Permanent eyelash extensions have surged in popularity as an easy way to make your eyes appear brighter and more open. Women everywhere are tossing their mascaras and opting for semi-permanent extensions applied lash-by-lash for a customized glam look. While lash extensions sound fabulous, it’s important to understand the process, aftercare, and costs before committing to faux lashes long-term. Read on for an in-depth guide to everything you should know before taking the plunge with permanent eyelash extensions.
The Application Process
The first thing to understand is how permanent eyelash extensions are applied in the first place. Consultations are typically recommended before the initial full set application to discuss the type, length, curl, and volume of lashes desired. The extensions can range from very natural and subtle to ultra-glam and dramatic. Photos are often reviewed to understand the look you’re hoping to achieve.
The application process itself takes place at a specialty eyelash extension spa or salon. Sessions can take 1-3 hours depending on the number of lashes being applied. During the service, you lie comfortably with your eyes closed as the certified lash technician works. Each individual synthetic lash extension is dipped into medical-grade, semi-permanent adhesive and precisely adhered to a single natural lash, about halfway down the length. Proper technique is used to isolate and attach the extensions evenly along the lash line. The extensions fan out slightly and curl upwards for a eye-opening effect. A full set can involve 100-200 extensions per eye!
The adhesive bonds the synthetic and natural lashes together, designed to last about as long as your natural lash growth cycle - typically 4-8 weeks. As your natural lashes shed, so will the attached extensions. Touch-up fill appointments are required every 2-3 weeks to replace shed lashes and maintain thickness and fullness. Avoid getting lashes wet for the first 24-48 hours after application to allow the adhesive to fully cure and harden. After that, just be extra gentle around the eye area.
Choosing Extension Type
There are a few different options when it comes to lash extension materials including silk, mink, and synthetic fibers. Each has their pros and cons. Silk lashes add a very smooth, natural look that is slightly reflective. Mink lashes are also very natural looking with a fluffy, feathery effect. They offer a lighter feel than silk. However, both silk and mink extensions require more maintenance and aren’t ideal for activities involving lots of moisture.
Synthetic fibers, typically made of polyester, are the most common type used. They are affordable, easy to maintain, and very customizable in terms of length, curl, and thickness. Synthetic extensions generally last the longest of the three main types. Consult with your stylist about what extension material suits your lifestyle and preferences best. A combo approach is also possible.
Caring properly for permanent eyelash extensions is vital for getting the most wear time and preventing premature shedding. Avoid touching the eye area too often or rubbing the lashes aggressively. Use oil-free makeup remover and cleansers around the eyes to avoid breaking down the adhesive bonds. When showering, keep your face/lashes away from direct spray. Apply eye creams and serums very gently, trying not to saturate the lash line excessively.
Sleep on your back or side to avoid smashing lashes. Use a soft, clean lash brush or wand daily to style lashes and distribute natural oils. Avoid waterproof mascaras or eyeliner which require tugging to remove. Never use mechanical eyelash curlers or pump/squeeze lashes. Skip perming, tinting, and coloring lashes while wearing extensions. The chemicals can compromise the bonds.
To keep eyelash extensions looking full and luscious, maintenance fill-ins are needed every 2-3 weeks. Your natural lashes grow in cycles, shedding and replenishing about every 30-45 days. As your natural lashes shed, the attached extensions will fall out too, leaving gaps. Fill appointments replace these shed lashes and reinforce the extensions that remain. Salons often recommend fill schedules based on your individual lash growth. Sticking to the recommended schedule prevents extensions from looking thin and scraggly as they grow out.
Trying to go longer between fills may seem economical, but allows too much shedding and compromised bonding for the new extensions. The ideal is replacing fallen lashes before gaps or bald spots appear in the lashline. Fill appointments typically take 45-90 minutes for your technician to methodically reapply extensions where needed. Over time, the refills add thickness and volume back to maintain your original desired look. Regular fills keep extensions fanned out properly along the lash line rather than clustered in groups.
Removal When Ready
When you’re ready to give your natural lashes a break, have a professional remove the extensions properly rather than pulling them out yourself. Most salons use an oil-based remover solution to dissolve the adhesive bonds. This allows the extensions to gently slide off your natural lashes with minimal pulling or damage. Removing them yourself can inadvertently pull out natural lashes too.
Many experts recommend taking a lash break of a few days to a week in between removal and any new application. This allows your natural lashes to fully relax and recover. Use the break to deeply condition and nourish your natural lashes in preparation for a fresh new set. Just stick to oil-free products during the lash-free period. When ready for lush lashes again, you’ll start fresh with a clean slate for ideal application and longevity.
One downside of semi-permanent lashes is the ongoing maintenance costs. A full initial application typically ranges from $150-$500+ based on factors like amount of lashes applied, salon location and technician experience level. After that, fills average $50-$100 every 2-3 weeks. Other periodic costs may include lash removal, touch-ups, and replacing lost lashes between fills.
While not cheap, fans of lash extensions consider the daily convenience and confidence boost well worth the investment. No more fussing with mascara, curlers, or temporary strips each morning! Just wake up with lush lashes in place around the clock. Multi-week vacationers sometimes opt for a lash removal pre-trip, enjoying bare eyes while away, then schedule a fresh application for upon return.
Choosing a Technician
The experience level of the lash extension technician makes a huge difference in how the lashes ultimately look and wear. Do your homework before selecting a salon or lash artist. Check their certifications, training, and licensing. Look for specialists experienced in the nuances of lash isolation, adhesion, fanning, and correct techniques. Read online reviews and ask trusted friends for recommendations. Browse before/after photos the technician has done to evaluate their skill and preferred styles.
Remember, your eyes are very delicate and lashes are attached right next to your eyeball! You want someone meticulously trained and certified in permanent eyelash application and maintenance. Don’t just go for deals or discounts without checking out the technician’s expertise first. Your long-term satisfaction depends on their skill. Consider scheduling just a test run of a few lashes first to sample a new tech’s work. Get a feel for their consultation process, isolation technique, sanitation practices, adhesive quality, aftercare advice, and overall vibe too. A pre-screening gives insight before committing to a full set.
The number one rule is be extremely gentle with your eyelashes once extensions are applied! Avoid excess tugging, rubbing, squeezing or curling them. Use only lash-safe, oil-free products around the eyes. Oil-based makeup remover and thick creams can break down the adhesive quickly. Don’t over-scrub the extensions when cleaning your face. Let any itchiness, irritation, redness or sensitivity subside before touching the area. Give your lashes extra TLC so they last their full 4-8 weeks lifespan.
Prevent lash damage by steering clear of perms, dyes, and tints while wearing extensions. The chemicals compromise the bonds. Don’t attempt to remove the lashes yourself or continue wearing them long past their prime. Avoid steamy showers, saunas, hot tubs, pools, and ocean swimming which can accelerate shedding as moisture compromises the adhesive. Be wise and your fabulous faux lashes will give you weeks of confidence.
Permanent eyelash extensions allow you to wake up with naturally gorgeous lashes every day, no mascara required! Understand the process, aftercare, and costs before embarking on semi-permanent lashes. Do your homework to choose an experienced technician. Avoid excess moisture and tugging on the extensions once applied. Get proper fill maintenance every 2-3 weeks. Remove them professionally when ready for a lash break. Follow these tips and you’ll master the art of faux lash fabulousness!