We live in the age of monster eye lash extensions. Women today seem to prefer them unnaturally long, perfectly angled, and totally fake. But I understand — I love them, too.
There are a handful of ways to achieve the popular look, but it got me thinking about a few questions, like how long is too long? Can bold and beautiful lashes damage your real lashes? Is it bad to wear strip lashes every day? Do I need a break from lash extensions?
The answers, directly from the experts, is Yes. Yes. And Yes. Even professionals who work with lashes say it’s important to give them a break.
I personally prefer my extensions individually glued to each strand of hair, and refilled every two weeks. My service provider says long-term use of synthetic lashes carry risks, in particular when it comes to the condition of the natural lashes. They can suffer from lash trauma by becoming shorter, thinner and weaker, and in some cases total loss of natural lashes can occur. That is exactly the opposite effect of what you’re hoping to achieve by the way.
In addition, you may end up with eye problems including conjunctivitis (pink eye) and the long-term problem of Bletharitis, which could mean that any future wear of lash extensions is off the table.
To make sure your natural lashes recover from extensions, they should be removed every six to eight months. One reason is to allow you to thoroughly clean the eyelid line. It can get pretty yucky after months of non-stop lashing. Whether you realize it or not, remnants of make-up and bacteria have built up. This raises the risk of developing a pimple-like stye or other eye issue.
Another reason experts recommend a minimum of two months rest is to allow natural lashes to recover and regrow. And yes, super long and thick extensions may be too heavy, and end up damaging lash follicles. So lighten up ladies.
If you want the big and bold look, it’s on to strip lashes. These can also be a minefield if not applied and removed properly. The lashes and glue don’t really damage your natural lashes, but many people still end up hairless.
One issue is the lash adhesive, some products contain harsh ingredients designed to grip lashes and keep them on until you take them off. The FDA does not regulate lash glue, so you should do your diligence. To make sure the brand you want to use doesn’t aggravate your eye, do a patch test on your arm first and wait 24 hours to see if there is any reaction. It is much safer than applying to your delicate eye area and then finding out there’s a problem.
Next, use the glue sparingly. Too much product coats the lashes and makes it much more likely that you will yank some out trying to peel off the strip when you’re ready.
Removing the strip lashes is where most trouble lies. We’ve all been tired or impatient and ripped them off a time or two. It is heart-breaking to see your own lashes torn away along with the false ones.
The correct and safest way to remove them is to soften or dissolve the glue with makeup remover. I gently swipe a Q-tip along the lash line. Not too much though or it will drip into your eye. Dab it on and wait a few minutes before slowly peeling away the strip.
It’s also wise to give the false lashes a break. Or at the very least, limit to weekends or special occasions. Try to get your natural lashes as healthy as possible so they continue to grow in. A variety of serums are on the market that will stimulate hair growth and may keep them around longer.
Today’s big lashes can give you that much desired eye-popping look, but you should manage their use with both eyes open.