Can False Eyelashes Damage Natural Lashes?

By Yvonne Van Damme

False eyelashes are a cosmetic enhancement used to create the appearance of full and lush eyelashes. False eyelashes come in a variety of materials, colors and lengths--from short to dramatically long. They are fastened on top of the natural lash using an adhesive material. If applied or removed incorrectly, false eyelashes can damage natural lashes. Even with correct application, overuse can cause damage to natural lashes.

Makeup close-up. Eyebrow makeup. Eyelash extension.
credit: vitalssss/iStock/GettyImages

Types

There are a few general types of false eyelashes. The majority are made from synthetic materials mixed with silk, while the more luxurious ones are made from fox hair. Fox hair lashes are very expensive—about $1,000 per set—while standard false lashes cost between $5 and $40 per set. Strip lashes are applied to the entire length of the eye and individual false lashes are placed individually along the lash line.

Type of eyelash glue determines how long fake lashes will stay in place. Standard white glue dries clear and lasts for one to two days. There are also longer-lasting glues that can keep lashes in place for up to a week or more. This type of glue is generally made for individual lashes.

Damage to Natural Lashes

Type of eyelash glue also affects the potential damage to your natural lashes. Long-lasting eyelash glue is made of stronger chemicals (check out these: chemicals to avoid in your beauty products) and is designed to keep lashes in place for several days; thus, it puts more strain on the natural lashes. However, even standard glue can cause natural lashes to fall out or, in some cases, be pulled out. This type of damage is not permanent. Eyelashes will grow back within six to eight weeks.

Prevention

Correct application of false eyelashes is key to protecting your natural lashes. Eyelash glue should be applied directly above the eyelashes and should not come in contact with your natural eyelashes, this will protect them from the harsh chemicals in the glue.

The removal of false eyelashes can be tricky. If not done properly, natural eyelashes can be accidentally pulled out in the process. It's best to use a waterproof eye makeup remover to dissolve glue. Apply it to the base of the lashes, next to the glue. Next, remove false lashes very slowly and gently. Do not attempt pull the false lashes off without makeup remover. Doing so will almost certainly result in losing many natural eyelashes.

Solution

One surefire way to prevent damage to natural lashes is to ditch the fake lashes altogether. If that's not an option, consider wearing them less frequently.

If you want to make a bold statement with your eye makeup, sans fake lashes, try this sexy and sophisticated smokey eye tutorial.

If your natural eyelashes have already been damaged, you have a few options. Latisse is the only FDA-approved eyelash treatment. It is dispensed by prescription only. An over-the-counter option is Marini Lash. It claims to help regrow lashes.

Warning

Do not get eyelash glue in your eyes. If there is excessive burning when using the glue, discontinue use immediately. Contact lens wearers need to be careful when using false lashes as the glue can transfer to the contact lens.