Lash extensions have been trending for a few years and for all the right reasons. They’re one of the beauty tools that reduce the makeup time rather than increase it. But since the pandemic has hit, many salons had to shut down, leaving many more lash extension wearers in quite a rut.
If you got your false eyelashes done recently but want to remove them at home, there are things you need to know before attempting to do so. Can you remove eyelash extensions at home? Is it safe? What are the risks? How to do it?
You can remove eyelash extensions at home on your own. The most common method is using coconut oil or olive oil to break down the lash adhesive. That being said, it is always best to have your lashes removed by a professional to avoid any damage to your natural lashes. Professionals use a special remover designed to soften the adhesive bond.
Read on to find out all about removing lash extensions at home, the risks involved, the tools you will need, a list of oils to use, tips, and a stepwise guide for safe removal.
How to Remove Eyelash Extensions at Home (Step-by-Step)
To successfully remove eyelash extensions at home, you should basically do everything your lash stylist told you not to do!
Do you remember your stylist telling you to never use oil-based makeup remover?
Oils are notorious for breaking down the adhesive used when applying eyelash extensions and therefore causing poor extension retention.
Follow these steps to remove eyelash extensions at home:
Step 1: Wash Your Face
Wash your face like you would normally do. Make sure not to scrub your eye area as it may pull on your lashes and cause damage.
The purpose of this step is to remove any mascara or eye makeup that may have settled on the eyelash extensions.
Step 2: Use Steam
Fill a large bowl of water with steaming-hot water. Place your face over it and cover your head with a towel to keep the steam in.
Let it sit for a few minutes to loosen up the bond of the eyelash extensions glue.
Step 3: Warm the Oil
Get a small bowl and fill it with oil. Coconut oil will give the best results in removing lash extensions but vegetable oil, olive oil, and castor oil can also be used.
The next step is to warm up the oil slightly. Make sure that the oil isn’t too hot because you’re going to deal with the highly sensitive eye area.
Check the warmth by dipping your clean pinky finger. A mild warmth is all you need to accelerate the process.
Step 4: Soak the Pads
The next thing to do is soak one to two cotton pads in the warm oil. Once you’re done, place the oiled cotton pad on one of your eyes, over the lashes.
Let it remain there for five to ten minutes, or as long as it takes the cotton pad to lose the heat. Gently wipe your upper lash line with the oily pad and let the oil sit on your extensions for a few minutes.
Step 5: Remove the Extensions
Using the same cotton pad, gently swipe your lash line again. You should start to see a few lash extensions falling off and remain in the cotton pad.
I can’t stress enough that this process should be done extremely carefully if you want to avoid damage to your natural lashes. If the extensions do not fall off, do not try to pull on them. You will need to have them removed by a professional.
You can also check out this video tutorial from Dr. Dupa Wong where she used coconut oil to remove her eyelash extensions.
Should I Use a Professional Eyelash Extension Remover
Professionals use eyelash extension remover specifically formulated with very strong glue-dissolving materials.
A lash extension remover is dangerous if it gets into contact with your eyes. They should only be used by licensed and certified lash stylists.
There are two types of professional lash extension remover commonly used on the market: gel remover and cream remover.
The gel remover is typically clear with a high viscosity. Lash stylists generally use the gel remover for spot removal (targeted removal of a few extensions). The cream remover on the other hand is typically more viscous compared to the gel type and used for the complete removal of extensions.
These products are highly effective and can be purchased from professional beauty supply stores and online. They ensure the complete removal of the lash glue.
There are various lash adhesives on the market with different characteristics such as how strong the bond is.
Why You Shouldn’t Remove Eyelash Extensions at Home
We have covered a step-by-step method for removing lash extensions at home. But I think you should be aware of the risks before attempting the operation in the first place.
I normally strongly advise against removing eyelash extensions at home by yourself. Whenever possible, I recommend getting them taken off professionally.
As a matter of fact, the cost to remove lash extensions professionally is quite low when compared to the price of a new lash set or a refill.
Damaging Natural Lashes
I have seen several horror stories of clients damaging their natural lashes during the removal process.
Fun Fact: Poor application of extensions can also damage the natural lashes. Check out my detailed article If you want to know more common mistakes with lash extensions that can damage your natural lashes.
A common mistake is to pull or rub on extensions harshly when removing them. As this detaches the lash extensions by force, it might break the natural lashes too. I have also seen girls lose their natural lashes entirely after removing them at home.
Once your natural eyelashes are damaged, it may take several months for them to grow back to their original length and thickness. In such cases, it can be worth investing in a lash serum to grow the natural lashes faster.
Natural Oils Not Strong Enough
Although oils do break down the lash adhesive, most natural oils aren’t strong enough to remove lashes in one session. You should expect a couple of sessions to completely remove your extensions.
Because of the long time, it takes to remove lashes at home by yourself, you might end up pulling on your lashes and damaging them.
It’s common to lose many natural lashes or get weary from the lengthy process of removing eyelash extensions on your own at home.
Excess Oil on Skin
Excessive amounts of oil applied to your lash line can clog your pores. This in turn can lead to blackheads, pimples, and even breakouts around the eyes.
Risk of Infection or Irritation
Keeping your eyes closed while removing your eyelash extensions by yourself can be a challenging task. If you don’t have a steady hand, you might drip products into your eye during the removal process.
Coconut Oil vs Castor Oil vs Olive Oil vs Baby Oil vs Mineral Oil
Once you’ve realized the problems and risks that can happen with removing lash extensions at home, the natural methods are quite straightforward.
At one point, you will have to choose which oil to rub against your lash extensions to weaken the bond. Let’s look at the most common and available oils that can complete the job.
Can You Remove Lash Extensions with Olive Oil?
Olive oil is the ultimate oil for removing lash extensions and that’s why it’s a good pick for getting these false lashes out safely. For removal purposes, get some extra virgin olive oil and warm it up.
Place one or two cotton pads each on your eyes and continue as mentioned in the stepwise guide. Olive oil will keep your natural lashes healthy while breaking down the adhesive and holding the extensions onto it.
The catch is that olive oil doesn’t work fast as a lash adhesive remover. So, think of multiple sessions with soaking and rolling the q-tip over your eyelashes.
Can You Remove Eyelash Extensions With Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is great for nourishing the hair even if you don’t wear lash extensions. But it’s particularly effective when you use it for removing lash extensions using cotton pads.
Coconut oil even works faster than olive oil so you might take less than an hour to remove extensions on your own.
Even for removing super glue from fingers after use, coconut oil is mixed with baking soda as a household remedy.
As baking soda isn’t safe around the eyes, you can skip it and work with coconut oil alone on the cyanoacrylate that’s used in both types of glue.
Can You Remove Eyelash Extensions With Mineral Oil?
Mineral oils are often used as a natural means to remove eyelash extensions.
Even the Revlon remover for removing lash adhesives contains mineral oil. Generally, mineral oil moisturizes the skin and prevents breakage of hair due to its lubricant qualities.
Can You Remove Eyelash Extensions Using Castor Oil?
Unlike other types of oils, castor oil doesn’t break the bond made by the lash adhesive quickly. You need to dab it on your extensions and leave it for a while. Alternatively, you can reapply it over a few days to remove extensions naturally.
That being said, castor oil is one of the few oils that are famous for increasing the luster of eyelashes, making them appear thicker and glossier.
Can You Remove Eyelash Extensions Using Baby Oil?
Baby oils may contain a mix of mineral or vegetable oils. The latter may be a mix of coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, almond oil, soy oil, palm oil, sunflower oil, shea butter, and jojoba oil.
You don’t need to place the cotton pad on the eyes for more than three minutes with baby oil to start removing lash extensions. Watch out to prevent this oil from getting in the eye.
Tips For Removing Eyelash Extensions By Yourself
When you’re trying to remove lash extensions on your own, it’s important to be gentle throughout the process.
No matter which oil you’re using, you should try to avoid pulling. Instead, slide your fake lashes down with Q tips after soaking your eyes with oil-soaked cotton pads using a downward motion.
Also, keep in mind to use a snag-free mascara wand or a lint-free cotton pad to help out with the process.
Once you’re done with the lengthy process of removing it on your own, always make sure to rinse your eyes with clean water and a safe cleanser to remove any residual oil or trapped lashes.
Also, keep in mind not to collect lash extensions in the hope of reusing them. If you’re thinking about it, here are four reasons that will convince you not to reuse lash extensions.
Can I Remove My Lash Extensions Myself?
Yes, you can remove your lash extensions by yourself. However, the removal process will be much slower and a lot more delicate than if you went to a professional since they use professional-grade removal to dissolve the lash adhesive.
What Removes Eyelash Extensions Instantly?
A professional eyelash extension remover works the fastest. All other home-based solutions (coconut oil, olive oil, steam, etc.) will take longer to work and may not be as effective.
How Long Does It Take To Remove Eyelash Extensions?
Removing lash extensions by a professional will take approximately 15 minutes. If you DIY your extension removal at home, you should expect 30 to 60 minutes and you may need to repeat the process more than once.
How Do You Dissolve Eyelash Extension Glue?
There are a few ways to dissolve eyelash extension glue. You can use an oil-based or water-based remover. However, the most common and effective way is to use a professional-grade remover that is specifically designed to dissolve the lash adhesive.
If you can’t wait till the false lashes are shed with natural lashes patiently, removal might be even more difficult to pull off.
But when you have no choice but to remove lash extensions at home, it’s important to weigh the risks of plunging into removal yourself.
First off, depending on which type of remover you use, it can change the risks to your eyes, eyelashes, and skin. Your eyes may redden, your natural lashes may all fall out, and the skin around the eye may swell up.
Professional eyelash removers should never be used at home by yourself. The risks are just too great.
Natural options include oils like coconut oil, olive oil, baby oil, and so on can be a better choice if you’re an amateur. But keep in mind that you might lose a few lashes because oils are not as strong a remover as professional ones. You may need a little pulling to break the adhesive bond.
The stepwise guide shows how to use oil, heat, salt, and cotton pads to remove lash extensions over one hour each for one or both eyes.
Fun Fact: Did you know that salt from the ocean can also weaken the lash extensions? Check out our article about swimming with lash extensions here!
While coconut oil, olive oil, baby oil, and mineral oil are prompt with breaking lash glue, castor oil can take a few days.
Remember to avoid pulling on your lash extensions while removing them besides cleaning them well after.
If you’d like to talk to a lash tech about removing lash extensions on your own, leave us a comment describing your problem and I’ll write back.
All the love <3
– Asako 🙂
Additional Readings on DivineLashes.ca: If you want to learn everything there is about eyelash extensions, check out my illustrated guides on classic vs volume vs hybrid lashes, how to get natural-looking eyelash extensions and how to choose the best eyelash extension style for your eye shape. Also, my article on lash serums with eyelash extensions is a great read if you want longer natural lashes and keep your extensions.
- Beth Sissons (2019). What to know about castor oil for eyelashes? Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325541 (Accessed on 1-6-2021)
- Wikipedia Writers (2005). Baby Oil. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_oil (Accessed on 1-6-2021)
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