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How to Remove Eyelash Extensions: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to remove eyelash extensions

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Rumor has it that eyelash extension removal can damage the natural lashes - is it true? The short answer is no. As long as they’re removed correctly once you’re done with them, eyelash extensions can amplify any look, and save time and money without damaging natural lashes.

For those who already have eyelash extensions, this is a step-by-step guide on how to remove eyelash extensions safely.

IS IT SAFE TO REMOVE EYELASH EXTENSIONS AT HOME? 

Yes, taking lash extensions off at home can be safe, but only as long as you do so slowly and carefully. Understanding the risks of removing eyelash extensions at home with incorrect tools or techniques is important.  

If the extensions are tugged on with force at any point during removal, there is a risk of damaging the lash line or losing natural eyelashes. If you don’t trust yourself to take the time and be patient with the process, it’s better to go to a professional for removal. 

 

WILL EXTENSION REMOVAL DAMAGE NATURAL LASHES?

If done properly, eyelash extension removal will not damage natural lashes. Eyelash extensions are bonded to natural eyelashes, which is why many people pluck at the extensions and end up plucking their real lashes with them. 

To avoid damaging your natural lashes, it’s important to patiently break down the adhesive glue and comb the false eyelashes off, as we explain in detail throughout this post. With enough time and care, your natural lashes will be just fine! 

 

WHEN TO REMOVE EYELASH EXTENSIONS

Determining the right time to remove your eyelash extensions is essential for maintaining their appearance and the health of your natural lashes. Generally, lash extensions can last several weeks, but factors like your natural lash growth cycle and aftercare practices play a role. It's advisable to remove extensions when you notice a significant gap between the extensions and your natural lashes or if they start looking uneven. Additionally, if you experience discomfort, itching, or signs of an allergic reaction, removing the extensions immediately is crucial. Keeping track of your lash extensions' condition and heeding any signs of discomfort will help you decide when it's time for a safe and comfortable removal process.

 

PREPARING FOR EYELASH EXTENSION REMOVAL

Preparing for eyelash extension removal involves crucial steps to ensure a safe and effective process. Below are key considerations for setting up your workspace, gathering essential supplies, and prioritizing safety measures before initiating the removal procedure.

Gathering Necessary Supplies

Before you begin the eyelash extension removal process, ensure you have all the essential supplies within arm's reach. These include eyelash extension removers, microfiber brushes, and cotton pads. The eyelash extension remover is key to safely dissolving the adhesive holding the extensions in place. Microfiber brushes are handy for precise application and removal.

Setting Up a Clean Workspace

Creating a clean and organized workspace is crucial for a smooth removal process. Lay out all your supplies on a clean surface, and have a mirror nearby for easy access. A clutter-free workspace helps you stay focused and reduces the risk of contamination during the procedure.

Protecting Your Skin and Eyes

Safety should be a priority during eyelash extension removal. Protect your skin and eyes from any potential remover or adhesive residue contact. Using cotton pads as a barrier can help prevent accidental exposure to the remover, ensuring a safer removal process.

Proper Hand Hygiene

Before you start, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Clean hands are essential to prevent the transfer of dirt or bacteria to your eyelashes and the delicate eye area. Proper hand hygiene is fundamental to ensure a successful and hygienic eyelash extension removal experience.

A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE FOR LASH REMOVAL AT HOME

So, how to remove eyelash extensions at home without any lash damage? Here is the best removal method to ensure success. Don’t skip a single step since each one is essential to getting those extensions off safely and gently. 

STEP 1: REMOVE MAKEUP AND WASH FACE

It’s important to remove all makeup and thoroughly wash the face before doing anything else. This ensures dirt and oil won’t get trapped in the lashes or get into the eyes. 

Be sure to massage the face and eye area gently. Do not attempt to remove the eyelash extensions at this step, and refrain from picking at them. It’s too soon in the process and could damage or pull out natural eyelashes in the process.

STEP 2: USE STEAM

Steam is essential to removing eyelash glue. It will break down the adhesive and loosen the eyelash extension bonds holding the extension lashes to the natural lash. 

It ensures a pain-free and effective removal process.

There are a few ways to use steam:

  • Take a steamy shower.
  • Fill a bowl with warm water, place a towel over your head, and lean your face over the bowl to let the lashes absorb the steam.
  • Drench a small towel in hot water and lay it over your face.
  • Use a facial steamer. 

Any of these methods will produce a similar effect. Regardless of the method, make sure to use steam for about 10-15 minutes to gain its full effect in breaking down the glue bonds.

Eyelash extension removal steps

STEP 3: ADD WARM OIL AND SOAK

Now that your lashes are debris-free and the adhesive is softened, the next step for safe removal is applying warm oil to the lashes and lash line. 

First, put the oil of your choice in a small bowl and warm it up on the stove or microwave for a few seconds. It should be warm - not hot! Test it with your finger to make sure the temperature is pleasant. 

Next, dip a cotton round into the oil, close one eye, and gently hold the pad over the lash line for 2-3 minutes. Do not apply force, pull, or tug on the lashes! Let the oil work its magic. 

Be sure to keep your eye closed to avoid getting oil into the eye, as this can irritate or cause blurry vision. 

Eyelash extension removal steps

STEP 4: COMB AND REPEAT AS NEEDED

The last step is combing the eyelashes gently using a clean lash wand. At this point, the eyelashes should begin to slide right off the eye! 

However, some eyelashes may hang on a little tighter than others. It’s important to be patient and wait until those eyelashes fall off on their own. You can soak your lashes with oil one more time and try combing again but don’t attempt to pull on the lashes or apply any friction. 

STEP 5: EXPECT TO NEED A FEW DAYS

The next morning, continue with your normal face-washing routine and comb through your lashes again. If some eyelash extensions still won’t come off, a great way to disguise them is by curling the lashes gently with an eyelash curler and applying mascara. 

Repeat steps 1-4 at night until all the lashes come off and the adhesive is fully broken down. It may take another day or two, but your extensions will come off safely with patience.

 

THINGS YOU SHOULDN'T DO WHEN REMOVING YOUR LASHES

When it comes to safely removing your lash extensions, it's essential to know what not to do to prevent damage or discomfort. Here are some crucial guidelines to follow:

  • Don't Pull or TugAvoid the temptation to pull or tug at your lash extensions forcefully. This can harm your natural lashes and cause discomfort and potential injury to your eye area. Instead, opt for a gentle and controlled removal process.
  • No Sudden MovementsSudden, jerky movements while removing lash extensions can lead to accidents or misapplication of the removal products. Keep your movements slow and deliberate to ensure a safe and precise process.
  • Don't RushRushing through the removal process is a common mistake. Take time to apply the remover, let it work, and gently wipe away the extensions. Patience is critical to a successful and damage-free removal.
  • Avoid Excessive RubbingRubbing your eyes vigorously during removal can irritate the delicate eye area and potentially damage your natural lashes. Instead, use gentle, controlled motions.
  • Don't Skip Proper AftercareAfter removing your lash extensions, it's crucial not to neglect aftercare. Properly clean and moisturize your lashes to ensure they stay healthy and prepared for future applications.
  • Avoid HeatExposing your lash extensions to excessive heat sources, such as hairdryers or hot steam, can weaken the adhesive and cause premature lash extension loss. Stay away from heat during and after the removal process.
  • Don't Reapply Extensions Too SoonAllow your natural lashes to recover before reapplying extensions. Rushing to reapply them can overload and weaken your natural lashes over time.
  • Resist the Urge to Pick or PlayAvoid picking or playing with your lash extensions, leading to damage and uneven lash loss. Maintain a hands-off approach to ensure a longer-lasting and more comfortable experience with lash extensions.

NATURAL VS. PROFESSIONAL LASH EXTENSION REMOVERS 

The above removers will remove eyelash extensions at home using water, heat, and oil. However, a few professional lash extension removers on the market could aid in the removal process of stubborn lashes. 

If you’re new to eyelash extension removal or feel impatient during the waiting process,  purchasing a professional lash extension remover may be the right choice. 

There are different types of professional removers, and depending on the eyelash extensions applied, the best option could differ. 

WHAT ARE THE BEST EYELASH EXTENSION REMOVERS?

The top 4 kinds of eyelash extension removers include gel-based, cream-based, solvents, and oil-based removers. 

They all accomplish the same task, yet in a slightly different way due to various consistencies. Understanding the kind of professional remover that would work best per individual is essential to a successful removal process.

Gel Remover

Depending on the brand, gel removers can come in both thin and thick formulas. Existing Beauty Lashes Gel Remover is a great option for a gel remover as it’s an easy-to-control formula that will help avoid eye irritation. 


Pros ✅


Cons ❌

Removes those last few lashes that have been hanging on for dear life
May not remove all lashes in one application
A great formula for an eyelash expert who likes removing lashes individually with a precision tool such as a tweezer Certain formulas could contain harmful ingredients

Cream Remover

For those who are looking to remove eyelash extensions ahead of the typical 2-4 week wear, cream removers will work best.

The BL Lashes Cream Remover and the Yegi Cream Adhesive Remover are great options, especially for sensitive eye areas.

Whether a beginner or a veteran, cream removers are a safe purchase for all lash-wearers.


Pros 


Cons 

Known as the safest professional  eyelash extension remover
Could be hard to remove the cream after eyelash extension removal
Able to remove entire lash sets upon first use (results may vary)
Safe for sensitive eyes

Removes stubborn lash extensions

    Solvent Remover

    Solvent removers, although not as common, are known primarily for offering fast eyelash removal. However, it’s important to be conscious of the ingredients when purchasing a solvent as some may contain harmful chemicals. 

    For the more advanced eyelash wearers that are looking to experiment with this kind of remover, the Ardell LashFree Eyelash Adhesive Remover is a recommended solvent. 


    Pros 


    Cons 

    Fast removal process
    Can get into the eyes easier due to a thinner formula
    Some may contain harmful chemicals
    Not recommended for beginners

     Oil-Based Remover

    If the options above sound intimidating, an oil-based remover may be a great first step into the professional eyelash extension removal world. These removers are natural oils paired with other ingredients to aid in the adhesive breakdown process for faster removal. 

    A great example of an oil-based remover is the Baisidai Grape Seed Oil Glue Remover


    Pros 


    Cons 

    Easy to apply
    Not safe to get into the eyes
    Faster eyelash removal than natural oils 
    Different products range in thickness

    WHAT ARE THE BEST NATURAL EYELASH REMOVERS? 

    We recommend using oil to take off eyelash extensions, but it can be tough to figure out which to use. Below are some suggestions of natural oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, and baby oil, that will remove lash extensions. Regardless of the oil chosen, it’s important to minimize exposure to the eye and use it on the lash line only. 

    remove eyelash extensions with oil

    Type of Oil

    How To Use

    Olive Oil

    Dip a cosmetic pad into warm olive oil and hold over the eyes for a few minutes, letting the lash extensions come off slowly and without force.

    Coconut Oil

    Put a small amount of coconut oil into a small bowl and warm up for 30 seconds or less. Use a cotton round or cotton swab to gently coat the lashes in coconut oil for about 10-15 minutes. Gently comb through the lashes with a lash wand.

    Castor Oil

    Castor Oil works best as an overnight treatment. Apply to the lashes before bed and let it break down the adhesive bond over time. In the morning, wash the face, being careful not to get castor oil in the eyes.

    Baby Oil

    Baby oil works best when paired with steam, as do all of the oils listed. First, take a steamy shower or hover the face over a steamy bowl of water. Next, rub baby oil all over the lashes and let it soak for 3-5 minutes before removing. 

    Mineral Oil

    Mineral oil is essentially just baby oil without the added fragrance. If baby oil isn’t already in the household, consider purchasing mineral oil to follow the same steps, as this is safer for the sensitive eye area.

    HOME REPAIR PLAN FOR YOUR NATURAL LASHES

    If your natural lashes have already been damaged, natural oils, vitamins, and an improved diet are essential for a comprehensive home repair plan. 

    1. Use Natural Oils

    Coconut oil, castor oil, vitamin E, and olive oil are great for nursing natural lashes back to life and enriching them with moisture. 

    To apply, warm up the oil, coat the lashes and lash line in oil, careful not to apply any excess that could get into the eyes. Repeat every night for the best results. 

    2. Take Vitamins

    Some supplements that promote eyelash growth are biotin, vitamin B3, and vitamin C. Taking supplements can kickstart new growth if some lashes have broken off, become thin, or fallen out. Consider speaking to your doctor first to ensure you choose the correct supplements. 

    3. Improve Diet

    Incorporating iron-rich foods and natural proteins can aid in the natural eyelash regrowth process. Eating foods such as avocados, spinach, red meat, sweet potatoes, salmon, and eggs is important. These foods have nutrients to create a well-rounded lash repair plan and ensure a speedy recovery. 

    4. Try a Lash Serum

    When your lashes seem sparse, using a lash serum is an excellent way of actively improving their appearance. A high-quality lash serum will include ingredients proven to improve the look of lash density, making the lashes seem darker, fuller, and longer. 

    DIY EXTENSIONS: AN ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION 

    While waiting for natural lashes to grow back, DIY extensions are a great solution to look great while waiting until the full fringe is back. 

    The Lilac St. Deluxe Starter/Travel Kit is great for beginners as it includes all necessary accessories for a full DIY eyelash extension application: A customized selection of lashes, Clear or Black PRO Lash Glue, Primer, Crystal Coat, Ciao for Now Lash Remover, Travel Case, and Applicator. 

    For natural-looking lashes, the Natural Blooms set comes with 9 sets of eyelashes, a Lilac Lash Crystal Coat, and a Conditioning Primer. 

    To go bold and fierce, try Lilac St. Volume, Hollywood, and other individual lash packs, or save 20% off by ordering the ​​gorgeous, seductive Champagne Glam collection. 

     

    DIY Extensions

     

    HOW TO REMOVE DIY EYELASH EXTENSIONS

    Lilac St. has created Ciao for Now Lash Remover - a vegan and cruelty-free remover that removes DIY and strip lashes only. 

    This portable remover contains nourishing oils and collagen extract to help keep natural lashes healthy while gently removing lash segments.

    Its dual-sided applicator loosens the glue and combs excess clumps from the natural lashes.

    FAQ

    I’m trying to remove my eyelash extensions naturally, but they won’t come off. What should I do?

    If your eyelash extensions are stubborn, try using a preferred professional eyelash extension remover or visit a professional for removal. The adhesive may require extra attention beyond natural oils. 

    What are the benefits of using DIY lash extensions?

    Eyelash extension applications at the salon can be very costly, with some places charging as much as $200 for a full set. The lash line can also damage if the inexperienced technician applies the extensions incorrectly. When doing them at home, you have full control over where you apply the lash and can ensure you don’t damage your natural lashes.

    Can Vaseline remove eyelash extensions?

    Yes, it can! Vaseline is made of pure petroleum jelly, which aids in breaking glue molecules in the lash adhesive. Just as suggested with the other natural removers, apply the Vaseline after using steam. Coat the lashes and let it sit for about 5 minutes before combing with a lash comb.

    Does lash extension removal hurt?

    No, lash extension removal should not hurt. In fact, pain could be a sign that the lashes are being removed incorrectly, and the process should be approached with further caution.

    If you’re having trouble removing the lashes properly without pain, discomfort, or damage to the natural lashes, try asking a friend for help! It may be easier for someone else to see what’s happening on the lash line that could be causing pain or friction.

    How long does it take to remove eyelash extensions?

    It takes time to remove eyelash extensions from 15 minutes to a couple of days. Depending on the type of adhesive used to apply the lashes, how long the lashes have been on, and the method for removal, many factors will change the amount of time it takes to remove them.

    However, do not rush the process to prevent natural lash fallout. Rather than picking, pulling, or forcing the lashes that won’t come off, it may be better to try the removal process again the next day.

    What should I do if I experience irritation during removal?

    If you feel irritation during eyelash extension removal, stop immediately, rinse your eyes with lukewarm water, and apply saline solution for relief. If irritation persists, consult a professional for guidance and treatment.

     

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    Monica Bulnes

    Monica Bulnes is a fashion and beauty lover and writer based in the Greater New York City area. As a previous makeup artist with Sephora, Monica has a strong background in beauty and enjoys keeping abreast of industry trends and revolutionary products.