Eyelash extensions are a semipermanent solution for making eyelashes look made up without mascara.
When correctly applied by a licensed and trained professional, eyelash extensions are a safe way to enhance the look of natural lashes.
When incorrectly applied or with the wrong adhesive, they can cause discomfort, infection, and permanent lash loss.
Unlike temporary, false eyelashes, which attach to the lid on a single strip, eyelash extensions are individual lashes. They attach directly to your natural lashes, one at a time. This process takes several hours to complete.
Eyelash extensions are designed to remain intact for the average growth cycle of natural lashes, around six weeks to two months. During this time, maintenance is required to keep the extensions looking fresh and natural.
Eyelash extensions are made from several different types of material. These include synthetics, such as faux mink and plastic fibers, or natural materials, such as silk and mink.
No matter their material, eyelash extensions should be attached with nonirritating, waterproof eyelash or surgical glue that’s designed to withstand sweat and oil.
Medical-grade glues may be your best bet. They’re fume-free and nonirritating for most skin types.
risks of eyelash extensions
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the main risks associated with eyelash extensions are:
- temporary or permanent loss of eyelashes
- skin irritation of the eyelid
- infection of the eyelid or cornea
Most complications from eyelash extensions result from a skin reaction or allergy to the chemicals used in the glue adhesive. Unsanitary conditions can also cause complications.
Symptoms you may experience include:
- stinging and burning in the eye and on the eyelid
- severe swelling
- red or bloodshot eyes
Unless you have an underlying condition that makes eyelash extensions an inappropriate choice for you, you can usually avoid these risks by following these guidelines:
- Have a professional, certified cosmetologist or aesthetician attach your eyelash extensions in a clean environment.
- Ask for a list of the ingredients used in the adhesive. Don’t use any adhesive that includes formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a toxin that can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation.
- If you’re allergic to latex, make sure it’s not one of the ingredients listed.
- Make sure your clinician uses surgical glue and not nail glue. This is a must-avoid red flag.
- Make sure your clinician washes their hands, sterilizes their equipment, and provides clean towels or bedding for you to rest on.
- If you have sensitive skin or allergies to products such as makeup, ask to have a patch test done on your arm a few days before the procedure.
People with certain skin conditions probably shouldn’t get eyelash extensions unless their doctor has approved the procedure ahead of time.
reasons to avoid eyelash extensions
Consult your doctor about getting eyelash extensions if you have:
Avoid getting eyelash extensions while you’re undergoing medical procedures of the eye, such as LASIK surgery or chemotherapy and radiation.
Since they eliminate the need for mascara, eyelash extensions are a significant, daily time saver when it comes to putting on and taking off makeup.
If you routinely wear false eyelashes, you’ll save even more time. Plus, you can say goodbye to fumbling with glue and having your false eyelashes come off prematurely.
You also have many options with eyelash extensions. You can choose the length, type of curl, and thickness of the extensions you want.
The cost of your eyelash extensions will be determined by the region you live in what the extensions are made from. Mink lashes are often the most expensive.
In general, the range for having eyelash extensions varies anywhere from $125 to $300 or more. Routine maintenance, such as adding in fillers, may cost around $50 to $100 per session.
Eyelash extensions take around two hours to apply. The procedure will take place in a comfortable environment. You’ll either sit or recline back.
Some salons provide soft music to help you relax. If yours doesn’t, you may wish to listen to your own music or a podcast while the procedure is taking place.
Here are the general steps of the process:
- Your clinician will gently cleanse both your eyes.
- To avoid accidentally gluing your natural lower lashes to your upper ones, your clinician will tape your lower lashes to your skin with surgical tape.
- Your natural eyelashes will be isolated, typically with a tweezer or other device.
- An artificial lash will be adhered to the top of the isolated lash with a tiny drop of glue.
- This process will be repeated for the entire lid of both eyes.
- The eye receiving lashes must be closed for the procedure.
Eyelash extensions should only be applied by a certified lash technician who’s undergone training specifically for this procedure. They may be a medical professional, lash stylish, aesthetician, or cosmetologist.
In the United States, regulations for salons that apply lash extensions vary by state. Check your state’s website to see what, if any, regulations apply to lash technicians and salons.
Read online reviews before you go. Only choose a reputable salon or clinic with a strong reputation for cleanliness and safety.
When you’re making your appointment, ask questions. Find out about the ingredients in the glue. Also ask if the instruments used are sterilized.
Remain in charge of the process. If the salon doesn’t feel clean, or the technician doesn’t address your questions or needs, end the appointment. You should also do this if you start to feel uncomfortable, either physically or mentally, while your lashes are being applied.
Remember that a bargain often isn’t. If the price is too good to be true, make sure the reason isn’t poor hygiene, lack of quality or licensure, or inexperience. This isn’t only about your lashes; it’s also about your eyes.
Eyelash extensions will eventually fall out on their own. If you wish to have them removed, it’s best to have this done by a professional. The lash technician who applied your lashes will also know how to remove them. There’s typically a charge for this service.
Here are the general steps of removal:
- Your upper and lower eyelids will be covered. Lash glue remover will be applied and left on for several minutes.
- The technician will then remove the lashes one at a time, with a sterilized tweezer, tiny brush, or other device.
Keep in mind the lash glue remover may contain chemicals you’re allergic to or that may be irritating to your skin. Ask your technician for a list of ingredients first. Don’t use a remover that contains formaldehyde.
You can also try removing your extensions at home. Steam your face or apply a warm compress to your eyes, then remove the lashes with olive or sesame oil on a cotton swab. This will loosen the lashes, letting you gently pull them out. Just be careful to only remove the extensions and not your real lashes.
Semipermanent eyelash extensions eliminate the need for using mascara.
Eyelash extensions require maintenance and can be expensive.
To avoid complications such as infection, it’s imperative that a licensed lash clinician apply your lashes in a clean environment.