Everything You Need to Know About Eyelash Extensions

We answer all your FAQs about eyelash extensions

Lash extensions take beauty that much further

First came mascara, then false eyelashes and now lash extensions are making a regular appearance in mainstream beauty. The promise of long, curled, voluminous lashes that last for weeks (and longer if maintained) is nearly irresistible. Not just for special occasions, lash extensions have entered our everyday expectations, thanks to super lashy looks by J. Lo, Katy Perry and the Kardashians.

In case you need a 101 on lash extensions, here’s the lowdown: individual lashes – synthetic or natural hair – are glued onto your own lashes, creating a dense, fluffy frame around eyes. Sounds great, but go somewhere with inferior products or less experienced technicians and lash extensions can be cringingly fake-looking and cause damage to your own eyelashes.

Click through for the scoop on what you need to know about eyelash extensions.


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Lash Extension FAQs

Will lash extensions harm my own lashes?

Done well and properly cared for, lash extensions won’t harm your own lashes. Horror stories of women experiencing clumps of lashes pulling out or seeing poor re-growth, most likely had multiple lashes glued together. Judy Anderson of Lash Lab stresses the important of isolating each individual lash.

Your lashes grow and fall out at different rates, but if glued together, the fastest growing lash will stress surrounding lashes and follicles. When the first hair falls out it pulls others out with it and re-growth may be compromised.

However, if extensions are glued on only one lash, grow-out isn’t an issue at all. Judy has Silicon Valley clients that are going on 5+ years continuously with her lash extensions, without any problems.

How long will they last?

The longevity of your lash extensions depends on two factors: your own lash re-growth rate and how well you look after them. Your own natural lashes typically fall out every two to five weeks. So if you baby your extensions, that’s what you can expect. If you want to keep them going, you can go for a “fill” at the three-to-five-week mark.

How do I take care of them?

For the first 24 hours, keep lashes dry to let the glue cure. After that, they’re waterproof – but not shower-proof. The powerful jet from a shower spray is a bit rough for your lashes, so best stick to splashing water on your face. In general, be gentle with your lashes, so don’t rub your eyes and don’t crush your lashes against your pillow at night.

Stay away from oil-based makeup and skincare. Oils will deteriorate the integrity of the glue and may cause lash extensions to fall out prematurely. And after washing your face, use a clean lash brush to comb through your lashes to help fan out the shape again.

How much volume can I get?

Judy Anderson encourages new clients to keep their expectations realistic. “Not everybody can handle Katy Perry lashes!” She explains, “I don’t determine the lashes, your lashes determine what they can handle… Your lashes are the ‘base’ for the extensions and if the base is weak, it can’t hold a thicker lash.”

So if you already have strong, plentiful lashes, you can have more, longer lash extensions. But if your lashes are sparse or weak, you’ll only be able to support thinner, shorter lash extensions and may want to consider the lightest option to achieve denser volume.

Also, if you regularly wear glasses, show your technician before starting to avoid having long lashes hit your glasses every time you blink.

Click through to learn the difference between mink and synthetic lashes.


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Mink vs. Synthetic: Which is Better?

There are actually three kinds of lash extensions widely available: mink, good synthetic and bad synthetic.

Pros of mink:

  • The final look is extremely feathery and fluttery.
  • Because mink is so lightweight (mink hair is actually hollow), it’s the best option for anyone with compromised lashes that might not otherwise be able to support synthetic lashes (ex: post-chemotherapy, post-menopausal, etc.).

Cons of mink:

  • This is the most expensive option.
  • Curl may not last as long.
  • There are lots of fake mink lashes out there, so ask to feel them before paying. Plenty of packages claim to contain real mink, but touching them should feel like you’re petting a cat, not a toothbrush.

Pros of good synthetics:

  • Excellent price point.
  • Technology has developed incredibly natural looking lashes that are lightweight while looking thick and dark.
  • Will hold its curl until it falls off.

Cons of good synthetics:

  • While much cheaper than real mink, they’re more expensive than bad synthetics.

Pros of bad synthetics:

  • This will be your cheapest option.

Cons of bad synthetics:

  • They look plastic-y and shiny.
  • They’re very heavy (which can cause damage to your own lashes).
  • Really bad synthetics can become deformed in hot water – one hot shower and your lashes might start crinkling.


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