Eyelash extensions are a cosmetic make up application used to enhance the length, curl, fullness, and thickness of natural eyelashes. The extensions may be made from several materials including mink, silk, synthetic, human or horsehair.

In 1879, James D. McCabe wrote The National Encyclopædia of Business and Social Forms, where, in the section “Laws of Etiquette,” he stated that eyelashes could be lengthened by cutting the ends with a pair of scissors. Other beauty books, such as My Lady’s Dressing Room (1892) by Baronne Staffe and Beauty’s Aids or How to be Beautiful (1901) by Countess C also state that the trimming of eyelashes along with the use of the pomade Trikogene benefit eyelash growth.Originally false lashes were made of acrylic resin; however, over time the materials have improved and nowadays false lashes are made of a special plastic fiber called polybutylene terephthalate (PBT). PBT is heated and then molded into the desired lash shape.

Classic lashes are a 1:1 ratio of one extension applied to one natural lash. Hybrid lashes are classic lashes and volume fan lashes mixed together. Volume lashes are two to six thin eyelash extensions that make a fan shape to allow for a look of full fluffy lashes. Mega volume lashes are 10 or more super-thin eyelash extensions. Pre-made fans are ready-made volume eyelash extensions. They are arranged on the sticker strip for easy pick-up and quick application.Hybrid lashes involve both classic individual eyelash extensions and volume fans mixed together for the ultimate in fluffy, textured lashes. Also referred to as a “mixed set”, they offer a thicker, denser look than classic lashes, but without the uniformity and softness of a typical Russian volume set.

There are two basic technologies, bundle and ciliary. With the bundle method, ready-made bundles of eyelashes fastened together are used, while ciliary building is a way of piece building: one or several artificial ones are glued to one natural eyelash. In the United States, eyelash extension services can range from $30 to $500, depending on:

  • The number and type of lashes being used
  • The skill level of the cosmetician or aesthetician
  • The venue where the extensions are applied

Because an average person might have anywhere from one hundred to two hundred lashes per eye, it can take from one to three hours to attach a full, new set. The number of lashes one can put on varies upon the existing natural eyelashes. Because humans lose natural eyelashes every day the eyelash extensions usually last between three and four weeks and during that time period, natural lashes start falling out or thinning. Maintaining a full set of eyelashes requires a refill every two to three weeks or a partial set every four weeks. If done correctly, there should be no damage to the natural lashes. It is important to find a trained professional to preserve lash growth and reduce the chance of eye complications.