The cosmetic industry has seen it all regarding lashes—magnifying mascaras, “miracle” lash growth serums, heated curlers—you name it. However, no trend is more divisive as eyelash extensions.
When lash extensions first hit the mainstream market, they seemed like a relatively easy alternative to falsies or mascara for achieving wispy, fluttering lashes. But as with any newly introduced beauty service, lash extensions quickly revealed their drawbacks.
In fact, you ought to be aware of these potential issues before purchasing a set of your own. We’ll explore some of the most widespread problems associated with eyelash extensions and help you decide if they are right for you.
10 Drawbacks of Eyelash Extensions
First, you should understand that eyelash extensions are not bad for your lashes. They can keep your natural lashes healthy when applied correctly and cared for properly. However, it’s essential to know some hidden drawbacks of eyelash extensions to make a sound purchasing decision.
Eyelash application is not a cheap pleasure – and with a good reason: every successful lashing process is a piece of art performed by an artist with skills, passion, and expertise. Add some top-notch supplies and equipment.
The average price of a complete set of eyelash extensions ranges from $100 to $300, and the cost can go even higher depending on the type of lashes used and the salon’s location.
This is a significant investment, especially considering that you must replace a full set of lash extensions every four to six weeks.
If by chance, you’re on a budget or want to save some money, eyelash extensions may not be the best option for you.
The process of applying eyelash extensions is time-consuming, taking anywhere from one to two hours, depending on the number of lashes used.
You cannot have this service done during a lunch break or between errands. You will need to plan and make time in your schedule for a lengthy beauty appointment.
If you’re short on time or don’t have the patience to sit through a long beauty treatment, eyelash extensions may not be suitable for you.
3. High Maintenance
Once you have eyelash extensions, they require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best. This means returning to the salon every two to three weeks for a touch-up. If you neglect your lash extensions, they will become dry, brittle, and matted. They may even start to fall out prematurely.
4. Eye Irritation
Have you ever given the components of your eyelash glue any thought? It’s strong stuff, and it’s unnatural for sure.
Eyelash extension adhesives come from cyanoacrylate, also found in medical-grade superglues. While this type of glue is safe when used correctly, it can cause severe problems if it comes into contact with your eyes.
Cyanoacrylate is a known irritant, and it can cause allergic reactions, eye infections, and even chemical burns. If you are prone to allergies or have sensitive eyes, you may want to steer clear of eyelash extensions.
5. Eye Infections
Your eyelashes aid in preventing airborne particles from entering your eye. Can eyelash extensions accomplish the same thing?
No! In fact, lash extensions can harbor infectious bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), which can lead to several harmful infections.
These infections include conjunctivitis (pink eye), blepharitis (eyelid inflammation), keratitis (corneal inflammation), and sty (a white bump on the eyelid).
If you decide to wear eyelash extensions, it’s crucial to take precautions to keep them clean by using a daily eyelid cleanser and avoiding makeup, oils, and other products near the lash line.
6. Loss of Eyelashes
One of the hidden risks of eyelash extensions is a condition known as traction alopecia. Traction alopecia is a kind of hair loss that happens when excessive tension gets applied to your hair shaft for an extended period.
The constant weight of the lash extensions pulls on your natural lashes, causing them to weaken and eventually fall out.
Additionally, since the lash extensions are attached directly to your natural lashes, taking them off frequently causes the lashes to fall out entirely.
Eyelash loss not only makes you seem unattractive, but it also makes your eyes more prone to injury and infection. Your eyelashes help filter out debris, dust, and germs that might cause harm to the cornea, bacterial infection, and other problems, so keeping them healthy is essential.
If you wear eyelash extensions, ensure you give your natural lashes a break every few months to prevent traction alopecia.
7. Breakage of Eyelashes
In addition to causing hair loss by yanking out your natural eyelashes, extensions can also break your lashes. Your natural lashes may develop an uneven appearance as a result, which mascara may not be able to cover up. Some people choose to add more extensions to cover it up, continuing the vicious cycle of hair loss and breakage. Breakage of lashes may also occur if you rub your eyes or use an oil-based makeup remover while wearing extensions.
In addition to their undesirable appearance, broken eyelashes can be uncomfortable, leading to watery eyes.
If you’re struggling with brittle, broken lashes, it might be best to take a break from extensions and give your natural lashes time to recover.
8. Allergies and Reactions
Some eyelash adhesives contain formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, and respiratory irritant. This acidic substance, frequently employed as a chemical preservative in morgues and medical labs may be extremely harsh on the sensitive skin around your eyes and even trigger allergic reactions.
The most common allergy symptoms are severe itching and bloodshot sclera. This is the opposite of what you intend to accomplish by wearing eyelash extensions in the first place. Eyelash extensions are supposed to be a beautifying accessory, and the last thing you want is for them to draw extra attention to red, watery, inflamed eyes.
If you have your heart set on eyelash extensions, we advise using formaldehyde-free adhesives.
Reactions to formaldehyde aren’t the only type of allergic reaction that eyelash extensions can cause. Some folks may also be allergic to the synthetic materials used to make the extensions, such as rayon, silk, or mink.
If you’ve never worn eyelash extensions before, it’s best to get a patch test done on your skin to see if you react to the adhesive or synthetic materials.
9. Your Eyelids Can Stick Together During Application
Applying eyelash extensions is an intricate process that requires a steady hand, patience, and precision. If the technician applying your extensions is not careful, your upper and lower eyelids may accidentally stick together. Also, if you decide to go the budget-friendly route and attempt to apply them yourself, you might end up in a sticky situation.
While this may seem like a minor mishap, it can be pretty painful. In some cases, it may lead to corneal abrasions. Your eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of your body, and if they’re glued shut, it can cause a lot of discomforts.
If your eyes do get glued shut, don’t panic. Gently pry your eyelids apart with a clean cotton swab and rinse your eyes out with cool water. If the burning sensation persists, seek medical attention immediately.
10. Possible Permanent Eyelash Damage
While rare, you can experience permanent damage to your eyelashes due to extensions. This usually occurs when the adhesive used to apply the extensions seeps into the hair follicle and destroys it. This can lead to bald patches on your eyelids, which may never grow back.
Are Eyelash Extensions Worth It?
Now that we’ve covered some of the hidden drawbacks of eyelash extensions, you might be wondering if they’re even worth it.
Eyelash extensions possess the ability to give you long, voluminous lashes that are the envy of everyone around you. On a purely visual level, eyelash extensions make your eyes appear larger and brighter—the features evoke feelings of warmth and trust from admirers.
Lash extensions allow you to experiment with a variety of looks. You can experiment with various curls, lengths, and thicknesses to modify your appearance every time you get a refill, from doll eyes to cat eyes, kitten eyes, squirrel eyes, Kim-K eyes, and so on.
Eyelash extensions can also be a time-saver since you won’t have to worry about applying mascara or falsies every morning. According to a study in 2014, the average woman spent roughly 55 minutes applying makeup, and a good lump of that time was spent doing her lashes. According to The Big Fabulous Beauty, the time was cut to 11 minutes in 2020.
So, are eyelash extensions worth it? We’ll leave that up to you to rule.
If you’re considering eyelash extensions, do some research and choose a reputable technician who uses high-quality products. You should also clean your lash line regularly and avoid rubbing or touching your eyes.
While eyelash extensions can be a fun beauty experiment, you must be aware of the possible risks before diving in. Remember, your natural eyelashes are always the best option!