How to do a lash lift on short eyelashes

There aren’t many reasons not to get a lash lift, are there? However, many people worry their lashes are too short for treatment, but it can be done.

As you can see from the pictures of short lashes before and after the lash lift treatment, short lashes can still give you excellent results, but a few techniques are required to carry out an LVL successfully.

Small, short or straight eyelashes are a common concern for clients desperate to try the eyelash-enhancing lash lift, so we have compiled a guide for clients and therapists to bless those with long and lifted lashes for up to 8 weeks.

How short is short?

A lash lift treatment should not be performed on eyelashes shorter than 4mm.

The LVL lash lift is a bit trickier on lashes that aren’t long enough because the eyelashes won’t be able to stick to the silicone pads easily (see Fig. 1) resting on the eyelid.

A silicone pad is glued to the eyelid, resting there for the duration of the treatment. Lashes are then glued onto the lash guard or ‘pad’, the product to curl, lengthen and tint, and gently wash off the tacky gum with water.

Placing a layer of glue on the silicone pad and using a lash applicator, lashes are gently pulled onto the pad and should remain in place for the entire treatment.

Lashes that don’t make it up onto the pad, perhaps because they are too short, will not lift, leaving your client with some eyelash strands lifted and some not.

Short and straight eyelashes

Smaller lashes are harder to work with and significantly harder if your client’s eyelashes have no curl, but it can be done.

The trick is to wait until the glue becomes ‘tacky‘; this way, getting them to stick will be much easier.

Sparse eyelashes

A lash lift is a no-no if your eyelashes are short and sparse, extensions would be a better alternative.

If your eyelashes are medium to long and sparse, a lash lift may not be a good option either. A lash lift will accentuate any gaps in the lash line. For example, lash extensions or wearing false strip eyelashes until the hair regrows would be the best option.


Consultations are necessary if you are confused about getting an LVL lash lift on short lashes. Before any lash lift, every client requires an allergy test, even if they have used dye before, so this is a perfect opportunity to seek advice from your therapist.

The allergy test, sometimes called a ‘patch test’, is legally required to keep your client and business safe.

A consultation is a great way to manage client expectations, allowing you to look closer at your client’s lashes and perhaps even apply a silicone pad to the eye to gauge whether the lashes are too short or thin to stick to the pad.

Short lash techniques

Adhering shorter eyelashes to the silicone guard can be tricky, so remember to book more time than usual for clients with short lashes. The reason for booking an extra 10-15 minutes is that you will need to tame shorter strands onto the guard.


A proper cleanse with an oil-free makeup remover is a must. Lashes with oil, dirt or makeup on them will not glue down properly.

Glue them

The glue has a ‘gummy’ texture that can dry out quickly, so you must work quickly. However, you can use this to your advantage. For example, spread about 5mm of glue onto the lash guard, wait about 30 seconds and then lift your lashes onto the guard.

Allowing the gum to go ‘tacky’ will help the hair stick better. Every glue is different, so have a play about with the brand you use before attempting it on a client.


Guards usually come in small, medium and large, but they can also be cut to shape to fit all the different eye shapes. So it’s best to opt for the small lash guards for short lashes, as the smaller the size, the more effective the lift.


A stainless steel lash applicator has got to be the best way to get those pesky hairs up on guard. Stainless steel is sterilised, won’t rust, and is easily cleaned during the treatment. Anything disposable will be too flimsy to push the hairs onto the guard. Most steel applicators will have a pointed horizontal tip to separate the lashes.

Try out the Y-shaped lash comb if you struggle to get smaller lashes up onto the guard without them falling back down again.


Always finish with a lash tint, especially if your client has short lashes. A black or dark brown shade will give your client more definition, letting them see the actual effect the lift has given them.

Last thoughts

Discussing a client’s concerns regarding lash lifts, asking them into the salon or even sending a picture of their lashes is best. Experienced lash technicians will be able to tell if this type of lash perming treatment will work, even from a photo.

This way, your client can avoid disappointment if their eyelashes are too short for the lash lift treatment. Perhaps your client may book in for lash extensions or party lashes instead.

On another good note, you can be assured that if your client comes in after their first treatment at 6-8 weeks because the hairs have already been lifted, the treatment will be much easier!

Lash lifts give your clients the wow factor, even if short.