There are so many great things about eyelash extensions. For one, you basically wake up already looking pretty glam without the hassle of applying mascara or falsies every single day. But what happens when your faux lashes start getting sparse and you don’t have the time (or resources) to get back to the salon? Before turning to DIY methods, it’s important to know how to remove eyelash extensions safely and very carefully.
First off: The best route is to go to a professional. “If someone wants their extensions off, they should always go get them removed from their lash artist,” says Mikelle Brown, lead esthetician and lash expert at FACE FOUNDRIÉ in Minneapolis. “Using professional adhesive remover works to dissolve the glue so the lash artist can gently take the extensions off leaving your natural lashes in good condition.”
Veronica Tran, founder and master stylist at Pretty In The City Lash & Brow Bar, agrees and says that the only way to remove all of your lash extensions on the same day is with a special solution that is only available in-salon. “Keep in mind you may not be able to remove them all in one sitting safely without causing damage to your natural lashes,” she says.
Your eyelash extensions will naturally fall out on their own (Brown explains that people shed an average of four natural lashes per day), but there are few things you can do to speed up the process. Here, Brown and Tran break down the best ways to remove lash extensions at home.
Avoid Pulling Your Eyelash Extensions Off
First and foremost, both Brown and Tran warn clients to never, ever pull extensions off; you’ll be doing a lot of damage if you do. “The adhesive has great strength,” says Tran. “Meaning if you pull, you will very likely pull out your own lashes.”
Brown elaborates, adding that yanking your eyelashes at the follicle can break the bulb of the lash. “This can cause lashes to either not grow back — the more you break that bulb or follicle, the less the hair grows back — or they grow back much slower. There would be a gap for some time before that hair is ready to grow back.” If you do end up with an unfortunate gap in your eyelashes (or you’re looking to nourish your fringe after removing your lash extensions), she says to use a lash growth serum. “Just swipe once or twice along your lash line daily for an easy and quick way to stronger, fuller, and healthier lashes.”
Saturate Your Lash Extensions With Castor Oil
Brown says the safest way to take off lashes at home is to saturate them in oil. She says to let it sit on the skin for a bit and then gently start working it into the lashes to loosen the adhesive. “It may take some time, as this is not a remover, and will need more time to break down that bond,” she says.
Tran agrees and suggests using something like castor oil, which is gentle on both the skin and hair. She says to massage a tiny amount with your fingers before you go to bed so that it can slowly break down the bond while you sleep.
Use Mascara To Loosen The Eyelash Adhesive
With the exception of pulling them off (again, never do it), Tran says that everything you’re told not to do with lash extensions is what will help you rid yourself of them. “Do everything you’re not supposed to do with extensions,” she says.
This includes using cosmetics like mascara. The oils in makeup, especially in mascara, will break down the adhesive and loosen the extensions from your natural lash. Once they look loose, she says to gently rub the lashes with a waterproof makeup remover, like Lancôme’s Bi-Facil or Neutrogena’s Eye Makeup Remover, with your fingers.
Take Advantage Of Steamy Showers
Warm water and humidity can loosen the adhesive bond and cause your eyelash extensions to fall out more quickly than they normally would. Brown says a good example of this is if you sweat or get your lashes wet often. Tran agrees and says another way to get those extensions to fall out faster is to take frequent steamy showers; the humidity will dry out the adhesive and make extensions brittle.