Are DIY eyelash extensions ever a good idea?

Rimvita Marcinkeviciute
Rimvita Marcinkeviciute

Founder of RM Lash & Beauty and professional lash expert

DIY eyelash extensions will never be a good idea.
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The rise of DIY over the past 16 months is perhaps no surprise given that many of the services we took for granted were brought to a halt by the pandemic. With industries shut down and people largely confined to their own homes, it’s no wonder that millions across the globe have been trying to fill the void by taking a DIY approach to services they could no longer access – from home renovations to hair maintenance.

There has been a steep rise in the number of people searching ‘how to’ queries according to Google Trends, and the increasingly popular platform TikTok has become a breeding ground for DIY tutorials. So it’s no coincidence that when beauty salons were forced to close during national lockdowns, estheticians began to notice a worrying new trend: DIY lash extensions

With clients unable to visit their favourite lash technicians for a new set, it’s easy to see how some may have been lured in by the growing number of ‘DIY eyelash extensions’ tutorials across social media. All it takes is for a quick Youtube search or a scroll through Instagram and you’ll be presented with a whole host of short step-by-step tutorials. But herein lies the issue: these few-minute-long online tutorials lack the depth of knowledge and training required to carry out lash extension applications safely and properly. 

Here we take a look at a few of the main reasons you should always avoid DIY eyelash extensions:

1. Lash Glue

Eyelash extension glue is not to be messed with. Any lash tech knows this, and it’s important that you do too. The main ingredient in professional lash adhesive is cyanoacrylate – this is what helps the glue to bond to the lash. 

If you attempt to apply lash extensions to yourself, this likely means your eyes will be open. This can be extremely damaging to your eyes and can cause chemical burn. When you get your lashes done by a professional, there are a number of measures they take to ensure that your eyes are closed throughout the process – from using eyepatches to applying sanitised coins to those with flickering eyes in order to keep them shut. This is for good reason – they are protecting your eyes from the cyanoacrylate in lash glue. 

There’s no way anyone can carry out lash extensions on themselves without having their eyes open to see what they’re doing and where they’re applying the lash extension – even those who have been qualified estheticians for years couldn’t do this! So you will almost certainly suffer chemical burns when applying them to yourself. 

This is the first reason DIY lash extensions are a big no-no.

2. Traction Alopecia

Did you know that alopecia – a type of hair loss – can affect your eyelashes as well as the hair  on your head?

When it comes to eyelash extensions, if they are applied improperly, you can cause severe damage to your natural lashes. As a result, hair production can cease entirely, leaving you with eyelash shedding and sparsity. 

As somebody who isn’t qualified in applying lash extensions, it is highly likely that by doing them yourself, you will place significant tension on your natural lashes – a key cause of traction alopecia. 

To prevent damaging your hair follicles and potentially causing traction alopecia, always wait for a professional to apply your lash extensions. 

3. A sticky situation

As previously mentioned, applying lashes is no easy feat. In fact, lash technicians undergo hours upon hours of in-depth training before qualifying – it is an extremely technical process which requires a high level of precision and expertise. It would be ridiculous to expect anyone to be able to grasp the art of lashing simply after watching a short video tutorial. 

Therefore, the result of DIY lashes will most likely be a clumpy mess. Lash technicians are experienced in identifying which lashes are most suited to your specific eye shape, which length lashes to use, how to apply them safely to the natural lash, and which glue is the best to use. Unfortunately, you will likely not have this knowledge as a DIYer, meaning it will all be guesswork. 

Many lash glues dry in under 2 seconds, giving you little room for mistakes. If you apply the extensions improperly, you might accidentally glue your lashes together – this is a recipe for disaster. Lash technicians often use extremely sharp, professional isolation tweezers to ensure that they are isolating the lashes properly. 

If you are doing this from home, the chances are you don’t have the appropriate equipment to carry out this process! 

Leave it to the professionals

We hope this post might make you reconsider if you were contemplating DIY eyelash extensions. Yes, you might save money temporarily and yes, it can be a pain if you’re unable to visit your lash tech due to Covid-19 regulations – but is it really worth potentially causing irreversible damage to your natural lashes and eyes by attempting the treatment yourself? We think not! 

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