When you’re working with a new lash tech, you can end up with enormous lash extensions that look like a Snapchat filter by the time you get home. So, you might want to cut them down or get them off. But is it safe? And if so, how do you do it?
If you feel your extensions are too long, I’ll share other ways to make them work without losing your luscious lashes.
Ready? Let’s cut right in!
Can You Trim Eyelash Extensions?
You shouldn’t trim eyelash extensions as you can accidentally cut your own natural eyelashes or worse, cut your skin or eyes if you’re not careful. If your extensions are too long, it’s best to go back to a professional technician who can safely fix your lashes.
The key to avoiding lash extensions that are too long is a thorough consultation between the stylist and the client. I like to go in-depth about the design and lengths we are choosing. I also show many pictures of previous clients to give a very good idea of what the set will look like.
Most of my clients get their desired lengths of eyelash extensions at the salon. So, there’s no need for modifying or trimming them at home.
Now, let’s find out what happens if you decide to still go ahead and cut your lash extensions at home.
Note: this article is about individual lash extensions only! There are many other types of lash extensions available on the market (strip lashes or false lashes, magnetic lashes, and DIY lashes) which I’m not covering here. Some of them can be trimmed before application.
What Happens When You Trim Your Eyelash Extensions?
In my experience, there are 3 major risks if you try to cut your extensions by yourself:
- Loss of your natural lashes
- Lousy appearance
- Accidental eye damage (most serious one)
1. Loss Of Your Natural Lashes
This one is obvious, but when you trim eyelash extensions, you might accidentally cut your natural lashes. That’s because extensions are affixed to real lashes.
A good lash artist will extend your natural eyelashes by approximately 2 mm, sometimes 3 mm. Moreover, depending on the design (dolly-eye, cat-eye, natural, etc) the natural lashes are not extended evenly across the lash line.
Therefore, you would need to be a wizard to only cut the extensions without touching the natural eyelashes. You won’t realize you’re cutting into your own eyelashes until the deed is done.
2. Lousy Appearance
Another major disappointment with trimming extensions is their odd appearance. This happens because cut lashes have a blunt end instead of a tapered one. This makes their soft and fluffy look completely disappear.
Additionally, it’s virtually impossible to make a nice even cut that will complement the natural curve of your lashes. That’s because you’re trying to cut them while they are already applied!
3. Accidental Eye Damage
This one is the most serious concern. Using sharp objects like scissors by yourself near the eye is a big no-no. You risk accidentally poking your eye or cutting your eyelids.
Yes, lash techs use very sharp tweezers. But they have been trained and certified to do so. They also have a perfect view of your lashes from above with bring lights and sometimes magnifying glasses.
Why Do Some People Still Trim Their Lash Extensions?
Nobody thinks of trimming their eyelash extension fibers when getting their lashes done.
Otherwise, it’s always easier to let the lash tech know your concerns and let them make corrections when you’re in the salon. Most people realize it after getting home. Hence, they try to shorten the length on their own.
1. Style Doesn’t Match the Eye Shape
Most people will start thinking about cutting their lash extensions if they notice the styling doesn’t isn’t a right match for the eye shape.
For instance, a cat-eye style will elongate the outer corner of the eyes significantly. A dolly-eye style will use longer extensions in the middle of the eye to give that open look.
But what if that’s not what you were looking for? Then you might be tempted to grab that pair of scissors and do the unthinkable…
2. New To Long Eyelash Extensions
If you’re getting longer false eyelashes for the first time, getting acquainted with them might take a while. It’s not wrong to feel too different like it’s a wrong fit for you.
If this is your case, I suggest you wait a few days before making any adjustments. Don’t rush the decision. You might just find out you like these newly acquired beauties!
3. Lash Extensions Pushing Up Against The Glasses
If you wear spectacles, long eyelashes can often push up against the glasses and feel weird on your eyes after a while. As a result, you might want to trim your lashes within a day or two of getting them.
This is a real problem. How do you address it?
The only way is to do a proper consultation with your lash tech. If you wear glasses, it should be mentioned to your stylist. You should even bring them to the appointment. That way, the lash tech can create a custom design that will ensure you can blink without the extensions touching the glasses.
I’ve written a detailed guide on the best curls and styling when wearing glasses with extensions here.
4. Long False Lashes Irritates The Eyes
Even if you don’t wear glasses, you can feel your eyelash extensions are too long if they irritate the eyes. This is especially true if they’re a significantly larger size than your own lashes.
In some extreme cases, the ultra-long extensions might even poke your skin. This would be an example of a poor application by the lash tech.
How To Trim Eyelash Extensions?
Honestly, I was hesitant to include this section in the article, but I decided to still add it so you can have a complete picture.
If you search online, you’ll find several guides on how to trim eyelash extensions. I wanted to cover the general steps these guides give and highlight the risks involved at each step.
But before we start, I urge you not to do it because the risks greatly outweigh the benefits.
Step#1: Tools You Need
You’ll need nothing more than a spoolie brush and a pair of small scissors. Opt for scissors that have a curved end like in the picture below.
That’s it. Just make sure you are properly disinfecting your tools before beginning the operation.
Step #2 Brush the Lashes
This step will be repeated before each cut. You want your lashes to be perfectly straight and untangled before proceeding.
To do so, take the spoolie brush and put it at the base of your natural eyelashes from the top. Then gently brush upwards to fluff your lashes (never sideways!)
Step #3 Trim the Lashes
This is where the problem begins. These tutorials will advise holding your scissors vertically (not horizontally) with the curved blade facing forward. Then, make small cuts where you think the extensions are too long.
They say you should try to cut only one extension fiber at once AND not go too far (as you would obviously now cut your own eyelashes).
Good luck with that as they say…
There’s no turning back if you make the slightest mistake. And what if you don’t like the end result, now what?
That’s why I suggest you read the next section try that instead.
What To Do For Lash Extensions That Are Too Long?
No one in their right mind would get extensions that long. But I thought this picture was hilarious to make a point. In any case, here’s what I would do instead of timing my eyelash extensions.
1. Try Them For a Few Days
Most people that get extensions for the first time absolutely love the longer length they provide. But if you’re not one of them, I recommend trying them for at least half a week before seeking drastic measures. You might just fall in love with them.
2. Wait for Them to Shed
I know, you’re probably looking for an immediate solution. But this is definitely an option to consider.
Did you know that your natural eyelashes go through what’s called “the growth cycle”? Essentially, your hair follicle has several stages from the initial growth to the eventual shedding. This is a natural process.
And since the extension is attached to a natural eyelash, the extension will eventually fall when the natural lash sheds.
3. Remove the Lashes
Instead of timing your extensions which risk damage, you can opt for an at-home removal using common oils. I’ve written a guide on how to remove eyelash extensions at home right here.
4. Contact Lash Technician
Arguably, this should be the very first thing you do. Get in touch with your lash tech and tell them how you fell about your set.
If the length is truly a problem, you can get them professionally removed and apply a new set with shorter lengths.
The Bottom Line
I hope was able to convenience you NOT to trim your own lash extensions at home. The risks are just too great.
As a lash artist, if my client had an issue like this, I would offer a complimentary revision. But to be frank, it never happened to me. I believe it has to do with the very detailed consultations I do prior to the appointment.
The absolute worst-case scenario is that you’ll do a new set! Much better than the alternative horror stories in my opinion.
Have you ever trimmed your own extensions? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
– Asako 🙂