Licensed vs Certified Lash Tech


Eyelash extensions have become a staple in the beauty routines of many, offering a way to enhance natural lashes without the need for daily mascara. as the popularity of this beauty service continues to rise, so does the demand for skilled lash technicians. But not all lash techs are created equal. When booking an appointment, you might come across terms like Licensed vs Certified Lash Tech.” what do these terms mean, and how do they impact your choice of a lash tech. let’s dive into the world of licensed vs. certified lash techs.

What is a Licensed vs Certified Lash Tech?

A lash tech, short for lash technician, is a beauty professional specializing in applying semi-permanent eyelash extensions. pass both written and practical exams. these professionals use various techniques to enhance the length, curl, fullness, and thickness of natural eyelashes.

Services Provided

Lash techs offer a range of services including:

  • Classic lash extensions
  • Volume lash extensions
  • Hybrid lash extensions
  • Lash lifts and tints
  • Lash extension removal

Licensed Lash Tech

Definition of a Licensed Lash Tech

A licensed lash tech has met the educational and legal requirements set by the state or country they practice in. pass both written and practical exams. this typically involves completing a state-approved cosmetology or esthetics program and passing a licensing exam.

Requirements for Obtaining a License

To become a licensed lash tech, individuals usually need to:

  • Complete a certain number of training hours in a cosmetology or esthetics program.
  • Pass both written and practical exams.
  • Fulfill any additional state-specific requirements.

Importance of Licensing

Licensing ensures that the lash tech has received comprehensive training and adheres to health and safety regulations. pass both written and practical exams. this provides clients with a level of assurance regarding the quality and safety of the services offered.

Certified Lash Tech

Definition of a Certified Lash Tech

A certified lash tech has completed a specialized training course in eyelash extensions and has received a certificate of completion. pass both written and practical exams. certification courses are often offered by beauty schools or lash extension brands.

Certification Process and Requirements

The certification process typically involves:

  • Attending a training course that can range from a single day to several weeks.
  • Learning about different application techniques, lash types, and safety practices.
  • Demonstrating proficiency in applying lash extensions.

Importance of Certification

Certification signifies that the lash tech has received focused training on lash extensions. this can indicate a higher level of skill and dedication to the craft, as these courses often go beyond the basic training covered in general cosmetology programs.

Key Differences Between Licensed and Certified Lash Techs

Training and Education

Licensed lash techs have undergone extensive training in a state-approved cosmetology or esthetics program, which includes a broad range of beauty treatments beyond just lash extensions. pass both written and practical exams. certified lash techs have completed a specialized course focused solely on eyelash extensions.

Legal Requirements

Licensing is legally required to practice in many states and ensures compliance with health and safety standards. certification, while beneficial, is not typically a legal requirement but enhances the lash tech’s credentials.

Skill Level and Expertise

Both licensed and certified lash techs can be highly skilled, but their training paths differ. Licensed lash techs have a broader beauty education, while certified lash techs have intensive, specialized training in lash extensions.

Training and Education

Licensing Education Programs

These programs cover a wide range of beauty treatments, including:

  • Hair styling and cutting
  • Skin care and facials
  • Nail services
  • Basic lash and brow services

Certification Courses

Certification courses focus specifically on eyelash extensions, including:

  • Different types of lash extensions (classic, volume, hybrid)
  • Application techniques
  • Lash health and safety practices
  • Client consultation and aftercare

Legal Requirements and Regulations

State-Specific Licensing Laws

Licensing requirements vary by state, but generally include:

  • Completing a state-approved training program
  • Passing written and practical exams
  • Continuing education to maintain the license

Certification and Its Legal Standing

Certification is not typically regulated by state laws but is recognized within the beauty industry as a mark of specialized training and expertise.

Skill Level and Expertise

Quality of Work

Both licensed and certified lash techs can deliver high-quality work. However, a certified lash tech’s specialized training might make them more adept at certain advanced techniques.

Client Safety and Satisfaction

Licensed lash techs are trained to adhere to strict health and safety standards, which can translate to higher client safety. pass both written and practical exams. certified lash techs, with their focused training, often excel in client satisfaction through expert application techniques.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Licensed Lash Tech


  • Comprehensive beauty training
  • Adherence to health and safety regulations
  • Legally recognized qualification


  • May not have as much specialized training in lash extensions
  • Can be more expensive due to the breadth of their training

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Certified Lash Tech


  • Specialized training in lash extensions
  • Potentially more skilled in advanced lash techniques
  • Often stay updated with the latest trends and products


  • Certification alone may not be legally sufficient in some states
  • Training can vary in quality depending on the course provider

How to Choose the Right Lash Tech for You

Factors to Consider

  • Legal requirements in your state
  • The lash tech’s training and experience
  • Client reviews and testimonials
  • Personal comfort and rapport with the lash tech

Questions to Ask

  • Are you licensed and/or certified?
  • How long have you been working as a lash tech?
  • Can I see examples of your previous work?
  • What type of products do you use?

Client Testimonials and Reviews

Importance of Client Feedback

Client testimonials can provide insights into the lash tech’s skill, professionalism, and client satisfaction.

Where to Find Reliable Reviews

  • Beauty service platforms like Yelp or Google Reviews
  • Social media pages of the lash tech
  • Word of mouth from friends or family

Cost Comparison

Pricing for Licensed vs Certified Lash Techs

Licensed lash techs might charge more due to their extensive training, while certified lash techs could offer competitive pricing with a focus on lash services.

Factors Affecting Cost

  • Location and salon reputation
  • Experience and skill level of the lash tech
  • Type of lash extensions and application techniques used

Future Trends in the Lash Industry

Emerging Techniques

  • Mega volume lash extensions
  • Colored and glitter lash extensions
  • Lash growth serums and treatments

Industry Growth and Opportunities

The lash industry is expanding, with increasing demand for skilled professionals and innovative products, creating ample opportunities for both licensed and certified lash techs.


When choosing between a Licensed vs Certified Lash Tech, consider the differences in their training, legal requirements, and expertise. Both can offer excellent services, but your decision should be based on your personal needs, state regulations, and the Licensed vs Certified Lash Tech experience. ultimately, the goal is to find a lash tech who can provide safe, high-quality lash extensions that enhance your natural beauty.

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