I’ve heard the term “permanent eyelash extensions” to describe individual lash extensions. But it’s actually misleading since they are better described as being “semi-permanent”.
So, the sad news is that eyelash extensions won’t stay on forever. But there are ways to give them extra life. I’ve picked up many tips and tricks for longer-lasting extensions over the decade+ I’ve been lashing.
Keep scrolling to discover how to squeeze several weeks’ wear out of your extensions.
Are Eyelash Extensions Permanent?
Eyelash extensions are not permanent. They can last about 6 weeks (assuming they’ve been professionally applied using top-quality lash glue). They fall out at the end of your natural lashes’ lifespan since they are attached to them.
2 factors stop extensions from being everlasting:
Let’s dig deeper into what stands in the way of permanent extensions.
Factor #1: Your Eyelash Life Cycle
The major thing stopping extensions from being yours for keeps is your natural lashes.
Extensions are stuck fast to your natural lashes. Once the powerful lash glue has dried and cured, they’re not going anywhere!
So, what’s the problem?
Your natural lashes don’t stay put. In time, all the lashes you have now will fall, and baby lashes will start growing in their place. When your natural lashes drop, there go the extensions attached to them.
Everyone’s lashes move through their life cycle at different rates (so yours might grow slower or faster than your besties’). It generally takes about 6 weeks for a baby lash to grow to its full length.1
What’s more, your lashes are all in different life stages. So instead of all dropping in one shot, only a lash or so falls out every few days.
When a natural lash drops, you say bye-bye to the attached extension. So, there will come a time when you’ve lost so many natural lashes that your extensions look sparse. This is when you need a refill.
Most of my clients ask me to fill out their extensions after losing about half of their initial set, usually after about 3 weeks. But you should pick a refill schedule that suits you. Just know that if you wait too long, your tech might need to charge for a full set.
Factor #2: The Binding Agent
I mentioned earlier that professional lash techs use super-strong, eye-safe glue to stick extension fibers to your natural lashes. Just a teeny blob of glue on the bottom of an extension is enough to bind the extension and lash. This isn’t the basic glue you grab when you’re feeling crafty!
Top-quality extension glue sticks like crazy and is made to keep extensions fixed to lashes for weeks. But, as impressive as this bond is, it’s not lifelong. The bond between extension and lash breaks down over time. So, your extensions would eventually loosen and drop even if your natural lashes never shed.
If you have your extensions applied by a reputable lash pro and look after them, the extension-lash bond should last at least 8 weeks.
Looking after your extensions means avoiding these 4 threats that can weaken the lash glue too soon:
- Threat #1: Letting your extensions get wet while the glue is curing (this usually takes 4 hours, but play it safe by confirming your waiting period with your lash tech).
- Threat #2: Exposing your extensions to excessive heat.
- Threat #3: Spending too much time in saltwater or chlorinated pools.
- Threat #4: Getting oil onto your extensions. Warmed oils like coconut or olive can effectively remove extensions (however, it’s best to have them professionally removed), so these are obvious no-nos. But there are hidden threats, such as oil-containing lash serums, skincare goodies like eye cream, and makeup like concealer, foundation, and eyeshadow.
How to Make Extensions Stay Stuck (Until Your Natural Lashes Drop)
Permanent lash extensions don’t exist, but you can get the next best thing: semi-permanent perfect lashes.
The first step to helping your extensions live up to their semi-permanent reputation is avoiding those glue-weakening threats I pointed out.
Here are more tips for stretching your extensions’ lifespan:
- Apply extension sealer every morning.
- Keep your hands and eyelash curlers away from your extensions.
- Avoid squashing your face into your pillow (and make it a satin or silk pillowcase). Extra points for sleeping on your back!
- Skip mascara and long-wear makeup.
- Gently clean and brush your extensions daily.
- Protect your extensions from high-pressure water when you shower.
Remember I said I’ve learned oh-so-many tips and tricks during the years I’ve been in the lash game? I meant it! Here are more ways to make your extensions last longer, dos and don’ts you must know, and aftercare essentials.
Permanent Eyelash Extensions Surgery
Permanent eyelash surgery (also known as lash implantation), is a surgical procedure that involves transferring individual hairs to the eyelids from another part of the body.
There are no extensions involved so really the term “permanent eyelash extensions surgery” is wrong and shouldn’t use the word “extensions”. Instead, “permanent eyelash surgery” is more accurate.
This is obviously not a treatment I do (I’m a lash tech – not a doctor). So if this is something that interests you, you should discuss it with a healthcare professional.
The Bottom Line
Permanent lash extensions are possible only in your (sweet, sweet!) dreams. Your natural lashes’ cycle of falling out and regrowing and lash glue’s properties won’t let extensions be yours forever and always. There’s no way around it.
Expect professionally applied and well-maintained extensions to look incredible for about 2 to 4 weeks (which, I guess, might feel like a lifetime compared to the single day that strip falsies last…).
If you have any questions, please drop me a line in the comments below!
– Asako 🙂
- Rona Z Silkiss, MD FACS (2014). Will Burned Eyelashes Grow Back? Retrieved from https://www.aao.org/eye-health/ask-ophthalmologist-q/will-my-childs-eyelashes-grow-back (Accessed on 26 October 2022)