How Long Do Eyelash Extensions Last?
Another FAQ I get for those interested in getting eyelash extensions is:
HOW LONG DO EYELASH EXTENSIONS LAST?
The two key components to understanding retention is the adhesive used and the lash growth cycle.
ADHESIVE + Cyanoacrylate
The main bonding agent in adhesives is called Cyanoacrylate (think super glue). It is the same bonding agent that is used commonly to suture wounds in a medical setting instead of stiches these days. The level of Cyanoacrylate (along with concentrations of other ingredients) is what gives the adhesive both strength, flexibility and longevity.
Cyanoacrylate cures with water. The relative humidity (rH) or moisture content in the air is taken into consideration when your eyelash extensions are applied. Some adhesives work better when the humidity is higher and some work better when there's lower humidity. Your lash artist should adapt their technique and amount of adhesive used every service depending on how their specific adhesive reacts to the current humidity levels. Ideally, we want the adhesive to slowly cure to the natural lash by the moisture in the air over an extended period of time for the strongest and longest bond possible. This is why we advise you to steer clear of water in the first 24 hours after your lash appointment (no showers, saunas, swimming or sweating). Too much exposure to moisture flash cures the adhesive and causes it to be brittle...think of a thin sheet of glass, easily breakable when pressure is applied. Same effect can happen to the adhesive. It can sound or feel "crunchy". In lower humidity environments (like desert climates or during drier months) a light misting of water from a nano mister or nebulizer might be used during or after your appointment to help cure the eyelash extensions that would otherwise not cure in a desirable timeframe and could possibly cause the lashes to get stuck together even after you've left your appointment since the natural levels of moisture in the air are sparse.
The concentration of Cyanoacrylate affects the "strength" of eyelash extension adhesives and thus their bonding power to the natural lash. There are sensitive adhesives that typically only last 2 weeks due to their lower concentration of the bonding agent. However, they have less fumes and for those who desire lashes and are sensitive to either the chemicals in the adhesive, this may be their only way of getting this treatment done without causing any sort of reaction or discomfort, but they require touch ups every 2 weeks. A stronger adhesive could last up to 6 weeks and there are some lash brands out there advertising their adhesives last upwards of 8 weeks! Thus allowing you to go 3+ weeks between touch ups.
LASH CYCLE + Shedding
So why doesn't everyone use an adhesive lasting 8 weeks?!? Wouldn't that be amazing to only need a touch up every other month! Sign me up! But to bring us dreamers back down to reality, let's talk about our body's natural hair shedding process. Even if the adhesive keeps the extensions adhered to the natural lash for 8 weeks, your lashes cycle like every other hair on your body, meaning they have a growth phase (Anagen), and separating phase where the root detaches from the follicle (Catagen) and the shedding phase where the hair falls out of the follicle (Telogen) and a new hair begins to grow (Anagen).
Image from www.manegain.com
So even when you get your first full set applied, there are lashes that are at the end of their cycle (Telogen phase) and will shed within a few days of your appointment. It's not due to the strength of adhesive or even to the lash artists' application method (although those can play a part in poor retention too), it's just a natural process of the human body. You lose on average 3-5 lashes per day. Thus after 3-4 weeks, you will need to get your extensions "touched up" or "filled" to keep them looking full and lush. Why 3-4 weeks (on average)? Let's do some basic math to demonstrate why 3-4 weeks is the magic number, industry wide, for scheduling your touch ups:
IT'S A NUMBERS GAME
Let's say a full set of classic eyelash extensions consists of 150 eyelash extensions (75 per eye). And let's say you lose 4 lashes per day.
3 weeks = 21 days
21 days x 4 lashes per day = 84 lashes lost in 3 weeks
150 inital eyelash extensions - 84 lashes lost in 3 weeks = 66 remaining eyelash extensions (33 per eye)
So over a 3 week period, you have naturally shed out a significant amount of your extensions and that's not even counting other factors that may affect your retention (including makeup, sweat, natural oils in your skin, etc.).
There are many factors that come into play that can extend your retention levels. Proper aftercare (cleaning your eyelash extensions and avoiding water on the extensions for the first 24 hours after application are two examples) as well as using lash growth serums or supplements that slow down the shedding cycle (such as Latisse/Glacoma Medicine or my favorite, Grande Lash MD). Age, hormonal fluctuations, change of seasons, certain medications and medical conditions, as well as oil levels in the skin also play a role in how long your eyelash extensions will last. A well trained lash artist will work with you, your lifestyle and retention goals to maximize the length at which your eyelash extensions will last. Some clients don't want to change a thing about their daily habits or lifestyle and are ok coming in every 2-3 weeks. Some clients will do anything and everything they can to maximize how long the extensions can last and some see results of only needing touch ups every 5 weeks. Every client is different and the results will vary. But the average Lash Lover can go 3-4 weeks between touch ups.
There you have the basics to how long eyelash extensions will last! Be sure to check out our other blog posts for more FAQS and eyelash extension info and if you're looking for eyelash extensions in San Diego, we hope you'll come visit us at Brazen + Bliss Beauty Lounge
In lash and in love,
Owner + Master Lash Artist
Brazen + Bliss Beauty Lounge
Eyelash Extensions + Full Body Waxing in San Diego, CA
Any other questions on how long eyelash extensions last or about eyelash extensions in general, please feel free to email me at Tara@brazenandbliss.com or use the contact form on our website www.brazenandbliss.com