ASCP Skin Deep

Student Skin Deep 2021

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Page 9 of 52 7 CONSUMER ACCEPTANCE The modern concept of extensions reached technical maturity several years ago, but has only recently caught the wind of popular acceptance and turned rather magically into a "craze." From the 1970s onward, false lashes were a fashion faux pas. This was still true by the early 2000s, when they were acceptable only for Halloween and the theater. More recently, fashion trends have become more dramatic and glamorous. As a result, consumers have slowly grown more open to the idea of eyelash extensions, including strips, flares, and tabs. A key element here was the development of extensions that look so natural they can barely be distinguished from naturally long lashes with a good coating of black mascara. The early 2000s saw the beginnings of quality product development. In the United States, test applications were necessary, but deep-seated resistance to extensions meant models would volunteer to have them applied only after the extension pro promised to remove them immediately afterward! For the testing, the use of short, fine-diameter extensions and the blending of sizes to mimic natural hair growth would sometimes persuade a volunteer that the extensions looked convincing enough to wear in public. Volunteers were surprised to find they actually liked the outcome. Very slowly, consumers began to take notice and consider extensions as something they'd like to try. However, the great majority of estheticians and cosmetologists still believed there was no difference between these new extensions and so-called "tabbing," "flares," and "clusters." Another five years or so would pass before esty minds hesitantly began to open. This acceptance required enormous time, effort, funding, travel, education, advertising, and marketing. MADE IN THE USA It was long believed that the techniques and materials for modern eyelash extensions developed in South Korea and then migrated to the United States in the 1990s. But research shows the novel idea of applying extensions to individual lashes originated in the United States. On November 17, 1931, the US Patent Office granted

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