Imagine your dream lashes. You’re picturing long, luscious beauties, not hard, crunchy lashes, right? Crispness likely isn’t on anyone’s list of extension must-haves! Still, here you are with extensions that feel as crunchy as a fresh Honeycrisp apple. You can’t stop but wonder:
Why do my eyelash extensions feel crunchy?
I’ll cover the most likely reasons, but most importantly, what you can do about it.
Even though they’re fake, you want your extensions to look and feel like healthy, real lashes. Crunchy simply won’t do! How about we delve into the what and why of crispened lashes so that you can keep yours soft and flexible?
Why Do My Eyelash Extensions Feel Crunchy?
Eyelash extensions may feel crunchy when they are made from low-quality material, attached with too much adhesive, or have been exposed to a harsh cleanser. A crunchy feeling can also result if inadequate hygiene that can lead to lash mite overpopulation, blepharitis, and eyelash crusting.
Now, you may think “that’s great but can I know which possible cause is the culprit?” The best way would be for me to take a look at your lashes.
But since this is the internet, I’ll cover these 4 possible causes in more detail below so that you can identify what’s going on.
#1: Low-Quality Material
Lash extensions are typically made from silk, mink hair, or a thermoplastic product called polybutylene terephthalate (PBT).
PBT is incredibly versatile. It can be shaped into extension fibers of different lengths, diameters, and textures. Animal lovers will be thrilled to know that PBT can fake the look and feel of mink and silk. You’ll likely struggle to spot the difference between the real and faux extensions.
PBT sounds just about perfect! But… only high-quality PBT extensions are light, soft, flexible, and natural-looking.
On the flip side, low-quality PBT extensions can be hard, brittle, and crunchy (or become like this after you’ve had them for a while).1
#2: Too Much Glue
To secure an extension on a natural lash, the extension first needs to be dipped in glue. It takes a lot of practice to make sure just the right amount of adhesive is being used. Too much might seem like a good thing at first (yay! my extensions will be more solid!) but in fact, it can make things a lot worse.
Whatever the reason for this glue boo-boo (whether it’s a beginner at work or a poor-quality glue that won’t stick unless applied thickly), the result is lumps of glue and clumpy extensions that can feel more chunky and crunchy than sleek and chic.
#3: Harsh Cleansers
Cleaning your lashes with cleansers containing drying ingredients can damage extensions and give them crunch. The usual problematic ingredients to look for are alcohol and sulfates.
Use a gentle cleanser to keep your extensions looking and feeling good. You can take a look at my article on how to use a cleanser for lash extensions here.
Alert! Swimming with extensions 4 hours after you get them is safe, but spending too much time in chlorinated water can damage extensions and up their risk of crunchiness – so get some goggles or cleanse your lashes after pool time.
#4: Lacking Hygiene
Another thing that can make extensions feel crunchy is a crusty base.
Suppose you don’t clean your lashes daily. Over time, oil, dead skin cells, dirt, and makeup residue will build up on your lash line. This gunk can trigger a lash mite invasion, which, in turn, can cause the eyelid condition blepharitis.
Crusty, flaky lashes are a common blepharitis symptom.2 So, skipping your daily lash cleansing can make your extensions go crunch!
How to Fix Crunchy Lash Extensions
As you can see from the list of causes above, some of them are the lash technician’s responsibility and some of them are the client’s responsibility.
As a client, the best way to fix and prevent crunchy and hard eyelash extensions is by cleaning them daily. That way, you’ll prevent the build-up of oils and dirt by promoting a healthy lash line.
Also, please please please make sure you’re using a cleanser specifically formulated for your delicate eyelashes. If you’re not sure which one you should get, I’ve listed my favorite eyelash cleansers here.
The Bottom Line
A crunchy feeling after getting eyelash extensions is not normal and should be addressed rapidly.
Many things can give extensions a crunchy feeling. Whether this texture is down to low-quality extensions, too much glue, harsh cleansers, or inadequate grooming, know that it’s not what extensions should feel like.
Good lash extensions feel soft and feathery. Ask to see (and feel!) the extension fibers before having them applied, and don’t settle for anything less than luxe!
– Asako 🙂
Further Readings on DivineLashes.ca: If you want to know more about discomforts to watch out for, check out my articles on red eyes from eyelash extensions, why your lash extensions are falling out, and how to treat blepharitis from eyelash extensions.
- Ceecees Beauty and Training. The Difference Between Low-Quality And High-Quality Eyelash Extension Trays. Retrieved from https://www.ceeceesbeautyandtraining.com.au/the-difference-between-low-quality-and-high-quality-eyelash-extension-trays/ (Accessed on 6 October 2022) (Note: This reference has a domain authority of only 23, but it’s the highest I could find on the topic)
- National Eye Institute (2020). Blepharitis. Retrieved from https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/blepharitis (Accessed on 6 October 2022)