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Do Eyelash Extensions Ruin Your Eyelashes?

do eyelash extensions ruin your lashes

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Eyelash extensions can look incredible, and they can save you the need for mascara for weeks on end. But do eyelash extensions ruin your eyelashes? 

If they do, that would defeat the purpose of getting them done, no? 

Have no fear, in this post, we explain everything you need to know about lash extensions and lash health. As long as you do your research, your lashes will be just fine! 

Eyelash Extensions Probably Don’t Damage Your Natural Lashes

As with many cosmetic services, the reality is that there’s very little research on how eyelash extensions impact your natural lashes. Extensions and lash adhesives have been thoroughly tested for safety and irritation, but something like lash loss is a cosmetic concern that just hasn’t been examined. 

It’s very normal for the lashes to seem a little sparse after you’ve removed your extensions. Often, that’s just the shock of going from a full set of extensions back to your natural lashes. However, some professionals theorize that the weight and pressure on the lash follicle can lead to some lash loss. 

Even so, if your lashes are applied correctly and you practice good lash extension aftercare, your natural lashes will probably be fine, at least in the long term. 

What Is the Natural Lash Cycle?

To understand why it can seem like your lash extensions damage your lashes, even if they don’t, it’s important to know about the lash growth cycle. Our lashes, like all of the hair on our body, go through a cycle of growing and shedding. 

The cycle has three main phases:

    • Anagen: The phase of active growth. 
    • Catagen: The phase when growth slows down. 
    • Telogen: The resting phase when the lash eventually falls out. 

This cycle, from beginning to end, takes about 4 to 11 months. However, our lashes don’t go through these phases all at once, which is why it’s normal and natural to lose around 1 to 5 lashes per day. Even if you’ve lost a few lashes at once, let the lash growth cycle reassure you - your lashes will grow back. 

Do You Lose More Eyelashes With Extensions?

When you get extensions done, lash loss can suddenly seem pretty extreme, but that doesn’t mean that you’re losing more lashes.  

When a small lash falls out naturally (as we said - up to 5 lashes per day is totally normal) it’s easy to miss. When an eyelash with an extension attached to it falls out, you’re more likely to notice. It’s suddenly much larger, not to mention that it represents a big expense. 

Assuming your aftercare has been great and your lash technician is highly skilled, you likely aren’t losing more lashes with extensions - it just seems like it. 

What Ruins Your Natural Lashes?

While great lash extensions should leave your natural lashes in great shape, there are some factors that can lead to lash loss. 

Qualifications and Skills of Your Lash Technicians

Selecting your lash technician carefully is imperative for the health of your natural lashes and eyes. Uncertified or inexperienced lash technicians often make mistakes that lead to lash loss.

Those harmful mistakes include: 

  • Attaching one lash extension to multiple natural lashes puts too much stress on the lash roots, often causing lash fall. 
  • Choosing extensions that are too thick or long for the state of your natural lashes can put too much stress on your follicle. 
  • Attaching lash extensions to the skin rather than the individual lash can irritate the skin and pull out newer lash growth. 

When selecting a technician to do your lash extensions, make sure to read a lot of reviews, look at photos, and ask about qualifications, training, and consultations. That’s the best way to make sure your extensions won’t cause issues. 

Poor Aftercare

The next leading cause of lash damage is not taking good care of your eyelash extensions after getting them done. The process of taking care of extensions can be a little intense, but these are the pitfalls that usually damage the lashes: 

  • Picking or tugging on your lash extensions can cause your natural lashes to fall off more easily. 
  • Not cleaning your lash extensions regularly. This can lead to debris buildup that can irritate the lashline and follicles. 
  • Cleaning your lash extensions too aggressively or using rough cotton pads can also lead to lash loss. 
  • Not brushing the lash extensions can cause them to become tangled, which can put stress on the natural lashes. 

Check out our full guide for more lash extension aftercare advice, not just to keep your natural lashes intact, but also to keep your extensions looking great. 

Improper Removal 

The next factor that often leads to lash damage is incorrect lash extension removal. Once you’re tired of your lash extensions, it’s best to have your lash technician remove them for you. Even if you decide to remove your lash extensions at home, be very careful to take the proper steps, work slowly, and never pull on the extensions. 

remove eyelash extensions at home

Eyelash Extension Adhesive Type

Allergic reactions to eyelash extensions aren’t very common, but if you’re one of the poor few to suffer from them, that can lead to lash damage. 

Allergies are usually a reaction to lash glue rather than the extensions themselves. When they affect the lash line, they can damage the hair follicles and potentially lead to lash loss, not to mention swelling, pain, itching, and redness. 

It’s hard to predict what kind of reaction you’ll have to lash glue, so ask your technician to conduct a patch test before you get your extensions. Qualified salons will have a wider range of adhesive options, so you might be able to find a formula that works for you. 

The Type of Eyelash Extensions

If your lashes are naturally thin, dramatic lash extensions styles like Russian volume are much riskier. 

Volume is a lash extension technique where the stylist attaches multiple extension lashes to one natural lash. Depending on the thickness of the individual extensions, this can be pretty stressful for your natural lashes. 

Talk to your technician about your options and concerns, and consider getting classic lashes instead. 

How Can I Restore My Eyelashes After Extensions?

Once you’ve had your lash extensions removed, give your natural lashes some TLC. This is especially important if your lashes look a little brittle, damaged, or sparse. 

    • Try a lash growth serum. The only proven lash growth ingredient is bimatoprost, which you can find in Latisse. It’s been proven to help increase lash growth, likely by pushing the lash follicles into the active growth (anagen) phase. 
    • Use a non-medicated lash serum to help condition your lashes and nourish the lash line. You can use a natural plant oil like coconut or castor oil, or try a commercial lash serum like neuLASH or Vegamour
    • Take a mascara break. Mascara is known to damage the lashes and increase lash loss. It might be tempting to reach for it when your lashes look sparse, but taking a break will help restore them. 
  • Consider your diet. Healthy, nutrient-rich foods will help your lashes bounce back a little more quickly. In particular, look for foods rich in vitamin C, B vitamins like B12 and biotin, protein, iron, and zinc. You can also consider supplements, but it’s best to speak to your doctor first. 
  • Can I Get Lash Extensions Again if My Lashes Are Already Damaged?

    If your lashes are damaged, it’s best to avoid lash extensions, at least temporarily. In fact, a great lash technician will actually turn you away from lash extensions if they don’t think you’re a suitable candidate. 

    If the damage is very mild and you’d really like to amp up your lashes, you can try DIY lash extensions instead. 

    Do Eyelashes Grow Back After Lash Extensions?

    If you’ve noticed some lash loss after getting lash extensions done, we have great news: Your lashes will probably grow back! 

    It takes a lot to damage the lash follicle permanently. Your hair follicles will eventually return to the anagen phase, and your lashes will begin to grow back. 

    Finally, remember that lash extensions shouldn’t cause a severe lash loss in the first place. If your lashes seem sparse, it’s probably because you got used to the drama of extensions. 

    How Long Does It Take for Eyelashes to Grow Back After Extensions?

    This question largely depends on what kind of lash loss you’ve experienced. Each hair moves through the growth cycle a little differently, so in the worst-case scenario, it may take a few months for your lashes to resume their full glory. In most cases, your lashes will bounce back to normal soon after.  

    Do Eyelash Extensions Make Your Lashes Shorter?

    As long as your lash extensions were applied correctly, they should not make your lashes shorter. In some cases, overusing glue or applying the lashes incorrectly can put stress on your lashes, and may lead to breakage. However, this isn’t likely to happen unless you go to an inexperienced or unlicensed lash technician. 

    Should You Give Your Natural Lashes a Break Between Extensions?

    If your lashes don’t shed more than normal when you have extensions, there’s no need to take a break. In fact, if you love the look of your extensions, getting them refilled every 2-3 weeks will keep your costs low while ensuring that your lashes always look fabulous. 

    On the other hand, if you’re losing your natural lashes at a rapid rate or your extensions are uncomfortably heavy, it’s better to take a long break. Wait for a month or two while your natural lashes recover, and consider finding a new lash technician with more experience, to prevent future mishaps. 

    DIY Extensions Are an Amazing Alternative

    At Lilac St., we’re all about DIY lash extensions. DIY extensions save you the effort of going to the salon. They’re also a big relief if you’re worried about damage.  

    The DIY extension adhesive is not quite as powerful as the glue used for professional lash extensions. It’s designed to stay put for 5 to 10 days, depending on the formula, which puts less stress on your natural lashes. If there are any issues, it’s much easier to remove safely, without damaging your natural lashes. 

    All of our lash extensions are made of ultra-light vegan silk that won’t put pressure on your hair follicle. They come in a range of styles and sizes, from demure Dawn to dramatic Midnight. You’ll have no problem finding a set that’ll suit your taste and natural eye shape.  

    Final Thoughts

    When applied by a pro, lash extensions shouldn’t cause any issues. Lash extensions do ruin natural lashes only when something goes amiss, either with your lash technician or with your aftercare. So make sure to do your research, pick a great salon, and practice proper aftercare - the health of your lashes depends on it!

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    Maya Adivi

    Maya Adivi is a makeup artist and beauty writer originally from Toronto, Canada. She’s passionate about all things makeup, skincare, and beauty. She takes a science-based approach to writing, ignoring the marketing buzz in favor of facts and results.

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