Eyelash Extensions- Pros and Cons
If you’ve ever considered eyelash extensions then this is the post for you! Read on to learn what some of the risks (and rewards) are to this beauty phenomenon, in order to make the decision that is best for you.
What are eyelash extensions?
According to All About Vision, eyelash extensions are semi-permanent fibers that are glued to your natural lashes to make them appear longer, thicker and darker. They are individually attached to each lash, and last the length of your natural eyelashes’ growth cycle.
What is the difference between eyelash extensions and false eyelashes?
Unlike false eyelashes which you remove at the end of the day, extensions last the duration of your eyelashes’ growth cycle- anywhere from 6 weeks to 2 months. You can also customize the look choosing the length and amount of curl that’s right for you.
What are eyelash extensions made of?
They are made of faux mink and plastic fibers, or natural materials, such as silk and mink. They are attached with medical grade adhesive to the base of your natural lashes.
What are the benefits to eyelash extensions?
The benefits of eyelash extensions include:
- Long lasting- anywhere from 6 weeks – 2 months, longer with maintenance
- Customizable- you can choose the length and amount of curl based on your preferences
- Waterproof- after 48 hours you can wear them working out, bathing or swimming- no more racoon eyes at the pool!
- Wake up photoshoot ready- you can wake up looking like you are wearing make-up
- No more mascara- no more smudges, raccoon eyes, or make-up runs
With this list of benefits you might wonder why everyone doesn’t run out and get extensions, but there are some cons.
Cons to eyelash extensions include:
- Price- the average cost of eyelash extensions in Toronto ranges but can cost up to $400 for the initial visit with recommended refills every 2-4 weeks for an additional $175 per visit. Cost increases depending on customization. You may spend close to $1000 per month just to maintain the look. You can buy a lot of mascara and false lashes for that!
- Maintenance- the initial visit can last several hours and with refills suggested every 2-4 weeks you will be spending a lot of time keeping your lashes intact.
- Safety- though there is debate and many sources cite that if applied by a qualified professional that they are quite safe, the Canadian Association of Optometrists has some concerns as noted below.
What are the risks to eyelash extensions?
According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, eyelash extensions aren’t regulated in Canada. This means you are at risk that any materials can be used and that anyone can apply them, without qualifications or safety measures in place. Risks include:
- Toxicity- Most glues contain cyanoacrylate compounds known to release formaldehyde which can be toxic
- Adhesive- If the glue touches the eye or comes in contact with the eyelid it can cause a chemical burn or allergic reaction
- Infection risk- Increased risk of infection if the surface of the eyelid is compromised
- Increased risk of dry eye– may damage oil and water glands
- Loss of natural lashes- increased weight may cause natural lashes to fall out
- Allergy- You may be allergic to the glue or materials used which can irritate your eye lid and possibly your cornea
- Possible damage to natural lashes
What to Consider When Getting Eyelash Extensions
If you are considering eyelash extensions be sure to ask for a qualified certified aesthetician with experience. Inquire about the types of adhesive that will be used, as well as sanitation measures taken. Be sure to specify you don’t want any formaldehyde based adhesives and that the glue should be medical grade so that it is sweat and waterproof. If they use nail glue, run. If the tools aren’t properly sanitized that is another red flag. Healthline notes that lack of proper sanitation increases the risk of complications including:
- Stinging and burning in the eye and on the eyelid
- Severe swelling
- Red or bloodshot eyes
Who should avoid eyelash extensions?
People with certain pre-existing conditions should avoid eyelash extensions. These conditions include:
- Trichotillomania– this disorder refers to a stress or anxiety-induced urge to pull out your hair, including your eyelashes.
- Eyelid dermatitis– a skin condition that causes eyelids to burn, and become red and itchy.
- Blepharitis– inflammation of the eyelid that leads to red, swollen eyelids and crusty eyelashes.
- Alopecia areata- a condition that causes full or partial hair loss on the scalp and may affect the eyebrows and eyelashes.
- Allergies or sensitive skin
Things to Consider Before Ditching Your Mascara
Eyelash extensions are beautiful, when applied correctly and safely. If you are ready to ditch the mascara, just remember that eyelash extensions aren’t without risks, maintenance and cost. Do your research to see if they are right for you and be sure to seek out a qualified, reputable professional to apply them. Otherwise, invest in a good eyelash curler (properly sanitized of course), and mascara.