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Getting eyelash extensions can be a total gamechanger. This innovative beauty technique allows you to achieve the long, luxurious, luscious eyelashes you’ve always dreamed about—all it takes is a few short hours and a couple of hundred dollars. Just like that, you never have to worry about wearing mascara or applying false lashes ever again.
Sigh. If only it were that simple.
The truth is that lash extensions aren’t a simple one-and-done deal. They require frequent maintenance, which involves returning to the salon every three to four weeks for fill-ins. Sadly, nothing in life is free, not even the treatment that makes your lashes look better than ever. Seriously, maintaining eyelash extensions takes an investment of both time and money.
So, what happens when you decide you’re done with extensions? You and your wallet just can’t handle another trip to the salon. What’s the next move?
The next move, of course, is to remove your extensions. Ideally, you should visit a professional who can get the job done as safely as possible. In reality, that’s not always viable. Sometimes, you just have to take matters into your own hands.
Whether you’re overwhelmed with a fully booked schedule or you’re looking for an affordable alternative to another salon visit, we totally understand why you might want to remove those extensions at home. So, we’ve put together a short guide to eyelash extension removal for dummies (we use that term endearingly).
Read on for all our best tips for saying goodbye to your extensions!
Let’s back it up for just a second. You might be asking yourself one important question: what are lash extensions, exactly?
Perhaps you’ve been dreaming about longer lashes, and you’re just doing some preliminary research about the whole extension process. Well, before we discuss how to remove extensions, it’s important to know precisely how the treatment goes down.
Here’s the basic rundown: eyelash extensions come in the form of tiny, synthetic fibers, usually made from faux mink or silk. When you get extensions, the technician attaches each fiber one by one, using professional-grade glue. The glue is semi-permanent and specially formulated so as to avoid damaging your natural lashes.
The treatment usually takes about two hours. Once the process is complete, the extensions should last around six weeks. Most professionals recommend receiving refills or touch-ups every two to three weeks.
When you have extensions, you’re supposed to treat your eyes and lashes with the utmost care—no curling, no mascara, and no rubbing your eyes.
As you can tell, it’s a pretty intensive process. You can probably see why removing extensions is often left to the professionals. However, it’s not impossible to achieve at home.
So, if you decide that your extensions just have to go, your next logical step is to find a way to remove them. We’ve gathered some of our best advice on how to achieve that goal at home.
Before we dive in, however, we should make an important note. Most professional beauty technicians actually advise against attempting this feat on your own. This is because when you try to take off your own extensions, you run a huge risk of damaging your natural lashes. If you pluck at them, for example, you might end up removing your own real lashes by mistake.
Since each extension is attached to your natural lashes with strong glue, there’s a high chance that you might end up hurting yourself or causing bald spots in your lash line that could last forever. Likewise, you also risk spreading bacteria into your eyes. Yikes.
That being said, we know we can’t stop all of you from DIY-ing your extension removals. There are a few methods that are relatively safe and low-risk. However, no matter what, just be sure not to pluck at those lashes!
We won’t keep you waiting any longer. Here are a few tips to take out those extensions:
A hot shower is never a bad idea, right? A nice, steamy shower will help you destress and rejuvenate for the day or night ahead. Well, hot showers have another benefit to offer—they help loosen lash extensions.
When you receive extensions, you’re usually told not to get them wet for the first day or two. Similarly, you’re supposed to avoid steam in order to ensure that your extensions last for as long as possible.
So, naturally, if you’re trying to remove those extensions, a hot shower is a great idea. The steam may help loosen any false lashes that have started to fall off already. Basically, exposing your lashes to steam speeds along the natural shedding process.
As you stand in that steamy shower, the temptation to rub, pick, or pull on your extensions may arise. Don’t give in! It’ll only cause long-term damage. Instead, let the steam work its magic on its own.
Eyelash-extension glue may be super strong, but it does have a kryptonite: oil-based cleansers.
When you get your extensions installed, the lash artist will probably tell you that avoiding oil-based products is rule number one of extension maintenance. It can loosen and break down the glue, causing the lashes to fall out prematurely.
Of course, in this situation, that is exactly what we want.
So, grab an oil cleanser or makeup remover and add it to your nightly routine. Simply apply the cleanser to your eye area, carefully moving it in circles to begin dissolving the glue. Be sure to be extra gentle.
If you cleanse with oil each night, it should start to loosen the glue and, hopefully, remove those extensions. Be patient—it may take several days for this method to take effect.
Maybe an oil-based cleanser just isn’t doing the trick? Add another level of oil to your skincare routine with an eye cream.
Creams that contain oils, like argan, rosehip, jojoba, or squalane, are excellent for keeping the eye area moisturized and bright. Likewise, they’re perfect for slowly breaking down the lash glue that keeps your extensions in place.
With an oil-based eye cream and an oil-based cleanser at play, your false lashes should start falling out in no time.
Finally, we have one last option for you: try a professional-grade lash glue dissolver. This product is the real deal, so you need to be extra cautious if you decide to go this route.
The biggest risk here is getting the glue dissolver in your eyes. It can cause serious irritation and pain.
If you decide to use this product, you’ll need to grab a cotton ball or pad and soak it in the liquid glue dissolver. Then, simply apply it to your lashes and wait for the extensions to loosen. That’s it!
After going through the process of removing your lash extensions at home, you might be feeling like you never want to touch that treatment again. Or, perhaps you were considering splurging for extensions, but the idea of taking care of them just seems like too much.
Indeed, lash extensions do require a ton of maintenance. Plus, removing them is a whole thing on its own. But what if you still yearn for long, glamorous lashes?
Don’t fret—there are plenty of alternatives to consider! Many of these options are far less time-consuming and far more affordable. Here’s a short list of some of our favorite extension replacements:
Fortunately, the beauty world has provided all of these wonderful options for anyone who’s not into eyelash extensions. Try out a few of these alternatives, and figure out what works best for you!
Let’s be real—the best option for removing your eyelash extensions is to book an appointment with a professional. They know exactly what they’re doing, and they won’t damage your lashes or your eyes in the process.
Nevertheless, if you’re willing to live life on the edge, the choices above are totally viable. Just remember to take your time and let those lashes loosen over a few days. Picking, rubbing, pulling at your extensions is just about the worst move you can make.
If you try out any of these tips, be sure to let us know how it goes. We want to hear about your experience with extensions and how that removal process goes down. Good luck!
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