You could swear some of your lashes look curlier a few weeks into your lash lift. It’s not as if they’ve suddenly developed an extreme curl, but you’re sure they look more curly than on day one. Is your imagination on overdrive, or does a lash lift continue to curl after you leave the salon?
Lashes don’t continue to curl after a lash lift. After the procedure has created a curl, a setting solution fixes the new shape. The lashes then keep the same shape for the rest of their lifespan. Lashes in their growing phase when curled might appear curlier over time, but this is an illusion.
If you’re sharp-eyed, you’ll notice that some of your lashes look like they’re developing a slightly more curved shape after your lash lift. But it’s just your eyes playing tricks on you!
Let’s get into myth-busting mode to uncover why lashes might look curlier after a lash lift.
What Makes Eyelashes Curl?
If you think your lashes are growing a little curlier by the day, 1) you’re super-observant, and 2) you’re not going crazy.
Although your lashes aren’t actually getting curlier, they can certainly look that way.
What’s going on?
These are 2 clues to unraveling the mystery:
- Clue #1: What makes lashes curl
- Clue #2: Lashes’ life cycle
Clue #1: What Makes Lashes Curl
A chemical solution applied to curved silicone pads called shields creates the curl.
The solution breaks down the protein bonds in the lashes to make them soft and flexible.1 The lashes can then be reshaped (using the shield as a mold) from down-growing and straight to lifted and curled.
The solution only works while it’s on the lashes. The longer the solution stays on, the curlier the lashes get (…if left on too long, lashes will be over-curled, so watch that timer!). When the solution is removed, the curling stops.
Next, a different chemical solution is applied. This solution hardens the lashes, setting their new shape. After 24 hours, the lash shape will be set. And this is the shape that fully grown will keep until they naturally fall out.
Alert! Your lashes won’t become curlier after your lash lift, but they can lose their lift and curl too soon if you don’t follow a few simple aftercare rules.
Clue #2: Lashes’ Life Cycle
The lashes you now have aren’t the same ones you had a month ago. Your lashes continually grow, rest, and fall out. Right now, some of your lashes are growing, some are resting, and some are about to fall out (don’t worry; more should take their place!)
Here’s a closer look at lashes’ 3-phase cycle:2
Phase #1: Anagen
Brand new lashes grow during this phase – getting between 0.12 and 0.14mm longer daily.
Phase #2: Catagen
After lashes have grown to their full length, they enter a phase where their follicles shrink.
Phase #3: Telogen
The lashes then have a resting phase before falling out.
Does a Lash Lift Keep Curling Your Lashes?
Now to decode the clues!
So, we know that the results are fixed a day after a lash lift. Lashes will only become curlier if you do something to cause this effect, like applying more chemical solutions or using a lash curler (they’re both no-no’s – you should take time between lash lifts and shouldn’t use a curler after your procedure).
We also know that lashes experience 3 phases in their lifespan, and not all lashes are in the same phase simultaneously.
Let’s put it all together to solve the mystery!
When you have a lash lift, some of your lashes will be growing, some will be resting, and some will be getting ready to drop. All of these lashes will be curled during the procedure.
In the next few weeks, the lashes in their final phase will fall out, resting lashes will stay pretty much the same (if you look after them), and growing lashes will get longer.
It’s the growing lashes that create the ever-curling optical illusion. They grow out straight, yet their tips stay curled, creating the impression of increasing curliness. This is a subtle effect (remember, lashes usually grow only 0.14mm at most a day), but detail-oriented lash lovers might spot it!
Lashes don’t continue to curl after a lash lift. They stop curling when the softening solution is removed and the setting solution has taken hold.
Lashes in their growing phase when processed, will grow after the procedure. These lashes will slowly develop a straight base with a curly tip, potentially creating the impression that they’re continuing to curl when they actually aren’t. Mystery solved!
- Kristeen Cherney – medically reviewed by Catherine Hannan, MD (2018). Lash Lifts and Your Skin. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/lash-lift-side-effects (Accessed on 12 September 2022)
- Jennifer Larson – medically reviewed by Ann Marie Griff, OD (2020). How Fast Do Eyelashes Grow? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/how-long-does-it-take-for-eyelashes-to-grow-back (Accessed on 12 September 2022)