Permanent eyelash extensions have become an increasingly popular way for women to enhance their natural lashes. Unlike temporary strip or cluster lashes, permanent extensions involve adhering individual synthetic lashes one-by-one to your own natural lashes for a realistic, lasting look. The results can be stunning, with much more dramatic lashes that appear thicker, longer, and curled. No more fussing with mascara or strips each day! However, permanent eyelash extensions do require some special care to keep them looking fresh. Follow these tips to maintain your fabulous faux lashes.
Permanent eyelash extensions are applied by a certified lash specialist, usually at a dedicated eyelash extension studio or salon. The process takes 1-3 hours, depending on how many lashes are being applied and the skill of the stylist. Each synthetic lash hair is dipped in medical-grade adhesive and precisely adhered to an individual natural lash, about halfway down its length. Proper isolation, precision, and technique are key to achieving the right look and longevity. The lashes are fanned out and curled to mimic natural growth. Dramatic “full sets” can involve applying 100-200 lashes per eye! For a more subtle look, fewer lashes are applied. The adhesive is designed to last the natural growth cycle of your natural lashes, typically 4-8 weeks.
It’s important to do your research when selecting a lash specialist. Make sure they have received proper training and certification in lash extensions. Ask to see before and after photos of their work. Look for neat, fanned out lashes that appear feathered and not clumped together in sections. Read reviews and ask for recommendations from friends. Find someone experienced who listens to your desired look and takes the time to properly isolate and apply each lash. A reputable stylist will also use high-quality adhesive and materials that minimize damage and reactions. Take your time finding the right technician so you have the best experience!
Arrive to your appointment with clean eyelashes and no makeup, oils or creams around the eyes. This allows maximum adherence. Make sure to arrive relaxed and well rested. Some studios offer soft paraffin eye treatments before application to soothe and prep the skin. Avoid caffeine, alcohol or blood thinners like aspirin for 24 hours pre-procedure, as this can increase bleeding risk during the tiny lashbonding process. Be ready to relax and keep your gaze downward during the 1-3 hour application. Your eyes may feel heavy once done; this is normal. Have a ride home planned in case you are light-sensitive afterwards.
Once the lashes are applied, the adhesive needs time to fully cure and set for a strong bond. Avoid getting the lashes wet for at least 24-48 hours after the application. This means no showering, swimming, steamy bathrooms, or crying! You must be very gentle around the eye area during this time. After 48 hours you can resume normal activity, just avoid directly splashing water in your face or submerging the lashes underwater when possible. If they do get wet, gently dab dry with a soft lint-free cloth.
Day-to-day you’ll want to gently clean the lashes to prevent buildup of dirt, oil, and makeup. Use an oil-free makeup remover around the eyes and cleanse very delicately with water. Avoid tugging or rubbing the area which can loosen the lash bonds before they shed naturally. Instead, use a soft lint-free pad or cotton swab soaked in cleanser to gently wipe the lash line. Remove all traces of makeup around the lashes each night.
When showering, try to avoid direct head-on sprays of water if you can. The hot steam can also work to break down the adhesive over time. Use caution when washing your face or applying creams and cosmetics around the eye area. Less is more when it comes to touching the area.
Be aware of activities and products that can compromise your new lashes. Avoid oil-based makeup removers, creams or serums around the eyes. These can break down the adhesive bonds quicker. Steer clear of mechanical curlers, perm solutions, pumps, eyelash tints and dyes while wearing extensions. Don’t pick, pull, curl or rub the lashes. All these things can cause premature shedding. Swimming, hot tubs, saunas and steam rooms will shorten the life of adhesive bonds with continuous exposure to moisture and heat.
You can still wear eye makeup with extensions, you just need to apply it gently and use oil-free, non-abrasive products. Use a light hand with powder shadows, soft pencil liners, and water-based mascaras. Gently apply and remove makeup using lint-free pads or cotton swabs, avoiding tugging the lash line. Never use mechanical eyelash curlers. When removing eye makeup, ensure every trace is gone to prevent buildup and adhesion issues.
Using your own natural oils around the lash line can help condition both natural and synthetic lashes. Very gently massage a few warm drops of olive, coconut or almond oil along the lash line before bedtime every few days. This mimics the natural conditioning oils of your skin. Just don’t overdo it, as excess oil can break down lash bonds quicker.
You can use an eyelash comb or soft bristle brush specially made for extensions to style and separate your lashes as needed. Gently brush through them like you would the hair on your head. This helps distribute natural oils along the lashes to condition them. Just be very light and cautious not to tug. Avoid using mechanical eyelash curlers or pumping the lashes between your fingers. The curling and pressure can damage the bonds before they shed naturally. You want the lashes to remain smooth and flowing, not crimped or flattened in sections.
As your natural lashes shed, the extensions will shed with them. Natural lashes typically go through growth cycles every 30-45 days. To maintain volume and fullness, you’ll need maintenance fill-ins every 2-3 weeks. The follow-up appointments don’t take as long as the initial full set. Your lash stylist will replace shed lashes and add new extensions wherever needed to keep them looking lush and beautiful. Be sure to schedule regular fill-ins.
If a fill-in isn’t done promptly enough, gaps in the lashes can appear or fans can flatten out and no longer look soft and feathery. Trying to wait longer between fills to save money can compromise the look. Go by your stylist’s recommendation for fill timing to keep the lashes in optimal condition. Come prepared to fills with clean eyelashes and no makeup/oil around the eyes for easiest application.
When the lashes grow out and shed after 4-8 weeks, a new set can be applied once the old adhesive loosens and remaining extensions are removed. Your lash stylist can remove them properly without damaging your natural lashes. Use only oil-free makeup remover in the meantime. When it’s time for a brand new set, make sure to start with a freshly exfoliated and conditioned eye area for optimal adherence. Give your natural lashes a few days’ rest in between removal and a brand new application.
Some signs that your extensions need removal include half of the lashes shedding out, the adhesive feeling crispy or stiff, flaking skin or redness around the eyes, substantial gaps between lashes, or discomfort and irritation. Don’t try to just apply a new fill on top of problem extensions. Have them properly removed by your stylist first. Trying to just fill on top of compromised lashes causes adhesion issues and poor results.
While semi-permanent eyelash extensions can last 4-8 weeks or longer with proper care, sometimes issues can arise. If you notice excessive lash shedding, gaps developing, irritation, redness, puffy eyes, or discomfort, contact your lash stylist right away. Don’t attempt to remove extensions yourself. This could indicate an improper application, reaction, or not enough isolated replacement of shed lashes. Your technician can safely examine, repair or remove any problem areas. Catching issues early prevents further lash loss.
With their ease, flexibility, and striking look, it’s no wonder permanent eyelash extensions are becoming so popular. Follow these care and maintenance tips to keep your fabulous faux lashes in top condition for as long as possible. Schedule regular fill-ins every 2-3 weeks. Gently cleanse daily and use only oil-free, non-abrasive products around the eyes. Avoid excess moisture, steam, tugging, and curling. See your stylist promptly if any issues arise. Your eyes will continue looking gorgeous and awake every day with a proper lash extension routine. Go flutter those new falsies!