Eyelash Extensions Pros and Cons
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Lash extensions are one of the most popular professional beauty services out there, but there’s a lot you need to know before booking your appointment. If you’re still not sure if this service is right for you, this post about eyelash extension pros and cons should help you make up your mind.
We’ll break down the advantages and disadvantages of lash extensions, and cover all of the main questions you may have about the procedure.
Pros of Eyelash Extensions
There are both pros and cons to lash extensions, so let’s start with all of the benefits that might tempt you to give them a try.
They Are Customized
Lash extensions are not one-size-fits-all. In fact, they’re almost endlessly customizable! Lash by lash, your technician has full control over the style, shape, length, and volume of the lashes.
A skilled lash technician will be able to create a style that’ll flatter your unique eye shape. With each refill, you might even be able to play around with the style.
Make sure to read a little about the most common eyelash extension styles, so you can be ready to communicate your preferences when the time comes.
They Cut Down Your Makeup Time
Lash extensions go above and beyond mascara. They have just the right level of thickness and darkness for framing your eyes beautifully, so they can seriously cut down your makeup routine.
They take over the role of massive time-sinks like false lashes, but they can also cut down your general need for eye makeup. You could easily skip eyeliner, eyeshadow, and (of course) mascara, and you’ll still look totally glam.
They Last for Weeks
Lash extensions usually stay put for around 3-6 weeks, although touch-ups are recommended every 3 weeks or so to avoid the need for a brand new set. Even if you just want lash extensions as a one-off, they’re still the most long-lasting method of enhancing your lashes. That means at least a few weeks without having to worry about mascara or falsies.
They Are Waterproof
While you do have to avoid water for the first few days after getting lash extensions, they’re otherwise waterproof. They’re perfect for pool and beach lovers who want to always look glam!
If you have a vacation coming up, you can rest assured that your lash extensions will stay put and keep your eyes framed beautifully. Just make sure to book your appointment for at least 3 to 4 days before you’ll get in the water.
The Procedure Is Easy and Pain-Free
Your actual lash extensions appointment will be pretty easy. Assuming you don’t have any allergies or sensitivities, the procedure should be comfortable and painless. All you need to do is lie back and relax while someone else does all of the hard work!
If you do experience any itchiness or pain during your lash extension appointment, it could be a sign that you have an allergy or sensitivity to the glue. It isn’t normal, so let your technician know if something like that is happening.
Never Worry About Mascara Again
Or rather, don’t worry about mascara for as long as you keep your eyelash extensions. Lash extensions and mascara don’t play well together. The good news is that once you get lash extensions, you won’t need mascara at all. If you find mascara annoying, smudgy, or just annoying, it’s a wonderful lifestyle upgrade.
Cons of Eyelash Extensions
So that’s it for advantages. Now, let’s get into the less fun stuff - these are the main disadvantages of eyelash extensions.
The Procedure Is Pricey
Beauty costs money, but how much can you really afford to spend? Lash extensions can be a pretty significant expense, especially if you want to maintain yours over a long period of time.
An initial appointment for a full set usually costs around $150-$350 depending on the style, while refills can cost between $50-$200. Considering the need for monthly refills, that can mean spending upwards of $2500 per year on your lashes alone.
The prices also depend on where you’re located and the reputation of the salon you choose. You may occasionally find good deals from reputable salons, but in general, you get what you pay for when it comes to lash extensions.
There’s a Risk of Infections
While lash extensions are generally considered quite safe, there is still some risk of complications that you need to be aware of. Infections are the worst potential outcome of lash extensions. An eye infection can hurt, cause your eyes to swell up, and in the worst cases, it can even lead to blindness.
However, an infection is more likely to occur if you don’t go to a reputable, certified eyelash technician. Poor hygiene is the main culprit behind infections, and it’s more likely to happen if you go to an untrained tech who doesn’t know how to properly sterilize their equipment or doesn’t care enough to take important safety precautions.
You Also Need to Consider Allergic Reactions
Allergic reactions to eyelash extensions are thankfully not very common, but they can happen even if you go to an experienced technician. If you do have an allergic reaction, your eyes may start to water, become itchy, swell up, or even feel a little painful.
The reaction should subside once you remove the lash extensions. Normally, the reaction is to the glue rather than the extensions themselves. If you’re worried, ask your technician to conduct a patch test before starting the procedure.
Extensions May Affect Your Natural Lashes
One of the most common concerns people have is whether lash extensions will ruin their real lashes. The reality is that we don’t really know, since no one has ever done a systematic study on the matter. There is a theory that extensions put stress on the natural lashes, which can lead to lash loss, but whether it’s true or not isn’t clear.
What we do know for sure is that there are certain lash extension mistakes that can lead to lash damage. On your lash technician’s part, those mistakes include applying more extensions or glue than your lash line can handle or clumping two or more of your natural lashes to one extension instead of isolating them correctly. Incorrect aftercare, like failure to clean or brush your extensions, can also lead to damage to your natural lashes.
You Need to Take Care of Them Properly
Eyelash extensions aftercare is an intricate process. Some people, find aftercare easy, but if you're the low-maintenance type, you’ll quickly discover that extensions aren’t necessarily as low-maintenance as you hoped.
You have to be so careful to avoid water in the early days. Later on, you have to be careful about how you touch your eyes, how you sleep, and how you remove your makeup. You’ll also have to get in the habit of washing and detangling your lashes on a daily basis.
Appointments Are Time-Consuming
Life can be hectic, and monthly lash extension appointments don’t always fit in neatly.
Your first extension appointment will always be the longest, taking between 2 and 3 hours. Afterward, refill appointments will usually take around 30 minutes to an hour. That’s without taking into account the time you spend traveling to and from your salon.
As a one-off, it’s not a big deal, but if you lead a busy lifestyle, it can get difficult to find the time every month.
Say Goodbye to Your Favorite Eye Cream
A big part of lash extension aftercare is avoiding oily products that can compromise the lash adhesive glue. That includes both skincare and makeup. While you can definitely find extension-safe products, it can be a whole new expense.
Plus, finding skincare products that work with your skin can be difficult enough, so you may not want to give up on their “Holy Grail” just because of extensions.
Makeup Does Become a Problem
If you’re a makeup lover, you may want to think twice about extensions. Technically, you should still be able to wear eyeshadow and non-waterproof eyeliner even once you get your lash extensions done. In practice, it’s not that simple, and the extensions can still get in the way.
Can you imagine trying to apply your eyeshadow with a big set of falsies already on your eyes? That’s basically what the experience is like with extensions. With eyeliner, you’ll have to be careful not to accidentally pull off any extensions while you’re applying it.
Then, actually removing your makeup at the end of the night can be difficult, since so many makeup removers can compromise the extension adhesive.
They Are Not the Most Comfortable Thing!
This final disadvantage of lash extensions really depends on you as a person. People who can handle wearing contacts all day or wearing big sets of falsies probably won’t have an issue with extensions.
For others, however, they can feel pretty heavy and uncomfortable, especially at the start. Their weight on your lash line might even make you feel sleepy. A lot of people power through and get used to extensions, but for others, the annoyance lasts.
What Can I Try Instead of Eyelash Extensions?
After learning about all of the eyelash extensions pros and cons, it makes sense to wonder what else is out there. There are a lot of other types of false lashes and enhancements that you can consider before making a final decision.
DIY extensions are the closest alternative to lash extensions, and they save you a lot of time and money. At Lilac St., our DIY extensions come in easy-to-apply clusters that you can customize at home.
The adhesive for DIY extensions is excellent for long-lasting lashes. It’s not quite as intense as professional adhesive, so it’s often a little gentle on the eyes, as well. We have two formulas - the original Extension Glue which lasts for up to 5 days, and the Pro Glue which lasts for up to 10 days.
False lashes are another option, especially if the idea of having extensions on for many days in a row sounds uncomfortable. They’ll enhance your lashes for a short period of time, and they’re a great addition to any makeup look.
They only stay for as long as you have makeup on, so they’re easy to apply and remove all by yourself. Strip lashes are quickest and easiest to apply. Clusters and flare lashes give a more natural and customizable look, although they’re a bit more time consuming.
When to Avoid Eyelash Extensions?
Considering all of the pros and cons of lash extensions, here are some circumstances when you may want to avoid them:
You absolutely have to avoid lash extensions if your eyes are experiencing irritation, including dermatitis flair-ups, styes, adhesive allergies, or blepharitis.
- If you have eczema, alopecia, or sensitive eyes then you may want to avoid extensions altogether. Speak to your doctor before deciding to go through with it, and make sure to conduct a patch test before committing to the procedure.
- If you’re on a tight budget, the expense of professional extensions might be hard to justify, and you’ll be better off searching for more cost-effective alternatives.
- If you’re too busy to get refills, it’s better to choose something that’s easier to do by yourself at home, like DIY extensions.
- If you’re not great at developing new habits and might have issues following proper aftercare, your lash extensions will probably not last as long and the costs won’t be worthwhile.
What to Do Before the Procedure?
There’s not a lot you need to do before your eyelash extension appointment, assuming you’ve taken your time to choose the perfect technician. Definitely make sure that the skin around your eyes is clean, and that you’ve set aside enough time to be able to relax through your appointment.
Remember - you’ll be lying down for at least a couple of hours. Plan ahead with comfortable clothes, and download your favorite podcasts so you’ll have something to listen to.
What Can You Not Do After Eyelash Extension?
Here are some important things to avoid after getting lash extensions:
- Make sure not to get your lashes wet while the adhesive is curing (normally 24-48 hours, although it depends on the glue). That means avoiding showers, the sauna, pool, and gym, and remembering to carry an umbrella with you if there’s a chance of rain.
- Once you can shower again, avoid putting your face directly under the stream or the pressure may remove your extensions.
- Avoid touching or pulling on your new extensions.
- Stop using oily products around the eyes like eye creams or oily makeup removers.
- Stop wearing mascara (unless it’s advertised as extension-safe) as well as waterproof eyeliner.
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach, since you may end up losing some lashes as they rub against the pillow.
How to Take Care of Eyelashes?
There’s a lot to avoid when you have extensions, but taking care of them is actually pretty easy.
Once you can expose your extensions to water, make sure to wash your lashes every day with an extension-safe cleanser. Our Lash Bath Kit will work with both professional and DIY extensions.
Then, detangle your lashes once or twice a day, especially day after cleansing them. You can use a clean mascara spoolie or a lash brush, and just wiggle it through your lashes as though you’re applying mascara.
Do Lash Extensions Harm Lashes?
As we touched on earlier, the jury is still out on this one. While most lash technicians maintain that lash extensions are perfectly safe. It’s normal to lose up to 5 lashes per day, but it can just seem more extreme when those lashes are enhanced by an extension.
However, there is the possibility that the weight of the extensions may put some stress on your natural lashes. Some people have no issues, and others find that their lashes seem sparse after removing their lash extensions. If you choose your lash technician carefully, that should mitigate most of the risk.
Is There an Age Requirement for Getting Eyelash Extensions?
Most salons won’t do lash extensions on anyone under the age of 16. Clients under the age of 18 will usually need parental consent before they can undergo the procedure.
Are Eyelash Extensions Safe?
When done by an experienced professional, eyelash extensions are mostly safe! Most of the risks come from allergies to lash extension adhesives, which can lead to swelling and eye irritation. That’s why we always recommend doing a patch test with the glue before getting your lash extensions done.
Otherwise, as long your technician practices good hygiene and uses high-quality materials, there should be no risks.
Can I Wear Makeup to My Eyelash Extension Appointment?
While face makeup is fine, it’s better to avoid any eye makeup when you go into your lash extension appointment. Mascara and eyeliner are the biggest no-no because they’re difficult to remove. You’ll also need to remove eyeshadow and concealer before your appointment starts - chances are your lash technician will have some makeup remover on hand.
Ultimately, there are plenty of advantages and disadvantages to eyelash extensions. On the pro side, they look great for a long period of time and they can save you a lot of effort. On the con side, they’re not without their risks and hassles, not to mention they can be very costly.
Now that you understand exactly what goes into having lash extensions, you should have an easier time deciding if they’re right for you. You can’t go wrong as long as you do your due diligence!
If you decide they’re not a fit, the good news is that you have plenty of alternatives, including Lilac St. DIY extensions.