11 Pros & Cons Of Getting Eyelash Extensions (And How Long They Really Last)

Eyelash extensions give you weeks of volume, but it's important to know the risks as well.

Last updated on May 10, 2023

woman getting eyelash extensions licsiren / Getty Images

Eyelash extensions can be a beautiful way to instantly make a face look more awake and vibrant, are great for looking photo ready, and make you look like you're wearing eye makeup when you aren't.

They are increasingly popular and used by many to accentuate their look, and can be applied at a spa or salon. (It's not recommended to add your own extensions, as doing so can be dangerous and even blind you. But fake eyelashes and lash glue are always an option.)


While there are all different types of semi-permanent eyelash extensions, including DIY eyelash extensions for beginners, eyelash extensions are perfect for an upcoming special occasion, especially if you want a dramatic look and don't have that with the lashes nature gave you.

But there are plenty of eyelash extensions pros and cons to consider before getting them done.

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For many, eyelash extensions are worth the time, effort, and expense of obtaining them. There are a few benefits to adding extensions to your eyelashes when you want a pop of volume.

Eyelash Extension Benefits

1. Lash extensions mean you don't need to apply mascara.

One great benefit of eyelash extensions is that you will no longer need to use mascara which, in turn, will cut your morning routine time down by at least half.

“You wake up looking already put-together without having to put forth any effort,” says Jayne Castiglia, hair stylist and eyelash specialist at Warren Tricomi Salon.

2. Lash extensions save you money.

Another benefit to falsies? Not wearing that mascara saves money as well.


Adds Natalia Harris, owner and founder of Glam Parlor, "The biggest pro for having eyelash extensions is that there is no need to spend time or money applying mascara or putting on strip lashes. You can just wake up glam every morning!”

3. Lash extensions save you time.

Putting on fake lashes every time you get ready can be time-consuming. But with eyelash extensions, says Castiglia, “You do not have to fuss with putting false eyelashes on, dealing with having to cut the false lashes to fit your eye and then gluing them.”

The gluing of false lashes alone can be messy if the person is inexperienced. Eyelash extensions resolve all of those issues.

4. Lash extensions keep things looking fresh.

“Eyelash extensions give you a fresh, open-eye look. So even if you had a rough night sleeping, no one ever has to know,” adds Harris.


Lashes pull a look together so well that you don’t have to wear much makeup, or any at all, when you have your lashes done.

5. Lash extensions can be customized.

Unlike falsies, eyelash extensions don't come in one size fits all. These extensions can be completely customizable to fit your eye shape and face structure.

You can choose everything down to the length, volume, and even fullness. Those extensions make your lashes more suitable for your facial features.

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Eyelash Extension Risks

What are the risks of eyelash extensions and do they ruin your natural lashes in the process? Well, the main thing to consider is the preservation of your natural lash.


“With anything, there can be some wear and tear,” advises Castiglia. But this depends on how the extension was applied, and for how long you’ve been getting the service done.

Unfortunately, eyelash extensions can cause certain issues, particularly if they are not being cleaned properly.

1. Lash extensions can damage hair follicles if not applied correctly.

If the extension was not properly applied, it can cause damage to the hair follicle. “With eyelashes, similar to the hair on our head, once the follicle is disrupted it can eventually cause permanent damage,” warns Catiglia.

This is why it's so important to do your research and go to a lash technician that has a lot of experience.


2. Lash extensions can cause bacteria build-up.

Another con to getting eyelash extensions would be if you’re the type of person who likes to sleep on your face or scrub your face when washing up. If so, the extensions will not last long.

“It's important to keep the area around the lashes clean, but in order to do so a cleansing wipe is needed,” suggests Castiglia.

3. Lash extensions can cause lash lice.

Lash lice, which is also known as Demodex, is another risk to be aware of.

“Just like head lice, lash lice can easily be spread through direct contact with hair, also with lash combs, especially when they’re living near the hair follicle because they love to feed off the host’s blood,” warns cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Michele Green.


You’d rarely think it’s possible to get lash lice, but it can happen. Through eyelash extensions, lice can spread through unsanitized lash combs, towels, and also the applicators being used. Make sure you do your research before booking an appointment to make sure this place is 100% sanitary.

4. Lash extensions can cause eye infections.

Eye infections are common for those who wear eyelash extensions and are prone to seasonal allergies.

“If your eye is red, oozing mucus, tearing, and you're experiencing pain or blurred vision, you may have an eye infection,” Dr. Green recommends.

5. Lash extensions can damage your natural lashes.

A big piece of keeping the lashes looking great is maintaining them, which can get a little pricey; however, you do not want to bargain shop.


“Make sure you are visiting a reputable salon. If not applied properly, they can cause damage to your natural lashes, which is why it's very important to go to a licensed artist,” says Harris.

6. Lash extensions can cause allergic reactions.

If you don’t take care of eyelash extensions properly, things can get bad — fast.

“A number of things could happen if you’re not careful with your eyelash extensions: allergic reaction to the glue, infection of the cornea, a scratch of the cornea, infection of the eyelid, or swollen eyelids,” advises optometrist Dr. Arian Fartash.

With allergic reactions, you may also experience dryness around the eyes, itchiness, and tearing.


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How long do eyelash extensions last?

The time can vary in terms of how long eyelash extensions last. In fact, how long they last really depends on how well you care for them.

“They don’t all come out at once, but gradually,” advises Harris. So, you will need a fill every 2-3 weeks to keep them looking great, similar to the schedule of getting your nails done. The more you keep them clean and take care of them, the longer they will last you.

It's always important to do your research, no matter what service you’re receiving. And a skilled technician will be able to tell you if your natural lash can support the type/look you desire.


“One size does not fit all, and that goes for lashes as well,” says Castiglia. “The thicker your natural lash is, the more dramatic/full your extensions can be.”

How much do eyelash extensions cost?

Lash extension cost will vary widely depending on where you have it done, the type of lashes you get, and how many you get per eye, much like the cost of hair extensions can differ.

As fuller, more volume-inducing sets can take up to as much as two hours to apply, expect to pay around $150 and up for a full set. But when you work in custom lashes or those made of specialty materials (such as faux mink or silk), that price can get to the $400 range.

Generally, lash salons have a menu to guide you through different lash types and application options in order to find a set that works for you and your budget.


Do eyelash extensions damage eyelashes?

Eyelash extensions only do damage to your regular lashes if they are not applied correctly.

Normally, when applied correctly extensions won't do much damage, but aftercare is extremely important long-term. Also, be sure not to rub your eyes or tug at them, as it can cause damage to your natural eyelashes and even lead to lashes falling out.

Are eyelash extensions good or bad for you?

In short, when eyelash extensions are applied correctly and proper aftercare is taken, they are completely safe to use. They are neither good nor bad, but simply a safe way to make your lashes just a bit more glamorous.

Be sure to check beforehand that you aren't allergic to anything the lash technician puts on your lashes or skin.


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How do you care for lash extensions?

Taking care of your lashes and the eye area properly is not only good for eye health, but for maintaining the life of your lashes. “It's important to properly and regularly cleanse the area once you get eyelash extensions,” warns Dr. Green.

To shower with lash extensions, while some people may have told you that washing the lashes will cause them to fall off, that's simply not true. However, cleaning them is an essential part of upkeep.


Says Dr. Green, “Cleaning your eyelashes on a daily basis helps to prevent a build-up of microorganisms. Another way is to also wash your lashes with tea tree oil.”

Here's how:

  1. Use an oil-free makeup remover on a clean spoolie brush, and gently wash over the eyelid and lash line.
  2. Rinse with lukewarm water until all product is completely removed.
  3. Be sure to not rub back and forth, as this can be too abrasive on the eyelash extensions.
  4. Gently wash in a downward motion over the eyelid and lash line: “Pat the skin dry around the eyelashes with a microfiber towel."
  5. Lastly, brush through the eyelashes with a clean mascara wand to separate the lashes.
  6. Avoid putting eye creams on your lashes.

It's important to remember to cleanse your eyelash extensions at least 2-3 times a week, or even nightly if you have oily skin or if you apply eye makeup on a daily basis.

When you don’t clean your eyelash extensions, this causes dead skin cells to build up on the eyelids, leading to itchiness as well as inflammation.


“It’s important to clean eyelash extensions in order to prevent dirt and any other residue from building up, causing an allergic reaction or irritation of the eye," Dr. Green advises.

"The eyes/eyelids will feel super-itchy and will be red and sore in appearance. Severe itching can cause the eyelash extensions to fall off. It’s also common for lice/mites to appear in eyelashes if not cleansed properly.”

How do you remove eyelash extensions?

Eyelash extensions are a lot easier to remove than apply. While they should always be applied by professionals in a reputable salon, you can remove them carefully at home if they are causing discomfort or you simply don't like them.

To remove them at home, rather than wait for them to naturally shed, follow these steps:


1. Dab a cotton ball with coconut oil or olive oil. Mineral oil works for this, too.

2. Gently swipe against your lash line. Do so until the lashes start to drop off onto your cotton ball.

3. Rinse your face. You'll want to rinse your face with water after you're done so you don't end up with excess oils.

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Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyles writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications regularly.