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No need to constantly reapply mascara or struggle with tweezers and lash glue when eyelash extensions exist. Lash extensions are a fun and convenient way to enhance your natural lashes and effortlessly amp up your beauty routine. Lash extensions are a semi-permanent solution in which tiny lash hairs are glued to each of your individual natural lashes with an expert-level grade adhesive to keep them secure. But of course, similar to our hair strands, our natural lashes shed and are replaced when new growth occurs every few weeks, which causes lash extensions to fall out as well. But for those stubborn hairs, sometimes extra assistance is needed to fully remove all traces of an old lash extension set.
To ensure the health of your natural lashes, the removal process is just as important as application and maintenance. While there are a bunch of at-home remedies floating around the internet on how to remove your extensions, we decided to go directly to the source and consult lash experts to give us insight on the best way to care for your lashes.
Do lash extensions damage your natural hairs?
“This question is very common, and it is definitely a fair concern. When applied and maintained correctly, lash extensions do not damage your natural lashes,” says master lash technician and owner of NWLashes, Niya Whitlock. The right lash tech will educate you on best practices and products to protect your investment. “The best way to ensure you don’t experience any form of damage to your natural lashes is to choose an experienced lash artist and follow all aftercare protocols they recommend.”
How do I ensure my lash extensions stay on?
Maintenance is key. When it comes to lash care, there are many factors to consider, including skin type, makeup products, and lifestyle. Alyssa Capello, owner of She’s Yar Lash & Beauty Bar in Lathem, New York states, “Proper home care is crucial for maintaining lash extensions. It is essential to be mindful of your skin type and cleanse your lashes one to two times a day if you have oily skin. If you wear makeup, washing your lashes is necessary.” Those who frequent the gym should be taking extra care of their lashes, especially workouts that cause you to sweat a lot. “After sweating or going to the gym, washing away any accumulated sweat is important. Swimming in chlorinated or salt water can dry out the lash adhesive, so keeping lashes free from sweat, salt, chemicals, and oil is advised. Additionally, using a silk pillowcase can help prevent any catching or tugging of the lashes while you sleep.”
In addition to using the proper products, it’s also best to stay on top of your appointments. “Get the best retention by following all aftercare tips and scheduling all of your appointments according to the timeline instructed by your lash technician,” says Whitlock. “Lash extensions are a semi-permanent solution, so although we want to aim to keep them to last as long as possible, the average lifespan of a set of lash extensions is approximately two to three weeks before you will need to get them filled in.”
Will Vaseline remove eyelash extensions?
Vaseline has become one of the most popular at-home remedies for lash removal, but according to lash professionals, it is not the safest or most effective hack. “Vaseline can not break down the adhesive used in applying lash extensions,” says Capello. “Using Vaseline to remove your lash extensions can cause damage to your natural lashes.”
Though petroleum jelly might seem like a cheap and easy solution to slip off any errant lash extensions, it can still cause unnecessary fall out of your natural eyelashes. “It is safest for the client’s eyes and natural lashes to have them removed by a professional. This way, the client can avoid any irritation to their eye and avoid accidentally plucking out any natural lashes,” says Whitlock.
How do you safely remove lash extensions?
“Experienced lash technicians use a remover that is formulated with ingredients that dissolve and break down the adhesive while also keeping your natural lashes intact. The remover will be placed over the client’s extensions and after a few minutes, the extensions will glide off effortlessly,” says Whitlock. “Once all of the extensions are completely removed, a proper lash bath is next. During this step, a technician will take their time ridding the area of all products. Once the lash bath is complete and the natural lashes are clean, I always advise my clients to take a small break from extensions before booking a new set. This not only helps promote strong and healthy natural lashes, but it also helps clients remind themselves of their natural beauty,” she adds.
What products are best for removing lash extensions?
Now, we’ve all experienced those dire situations where there isn’t enough time to take a trip to your lash technician, and you need to take matters into your own hands. Who knew one of the safest alternatives could be found in your pantry? “If you need to remove your lash extensions at home, I recommend using castor oil or olive oil and letting it soak into the lashes at the bases where the bonds are located,” says Capello. “Castor oil will break down the adhesive’s bond, making it easier for the lashes to fall out.”
When removing lash extensions at home, what advice would you give beginners?
The general rule of thumb is to always book a professional to remove your extensions. “Many people have been successful with different DIY removal techniques, but that does not mean that it is a safe solution for everyone and we should never jeopardize the health of our eyes,” says Whitlock. “If you are considering removing your lash extensions yourself, I would highly recommend just letting them fall out naturally—as they inevitably will.”
Cappelo seconds this, saying, “I would strongly advise beginners to visit a salon for lash extension removal to avoid damaging the lashes or causing irritation. A professional will have the necessary expertise and techniques to safely and effectively remove the extensions.”
Meet the experts
Niya Whitlock is a Maryland-based master technician at NW Lashes.
Alyssa Capello is the founder of She’s Yar Lash & Beauty Bar in Lathem, New York.
Why trust ELLE Beauty?
As a leading publisher of fashion, lifestyle, and beauty content, ELLE.com is committed to highlighting the best products in various categories by personally testing the latest and most innovative products, interviewing countless experts, and vetting customer-loved items. For this piece, Tasha Smith consulted lash extension experts for advice on the best practices and products for proper (safe) at-home lash extension removal.
Tasha Nicole Smith is ELLE Magazine’s beauty assistant.