Are Lash Extensions Safe? Here’s What You Need To Know
You want gorgeous fluttery lashes, and lash extensions can be a safe option to get them. So what do you need to know to try new extensions while keeping your eyes and lashes safe? Are eyelash extensions safe?
Salon Lash Extensions vs. DIY Extensions
The first choice you have to make when choosing your false lashes is if you’re going to DIY them or go see a professional lash stylist. No matter which one you choose, do your research beforehand on getting eyelash extensions at the salon, the stylist, and the products you may be using.
When researching salons, it’s a great idea to read reviews of aestheticians and look at images posted by past customers. You want to discover if the shop has a reputation for good hygiene and good results or not.
Visit the shop’s website to find the certifications, training, and experience offered by the staff. You may have to call the shop to ask about the products they use, specifically the ingredients in their adhesive.
Speaking of adhesive, whether you’re doing your own fake eyelashes or seeing a pro, do a patch test of the adhesive on your skin to check for allergic reactions. This is best practice with any new cosmetic you sample, especially for an adhesive near your eyes.
An allergic reaction near your eyes could be much worse than a reaction on your arm since it could cause pain, swelling, and interruption in your vision. Remember that the FDA doesn’t regulate lash adhesives, so you must watch out for your health and safety.
If you do suffer an allergic reaction, regardless of who applied your lashes, see an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) immediately to remove your eyelash extensions. Do not tug or try to remove them yourself since this can make the reaction worse by spreading the allergen.
Regardless of who applied your lashes, whether they’re individual lashes or strip lashes, never push or pull on your lashes after they’ve cured. Rubbing, tugging, and pulling may breakage of your natural lashes and potentially damage the eyelash follicle permanently.
Friction like this can even cause fibers to get stuck under the eyelids, which may require surgery to remove. To rub metaphorical salt in that wound, the trapped lash fibers may introduce chemicals like propylene glycol, squallane, and tocopheryl to your delicate ocular ecosystem.
Salon Eyelash Extensions Pros and Cons
They’re customizable – You can work with your lash tech beforehand to determine the exact look you want to walk away with.
One and done – One two-long appointment later, you have lashes that need minimal upkeep for the next two to three weeks.
Longevity – Lash-artist-applied lash extensions last two to three weeks.
No need to learn a new skill – Your lash technician already knows how to apply and remove lashes correctly, so you don’t need to spend the time or mental capacity to add this skill to your repertoire.
- Mascara be gone – No more itchy, clumpy, dripping mascara.
Pricey – Having your lashes done at a salon regularly adds up fast! It depends on where you live, but lash extensions at a traditional salon can run you $80 to $100 on average per initial appointment, plus $50 to $100 per filler appointment. Not everyone can drop $100 every three weeks to have their lashes done, which makes salon extensions surprisingly inaccessible.
Time commitment – The first lash application appointment can easily take up to three hours. Subsequent filler appointments can take up to two hours. That’s not an insignificant time commitment; you’re balancing a job, a family, and a social life; do you really want to spend that much time in the chair?
Maintenance – Since you can’t remove and reapply your lashes at will, you have to be much stricter about their maintenance. You may have to change some of your established skincare and eye makeup habits to accommodate the rules.
The dreaded in-between days – It’s totally normal for your natural lashes to fall out as part of their natural growth cycle, but when your natural lashes shed, it can leave big gaps in your lash map that won’t be filled until your next appointment, so you may spend a week with gaps in your lashes.
- Chemical irritation – Perhaps the most important con of salon extensions is the potential for chemical irritation from formaldehyde or cyanoacrylates, which can cause irritation, hives, inflammation, and/or dry eye.
Different Types of DIY Lash Extensions
Let’s compare strip lashes and at-home lash extensions. There are two types of falsies you’re likely to find online or at the shops: temporary and semi-permanent. The former generally come in strip lashes; they’re meant to be applied and removed daily. You can generally get 15 wears out of a strip lash before it falls apart.
Strip lashes are available at nearly every drug store and beauty store. Their name is literal; they’re strips of lashes. They come in different styles but are not customizable since they are designed to hold the curl they come with. Trying to relax or tighten the curl usually just results in shortening the strip's lifespan.
You apply strip lashes to the top of your natural lashes with a thin line of glue along the spine of the strip. Once the glue gets tacky, you can use a regular lash curler to help them match the curl of your natural lashes. They typically come with lash glue (more on lash glues later), but you need to purchase a cleanser and remover separately. The remover is essential to remove the lashes by dissolving the glue without damaging your natural lashes.
Strip lashes can have many downsides. Strip lashes can potentially damage your natural lashes. If not maintained properly strip lashes can cause infection and breakage of your natural lashes by disrupting the follicles in the lashline.
Cheap or low-quality strip lashes and lash glues can cause allergic reaction, dryness, flaking skin, lesions, and eye infection. Poor extension hygiene puts you at risk for dermatitis or blepharitis, and your risk is even greater if you have existing medical conditions like rosacea, oily skin, dandruff, or allergies.
Semi-permanent lashes are different. Semi-permanent lashes can last up to two weeks on a single application. They use a different kind of adhesive to maintain a hold for this long.
They can be made in strips but may also be structured as small lash fans of only a few individual lash fibers. They require more diligent aftercare to maintain hygiene, though, since what gets trapped in your lash fibers on day two of wear could easily stick around until day six, and that’s a recipe for disaster.
Wearing extensions for a week or more with no breaks may feel funny at first, so it’s best to start with a classic lash instead of a volume lash. The good news is, unlike salon lashes, if the lashes get uncomfortable, you can remove them on your own whenever you’d like.
Not All Adhesives Are Created Equal
As you’ve seen, not all lash adhesives are the same; some contain harmful ingredients, but some don’t. How do you know what’s good and what’s bad? Here are some examples:
Biotin is a badass, just like you. It’s a critical nutrient, also known as vitamin B7. Biotin helps keep you looking and feeling your best by supporting your skin, hair, eyes, liver, and even nervous system. When it comes to your lashes, biotin supports lash health by maintaining keratin production and the growth rate of lash follicles.
Lavandula Oil is the fancy, formal name for pure lavender oil. This essential oil is believed to be relaxing. The holistic medical properties of essential oils are an issue of some debate, but even if you find this essential oil doesn’t make you feel calmer, it at least smells quite pretty and is unlikely to cause irritation. It’s extremely common and found in many beauty products and perfumes.
Cyanoacrylate monomers are a kind of acrylic monomer that cures into hard plastic. This is the ingredient that makes superglue so strong. Cyanoacrylate glue is any quick-bonding superglue, including a ton of lash glues. Like super glue, this makes these lash glues very hard to remove and very damaging to the delicate skin around your eye. Redness, itching, bumps, and puffiness are just a handful of the side effects cyanoacrylate can cause when applied correctly; bringing this ingredient in contact with your eyeball can cause vision damage.
Remember back in high school when you had to dissect frogs, fish, or some other small animals, and the entire school smelled like death for days? That would be the smell of formaldehyde! Formaldehyde is a preservative, sterilizer, and disinfectant, and it is extremely harsh; it’s literally a carcinogen; it's great for preserving dead things, but you probably don’t want to put it on your living eyelashes. Its harshness can cause irritation and drying around the eye area. Remember, there are good bacteria that live in and around your eye too! You don’t want to kill the good bacteria.
The Lashify Difference
One look in the Lashify Control Kit will show you that we just do things differently. From the lashes to the adhesive to the application process to the removal process, we took DIY to the next level: DIFY, do it FOR yourself since our kit was designed with your lash health and independence in mind.
You want a lash adhesive with none of that icky junk; That’s where Whisper Light bond comes in. Whisper Light is actually good for your lashes; it contains those good ingredients, biotin and Lavandula oil. Whisper Light in black and Bondage with Charcoflex both contain carbon black, which is naturally antibacterial.
Lashify Gossamers are semi-permanent DIY lash extensions. They’re more affordable than salon extensions and safer than drugstore strip lashes. You can wear them for up to 10 days on a single application, and they require minimal touch-ups to maintain in that time, so you can save time on your daily makeup routine.
Gossamers are reusable and can last for months if cared for properly. Our lashes are user-friendly and easy to learn, especially since we have a ton of online resources to bring you application and safety tips! We have a whole aftercare system to help you keep them clean and long-lasting.
In conclusion, if you take care to maintain good lash hygiene, Lashify lashes are safe. Just take your time learning best practices, and don’t be afraid to ask questions! We’re always ready to connect with you on our socials!