The Rise of DIY
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the globe turned to new hobbies and activities in a bid to keep themselves occupied, from learning how to bake banana bread to becoming self-taught guitar players. Not only did we have to find new ways to entertain ourselves, but we also had to fill the gaps left by countless industries being forced to shut down.
This led many to take a DIY approach to services they usually pay for – from haircuts to home interiors. In April 2020, Google searched for the term ‘DIY’ and ‘how to’ queries skyrocketed, reaching peak popularity. This, coinciding with the rise of TikTok tutorials, gave way to a questionable new trend: DIY beauty treatments.
The dangers of DIY eyelash extensions
One trend in particular which is considered a great cause for concern among estheticians and the wider beauty industry is the rise of DIY eyelash extensions.
With beauty salons forced to shut during consecutive lockdowns, lash lovers desperately missing the transformations created by their favorite technicians may have been tempted to perform the treatment on themselves. An at-home solution may sound like the perfect remedy, but the dangers far outweigh the benefits.
We take a look at the three main reasons you should resist DIY eyelash extensions.
1. Traction alopecia
Even the name sounds daunting, doesn’t it? Traction alopecia occurs when excessive tension is placed on the hair (in this case, your eyelashes) and causes them to fall out. While eyelash extensions are not damaging for our lashes when applied correctly, the process of eyelash extension application is not a simple one. There’s a reason lash artists go through extensive (and often expensive) training to become certified.
Attempting to DIY your lash extensions can easily result in traction alopecia, which can damage your hair follicle and, in some cases, completely stop the production of hair forever.
2. Lash adhesive
When used by a professional who specializes in all things lash health, lash adhesive poses no danger. But in the hands of a DIYer, the lash adhesive can be extremely dangerous. This is because of one of the key ingredients in medical-grade adhesive: cyanoacrylate. This is what helps to bind your natural lash to the lash extension – however, it must be handled with care.
If used carelessly – or simply by somebody who doesn’t know what they’re doing properly – you can suffer chemical burns to the eyes, burns to the skin, or be at increased risk of allergic reaction.
This is not to mention that the glue typically used by qualified lash technicians will have been carefully selected to ensure a safe and precise application. Attempting to use an at-home lash extension glue on your own eyes is a recipe for disaster and will likely leave you with a clumpy, damaging mess.
3. Application process
Finally, serious dangers aside, there is the aesthetic result to think about. Professional lash artists train hard to correctly apply for eyelash extensions, and the procedure can often take upwards of an hour and a half. Therefore, trying to master the application of lash extensions from watching a two-minute TikTok tutorial simply won’t give you the results you desire.
Not only will the extensions likely look clumped and messy, but you might also cause permanent damage to your natural lashes and/or eyes. When a technician applies for your lash extensions individually, your eyes are closed for a reason – it prevents any chemical burns and irritation of the eyes.
It would be impossible to expect anyone to be able to perform this on themselves with their eyes closed – even a qualified technician would struggle! Unfortunately, this means you’ll probably have your eyes open to help guide your application and, as a result, may cause serious harm.
Overall, as tempting as it may be to carry out this beauty enhancement yourself – leave it to the professionals! Whether you’re trying to cut costs or you’re currently unable to visit your lash technician due to the pandemic, we understand how frustrating it might be. But the answer certainly isn’t to take a DIY approach – the wait will be worth keeping your eyes and natural lashes safe and healthy.