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Eyelash extensions are used to enhance the length, fullness, and thickness of natural eyelashes. The extensions may made from several materials including silk and mink, synthetic or human hair. The main method of applying the extensions is by individually adhering them to the eyelashes one-by-one in order to prevent the lashes from sticking together. False eyelashes and eyelash extensions are not the same.
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 can 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 promotes eyelash growth. Countess C also suggested that eyelashes can be given extra length and strength by washing them every evening with a mixture of water and walnut leaves.
In 1882, Henry Labouchère of Truth reported that "Parisians have found out how to make false eyelashes" by having hair sewn into the eyelids. A similar report appeared in the 6 July 1899 edition of The Dundee Courier which described the painful sounding method for lengthening the lashes. The headline of which read, "Irresistible Eyes May Be Had by Transplanting the Hair." The article explained how the procedure achieved longer lashes by having hair from the head sewn into the eyelids.
In 1902, German-born hair specialist and noted inventor Charles Nessler (aka Karl Nessler or Charles Nestle) patented "A New or Improved Method of and Means for the Manufacture of Artificial Eyebrows, Eyelashes and the like" in the United Kingdom. By 1903, he began selling artificial eyelashes at his London salon on Great Castle Street. He used the profits from his sales to fund his next invention, the permanent wave machine. In 1911, a Canadian woman named Anna Taylor patented false eyelashes in the United States.
In 1916, while making his film Intolerance, director D.W. Griffith wanted actress Seena Owen to have lashes "that brushed her cheeks, to make her eyes shine larger than life." These false eyelashes were made of human hair, that had been woven through fine gauze by a local wig maker and were then attached to Owen's eyes.
Types of lashes
Although false eyelashes and eyelash extensions both enhance the length of eyelashes, they differ in various ways. Furthermore, false eyelashes and eyelash extensions are also referred to as temporary false lashes and semi-permanent lashes, respectively.
Temporary false lashes
Temporary false lashes are designed to only be worn for a short period time and can be made with a variety of materials and are not designed to be worn when showering, sleeping or swimming. They are applied with lash glue designed specifically for temporary lashes.
Semi-permanent lashes, also known as individual eyelash extensions, are eyelashes applied with an FDA approved adhesive a stronger bond which is usually cyanoacrylate. There are different types of cyanoacrylates including ethyl, methyl, butyl, and octyl, which are designed for bonding to different surfaces. Lash adhesives are made from methyl-2-cyanoacrylate which is designed to bond a smooth surface (the eyelash extension) to a porous surface (the natural eyelash). it is designed to be used around the eyes and on the natural lashes, but not on the skin as it may cause irritation.
Eyelash extensions are waterproof and give the appearance of having mascara on without the messy clumps and smudging of makeup. Generally, a single lash is applied to each natural lash. When applied properly, neither the extension lash nor the glue should touch the eyelid. The bond is designed to last until the lashes naturally fall out, usually around 3–4 weeks. However, the extensions may fall out faster if oil-based eye makeup remover is used, as oil weakens the bond between the glue and the lash. Rubbing one's eyes regularly also causes the extensions to fall out faster. To maintain one's lashes, one should avoid rubbing their eyes, and wearing mascara. One should instead use oil-free make up removal wipes, and eyelid cleanser. Other things to avoid within 24 hours of getting eyelash extensions are extremely hot temperatures like heat from a BBQ, steam, crying and washing your face. To keep the eyelashes full, they must be reapplied bi-monthly.
Eyelash extensions come in many types, lengths, colors, curves and thicknesses, from natural-looking, to glamorous, as well as dramatic.
In the United States, eyelash extension services can range from $100 to $500, depending on:
- The number and type of lashes used
- The skill level of the cosmetician
- The venue where the extensions are applied
Because an average person might have anywhere from thirty to eighty lashes per eye it can take one to two hours to attach a full, new set. Eyelash extensions usually last around 3–4 weeks, after which they start falling out or thinning. Maintaining a full set of lashes requires a refill service approximately every 3–4 weeks.
Negative impact of wearing eyelash extensions
Dr. Rick Fraunfelder at OHSU’s Casey Eye Institute says the lashes are not sterile, and that the poly-nylon blend ones especially can lead to infections. Fraunfelder maintains that spaces in the fibers allow bacteria to reside because the wet and warm environment of the eyelash margin supports them. Using eyelash extension with a glue that is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FCA) may cause an allergic reaction, either locally or body-wide. Fraunfelder also claims that people could lose their real eyelashes permanently due to the improper pull of the eyelash extension, and that there could be eyelash dropout over time from chronic use. However, other sources[who?] state that eyelashes themselves are not sterile, and allergic reactions to the glue (which is not applied to the skin itself) are rare.
Training and certification
Professionals trained in Lash Artistry go by various titles including "Lash Technicians", "Lash Artists", and "Lash Stylists". There are various companies that provide training and certification for potential Eyelash Extensions Technicians.
In the UK, the Guild of Professional Beauty Therapists accredit courses for the safe application of semi-permanent individual eyelash extensions. The value of the course content can be judged by the number of CPD (Continued Professional Development) points that the course is awarded.
- Baronne Staffe with introduction and additions by Harriett Hubbard Ayer (1892). My Lady's Dressing Room. New York: Cassell Publishing Company.
- The Countess C-- (1901). Beauty's Aids or How to be Beautiful. Boston: L.C. Page & Company. pp. 97–98.
- George Frederick Shrady and Thomas Lathrop Stedman (1882). Medical Record, Volume 22. p. 252.
- "IRRESISTIBLE EYES MAY BE HAD BY TRANSPLANTING THE HAIR.". The Dundee Courier. The Quack Doctor. 6 July 1899.
- A New or Improved Method of and Means for the Manufacture of Artificial Eyebrows, Eyelashes and the like. British patent GB000190218723A, submitted August 26, 1902, approved November 6, 1902.
- Williams, Neville (1957). Powder and Paint: A History of the Englishwoman's Toilet, Elizabeth I--Elizabeth II.
- "Art Eyelashes". Nashua Daily Telegraph. July 14, 1903. p. 3.
- "Hair Waving Machine is 50 Years Old". The Milwaukee Sentinel. September 21, 1934. p. 11.
- "Beauty Boon Has Made Many Changes in 50 Years". Rome News Tribune. p. 28.
- ARTIFICIAL EYELASH. Anna Taylor, Ottawa. Ontario. Canada. Serial No. 607,810. US994619. Filed February 10, 1911.
- "Maksymilian Faktorowicz - człowiek, który dał nam sztuczne rzęsy". Retrieved 24 May 2017.
- "Makeup Masters: The History of Max Factor". Retrieved 24 May 2017.
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