Woman with eyelash extensions

Long, lush lashes are something we all covet, but some of us have less to work with than others. If mascara just isn’t cutting it, many people turn to lash extensions. But are they really safe?

All about extensions

If you’re curious about this lash-lengthening option, we have the inside scoop on what to expect and how to make sure it’s done right.

To learn more, we turned to Christine Reed, beauty expert and owner of Christine Reed Lash Salon and Spa, for her take on the ins and outs of lash extensions.

Are lash extensions dangerous?

You can have permanent lash damage if the lash extensions are done incorrectly, Reed explains. “Lash extensions glued together at the base can cause your real lashes to fall out, losing multiple lashes at a time,” she says. “To put things into perspective, if you rip out a lash 20 times, the lash never grows back.” Yikes!

So how do you know if what you’re getting is safe? Before you commit, ask lots of questions. “Go to a place that specializes in lash extensions, not a nail salon,” advises Reed. “Be sure that your lashtician uses pharmaceutical grade glue and look at the lashes before they apply them. If they are made of plastic or feel heavy, ask for the most lightweight lash they have.”

Avoid a lash extension disaster

First things first; make sure your lashtician is certified. Once you get your lashes done, the best way to check if you have good or bad eyelash extensions is take a toothpick and comb through your lashes. If the toothpick gets stuck, you have glued-together lashes. This, as Reed already mentioned, can cause permanent lash loss. But if each lash is separated, the lashes have likely been properly applied, she says.

If you do find yourself with bad lash extensions, don’t wait. Do something about it. “Bad extensions should be separated or removed by a professional immediately. Do not have them removed from the same place that you had them applied,” says Reed. Another safety tip: Ask for the lash to be about the same thickness as your natural lash. If they are too heavy, it can really damage your lashes as well, she explains.

Getting it right

It is possible to get flattering, safe lash extensions. “If done properly, your real lashes will grow healthier and longer since you are no longer using mascara,” explains Reed. “It gives your eyes a lift without the use of plastic surgery. You look great first thing when you wake up without applying makeup, and it saves time getting ready in the morning,” she adds.

Expert lash tips

We asked Reed to share some of her top lash tips and trends for summer.

  • Never use waterproof mascara. The base of your lashes needs to be able to breathe so lashes can grow. Waterproof mascara prevents this.
  • Be very careful when using an eyelash curler as this can rip your lashes out.
  • Corner lash extensions are a very popular trend for summer, giving the corner of the eyes a little bit of flair. Another bonus, they are less expensive than getting a full set of lashes.
  • Adding a feather on the corner of the lash line is another huge trend this summer.

More beauty tips and trends

How to pull off neon nails
Cool makeup that will last all summer
Pretty Little Things: Summer beauty essentials


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Comments on "How safe are lash extensions?"

Ruby August 28, 2013 | 3:22 AM

Lash extension may damge your natural lashes. don't use them

Julie August 13, 2013 | 9:39 PM

I had eyelash extensions once for about 3 weeks, they did look great but always felt a little awkward, had them removed instead of refilled as I was worried about the way they felt. The woman who did them was very professional and skilled and certified and said my lashes would not change, but they are a little thinner and a little shorter, she said they would look completely normal in one month, it's only been 5 days and I see no difference yet, I am hoping she is right as she was so sweet and promised me she wouldn't lie. I just wanted to look good and not have to use mascara for a vacation, I am going to let my eyelashes rest for a month and then try City Lash for more thickness and length, has anyone used or heard of City Lash?

Carol August 01, 2013 | 11:53 AM

As we age our lashes get sparse. I am 66 and so glad ingot extensions. Expensive at first but upkeep is no more than good mascara. It gives a lift to the eyes and good for self esteem. Highly recommended.

Elenafigueroa June 07, 2013 | 6:56 AM

Well I got individual ones done and it look great it lasted for 4 weeks but at night it would bother my eyes because the way I got them done was like they glued mine from the bottom so it would look natural witch it did but it would just bother me alot I mean I got used to it.. But at the end make sure you get the eye lash remover cream .. B.c I didnt have that and I ripped out my natural ones and alot ..

Katie January 26, 2013 | 1:42 PM

A few of my friends had these and they looked awesome. They're wonderful for new moms - you don't really have to worry about makeup because your lashes look so great.

Morgan August 29, 2012 | 9:22 AM

I would love to get lash extensions, but like Reed has said, I am a little nervous due to horror stories. I will eventually get them, but they are expensive and not worth it to me right now. I will definitely look into some of the things she was talking about when looking for a lashtician in the future!

Emma August 16, 2012 | 11:44 AM

As coveted long lush lashes are, they do not sound like they are worth the risk! Could you imagine not having any lashed?! That sounds awful! I don't think I will go this route EVER!

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