With most of the world in quarantine, it’s safe to say that DIY everything is trending right now, no matter what platform you’re scrollin’ on. DIY bath bombs, dog treats, and sugar scrubs? We’re here for it. But when we scroll past “DIY” and “Lash Extensions'' in the same post… a small piece of us dies inside.
It’s been 6 weeks or more since your last lash appointment and we get it, you miss your lash artist, and your lashes! We totally know the feeling, and trust us, she misses you too. She’ll be so stoked to lash you again once the social distancing restrictions are lifted. However, in order for her to do that to the best of her ability, she needs you to leave your lashes TF alone for the time being. (And we say this with love!)
Here we’ll discuss the top four trending DIY “lash extension” alternatives, and how they could be damaging your lash line. Don’t worry though! Most lash damage is reversible, and we got the goods to help out when DIY projects take a turn for the worse. In order to fully understand the damage that can be done to natural lashes, we must fully understand the growth cycles. Read about them HERE.
As we’ve demonstrated in the blog above, each natural lash is on its own individual growth cycle. That being said, the number one rule in wearing lashes of any kind, is to never have two or more natural lashes stuck together at any given time. This can cause permanent damage to your lash line, and is the same reason we encourage everyone to seek out a lash artist that is properly licensed, certified, and takes their education and application very seriously. Our only bone to pick with many of the DIY alternatives to lash extensions, is that they’re damaging to natural lashes.
CONS TO DIY LASHES: TRACTION ALOPECIA
Traction alopecia is described as “hair loss caused by the hair being pulled the same way for a long time”, by Medical News Today. It is typically seen being referenced when speaking of the hair on your head, but it can happen to your natural lashes as well. This happens when many natural lashes, which we know each grow at their own pace, are adhered together.
“Traction Alopecia is a long-endured force of tension that causes scarring as opposed to a traumatic pulling out at once, so it occurs over time as the hair is going through the anagen phase. It happens when lashes are glued together and begin to grow out.”
-Tussanee Luebbers, LashCast
DIY LASH EXTENSIONS
We’ve seen marketing for “DIY Lash Extensions” but when checking out the product, it’s clear that they are not extensions, but cluster lashes. Cluster lashes have been proven to cause severe damage to natural lashes when worn for more than one day. It makes us laugh when we see cluster lashes marketed as “lash extensions”- don't believe the hype! We know that lash extensions are applied on a one to one basis. Each extension is applied meticulously to one individual lash, for reasons such as preventing traction alopecia. We won’t be using brand names in our examples for the privacy and respect of the companies who are supplying them.
DIY LASH EXTENSION SYSTEM
The first example, marketed as a “DIY Luxury Lash Extension System”, claims to be less damaging and costly than eyelash extensions. These are sold in a kit, and come with a tool to help the consumer apply the “extensions”. The lashes themselves are similar to a strip lash that has been cut into 6 sections. The glue, coming in both black and clear, can be applied using a small brush or a spoolie. The user is instructed to apply the glue directly onto the natural lashes. From there, the sections of lashes are applied underneath the bottom layer of natural lashes, and then are clamped together with the glue and natural lashes. Think of a sandwich made of cluster lashes, mascara-like glue, and the natural lashes - all smooshed together! These are said to be waterproof, and claim to be wearable for over 10 days at a time - eek! They claim that you can “be your own lash tech” by using this product. If we’re honest, this whole process makes us cringe. Knowing what we know about the natural lash growth cycle, we know this is a quick way to damage them.
Another example of these are good ol’ cluster lashes. Many times, these are marketed as being “eyelash extensions” that you can apply at home. Again, we myth bust another product that claims to be lash extensions! Cluster lashes have been the bane of lash artist’s existence for years. Somewhere along the line, someone had the genius idea of applying these guys with lash extension adhesive and calling them extensions.
This is - and we cannot stress this enough - a terrible idea, especially to be doing on yourself at home! Let us be very clear: professional lash extension adhesive can not be used safely on oneself. If these are applied with a semi permanent lash extension adhesive, these will surely damage natural lashes. However, when these are used properly and with a strip lash glue, they can safely be worn for a special occasion or event.
We’re here for getting glam when one needs an extra boost and lash extensions aren’t available or an option. Let’s do it in a safe way that keeps natural lashes healthy and beautiful! If natural lashes are struggling to grow after damage has occurred, a few weeks on a powerful growth serum will do wonders and bring natural lashes back to life!
Traditional strip lashes may be hard to apply, but they are less damaging in the grand scheme of things since they are only worn for a few hours up to one day at time. Thanks to new innovations, two new strip lash options have been added to the traditional method, and they may work better for some than the OG’s that use a latex based glue. They both involve magnets, and the way they are applied differ slightly.
A few years ago these hit the market and started a craze. Strip lashes you can wear without any glue? No mess, and less frustration promised - in theory, it sounds like a great idea. These strip lashes are pretty lightweight, and held together with 4 magnets. The user places two on one eye, one above the natural lashes and the other below. The two layers attach together with the natural lashes in between, similar to how magnetic earrings work. One downside we have found is that with only 2 magnets on one strip, they are difficult to contour to the natural eye shape. Being cautious in how these are removed is an important factor, being mindful that no natural lashes are yanked out in the process. These factors considered, these can be a quick, mess free, on-the-go solution.
ONE LASH STRIP THAT ATTACHES TO MAGNETIC LINER
Sometime after the magnetic lash innovation began, we saw magnetic liner strip lashes hit the market. While these do take a little more practice working with, the outcome can be neat. The user applies the liquid eyeliner to the eyelid, close to the lashline. Each strip has four small magnets along the base that attach to the liquid eyeliner. There are many brands, and surely each new version is better than the last. From our experience, these can feel a bit heavy and the liner is sometimes difficult to work with. It is a thicker formula than our fave liquid eyeliner pen, so we will admit to being somewhat spoiled when it comes to workability of eyeliner. All things considered, these can be a pretty, damage free option when applying them carefully and cleaning your eyes thoroughly after wearing them.
THE BEST SOLUTION: PROFESSIONAL LASH EXTENSIONS
We’ll never stop loving lash extensions. When they are applied correctly, they will cause no damage and in fact, can encourage natural lashes to grow, especially when used with a growth serum and daily cleansing. While we will always consider lash extensions the ideal option to effortless beauty that stays put 24/7, there is always room for other solutions for those who cannot wear extensions due to an allergy or sensitivities. The important part is to choose your alternative solution wisely, and understand how to use the product safely to create minimal damage. In short, there is no such thing as DIY lash extensions. The more you know…