Lashes extension do's and don'ts. Photo: Adobe Stock Images

These days it’s interesting to see various beauty trends and at the same time wonder why they’re so popular. In this case, trends like lash extensions have been on the rise among millennials. There are so many regimes and resources to achieve a fresh youthful appearance.

The eyes are the most expressive part of the facial features, and adding an extra flare to the lashes is an easier long-lasting way to add volume to the eyelashes without the application of mascara or cosmetic surgery.

Young women have embraced this beauty hack very quickly and it has allowed them to simplify their beauty regime. Who wouldn’t love waking up in the morning with a semi-permeant Tyra Banks “smize”? (Smile with your eyes).

Eyelash extensions are an investment and a commitment. That responsibility requires proper maintenance and eye care. The Defender spoke with Melba Smith, Eyelash Extension Specialist and Owner of Mysterious Lashes in Pearland to discuss the latest trend and the recommendation needed to protect your eyes.

DefenderWhy has lash extension become such a popular trend?

Smith: It’s giving individuals the ability to add volume and length to your lashes. It gives you the ability to just get up and go without having to put on makeup or mascara. Lash extensions are semi-permanent so they last longer and can last about six to eight weeks depending on what you get. You can wear these anywhere. It enhances your beauty so you don’t have to only wear them during special occasions.

DefenderAre there any eye health risks associated with eyelash extensions?

Smith: Yes, there are. They can cause eye infections and allergic reactions in some cases. Many glues used to apply the extensions contain certain chemicals that can cause allergic reactions. When you get lash extension you have to take care of them avoid getting them wet and keep them away from oil-based producers. The normal eye cleaning you would do with your natural eye lashes could dissolve the glue.  

Defender: What other cons are there?

Smith: It can be expensive. It’s a luxury type service. Make sure you budget for it. Price ranges can go anywhere between $100 to $250.

Defender: Which are preferable to use false lashes or lash extensions?

Smith: It depends. Constant use of strip lashes may cause breakage of your natural lashes over time if you don’t apply them properly. Eyelashes extension would be the safest because it’s made specifically for your lashes. Strip lashes on the other hand, it’s best to use temporarily for 24 hours. Someone who wears strip lashes for a week for example, will have a greater health risk than someone with extensions. Strip lashes are applied to the base of the natural lashes. The safety is dependent on the method of application and the glue that is used.

Defender: Does the material used for last extension matter?

It sure does. There are so many different types of lashes. Mink, silk, synthetic. One of the things that I would hear people at in the beginning is “Are those mink lashes?” Not all mink lashes are good for lash extensions. It’s made from synthetic material. Synthetic fibers and natural lashes don’t mix well together at times. Where you get your extensions matters because of the shelf life or how it is packaged.

Defender: Who should avoid lash extensions and why?

Smith: People with hypersensitive skin reactions. Some people are allergic to particular types of ingredients in lash adhesive. You’ll know when you are allergic because your eyes will start to itch at the lash line. It will swell up a bit until you remove it.

DefenderWhat are some key questions a person should ask themselves before thinking about getting eyelash extensions?

If I were somebody who was considering eyelash extensions for the first time, the first thing I need to see is a license from the state of Texas or where ever. That will let you know that the establishment has something to lose and will handle your lashes with care because they have an understanding of proper sanitation. Make sure they are cleaning their tweezers properly and isolating the extension used on one client to another. Research the reputation of the salon and how long they’ve been in business. You want you lash artist to be invested in the craft I would prefer someone who provides services full-time because they will be doing it all day every day.

Defender: What are the best methods of caring for eyelash extensions?


Keep them away from water for the first 48 hours you don’t want the water to affect the glue. Avoid steamy and humid environments as well.

Avoid fidgeting with you lashes or anything that that will manipulate or cause premature shedding Avoid using mascara or eyeliners and oils.

Make sure to use oil free products on your face like eye makeup removers and cleansers.

Gently clean and brush your lashes to avoid dust and dirt accumulation and use oil-free eyelash cleansing foam.

Sleep on you back—side sleeping creates friction between lashes and the pillow case.

Schedule a refill with your lash technician for proper take down and refills

Laura Onyeneho

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...