Are you getting eyelash extensions for the first time and worried about ruining your natural lashes? Or maybe you’ve had extensions before and experienced some lash loss. You’re not alone!
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!
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.
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 you might say, “what are properly applied lash extensions anyways?”
There are many things that go into the application process to make sure your lashes stay healthy and strong. But if I had to choose the 3 most important ones, they would be:
- Respecting the growth cycle of your natural eyelashes
- Isolating the natural lash flawlessly
- Learn to say “No”
Let’s go over them quickly.
1- Respecting the Growth Cycle of Your Natural Eyelashes
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.
So why is this so important?
As a lash tech, it’s imperative to never apply an extension to a natural lash that is in its baby phase (anagen phase).
Applying an extension to a baby lash will put unnecessary stress on the natural lash which could lead to breakage or premature shedding.
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.
2- Isolating the Natural Lash Flawlessly
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.
As you can see in the picture above, I’ve isolated a single natural eyelash. I’m now ready to apply an extension to it.
This insures your eyelash extensions do not influence the growth cycle of natural lashes.
3- Learn to Say “No”
As a lash artist, it is your duty to know what’s best for your client. And sometimes that means you have to say “No” when they ask for something that’s not in their best interest.
For example, if a client has very few and/or weak natural lashes, a good lash tech would educate the client and explain why this is the maximum length/thickness of extension they can safely apply.
Clients will respect you for being honest with them and in the long run, they will be much happier with their results.
Of course, they can also run to a less scrupulous tech who will apply whatever the client wants, regardless of the health of their natural lashes.
And these are exactly the examples of bad lash extensions I’m about to show you next!
3 Examples That Will Ruin 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 Fake Eyelashes Ruin Your Eyelashes?
Fake lashes (or strip lashes) won’t damage your eyelashes when they’re applied with the right amount of adhesive, at the right place on your eyelid, and taken off correctly.
However, if you’re not careful, it’s very easy to damage your natural lashes when removing strip lashes. I’ve seen it too many times to count. A lot of people go the DIY route with strip lashes and end up making a costly mistake along the way.
Does glue on lashes ruin your real lashes?
No, the glue itself is not what’s going to damage your lashes. There are no chemicals that can damage your hair if left on.
Do hybrid lashes damage your own?
Hybrid lashes don’t damage your own lashes when applied correctly. Just like classic or volume lashes, it all comes down to the application process and the products used.
What’s the maximum extension length to avoid damage?
As a rule of thumb, I would never extend a natural lash by more than 2 mm. Therefore, the maximum extension length would vary based on your natural lash length.
Whenever I get asked, “are eyelash extensions bad for you?” I always answer that 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! 🙂
– 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]
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