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Cosmetic Concern: What experts say you should know about fake eyelash extensions

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Posted at 8:41 PM, Feb 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-09 22:15:12-05

WACO, TEXAS — From a natural look, to full out glam, eyelash extensions is a growing beauty trend that has medical experts paying attention.

While eyelash extensions are in demand, most people don't know the cons that come without proper care.

"I have been getting lashes for a little less than a year," said Chauntell Meadows.

She says it's the small details in her beauty regimen that matter most.

"I wanna look good 24/7," said Meadows.

Beauty experts say the demand for lash extensions are soaring.

Depending on the style, prices can range from $50 to the high hundreds.

"It can be pricey and it can be expensive," said Meadows.

Esthetician's say dangers of eyelash extensions depend on where you get them done.

"But that is like anything else in life, you get what you pay for," Meadows said.

According to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation:

Eyelash extension services can only be performed by a licensed Cosmetologist, Esthetician, Eyelash Extension Specialist, Esthetician/Manicurist (combination license; a manicurist cannot perform eyelash extensions), Cosmetology Instructor or Esthetician Instructor.

To apply for a Texas Eyelash Extension Specialty License, artists must first enroll in a beauty school licensed in Texas.

Then, to qualify for the license, artists must complete 320 hours of instruction in an approved eyelash extension training program.

Artists learn different things based on their program; however, standard topics include:

  • Infectious and contagious diseases of the eye
  • Allergic reactions
  • Proper sanitation practices
  • Client preparation
  • Lash bonding and effective bonding tips
  • Occupational health and safety practices
  • Eyelash extension application procedures
  • Eyelash extension isolation and separation procedures

While some may buck their eyes at the price, doctors are batting their lashes for a different reason.

"The main danger is that some people have the tendency to not clean them well," said ophthalmologist Dr. Corey Parish.

It's a message of warning to some of the dangers that can come from a bad pair of lash extensions.

"It causes a buildup of micro organisms that cause mites that cause redness," said Dr. Parish.

That's right, mites.

The condition, called demodex, happens when the extensions are neglected, and left to collect bacteria.

"I did not realize that that was even a thing, honestly," said Meadows.

Estheticians say the best way to avoid this problem is by having the extensions properly applied by a licensed professional.

According to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, An artist with an Eyelash Extension Specialty License may "apply and remove semi-permanent, thread-like extensions composed of single fibers to a person's eyelashes, and cleanse the eye area and lashes."

"I have not had any of my clients have mites. I have a friend who had a client with mites, and she asked me a lot of questions," said local esthetician Destiny Jones.

The key is keeping bacteria away from your eyes. Some of the tips doctors include are:

  1. Making sure you have clean hands before touching your face.
  2. Only use face cleansers with oil-free or water-based products.
  3. Washing brushes and make-up utensils often.
  4. If you start to feel irritation, have the extensions removed.

"Basically, it just takes proper care, proper hygiene, and then its nothing to worry about," said Jones.

She says it's all about educating her clients about proper upkeep and safety, and that it's just as important as the final look.