There you are in front of your mirror, holding the spoolie your lash stylist gave you after completing your stunning new set of lashes.
Suddenly you realize you’re actually not sure how to brush your eyelash extensions! What kind of motion are you supposed to make? Should you comb from above or below?
I love when my clients ask questions instead of making assumptions, especially when it comes to their lash extension aftercare! In this post, I explain exactly how you should comb your lash extensions to keep them fluffy and tangle-free.
Let’s dive in!
How to Brush Eyelash Extensions (Step-by-Step)
1- Start With Clean, Dry Lashes
Morning is the best time to comb your eyelash extensions because you’ll have just woken up and your lashes should be clean and dry. If you want to wash your face or splash it with water, make sure your lashes are totally dry before brushing them.
If you’re in a rush, you can even use a blow dryer on the lowest heat and speed settings to give your extensions a gentle “blowout”.
2- Brush From Above
Take your clean spoolie, and use it to gently brush your lashes from above the lash line. Bring the spoolie close to the base of your lash line, and then gently roll it downwards towards the tips. Do this a few times to make sure you’ve combed all along the lash line.
It’s important to not brush from the very base of the lash line – instead, leave a 2 mm distance from the skin of the eyelid. This way, you’ll avoid the spoolie brush getting caught in the base of the extension and pull on it.
Gentleness is key here! Resist the urge to wedge the spoolie in between the lashes or to do a “zig-zag” motion. You only want to do up and down motions.
3- Brush From Below
Now bring the spoolie from underneath your lash line, almost like you would when applying mascara. Use the same rolling motion to flare out and detangle your lashes from the base to the tips.
And… that’s basically it! All of this will only take you a few seconds.
Here’s a video from Erica Rivas that illustrates just how easy it is. She walks you through the entire cleaning process if you’re interested, but I’ve forwarded the video to the brushing part.
What Happens if You Don’t Brush Your Lash Extensions?
Neglecting to brush your extensions will increase the risk of clumping and tangling which ultimately leads to shedding natural lashes faster than normal. Plus, your lashes just won’t look very nice!
Brushing your eyelash extensions serves 4 main purposes:
- It detangles your lashes. Tangles put stress on your natural lashes, which can lead to premature fallout.
- It makes sure that all of your lashes face in their natural growth direction, which ensures better regrowth of natural lashes.
- It removes microscopic debris from the lash line, helping to keep your eyes and lashes healthier. That said, it’s not an alternative to washing your lashes regularly.
- Finally, it gives the lash extensions a fuller, more fanned-out, and lifted look.
How Often Should You Brush Your Eyelash Extensions?
Brush your lashes at least once a day. The best time is first thing in the morning, to make sure they look their best before you start your day.
I often recommend that my clients keep a spare spoolie with them. That way, if your lashes get tangled on a windy day or after a workout, you can give them a quick brush-through.
Can You Brush Your Lash Extensions When They’re Wet?
No! Only brush your lash extensions when they’re completely dry.
While the lash extensions themselves are water-proof, your hair is porous, so it swells with water after it’s submerged.1
This also applies to your natural lashes! As a result, they’re more brittle when damp. By pulling on your lashes with a brush, you risk damaging them, and it could result in breakage and extension loss. For this same reason, it’s also important you don’t brush or comb your hair when it’s wet!
What Should You Use to Brush Lash Extensions?
Any clean mascara wand or spoolie will do. I always give my first-time clients a few of these disposable mascara wands, but you can also pick up a reusable eyebrow and eyelash comb.
Some people advocate for DIY methods using a comb, a toothbrush, or a pipe cleaner (yes you read that right…).
Let’s be real, these spoolie brushes are incredibly cheap and you can just purchase a bunch at your local pharmacy or on amazon.
Don’t mess your lashes with the wrong tools.
Can I brush my lash extensions after getting them done?
There’s no need to brush your lashes immediately after getting them done since your lash artist will do it during the appointment. It’s best to wait 4 hours for the adhesive to completely cure before doing it yourself.
Can you brush your eyelash extensions too much?
As long as you do it properly, you don’t risk damaging your lashes by excessively brushing them.
Do you brush eyelash extensions up or down?
Both the upward and downward motions are perfectly O.K. However, a horizontal or side-ways motion is to be avoided.
Can I brush my eyelash extensions after 24 hours?
Yes, that’s perfectly fine. The lash glue will be completely cured by then.
The Bottom Line
Would you like to know a little secret? When I’m wearing eyelash extensions, brushing them out every morning is one of my favorite little rituals. I find it incredibly satisfying to see my lashes go from slightly mussed to neat and fluffy.
Beyond keeping your lash extensions looking great, brushing them out also helps maintain their longevity while protecting your natural lashes.
Brushing out your lashes is one of the more effortless aspects of lash care, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for error. Remember to keep it gentle, use clean tools, and only brush your lashes when they’re dry.
If you still have some questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments! I’ll make sure to respond and clarify as much as I can.
– Asako 🙂
1. Rodney D. Sinclair (2007). Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings. Healthy Hair: What Is it? Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022202X15526559 (Accessed on Jan 30, 2023)