Are eyelash extensions worth doing?

Eyelash extensions are a semi-permanent enhancement that uses synthetic or natural fibers to increase the length, curl or volume of natural eyelashes. In general, I no longer recommend eyelash extensions to anyone. Why? Mainly because strappy eyelashes don't damage your own eyelashes or hair follicles. You apply the strips to the skin above the lash line, preventing the eyelashes themselves from all that glue and the constant weight of an added extension.

Eyelash extensions work, plain and simple. They can enhance almost anyone's eyelashes, meaning you'll wake up with thicker, longer and darker lashes, but not without paying the price. Extensions are expensive, and even if you do everything you need to do when it comes to aftercare, it's quite possible that you'll suffer some damage to your natural eyelashes, including breakage and drooping. But with that said, eyelashes are hair after all and, in most cases, they will grow back in a few weeks.

When it comes to safety, dermatologists compare eyelash extensions to acrylic nails; they're not necessarily good for you, but they're not likely to cause serious health problems, so you may decide that the aesthetics of the extensions outweigh the potential side effects (which commonly include irritation, infection and allergic reactions). If you're planning to get eyelash extensions, ask a licensed beautician to apply them to avoid these side effects. To keep your eyelash extensions in perfect condition, you should brush them gently with a sponge from time to time and then apply a conditioning serum. Because eyelash extensions are applied to natural eyelashes and follow the natural hair growth cycle, they will eventually come off no matter what you do.

When extensions first arrived on the mainstream market, it seemed like a relatively simple way to achieve faint, wavy eyelashes without the drawbacks of false masks or mascara. The result was great (I woke up with a strip full of eyelashes and went to work without putting on any makeup), but after a week I started to wake up with my pillowcase covered with eyelashes, extensions and my own natural eyelashes. I now know, after watching videos of eyelash extensions, that she started gluing my lower lashes with an eyelash gel pad. When booking your eyelash extension service, make sure your eyelash artist is a licensed esthetician (rather than a cosmetologist).

However, keep in mind that eyelashes are hair and, unless you have a pre-existing condition or circumstance, your hair grows back. In addition, by then I had discovered Lashify, which gave me the power to make my own natural looking extensions at home that would last a few days without damage. Finally, since eyelash extensions aren't permanent, you'll need to schedule an appointment to refill them every two weeks. If you really care for them (more on that later), eyelash extensions can last six to eight weeks until they fall out naturally, as your eyelashes usually do.

Since an individual extension is applied to an individual eyelash, that extension will fall off on its own when the eyelash is separated from the lash line. To avoid unnecessary entanglements, try sleeping on your back or side (not your stomach) and use a silk pillowcase, which tends to be softer with extensions, Richardson says. While damage to natural eyelashes is certainly not ideal (nor is it sustainable over time), any breakage or fall should resolve on its own in one to three months, as part of a typical eyelash growth cycle (more on the following). My decision to buy eyelash extensions is due to the same idea: wanting an effortless look with minimal effort in the morning.


Penelope Tropp
Penelope Tropp

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