This is one of the most popular questions/concerns I hear about eyelash extensions, especially for someone who has never done eyelash extensions before.
You want to try eyelash extensions but of course, not at the expense of your natural lashes. So, do eyelash extensions damage your eyelashes?
Eyelash extensions do not damage your eyelashes when they are applied properly. To prevent damaging natural lashes, lash extensions should be carefully selected (length and thickness) and applied correctly to one natural eyelash at a time.
In this article, we will cover the reasons why eyelash extensions do not ruin your lashes but also the improper techniques that will damage them.
There are 3 common mistakes I have seen over the years again and again when a new client comes in from another salon. By sharing these, I just want to make the lash industry better.
Let’s get started!
Listen while you read: in this video, I cover the most frequent mistakes lash techs make when applying eyelash extensions (and some of these examples are not so pretty!)
Why Eyelash Extensions Do Not Damage Your Natural Lashes
The complete growth cycle of a single natural lash is approximately 90 days ± 5 days depending on the genetics of the individual. Hairs grow a certain length and then stop.
They eventually shed after having reached their maximum length.
One to One application
Because eyelash extensions are applied one lash at a time to a single natural lash, the natural lash can freely go through the growth cycle and eventually shed with the extension attached to it.
When the growth cycle of your natural lashes is carefully respected, eyelash extensions will not cause any damage to your natural lashes. This is a fundamental concept that every lash stylist should master.
Wearing appropriate eyelash extensions does not influence the growth cycle of natural lashes.
3 Improper Applications That Will Damage Your Natural Lashes
The 3 most frequent mistakes an eyelash technician can do that cause damage to your natural lashes are:
1- Extensions are too heavy: The most important factor in choosing the appropriate lash extensions is not only the natural lash length but also the natural lash thickness.
Accounting for these two variables will allow you to select an eyelash extension that will balance out with the natural lashes.
If the extension is too heavy, it will stress the natural lash to which it is attached. This could eventually lead to premature shedding and natural lash loss.
When an extension is too long and too thick for your natural lashes to support, your natural lashes may shed prematurely, causing your natural lashes to be thinner over time.
I’ve seen super long and super thick lashes attached on thin Asian lashes! Sure a client might ask for “Kim Kardashian” look but as a professional, we have to look at the clients’ lashes and determine what her lashes can handle.
On thin and sparse Asian lashes, it is very very difficult to achieve a Kim Kardashian type of look without butchering the natural lashes.
2- Stickies: A sticky is when two or more lashes and/or extensions are glued together. Stickies are a very common culprit amongst less experienced lash artists and a frequent cause of damaged lashes.
Here is what happens when you have stickies.
First, you have a cluster of lashes and extensions glued together. Not only is it not very aesthetically pleasing, but it is also very bad for your natural lashes.
If a natural lash in the sticky is still in the growing phase, it will continue to grow and pull on the other lashes glued to it. It can even pull out those other lashes.
When the natural lash completes the growth cycle it will eventually shed. However, by doing so, it also pulls on other lashes and extensions that it is glued to.
Pulling out natural lashes prematurely can affect and/or damage the hair follicle. Eyelash techs who have too many stickies will find their clients’ lashes very damaged over time.
3- Nailheads: A nailhead is when the eyelash extension was glued to the skin. This should never happen. A properly attached extension is carefully glued to a natural lash and the skin should never be in contact with the glue.
Nailhead glued on skin
In this picture, you can see that the glue formed a disc shape on the skin.
This glue was initially against the skin of the lash line.
Do you notice that the glue is now lifted and doesn’t seem to touch the skin anymore?
That is because the natural lashes have grown since the application and pulled the glue off the skin. This is terrible for any new baby lashes that were around since they got ripped out.
Moreover, it is hard for new lashes to grow since the hair follicle is clogged. A nailhead can also irritate the skin called dermatitis. This also is very uncomfortable for clients.
Will Your Natural Eyelashes Grow Back After Being Damaged by Extensions?
If you, unfortunately, got your eyelash extensions done by a lash technician that did not apply them properly and committed one of the three mistakes above (extensions too heavy, stickies or nailheads), you may experience damage to your natural lashes.
They may simply snap or get pulled out.
In such cases, will your natural lashes grow back?
Just like any hair on your body, your eyelashes will grow back on their own. The growth rate of your natural eyelashes is around 1/2 inch per month though some may grow faster and others slower under different circumstances.
It will take approximately 6 to 8 weeks for your lashes to be back to their original state.
You can use some lashes growth serums to help the damaged lashes regrow more quickly. Certain lash serums are known to have a faster rate that aids in the recovery process.
Over-the-counter lash growth serums contain special components that promote faster regrowth of the lashes.
Also, there are certain no-smudge makeup removers and conditioners which will help to nourish your lashes after lash extensions. These ingredients will help promote faster regrowth of eyelashes naturally.
Should You Give Your Natural Lashes a Break Between Extensions?
It is not necessary to give natural lashes a break in between eyelash extension sessions when they are applied correctly.
Eyelash extensions won’t make your natural lashes fall out any faster than they would normally – the natural lashes are simply following their growth cycle.
At your refill appointment, your eyelash stylist will be able to access to health of your lashes. Shorter and/or thinner extensions might be suggested based on the observations made.
The extensions used on you will be checked and evaluated every time you come back for a refill.
Do Eyelash Extensions Make Your Lashes Shorter?
Eyelash extensions will not shorten natural lashes. Lash extensions that are applied properly, chosen adequately given the weight the natural lash can bear, and cared for suitably ensure a healthy lash line.
Ultimately, eyelash extensions don’t damage natural lashes when they are applied correctly. They simply extend your natural lashes. Women love eyelash extensions because they give a long, beautiful, and youthful look to their eyes.
Lash extensions are among the best ways to make your eyes look younger with longer eyelashes. You can also make them darker naturally if you have a tired-looking look.
This post was full of horrific mistakes and terrible lash jobs. I wanted to leave on a good note and show you a few pictures of what you can expect!
Here is a recent lash set performed at our salon that will not damage this beautiful client’s natural lashes.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please leave me a comment below! 🙂
Interested in learning more about lash extensions?
Explore my related guides & tutorials:
Do Eyelash Extensions Hurt?
How to Get the Most Natural Eyelash Extensions
Cluster Lashes: An Outdated Technique to Avoid at All Cost
Mega Volume Lashes Vs Volume Lashes
– Asako 🙂
- J Optom. (2018). The eyelash follicle features and anomalies: A review. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6147748/ [Accessed 20th May 2021]
- Aesthetic Plast Surg. (2011). Enhanced Eyelashes: Prescription and Over-the-Counter Options. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3036812/ [Accessed 20th May 2021]
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