Sleeping with eyelash extensions doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, there are just a few simple things you need to do (or not do) to make sure your lashes last.
Also, make space for the perfect bedtime routine – your lashes will love you for it.
Let’s get down to business!
How to Sleep With Eyelash Extensions
Sleeping with eyelash extensions is not as difficult as it may seem. There are 4 key things you can do to help keep your lashes in place and looking their best.
1- Sleep on Your Back
The best way to protect your eyelash extensions when sleeping is to sleep on your back. Your lash extensions won’t face any pressure or friction by rubbing against the pillow in this position.
Are you a stomach sleeper? While it’s one of the most relaxed sleeping positions termed the ‘freefall’ position, it’s awful for your lash health.
That’s because you end up crushing your eyelash extensions.
Most sleep therapists define this pose as the ‘freefaller’ because it appears as if you’re freefalling or fell into the bed and forgot to move afterward. In this pose, you end up forcing your neck at a 90-degree angle.
That’s why it strains your muscles, joints, back, and spine. Ultimately, you’ll end up with a stiff feeling all over after waking up.
Truth be told, sleeping on your back comes with many additional benefits besides protecting your eyelash extensions such as relieving the pain around your neck or back, putting a stop to cervicogenic headaches, preventing wrinkles, reducing heartburn, eliminating acid reflux, and alleviating pressure on internal organs.
2- Use a Silk Pillowcase
What happens when you repeatedly brush your hands with the pillow, say a hundred times?
Typically, your skin cells will dry out and fall off. While this might be good for your skin, (called dry brushing), it’s not good news for your lash extensions.
“One of the biggest problem when sleeping with false lashes is pillows made out of fabrics like cotton, velvet, polyester, or linen.”
Just as it is not recommended to use cotton pads around the eyes for removing makeup, cotton pillows are a big no-no too.
For starters, cotton pillows are more porous and hence absorb all the moisture. They encourage rubbing coarsely on skin and hair which leads to premature shedding of eyelash extensions. Also, the rough surface of cotton is the chief cause of ‘crush wrinkles’ and acne.
The best pillow to sleep on with eyelash extensions will have a pillowcase made from silk followed by satin.
The trick is to choose a soft and smooth surface that won’t roughen your lashes when you’re napping. On top of it, silk is anti-aging since it reduces wrinkles and also prevents bacteria from entering the eye.
3- Use a Sleep Mask for Eyelash Extensions
You can wear sleep masks with eyelash extensions. You should opt for 3D masks that prevent compressing your extensions against your eyes. Standard eye masks will cause friction against your extensions and reduce their longevity.
3D masks are recommended because they leave a gap between the lashes and the mask itself. You’ll feel like you’re looking at a starless sky or inside a sealed pitch-black cave when you wear it.
Blinking your eyes or winking them vigorously won’t bother you throughout the night while wearing such an eye mask.
Cupped masks often look like miniature bras (example: Bucky Eye mask) but do the job exactly as you want it to.
Moreover, you can sleep on your side or your back (with your face tilted towards the side) with this mask without worrying about gluing your face to the pillowcase. On top of it, forget about investing in expensive silk pillowcases if you buy this type of eye mask.
4- Try a Lash Pillow
What happens if you start sleeping on your back but find it incredibly difficult to stay in that position?
A lash pillow is a U-shaped pillow that you can place under your head while you’re on your back. It functions by preventing your head from rolling off to the side and protects your lash extensions if you move in your sleep.
A U-shaped lash pillow is an excellent way to avoid tossing and turning at night.
What Happens When You Sleep With Lashes on and Are Not Careful?
It’s easy to damage lash extensions if you aren’t careful enough while dozing off. By taking good care of your eyelash extensions at night, you will avoid the following:
- Premature shedding of lashes: Natural lashes have a complete growth cycle of 90 days ± 5 days. Eyelash extensions take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks to shed on their own because they are applied on natural lashes that are advanced enough in the growth cycle to support the weight of the extension.
If you’re harsh with your eyelash extensions, they will get ruined and fall off faster than usual.
Constantly rubbing your lashes against a rough pillow will undoubtedly reduce retention and make them fall off.
- Loss of shape: When you sleep at untoward angles, you also apply undue pressure on your eyelash extensions. This happens when you press against them with the pillow or your arms.
When you do so, the extensions get forced inward even though synthetic lashes are quite flexible.
Such practices often end up changing the shape of the extensions, which can further flatten or deform their preset curls.
- Contaminants: Using pillows made of hypoallergenic materials such as silk helps reduce the risk of infections.
Other materials make it easy for bacteria, dust mites, and moisture to enter the eyes.
Can I Sleep on My Side With Eyelash Extensions?
Yes, you can sleep on your side with eyelash extensions if you push your head towards the edge of the pillow so that your eyelashes hang off the verges, no matter which side you’re leaning towards.
All you have to do is sleep in a way so that your lash extensions aren’t directly touching the bed or the pillow. This isn’t a failproof way to protect your eyelashes, but it might reduce a portion of the chafing, scraping, and pressure.
Having said that, if you end up rubbing your lashes against the pillow while you sleep on your side, you will cause damage.
Take a look at our client who came for a refill after 3 weeks. As you can see, the outer corner of her left eye clearly shows bad retention.
Can your lash tech often predict that you’re a side sleeper?
Let me give away a secret: it’s not magic that tells us how you sleep, but the condition of your lashes.
For instance, side sleepers mostly end up with lashes that are thin on one side (the side that you sleep on).
One look at both your eyes and we can see the abated side. The warning signs include patchiness, baldness, or thinning on one side.
If this is you, it’s high time you change your sleeping position because going in for lash refill sessions every few days is definitely not economical.
Pro Tip: Would you like to know how much people spend on average for their lashes? Check out my full case study on lash extension prices.
Can I Sleep on My Stomach With Eyelash Extensions?
You can’t sleep on your stomach with eyelash extensions because sleeping face-down means that your extensions will rub against the pillow. This will put constant pressure on your extensions which will cause them to fall out.
A gap or a hole in your lash line is inevitable and a typical pattern we observe if you sleep on your stomach with eyelash extensions.
If you take a look at this picture from the same client that was sleeping on her side, you can clearly see that gap.
How to Fix Eyelash Extensions After Sleeping on Them
Brushing your eyelash extensions after sleeping on them is the best way to fix them. Not only will you be able to detangle them but you’ll also give your extensions their original fluff.
Here’s how you do it.
- Place your lash brush at the top of your lash line.
- Gently roll the brush and move it downwards to detangle your lash extensions.
- Once you’re finished going through your lashes, you can also place the lash brush at the base of your lashes and gently brush in an upward direction.
However, if you experienced lash loss due to sleeping on them, you’ll have to go for a lash refill session.
Bedtime Routine to Follow When Wearing Lash Extensions
Getting lash extensions might take under two hours in a good salon, but it’s a long-time commitment. If you want it to make you look more beautiful than sick, you need to take care of a few things.
First off, you need a bedtime routine. Here’s a stepwise guide to help you adapt to the best one to increase the lifespan of your eyelash extensions:
- If you wear makeup, however little it is, the first step is to remove it gently with an oil-free remover before hopping on the bed.
- Brush your eyelashes and apply the least amount of eye cream as it can seep into the lash adhesive and reduce the retentiveness of lashes while you’re asleep.
- To avoid frequent tossing and turning, you should stretch for a few minutes before crashing on the bed. It works by reducing the pain points in your neck, back, and shoulders.
- Place a pillow under your knees and two under each arm to prevent rolling to the sides if you’re new to the supine sleeping position.
- You can also create a cushion barrier around you until you get acquainted with the back sleeping pose if you’re new to this position.
- After waking up in the morning, rinse your lashes with water and brush them with a spoolie wand to bring them back in shape.
Is it bad to sleep with lashes on?
Sleeping with individual eyelash extensions is perfectly ok but it is not recommended to sleep with cluster lashes or strip lashes because they are temporary solutions that are not meant to last for long periods of time.
Are silk eye masks good for eyelash extensions?
Yes, silk eye masks are good for lash extensions. They don’t absorb the moisture from your lashes like cotton eye masks. Make sure to use a 3D or contoured eye mask when sleeping with extensions.
How do you prevent eyelash extensions from falling out when sleeping?
The most effective method to prevent lashes from falling out is to sleep on your back which prevents any pressure or friction against your pillow.
Bottom line? Sleep is the best. Do what you can to ensure your extensions are protected so you can best enjoy your beauty rest.
It’s important to work out a good sleeping position and habit that doesn’t affect the longevity of your extensions. Taking care of them is crucial for avoiding premature shedding and retaining their curl and shape.
To ensure that your lash extensions stay intact for weeks on end, the first step is to adopt a good sleeping pose.
The most recommended position is the supine or back-sleeping pose and the worst is sleeping on your stomach.
But if you’re a side sleeper who can’t change the pose readily, try sleeping with the lash extensions hanging off the pillow. It will prevent them from crimping, pressing, and rubbing against the bed.
The next thing is to get a pillowcase made out of silk or satin to prevent abrasions. Such a hypoallergenic option will also prevent tangling and snagging of lashes.
Finally, start the six-step bedtime routine as advised above to catch your ZZZ relaxed.
While there isn’t any single solution that will keep your lash extensions intact for several weeks, the above tips will help them stay attached to your natural lashes and in shape for the longest time.
If you’re having second thoughts about anything, feel free to explain it in a comment and I’ll get back to you real soon.
– Asako 🙂
Would you like to learn more about lash extensions?
Explore my related guides & tutorials:
How To Shower With Eyelash Extensions
Eyelash Extensions Do’s and Don’ts: Avoid Lashes Falling-Out
How Long do Eyelash Extensions Last
- BBC Staff (2003). Sleep Position Gives Personality Clue. Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3112170.stm (Accessed on 22-1-2021)
- Sleep Happens Staff (2018). The Best and Worst Sleeping Positions For Your Health. Retrieved from https://sleephappens.com/blogs/sleep-news-and-tips/the-best-and-worst-sleeping-positions-for-your-health (Accessed on 22-1-2021)
- Medical News Today Staff (2020). How To Sleep On Your Back: Tips and Benefits. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/how-to-sleep-on-your-back (Accessed on 22-1-2021)
- Layla (2019). Sleeping on Your Back: Learn the Pros and Cons of Being a Back Sleeper. Retrieved from https://laylasleep.com/pros-and-cons-sleeping-on-your-back/ (Accessed on 22-1-2021)
- Jessica Teich (2019). Do Silk Pillowcases Really Benefit Your Skin and Hair?. Retrieved from https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home-products/a28037094/silk-pillowcases-benefits/ (Accessed on 22-1-2021)
- Maureen O’Connor (2016). The Eye Mask That Lets Me Fall Asleep Anywhere. Retrieved from https://nymag.com/strategist/2016/10/best-eye-mask-for-sleeping.html (Accessed on 22-1-2021)
- Sleep Advisor (2020). 8 Stretches for Your Best Night’s Sleep. Retrieved from https://www.sleepadvisor.org/stretching-before-bed/ (Accessed on 22-1-2021)
- Kris Peter. Can I Sleep With Eyelash Extensions? Retrieved from https://smartsleepingtips.com/can-i-sleep-with-eyelash-extensions/ (accessed on 22-1-2021)
What an informative article! I never thought I would find something so helpful. Thank you for sharing the pictures of your clients sleeping on their side or on their stomach.
Thank you Amy! Yes, these are very common patterns that help us educate our clients 🙂