Originating in Korea in 2008, lash extensions are tiny, individual fibers that are professionally glued to your own natural lash fibers to make your own lashes appear longer and fuller. These fibers can be made of many different kinds of materials, with some of the most popular being mink fur, fox fur, faux animal fur, silk, and synthetic materials. Ever since Kim K. started wearing them to red carpet events, the rest of us have been hooked, and everyone from celebrities to politicians, influencers, and your mom and cousins are all spending small fortunes to get their lashes done.
Eyelash extension technicians are in fierce competition with one another, too, because the market for them is so massive. In fact, we bet you know a person who knows a person who’s got “the best” lash lady. It takes a lot of time, skill, and practice to be able to apply lash extensions properly. Additionally, lash professionals spend hours on single clients, leaving less time in their day for other paying clients, which means your favorite “lash lady” needs to charge you as much as possible to account for the fact she isn’t seeing many more clients that day.
It’s not hard to see why the lash extension industry would be pretty cutthroat. On top of the fierce competition and extremely high pricing (we’re talking $150-$500 a set), the potential dangers associated with eyelash extensions are enough to keep some people away. If you’re considering getting lash extensions, you should know the risks associated with them, and also alternative options you have. If you’re still on board to get your lash extension fix, we can give you some tips to stay safe and ensure they last as long as possible.
Eyelash Extensions: What Are the Risks?
If you are considering eyelash extensions, you should definitely be aware that there are some risks associated with the application process, and with having lash extensions on your natural lashes for an extended period of time. While plenty of users get lash extensions on a daily basis, they are definitely not without issues. Some of the risks associated with having eyelash extensions include:
- Eye infection and irritation from lash extension glue. The glue that your lash professional will use to apply your lash extensions to your natural lash fibers is a heavy-duty salon-grade glue that can contain chemicals that can be harmful to your skin and eyes. Especially if you have sensitive skin or eyes, you are at higher risk of developing an irritation to the glue, or possibly an eye infection. Some salon-grade glues can even contain chemicals like formaldehyde. Kristin Chenoweth’s famous allergic reaction to formaldehyde-infused eyelash extension glue landed her on the David Letterman show wearing a pair of dark glasses to hide the swelling in her eyes. This is proof that it doesn’t just happen to everyday people; even celebrities are not immune to the dangers of eyelash extensions!
- Interference with natural eyelash growth. More and more optometrists are warning that the continual use of eyelash extensions can damage your natural lashes’ follicles and potentially cause your natural lashes to experience regrowth issues. Additionally, lash extensions take your natural lash along with them when they fall out. While the process should be that your natural lash falls out, taking the extension along with it, there has been some debate as to whether or not your natural lash actually falls out first, or if the weight and glue from the lash extension cause it to come out quicker than it normally would.
- Improper application. We get it. Eyelash extensions are extremely expensive. As such, it’s no surprise that many users will attempt to bargain hunt for a lash professional that applies lash extensions for a lot less than the going rate. The problem with this is that sometimes a cut-rate lash application can have devastating effects.
If all this sounds pretty scary to you, we feel the same way. Fortunately, there are alternatives for achieving full, voluminous lashes without having to use eyelash extensions. A great option that is completely safe, extremely affordable, and can be done in the privacy of your own home is to use false eyelash strips, but more on those later.
If you are absolutely bent on getting eyelash extensions, we have a few tips that can help you avoid as much risk as possible and also help length the life of your lash extensions so that you get as much out of the application as possible.
6 Eyelash Extension Tips
- Find a reputable salon. The most important thing to remember when getting eyelash extensions is to find a reputable salon and technician. You will want to make sure that the material being used is top quality and that the salon is practicing all of the required safety precautions that they should. A great way to find a reputable salon is by reading online reviews and talking to friends and family.
- Avoid oil in your makeup. Once your lashes have been applied, you will want to do everything possible to keep them on as long as possible. You can do this by practicing habits that will help ensure your lash fibers have every possible chance to stay attached. One of the best ways you can do this is to avoid makeup that contains oil on or around your eyes. Opt instead for oil-free foundations, eyeshadows, eyeliners, and primers. Oil can break down the adhesive that bonds your lash extensions to your natural lashes, causing them to fall out sooner than they should.
- Sleep on your back. It’s really important to remember to have the least amount of contact with your eyes as possible when you are wearing eyelash extensions. In addition to not sleeping on your face, which can cause your lashes to be squished against your pillow and rub off, you should avoid rubbing or touching your eyes as much as possible. Any extra amount of touching can break down the adhesive faster than normal.
- Avoid waterproof makeup. In addition to looking for makeup that is oil free, you will also want to make sure you do not use any type of waterproof makeup on or near your lash extensions. This includes waterproof mascara and eyeliner. In fact, you really should not be using any kind of products on your actual lash extensions, as it can be impossible to get the makeup off of them without removing the extensions themselves. You should not need to use mascara on your eyelash extensions, because they should already be very dark and noticeable on their own.
- Practice safe makeup removal habits. When it is time to remove your eye makeup, practice extreme caution. Even if you are using a cotton ball or swab to remove eyeliner near your extensions, there is the possibility that tiny cotton fibers could get stuck in your eyelash extensions and become difficult to remove without pulling or tugging. Any amount of pulling or tugging on your eyelash extensions can cause them to come out sooner than they should.
- Regularly comb your eyelash extensions. Using a clean eyelash comb or clean mascara spoolie, gently comb your eyelashes to make sure they don’t clump against one another or develop a build-up of makeup. This can make your lashes heavy and cause them to break.
Alternatives to Eyelash Extensions
If after reading this, it seems like eyelash extensions aren’t as great of an investment as you originally thought, you have options. Using false eyelashes can be a much more affordable experience and can still give you the same beautiful, voluminous lashes that eyelash extensions provide. False lashes are:
- Affordable. False eyelash strips cost a fraction of the price of lash extensions, with high-quality sets like the ones from Doe Lashes available for less than $13 per pair.
- Safe. False eyelash strips sit just above your natural lash line, which means they do not interfere with your natural lashes, their follicles, or your natural lashes’ ability to grow. They are not attached to your natural lashes in any way, so it is very unlikely that they would pull out your natural lashes when they are removed.
- Reusable. False eyelash strips are reusable for over fifteen wears with proper care. As long as you apply and remove them properly and store them in a safe, dry place, you can use one set of reusable lashes numerous times.
- Interchangeable. When you choose false eyelash strips instead of eyelash extensions, you are not locked into one particular lash style. If you want a different look, simply take off the pair of lashes you are currently wearing, and replace them with another.
Lash extensions are a very popular way to enhance your lashes and make them fuller and longer. Unfortunately, they come with a big price tag and some pretty scary risks. A better option is to use false eyelash strips like the ones available from Doe Lashes. False eyelash strips are completely safe, gentle, and reusable. You will never have to worry about risking the health of your natural lashes by using false eyelash strips.