You would like to get eyelash extensions but you don’t know where to start? this article will help you understand how they work, their cost, where they come from, types of lash extensions, myths around them, and popular styles.
You’ll also realize the differences between the various types of false lashes on the market: eyelash extensions, strip lashes, cluster lashes, and magnetic lashes.
So, what are eyelash extensions?
Eyelash extensions are made of natural or artificial fibers in different sizes, lengths, and curls to match your natural eyelash. They are applied to your original lashes using eyelash extension glue by certified professionals in classic, volume, or hybrid types.
Most of us want lush, thick, long, curly and fluttery lashes that make us look gorgeous. Extensions can guarantee it without the added hassle of curling, perming, or a dozen coats of mascara.
What’s are eyelash extensions? How do they work? When do they fall off? What are the popular styles?
I will also explore classic vs volume vs hybrid lashes, learn the maintenance of lash extensions, and how to prepare for an appointment.
Let’s dig in!
What Are Eyelash Extensions?
Lash extensions refer to artificial or natural fibers that are affixed to natural lashes to add thickness, length, and curl. It can open up your eyes and brighten them.
Lash extensions are applied by licensed professionals in an hour or two, sometimes even more. They are typically applied to your upper lashes, but you can also get them on your lower lashes.
Your natural eyelashes range from 90 to 120 per eye. That’s why a lash artist may add 60 extensions per eye, or double that number, based on the style you want.
These are different from traditional strip lashes or clusters as lash extensions are customized to the shape of the eye and texture of the natural lashes of every client.
False Eyelash Market: Strip Lashes Vs Cluster Lashes Vs Magnetic Lashes Vs Individual Eyelash Extensions
There are many different types of fake lashes available in the market today. Some may last a day and others even a month.
That’s why it’s important to have a clear idea of what’s what by comparing the features and traits of different fake lashes before you commit to any.
|False Lash Type||Lash Damage||Skin Damage||Application||Waterproof||Reusable|
|Strip Lashes||Yes||May cause allergies||Using glue||No||Yes|
|Cluster Lashes||Yes||May cause infections||Using glue||Yes||No|
|Magnetic Lashes||Yes||May cause styes, irritations, or allergies||Magnetic strips||Yes||Yes|
|Individual Eyelash Extensions||No||Doesn’t affect the skin||Cyanoacrylate glue||Yes||No|
When natural or artificial fibers are attached to a band of fabric to affix it atop the lash line, against the skin, in a single piece, it’s called a strip lash.
These fake lashes typically last a day and may cause skin or lash damage if you sleep wearing them. Overuse of strip lashes can lead to thinning out of your natural lashes.
Being affixed to the lash line in one piece, it’s heavier than eyelash extensions. That’s why the weight of the fabric band and glue can overburden the eyelah, causing it to fall out.
Small parts of strip lashes in a bunch are attached to several individual lashes at once rather than single lashes to create cluster lashes.
The same is why it can feel heavy when opening or closing eyes. Moreover, too much glue is used for the application, which can cause your natural lashes to fall out excessively.
A reusable kind of false eyelashes that don’t use any glue, magnetic lashes are quite a novelty at the moment. These use magnetism to enhance your lashes either with a magnetic eyeliner or by using two magnetic lash strips above and below natural lashes.
While magnetism sounds great, it can damage the lashes by causing them to tear up when used incorrectly.
They can even push your lashes to grow in the wrong direction. Moreover, it’s not much better than strip lashes because magnetic fake lashes don’t last over 10 hours.
Individual Eyelash Extensions
Synthetic and natural fibers that are applied one by one or with handmade fans to your natural lashes are individual lash extensions. These are costly and time-consuming, but the safest and best option for your own eyelashes.
Individual lash extensions are carefully applied by licensed lash artists at the salon to the lashes and not the eyelids.
This type of false lashes lasts two to three weeks because they are applied directly on your own eyelashes and therefore will need to be replaced as your natural lashes fall off naturally with the growth cycle.
Individual eyelash extensions are commonly referred to as “Eyelash Extensions” or “Lash Extensions”.
What Are the Different Types of Eyelash Extensions?
Here’s a complete list of different types of fake lashes from their construction to size, and more to choose from:
There are natural and synthetic options available.
Natural fibers include mink, faux mink, sable, fox fur, and silk fibers. Artificial fibers refer to cruelty-free synthetic lash extensions (also called acrylic lashes) that are made from a thermoplastic fiber called PBT.
You can get fake lashes in short lengths of 5 mm to 8 mm, moderate lengths of 9 mm to 12 mm, long lengths of 13 mm to 16 mm, and extra-long options of up to 20 mm.
Currently, the most common lengths range from 5 mm to 16 mm.
Based on the curvature of the lash extensions, there are different curls available in the world of extensions such as I, J, B, C, D, CC, DD, U, L, and M.
There are also curls with enhanced lifts marked by the ‘+’ sign such as L+, B+, C+, and D+. Amongst these, I and J are common straight lashes with/without a slight curve, unlike the other curly alternatives.
In the world of fake eyelashes, the thickness of extensions is calculated in millimeters and selected to complement the thickness of natural lashes without feeling too heavy or droopy.
Lash technicians typically use sizes that stretch from 0.03, 0.05, 0.07, 0.10, 0.12, and 0.15 mm but more uncommon diameters such as 0.18, 0.20, 0.23, 0.25, and 0.30 mm are also available.
While extensions made from natural semi permanent fibers are available in colors like black or brown, artificial lash extensions feature exceptional hues like red, pink, green, blue, pink, orange, purple, white, gold, silver, ombre, blond, and more.
Check out this article about the different types of lash extensions such as glitter, premade fans, handmade fans, flat, and normal lashes.
Eyelash Extension Techniques: Classic Vs Hybrid Vs Volume
Confused about the industry jargon?
Find out the nuances between the classic, hybrid, and volume lash extension techniques used by lash techs because you’ll have to talk about them later on when deciding on the right style for you.
Created for giving a natural look to the eye, this technique uses a 1:1 combination of individual lash extensions to natural lashes.
It takes 1.5 to 2 hours to create the complete look using different lengths, thicknesses, and curls for both eyes.
Classic lash extension sets are carefully created to match the characteristics of your eyelashes in the best way without being too long or heavy.
Volume lashes are when several lashes are affixed together to make a fresh fan that’s then added to your eyelashes to create a lush, thick, and curly set of lashes.
Volume is a Russian technique where extensions are lighter than those used for classic extensions to prevent weighing down on natural lashes.
Volume and Mega volume are two distinctly different lash extension styles. The former uses 2 to 5 lash extensions per fan and the latter 6 to 16 to create a dramatic look.
Compared to the classic type, volume promises higher customization.
A combination of classic and volume lash extension styles, the hybrid style is heavily customized to create unique looks. It’s popularly known as the American Volume Lashes and Kardashian Lashes too.
It uses a classic lash style of one extension per natural lash mixed with handmade volume fans affixed per lash using an eyelash extension adhesive.
Most lash techs alternate between classic and volume lashes in this style based on the size, shape, and traits of the eye. Here’s a glimpse of the hybrid set from our Instagram Page.
Eyelash Extension Styles
Wondering what’s the best eyelash extensions to get?
There’s no universal lash extension style that suits all everyone’s type of eyes, bone structure, face shape, and natural lash shapes. A Lash stylist uses different patterns of lengths, thicknesses, and curls to create varied eyelash extension styles that compliment your own natural lashes and features.
Pro Tip: I cover the best lash style to choose based on your eye shape in this article!
Let’s take a look at the popular styles you can choose from.
This is a lash style where the classic set is applied (sometimes mixed with the ‘volume’ technique) based on the natural appearance of your lashes.
At Divine Lashes, we add 80 lashes per eye typically to create the natural full set. If you’re interested in natural styles, check out our Instagram page for more inspiration.
Considered the best for Almond shaped-eyes, the doll eye style opens up the eye with a well-defined outline.
The lash stylist does that by adding the longest lash extensions towards the middle of your eyes. It compliments hooded and monolid eyes perfectly too.
This style gives more focus to the center of the eye and is particularly good if you have a sharp arch to your eyebrows.
The cat-eye style is easily the most requested look.
Cat-eye is best for transforming downturned eyes although it looks good on close-set and almond eyes too. It’s created by adding longer lashes to the outer corners and short ones to the inner corners. Such a style creates a look akin to a winged eyeliner.
Check out the Cat Eye style on our Instagram page to know about it more.
This is a style where the drama and thickness of lash extensions come into play.
Natural sweep eye shape is best for almond, hooded, downturned, and close-set eyes to balance the shape.
It’s created by adding short lashes in the inner corner of the eye followed by long lashes and finally short lashes towards the outer corner of the eye.
Are Eyelash Extensions Good Or Bad For Your Natural Lashes?
Just like electricity can both be a boon and a bane based on how you use it, getting eyelash extensions can make you drop-dead-gorgeous or sick.
While lash extensions are safer and painless than ever now, aftercare and a poorly done job often lead to allergies, infections, clumping of lashes, sparsing, and loss of natural eyelashes.
For instance, if the lash artist selects extensions that are heavier than your natural lashes, they will end up drooping or falling off with added weight.
Alternatively, a poorly attached extension can lead to corneal abrasion. Techs can also stick extensions to multiple eyelashes, preventing their growth and movement, leading to botched eyelash jobs.
Moreover, getting extensions also translates to lesser eye makeup because who needs mascara and the eye pencil when you have wispy lashes.
The right size, weight, and curl can even support natural lashes to grow comfortably. While most states in the United States mandate licensed experts to perform lash extension services, not every state is bound by it.
Hence, you must select a reputable studio to help you find the right extension and a well-experienced artist to do the treatment perfectly.
How To Find A Good Eyelash Extension Salon?
Finding a good lash service starts by finding a licensed lash tech. Certified technicians who use safe and high-quality products are a must for getting proper eyelash extension treatment without damaging your eyes or natural lashes.
Much like assessing a restaurant or brand before buying from them, check out the experiences, reviews, and history of the salon and its techs before taking an appointment with them.
You can request to see the before-after pictures of clients to get to know about their skills before signing up with them.
What’s The Cost Of Lash Extensions?
Many things affect the cost of eyelash extensions such as the lash technique (classic vs hybrid vs volume), the total appointment time, the experience level, lash extension material, and the location of the salon. This combined with tipping standards determines the cost of a lash treatment.
Lash extensions are no doubt one of the costly cosmetic treatments. Fashionista rounds up the cost to $150 to $200 for a classic set, $200 to $300 for volume sets, and $55 to $95 for refill sessions.
Pro Tip: I shared a complete case study of eyelash extension pricing to find out how much people spend on average on their lashes.
Getting eyelash extensions also means making substantial changes to your cosmetic products and cleansers. At DivineLashes, you even get a free lash shampoo with your first lash extension session.
What To Expect For Your First Eyelash Extensions Appointment?
Never got eyelash extensions done? You’re gonna love the transformation even more than a regular.
What’s more, lash sessions are so relaxing you might even sleep off during the treatment. Take a look at what Refinery29 felt about her experience at our salon to get an idea of how it works.
But if you want a checklist of how to prepare for your very first lash extension session, here you go …
- Consult first: Always have a long chat with the lash artist who will work on you to relay your preferences first. This will help the technician design a custom style for you.
- Wear comfy clothes: As most lash extension treatment requires clients to lay down, it’s best to wear comfortable attire that doesn’t restrict your body.
- Make a playlist and get the headset: If you find music relaxing, create a playlist and take your favorite headset when going for the appointment.
- Remove your makeup: Makeup products often contain oils and other conflicting components that can degrade the lash extension treatment. Remove mascara, eyeliner, or foundation before going to the salon or sitting down for the beauty treatment. Eye makeup should be non-existent for your appointment.
- Disclose your allergies and do a test: Always share your seasonal allergies, past allergic reactions as well as cosmetic allergies with the lash tech before doing an allergy patch test to ensure you’re on the safer side.
- Be relaxed: To sit still for a few hours, you need to be well-rested and tension-free. Also keep in mind to avoid having excessive amounts of coffee, chocolates, and other stimulants.
- Take off your contacts: If you’re wearing any contact lenses, you’ll be asked to remove them before the appointment due to safety concerns. You can re-apply your contacts once the lash treatment is complete.
- Turn your phone on silent: A good way to limit distractions is by placing your cell phone on silent mode. You can also let your friends, family, or necessary persons know that you’ll be unavailable for the next couple of hours.
- Go to the loo before you start: To make yourself most relaxed over the next couple of hours, it’s good to empty your bladder before you sit down for the session.
- Understand the procedure: Ask your lash tech about the procedure and they’ll explain when they will apply gel pads, tapes, extensions, and what you need to do during the time. Typically, you’ll be asked to keep your eyes shut for the next couple of hours.
- Take before-after pictures: Don’t forget to snap a few before-after pics of your lashes too!
Take a look at the complete set of steps for preparing for a lash extension appointment here.
How Long Do Eyelash Extensions Last?
Eyelash extensions typically last two to four weeks and sometimes more based on your body. The total lash growth cycle of natural lashes is approximately 90 days. It first grows thicker, maxes out in length, then stops growing, and finally sheds. This also means every eyelash is growing at its own rate. Hence, the refill schedule also differs from person to person.
Lash extensions aren’t like strip lashes that last a day because they are applied lash-by-lash. That’s also the same reason why lash extensions don’t come off all at once. It sheds with the natural hair over three to six weeks. Some may shed early, and others may shed later.
Based on 1100 clients who come to Divine Lashes, 60.1% come in for a refill in three weeks, 20.6% every two weeks, 16.7% every four weeks, and 2.7% after four weeks.
How To Maintain Your Lash Extensions?
Apart from avoiding water for four hours after getting your extensions done, there are many aftercare techniques to extend the life of lash extensions nowadays.
- Cleaning: First off, you need to clean your eyelashes one to two times every day with a compatible cleanser. There are some excellent makeup removers specifically designed for extensions that you can include in your morning routine. Poor hygiene of the eye area is the #1 enemy of good retention. Keep in mind to avoid water pressure directly on lashes when showering with extensions.
- Brushing: Combing your dry lashes will prevent them from tangling besides cleaning debris and avoiding clumps. The best way is to gently brush them daily.
- Curling: Never use a mechanical curler on your lash extensions as it can pull and snag on them, leading to premature falling out. Instead of a mechanical eyelash curler, you can use a heated curler with care.
- Keep off the eyes: It’s best to avoid rubbing or scrubbing your eyes harshly as it can also cause extensions to shed early.
- Refill: Going for a refill at the right time, typically every two to three weeks to reduce the cost of doing a full set and maintaining a beautiful lash line.
- Hairdryer: Never use the hairdryer on the hot setting and always go for the cool setting. That being said, you could also let them air dry on their own before using a spoolie brush to comb them.
- Avoid heat, oil, and salt: From swimming in the ocean to avoiding the sauna, and using cosmetic products with oil around the eye such as waterproof eyeliner and mascara, there are many ways to maximize the retention of your extensions.
- Sleeping etiquettes: When sleeping with eyelash extensions, you can start sleeping on your back or side. You should also replace your cotton pillow covers with a soft fabric like silk or satin to prevent lashes from snagging on them.
- Eye makeup: When wearing eye makeup, make sure to avoid oil-based products around the eye area as these products can weaken the adhesive used to adhere the extensions to your eyelashes. The extensions could eventually fall off with repeat exposure to oily eye cream, mascara, foundation, etc.
7 Frequently Asked Questions About Eyelash Extensions (Q&A)
- Do eyelash extensions damage natural lashes or your eyes?
One of the popular myths is that they can damage your eyelashes with recurrent wear.
Eyelash extensions don’t damage your natural lashes when they are applied by an experienced technician using the proper techniques and tools,
Using the appropriate length and thickness that the client’s natural lashes can support safely is a critical concept that every lash technician should know. You must also continue to clean it regularly to maintain a clean lash line and promote good retention.
- Are eyelash extensions vegan?
It depends on whether you want extensions made from natural fibers or synthetic ones.
Mink, sable, and silk extensions aren’t vegan while synthetic ones made from PBT are. At Divine Lashes, we only use cruelty-free synthetic lashes on our clients.
- Can you get eyelash extensions while pregnant?
While it’s safe to get lash extensions while you’re pregnant, lying still on your back for a couple of hours might be too uncomfortable or demanding whether you’re in the second or the third trimester.
- Do eyelash extensions hurt?
When an extension is correctly applied on the natural lash, it doesn’t hurt. That’s because it doesn’t come into contact with your skin at any point.
The application process is so relaxing that many clients often fall asleep during the session.
- Can you get eyelash extensions wet?
Yes, you can get lash extensions wet once the curing period of four hours has passed. If you get your new lashes wet before the end of the cure period of the lash glue, it can affect the retention of the extensions.
- Are eyelash extensions only for special occasions?
While lash extensions are a great choice for special occasions, they are also perfect for daily wear.
Unlike strip lashes, lash extensions last for weeks. You don’t have to remove and re-apply your extensions constantly.
- Can you wear eyelash extensions over long periods of time?
Yes, you can wear lash extensions for two to six weeks without any hassle. Regardless of when they shed with your natural lashes, they don’t cause any irritation to the eye or lashes.
Eyelash extensions are appended to your natural lashes to add length, volume, curl, or thickness. You can find thhem in natural hair like that of mink, sable, or silk, and synthetic options made of PBT fibers.
While false lashes were once painful, scary, and unregulated, today licensed technicians offer them at a cost of $200 and above. They make you look great, but only if you follow the right aftercare.
Individual lash extensions are entirely different from strip lashes, cluster lashes, and magnetic lashes. They are applied to the eyelashes one by one and are hence more comfortable and popular than most other lash enhancements.
Last techs may add one extension per natural lash in a classic set, 2 to 16 in a volume set, and a mix of both in a hybrid set.
Pro Tip: I cover in great detail the nuances between classic, hybrid, and volume lashes in this article!
There are several lash extension styles to enhance the shape and appearance of your eyes today such as natural eye, cat eye, doll eye, and natural sweep.
Once you’re ready to get the treatment done, make sure to find a licensed professional with a great track record.
When you’re going in for the appointment, it’s important to talk to your stylist about what you want during the consultation. Also, don’t forget to remove your makeup, besides following other tips shared above.
You can follow a good cleaning, brushing, makeup, and sleeping routine to make your lash extensions last longer.
That sums up our comprehensive guide to eyelash extensions. If anything is confusing to you, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below.
I would love to hear your opinions!
– Asako 🙂
Further Readings on DivineLashes.ca: If you want to continue learning about lash extensions, check out my complete guide on the classic, hybrid, and volume techniques. Also, make sure to know which lash extension style would look best for your eye shape and how much you would have to pay for your lashes.
- Stephanie S. Gardner MD (2019). Magnetic Lashes: Are They Safe? Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/beauty/magnetic-lashes-safety (Accessed on 12-3-2021)
- Chantal Fernandez (2017). Everything You Need To Know About Eyelash Extension. Retrieved from https://fashionista.com/2016/08/best-eyelash-extensions-cost (Accessed on 12-3-2021)
- Leah Rumack (2020). We Tried 4 Toronto Lash Extension Spots — & Here Are Our Thoughts. Retrieved from https://www.refinery29.com/en-ca/best-lash-extension-spots-toronto (Accessed on 12-3-2021)
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