You’re thinking about getting eyelash extensions but of course, you would want to know how long they last before you invest money and time in them.
Let’s dive in!
How Long do Eyelash Extensions Last?
Eyelash extensions last 4 weeks on average. Because each extension is attached to a natural eyelash, the lifespan of an extension is directly related to the natural lash-shedding cycle.
Did you know you’re losing between 1-5 natural eyelashes every day?
Just like any hair on your body, eyelashes go through what’s called “the growth cycle.” The hair starts to grow longer and thicker, reaches its maximum length, stops growing, and then sheds.
The Growth Cycle Explained
The complete cycle of eyelashes is about 90 days ± 5 days depending on the genetics of the individual. As you can see in the image above, the eyelash progressively grows throughout that period and eventually sheds.
There are 3 different phases of growth. In this image, I’ve indicated with numbers the different stages of growth:
- Anagen – Growth Phase
- Catagen – Transition Phase
- Telogen – Resting Phase
All eyelashes are growing simultaneously with each strand in its own growth phase. Therefore, right now you have some lashes in each phase at the same time.
Why the Growth Cycle Matters for Lash Extension Retention
As you can see in the picture below, the extension is attached to a natural lash that’s in the catagen or telogen phase in a one-to-one ratio.
As the natural lash progresses through the cycle, it grows and eventually sheds. This is why it’s normal for lash extensions to fall out at the same pace your natural eyelashes would.
“When you get lash extensions applied, the technician will be attaching the extension to your natural lashes that are in the catagen and telogen phases. These are your mature lashes that can support the weight of the extension.”
Classic vs Hybrid vs Volume Retention
Did you know that volume lashes last longer than classic or hybrid lashes?
This is because the volume technique uses fans of very thin extensions in a ratio of one to many. Because multiple extensions are attached to a single eyelash, you get a much larger surface area for the lash adhesive to bond with the natural lash.
I’ve created an image below to illustrate that concept.
As you can see, the fan on the right has a larger bonding surface than the classic extension on the left. This means the lash adhesive is less likely to break down, and your extensions are less likely to fall out.
Eyelash Extension Retention Rates (What’s Normal and What’s Not)
Before we get into how often you should get a lash refill, let’s talk about what’s normal and what’s not when it comes to how long your extensions should last. The numbers I’m about to share are what I’ve consistently observed with my clients.
What’s normal for classic lashes:
- 75% extensions left after 2 weeks
- 55% extensions left after 3 weeks
- 35% extensions left after 4 weeks
What’s not normal for classic lashes:
- 55% extensions left or less after 2 weeks
- 35% extensions left or less after 3 weeks
- 15% extensions left or less after 4 weeks
For volume lashes, the retention rates are a little better because of the stronger adhesive bond as explained earlier. Having said that, you still can’t stop the motion of time and your natural lash will eventually shed no matter what.
What’s normal for volume lashes:
- 80% extensions left after 2 weeks
- 60% extensions left after 3 weeks
- 40% extensions after 4 weeks.
What’s not normal for volume lashes:
- 60% extensions left or less after 2 weeks
- 40% extensions left or less after 3 weeks
- 20% extensions left or less after 4 weeks
Since hybrid lashes are a mix of classic and volume lashes, you can expect the same retention rates as above respectively.
Now, “not normal” could mean a lot of things. It could be a mistake from your lash tech or it could also mean you’ve been rough with your lashes. I’ve written an article about why your eyelashes are falling out here that you might find helpful.
How Often Should You Refill Lash Extensions?
Lash extensions should be refilled every 2 to 4 weeks to maintain a full lash line. Expect to need more regular refills if your lashes grow fast or if you neglect aftercare. You can help retain your lash extensions for longer and increase the time between refills by following aftercare advice.
At the end of the day, your lash refill schedule is a matter of preference. The more you wait, the more lashes you will have lost before your next fill.
I tried to find market data on how often people choose to refill their lash extensions but couldn’t find any research.
So I decided to do something a little crazy…
I pulled out all of our client files and analyzed them!
To be honest, I stopped compiling results after 1100 clients. Our sample size was big enough for our study to be statistically significant.
And also, I was running out of coffee…
Alright, so here are the results.
- 60.1% of clients refill their lash extensions every 3 weeks.
- 20.6% of clients refill their lash extensions every 2 weeks.
- 16.7% of clients refill their lash extensions every 4 weeks.
- 2.7% of clients refill their lash extensions after 4 weeks.
Without surprise, the majority of clients prefer to come every 3 weeks for the touch-up. I think that’s reasonable if you have decent care habits.
Past the 3 weeks mark, yes you still have extensions attached, but it’s not as full and doesn’t give that amazing wow factor you had with the initial full set.
3 Aftercare Rules to Keep Your Lash Extensions Longer
Taking care of your lashes is essential for a beautiful, long-lasting set. Follow these 3 rules to keep a full lash line and beautiful lashes. Make sure to read my complete eyelash extension aftercare tips article here right after!
1. Keep your eyelashes clean
At Divine Lashes, we offer a lash shampoo specially formulated for cleaning your extensions. Our eyelash shampoo will rinse off any oil residue from your lashes.
Oil tends to weaken the bond of the extensions and can even be used to remove lash extensions at home. If you’re curious about how to do a DIY lash removal at home with oil, you can read this article.
It is important to use the lash shampoo every day especially on the day that you get your extensions done.
2. Brush your lashes
Make brushing your lash extensions part of your daily routine. Brushing your lashes when they are completely dry will clean the debris and untangle your lashes.
This may seem like a very obvious part of your routine, but you would be surprised how improper brushing can lead to poor retention.
First, make sure to use the right tool. I provide a brush to all our clients at their initial appointment. Ask us if you need a new one.
Next, brush your lashes for 5-10 seconds per eye.
It is crucial not to brush the extensions too close to the base of your lashes.
Since extensions are bonded at the base of the natural lash, brushing too close to the base might cause the extension to lift and shed prematurely.
3. Maintain regular lash refills
The best way to maintain a full lash line is to pre-schedule regular refills ideally every 2-4 weeks.
It might seem like an important financial commitment at first, but regular lash maintenance can save you money.
Pro Tip: Want to know exactly how much lash extensions cost? Read our case study here!
The more you wait between refills, the more sparse your lashes will be. At some point, your eyelash technician might not have any other choice but to propose a completely new set.
Now that we covered the top 3 things you can do at home to take care of your lashes, let’s explore the things you shouldn’t do.
8 Things You Must Avoid for Long-Lasting Lashes
Here are 8 things you should avoid if you want to keep your lashes beautiful for an extended period of time.
- Avoid picking at, rubbing, playing with, or curling the extensions.
- Avoid hot and humid environments such as a swimming pool, sauna, hot yoga, steam room, facials, and very hot showers.
- Avoid intense heat such as hair dryers, ovens, barbeques, lighters, and tanning beds.
- Avoid sleeping on the lashes. Sleeping on your back is recommended.
- Avoid products that contain strong polar solvents such as glycols, PEG, parabens, and oils derived from plants (olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, Moroccan oil, etc.)
- Avoid wearing mascara with the extensions.
- Avoid using cotton products around the eyes such as cotton balls, Q-tips, and wipes. The lint from the cotton will get caught and may cause you to pull out or tug on the lashes.
- Do not use an eyelash curler on the extensions.
How long do classic lashes last?
Classic lashes last 3 weeks on average with 55% of the extensions still intact.
How long do volume lashes last?
Volume lashes last 3 weeks on average with 55% of the extensions still intact.
How long do hybrid lashes last?
Hybrid lashes last 3 weeks on average with 55% of the classic lashes still intact and 60% of the volume lashes still intact.
How often should I refill my lash extensions?
Lash extensions should be refilled every 2 to 4 weeks to maintain a full lash line without sparse areas.
Because individual eyelash extensions are glued to your natural lashes one at a time, they will eventually fall off as your natural lashes shed.
However, because lash extensions are a semi-permanent treatment, it’s important to follow aftercare rules to maintain them for as long as possible.
So, before making the plunge into the lash world, make sure you are ready for that regular commitment!
I hope you enjoyed my guide on eyelash extension retention. And now I’d like to hear from you!
- How often do you get lash refills?
- Are your extensions falling out too quickly or are they lasting a long time?
Please let me know in the comments below. And don’t forget to take a look at my case study to see how often other people come for a lash refill!
– Asako 🙂
Interested in learning more about lash extensions?
Explore my related guides & tutorials:
How Much Do Eyelash Extensions Cost
How Long Do Eyelash Extensions Take to Apply
Eyelash Extensions Do’s and Don’ts
Can You Sleep With Eyelash Extensions?