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How Do Eyelash Extensions Damage Eyelashes?

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Eliza Barlow
December 7, 2019

How Do Eyelash Extensions Damage Eyelashes?

Eyelash extensions are often the pièce de résistance of a great look. They are the finishing touch to a fashionable expression of beauty. Fluttery eyes and lengthy, voluminous lashes have long been regarded as something to attain.

It’s no secret that celebs, models, and influencers have used eyelash extensions to get the look everyone envies. Eyelash extensions have graced the eyes of some of the world’s most memorable figures. From Jennifer Lopez to Katy Perry, everyone who’s anyone has eyelash extensions.

Eyelashes have long been a symbol of beauty. Eyelash extension methods varied widely throughout history. They were first a topic of discussion when Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder mentioned them in his writings. He felt that women with long, beautiful eyelashes exemplified virtue and integrity.

The early 1900s featured a spate of women painfully sewing hairs on their eyelids. Fast forward years later, and it became all the rage when model Twiggy hit the scene in the 60s. The eyelash extension process had become less arduous and had a more high-end aesthetic that was accessible and fun. Today’s techniques are often safe and reliable.

Those seeking gorgeous lashes now have a process that can give them a look they desire in minutes. Despite the advances with extension eyelashes, there are some drawbacks. Eyelash extensions can cause symptoms ranging from discomfort to loss of the natural lash.

We’ll outline some ways that eyelash extensions can cause damage and how you can avoid some of those dangers.

Healthy Eyelashes Are Critical

Our eyelashes are essential for a variety of reasons. The most basic service that eyelashes provide is protection. They are critical to keeping out a variety of irritants. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to filter out things like dirt and dust.

For this reason, anything that goes on or around the eye mustn’t cause harm. Eyelash extensions are prime examples of what to watch out for. They’re gorgeous and lovely, but they can also create a litany of unwanted symptoms if put on improperly.

Eyelash Extensions: The Process

Eyelash Extensions: The Process

The search for lush lashes usually begins at a spa or salon. After an appointment is made, an eyelash technician is responsible for placing the eyelashes correctly.

Clients are advised to show up at their appointments wearing no makeup or false lash strips. However, before the procedure even begins, a curl pattern and style must be chosen.

There are four basic curl types: J curl, B curl, C curl, and D curl. The curl patterns vary from slightly curled (J curl) to incredibly curled (D curl). There are also several lengths you can choose. The lengths range from 8 mm to 14 mm.

Once a curl and length are chosen, the process can begin. It takes about an hour and a half to two hours to complete from beginning to end. An eyelash technician first separates the top and bottom rows of a client’s eyelids via a soft silicone block or cotton cutout.

A small drop of adhesive is then applied to an individual lash using a pair of tweezers. The lash is then positioned onto the lid. This process is repeated until the lid reaches the desired fullness. The process is then repeated on the other side.

Problems and Issues

Eyelash extensions can have some adverse effects. If a technician is not licensed, they may position the lashes improperly. This can cause problems with the follicles, resulting in everything from pain to skin problems with the affected eyelid.

There may also be severe allergic reactions to the adhesives used. Those looking for extensions should be wary of adhesives that contain formaldehyde. Cleaning products, dyes, polishes, plywood, plastics, and other materials contain formaldehyde.

The prevalence of formaldehyde in many products is due to its use as a cheap preservative. Other consumer goods such as shampoos and conditioners also contain this colorless and highly flammable chemical.

In high concentrations, exposure to formaldehyde can result in headaches, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the mucous cavities. In small doses, however, it may lead to skin irritation, watery and burning eyes, and in some cases, swelling.

Problems and Issues

Other Complications

Other complications can include a buildup of oils and dirt. Eyelash extensions attract dirt and debris, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria. An eye infection can have far-reaching consequences. Improperly cleaning lashes can take an infection from a possibility to an unfortunate reality.

Another major problem that can occur when using extensions includes the loss of natural lashes. The weight of the lashes pulling on the lid can slowly erode the area and result in alopecia.

Avoid the Pitfalls

Despite the ways that eyelash extensions can damage lashes, there are ways to keep natural lashes healthy. First, it is vital to go to a licensed salon or spa. Finding an expert will go a long way in avoiding future problems.

Before booking an appointment, check online reviews and ask around. Getting a feel for the salon or spa can give you an idea of how they operate. Give them a call and ask questions about their practices, including what kind of adhesives they use.

Also, inspect the cleanliness of the space. If you notice dirty towels and equipment lying about, leave. If they aren’t serious about keeping a clean, safe area, you may end up with a severe infection and possible blindness.

Observe Proper Cleaning Methods

If you get eyelash extensions installed, observe proper cleaning techniques. Use a gentle face cleanser along with warm water on your extensions. You can also purchase eyelash extension shampoo.

Once you’ve washed and rinsed the extensions, don’t rub them hard with a towel. This can cause excessive irritation and damage the extensions as well. Instead, dry them gently with a blow dryer set on cool. Cleaning them often will keep bacteria from growing.

Use a Sealer

Using a sealer will help to block out things like dirt, dust, and other debris. Sealers are an important part of caring for both your natural and false lashes.

Sealers are sold both online and in stores. Apply a thin coat at least once a week after you’ve cleaned your lashes. Not only will a sealer keep your natural lash protected, but it will also preserve your extensions.

Final Thoughts on Eyelash Extensions

Before getting eyelash extensions, carefully consider a few factors. First, think about your lifestyle and what goals you’d like to accomplish. If you’re looking for just a temporary change to your look, eyelash strips may be best.

However, if you’d still like to get eyelash extensions, be informed about proper care. You should also do as much research as possible on any place you will go to undertake the procedure. Taking charge of the process from start to finish will allow you to keep tabs on your eye health. 

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