But it wasn’t until the 21st century that we finally came into the techniques we commonly use today. Unlike previous methods, these were extensions that were individually applied, rather than a band of false lashes applied over the natural lashes.
Developed in either Japan or Korea (both argue over being the first), the use of single hairs that are either organic or synthetic had become known as the origin of our services today. The only problem was that, unlike now, the adhesives and weight of the first set of lash extensions ended up causing more harm than good to clients that visited regularly.
In some cases, they would be recommended to wait a month or two for more of their own lashes to grow out and fill in the weak points. Even with this pain in mind, once achieving celebrity status with the elite stars, eyelash extensions only continued to advance in both quality and application.
Brands push their products even further (we have our own product line as well), engineering the most advanced technologies to create superb quality lashes that can vary wildly, depending on what look you want to achieve. Some of the materials vary from synthetic lashes, Siberian Mink, even Human Hair! (Consensually donated, of course). Famous stars including Madonna, have even gone so far as to hair their extensions ‘studded’ with gems to add that “pop” factor. All of which, is what led to the birth of Salons such as our very own Sassy Lashes.