Can You Curl Eyelash Extensions? How to Do It Without Damage

Woman curling her eyelash extensions

Curled lashes open up the eyes and make you look glamorous. That’s why some women get lash lifts and others eyelash extensions with ample curls. But, what can you do when your fake lashes become straight? Can you curl eyelash extensions?

You can’t curl eyelash extensions but you can curl the natural lash on which the extension is attached using a heated curler. Eyelash extensions already come with a preset curl. If you would prefer a more pronounced curl for your extensions, you can rebook an appointment with your lash stylist or wait for your next refill.

Keep scrolling to find out the main reasons why lash extensions lose their curls, things you can do when they turn straight, the benefits of heated curlers, and how to use them. You’ll also learn why not to use a traditional curler or get a lash lift when wearing extensions, how to retain the curling ability of extensions, and ways to pick the best curl for your eyes.

Why Use a Curler With Eyelash Extensions

The only reason you would want to use an eyelash curler when wearing extensions is to curl your natural lashes for them to contour the curl of your extensions.

You can’t and shouldn’t try to curl the extension! Most synthetic eyelash extensions are made from a thermoplastic fiber called PBT. The extensions come with a preset curl from the manufacturer. They use specialized tools and the perfect amount of heat to give the synthetic lashes their permanent curls. This process can’t be replicated at home especially when the extensions are already applied onto your natural lashes.

You should rebook an appointment with your lash stylist if your extensions lost their curl, are going straight or if you simply don’t find them curly enough.

Since an image is worth a thousand words, let’s take a look at the process of curling your natural lashes when wearing extensions.

Eyelash extension on natural lash before using a curler

In this image, the dark lash represents your natural lash and the pale lash represent the extension. As you can see, the extension has a more pronounced curl than the natural lash.

This gap between the extension and the natural lash is honestly barely visible. However, it is possible to curl your natural lash to reduce the gap as shown in the image below.

Eyelash extension on natural lash after using a curler

Be careful though! You should never use a mechanical curler when wearing eyelash extensions.

We will show you how to safely use a heated curler in this article.

What Are Heated Curlers

Unlike mechanical lash curlers, heated lash curlers are perfect for curling natural lashes when wearing lash extensions. These are electric curlers designed with brushes to gently heat up your lashes.

They are excellent for locking the curls for a few hours. As these work softly on your lashes without any pressing or pulling like that of a mechanical curler, they are excellent for fragile fibers like lash extensions.

But, not every heated eyelash curler works the same way. You can choose from curlers made with silicone heating pads or wands in the price range of $6 to $32[1]. The former comes with the heating element on both the sides and the latter with a comb at the tip that heats up.

You can see what a silicone heated eyelash curler and the wand-type of heated eyelash curler is on Amazon.

The best thing about such curlers is that most come with different temperature control settings. Some products even have LED lighting on one end to help you see lashes clearly while curling them.

You can decide on the temperature based on the strength, thickness, and size of your lashes. Some heated lash curlers also come with a comb to ensure your lashes aren’t clumped together.

However, keep in mind that even with this method, your natural lashes will go back to their original (straight) shape after 12 to 24 hours.

Hence, you must keep repeating the process whenever you need to re-curl your lashes. While these were designed originally for natural lashes, many people who wear lash extensions often use them too.

Heated lash curlers offer a safe and curvy alternative regardless of the curl type of your extensions. That being said, heated lash curlers are more expensive than mechanical or plastic ones.

How To Use a Heated Curler With Eyelash Extensions

Here’s the only stepwise guide you need to follow when using heated eyelash curlers on extensions:

  • Clean and wash your lashes.
  • Comb them so that eyelashes aren’t stuck together or clumped.
  • Let your lashes dry completely on their own (because wet lashes won’t retain the curl).
  • Turn on the lash curler.
  • Once it’s warm enough (some devices will show an alert when ready), bring the lashes in contact with the heating area. Make sure not to use the heated curler at the base of your lashes where the extension is bonded to the natural lash. For the silicone-pad model, press the lashes onto the pad. For the wand model, you should let eyelashes fall into the comb.
  • Lift or twist the device based on the curls you want to create.
  • Hold for three to ten seconds to lock in the curls.
  • Repeat thrice if you want a longer hold for curls.

Why Not To Use A Mechanical Curler With Lash Extensions

Whether you ask your lash tech or Google, both will all tell you to strictly avoid a traditional eyelash curler when working on lash extensions. Mechanical curlers are metallic devices with rubber or silicone pads where your lashes touch the device. The interesting thing is these aren’t even recommended for natural lashes as they can lead to eye infections and broken lashes in most cases.

But, why aren’t they good for extensions? That’s mainly because it’s easy to pull or snag on lash extensions when you curl them with a mechanical lash curler.

Truth be told, we lose about 3 to 5 natural lashes[2] per day. When you wear extensions, you will lose those extensions that are attached to those natural lashes. But, if you’re losing any more than that, blame your curling habit because it’s weakening the roots of the extensions, leading them to fall prematurely. Check out our article on how long eyelash extensions last if you want to know more about this topic.

Moreover, if you aren’t careful enough to replace the rubber pads on traditional lash curlers regularly, there’s the added risk of chopping off[3] your extensions and natural lashes with it. Another demerit of mechanical curlers is that you face the risk of burning the eyelids if you have a habit of heating up the metallic eyelash curlers[4].

Why Do Lash Extensions Lose Their Curls

If your lash extensions looked drop-dead-gorgeous in the salon but lost their curls after a few days at home, your lifestyle may be the culprit. Lash extensions can lose their curls because of natural wear-and-tear to heat and many other reasons. While they are supposed to remain gorgeous for a month at the very least, there might be exceptions as given below.

Material: Oftentimes when natural lash extensions such as those made from real mink get wet, they lose the preset curl and become straight.

Overheating: Cooking over high heat on the stove, grill, and oven[5] can de-curl your lash extensions or even singe them. This is because synthetic fake lashes are made from a thermoplastic fiber called PBT that loses its shape when overheated.

Don’t rush in to open the microwave oven when you’re wearing lash extensions. Also, avoid blow-drying the hair too close to extensions, especially in the hot air setting. Another thing is to avoid saunas for prolonged intervals too.

Sleeping improperly: From rough pillowcases (think cotton, polyester, linen) to poor sleeping postures, you can end up smooshing lash extensions while sleeping. This can damage their default curls besides making them fall out earlier than usual. Learn how to sleep with eyelash extensions in this article.

To prevent deranging the shape of fake lash extensions, choose to sleep on a non-abrasive surface or use silk or satin pillows[6]. You can also learn to sleep on your back rather than on your stomach.

Lack of regular cleaning: When you fail to clean your lash extensions frequently, especially if you wear oil-based makeup, there are chances your false eyelashes may clump together with dirt, oil, and grime.

Can You Get A Lash Lift Or Lash Perm On Eyelash Extensions

You should never get a lash lift or lash perm when wearing eyelash extensions.

When you get a lash perm done on eyelash extensions, the lash adhesive that bonds natural eyelashes and fake ones break down. This is because a reaction called heat evolution[7] happens when the chemical in lash adhesives (cyanoacrylate) and lash perm (permanent wave lotion) come into contact with each other.

As a result, your lash extensions will fall out quicker than usual.

However, you can always get a lash lift done on natural lashes before you get lash extensions, especially if your natural fibers are straight. This way your natural lashes will automatically contour to the curl of your extensions without sticking out oddly.

After you get your lash lift, wait 24-48h before getting your lashes done. The lifted lashes will need time to settle.

How To Pick The Perfect Curl For Your Lash Extensions

Instead of trying to curl your eyelash extensions, it’s a much better idea to select extensions with stronger curls from the get-go.

Here’s a guide to different lash extension curls[8] from low to high so that you can pick one that’s suits your style aptly:

  • ‘J’ curl is curvy at the tip.
  • ‘B’ curl is shapelier than ‘J’.
  • ‘C’ curl is an enhancement of the natural lash.
  • ‘CC’ curl is between a C and D.
  • ‘D’ curl is curvier than CC.
  • ‘U’ curl has the ultimate curliness.
  • ‘L’ curl is generally used on naturally straight lashes.
  • ‘L+’ curl is a combination of the lift and curve.
  • ‘M’ curl moves straight and upwards.

Final Thoughts

Lash extensions are famous for three things: length, volume, and curl. Out of this, some might regard length as most important, others volume or curl. If your natural lashes are droopy, you might want to add extra curls.

The first thing to do is avoid the things that may pose a risk to your curls such as the heat of the oven or grill. If you’re wearing mink lash extensions, it’s nearly impossible to maintain the curl as they will turn straight whenever you wet them. Lack of cleaning and poor sleeping posture also affects the curling ability of false eyelash extensions.

Remember, you can curl the natural lash so that it contours the curl of the extension. However, you can’t curl the extension hoping to increase the curl of the extension. If the extension is not curly enough, simply make an appointment with your stylist and she will cycle them out for curlier extensions.

When you’re searching for curling alternatives, never go for a last lift or perm as these treatments can destroy the adhesion capacity of lash glue significantly.

Have more concerns? Just let us know your doubts about curling lash extensions below and you’ll get a straight answer in a few hours.

References

  1. Jennifer Blair (2019). The Best Heated Eyelash Curler. Retrieved from https://www.chicagotribune.com/consumer-reviews/sns-bestreviews-beauty-the-best-heated-eyelash-curler-20190823-story.html (Accessed on 2-2-2021)
  2. Reena Mukamal (2019). Why Are My Eyelashes Falling Out? Retrieved from https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/why-are-my-eyelashes-falling-out (Accessed on 2-2-2021)
  3. Janine (2014). This Lash Curler Cut Off a Woman’s Eyelashes. Retrieved from https://imabeautygeek.com/2014/07/17/lash-curler-cut-womans-eyelashes-beauty-psa/ (Accessed on 2-2-2021)
  4. Ellen Malone (2018). Why don’t my eyelashes curl? Retrieved from https://www.quora.com/Why-dont-my-eyelashes-curl-Ive-tried-an-eyelash-curler-for-over-a-minute-heating-the-curler-I-always-end-up-burning-my-eyelid-different-types-of-mascara-and-that-thing-with-a-spoon-but-theyre-still-poker-straight (Accessed on 2-2-2021)
  5. Reddit Writer (2020). Eyelashes lost their curl. Retrieved from https://www.reddit.com/r/eyelashextensions/comments/dkunej/eyelashes_lost_their_curl/ (Accessed on 2-2-2021)
  6. Asako Ito (2021). Can You Sleep With Eyelash Extensions? Avoid Lashes Falling-Out. Retrieved from https://divinelashes.ca/blog/sleeping-with-eyelash-extensions/ (Accessed on 2-2-2021)
  7. Elleebana Writer (2020). Combining treatments! Lash lifting and Eyelash Extensions. Retrieved from https://www.elleebana.com/combining-treatments-lash-lifting-and-eyelash-extensions/ (Accessed on 2-2-2021)
  8. Asako Ito (2020) Eyelash Extension Types: A Helpful Guide. Retrieved from https://divinelashes.ca/blog/eyelash-extension-types/#curl (Accessed on 2-2-2021)

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