Lash Lift vs Lash Extensions: Choosing Your Best Option

A lash lift and lash extensions are two professional options for achieving longer, darker, and fuller looking lashes. But how do you choose the right path for you and your lashes? What are the main differences between a lash lift and tint, and lash extensions?

Keep reading to find out more about lash extensions, lash lifts, and how to choose the best option for you! 

Lash Lifts vs Lash Extensions: What’s The Difference?

What is a lash lift?

A lash lift is essentially a perm for your lashes. When you get a lash lift, your lash artist applies a series of solutions to your natural lashes that will first relax them and then set them into the desired shape and curl.

We’ll use our Lash Lift Kit as an example to walk through the process. 

  1. A rod is applied to the eyelid with a balm or glue that will be used to mold the lashes. 
  2. Lifting Cream breaks down the bonds in the lashes so they can be molded into a new shape. 
  3. Neutralizing Lotion reforms those broken bonds into their new arrangement. 
  4. If you opt for a tint, this is when it will be applied.
  5. Hydrating Serum nourishes and conditions the processed lashes, bringing them back to life! 

How long does a lash lift take?

Lash lifts are generally fairly quick and can be completed in under an hour. The time will vary depending on the texture of your lashes and if you decide to also add a lash tint to the service. But even so, a lash lift and tint service can usually be done quickly, leaving you with naturally darkened and lifted lashes!

How long does a lash lift last?

Lash lifts will generally last about 4-6 weeks, depending on your natural lash growth cycle. As your natural lashes fall out, they will start to gradually appear less and less lifted. However, this is normal and not cause for concern.

How much does a lash lift cost?

Your location and choice of salon will greatly affect how much you pay for a lash lift. In some areas they can be as low as around $80, and others can be closer to $120. Make sure to shop around, and we generally recommend not choosing the cheapest or the most expensive options.

How do I take care of my lash lift?

As with any beauty service, aftercare plays a big role in how your lashes look after a lift. To keep the lifted lashes safe, try to avoid hot water and steam for about 24 hours after the service and don’t rub your eyes.

We also recommend using a conditioning serum to keep your lashes healthy and hydrated. Even though lash lifts aren’t inherently risky, they use a lot of harsh chemicals that can dry out the natural lashes. Our Rehydrate and Restore Conditioning Serum is a super simple way to revitalize the lashes after a lash lift; when applied twice a day, this serum will minimize any damage or breakage that can occur after a lift!

Will a lash lift damage my lashes?

Generally no, a lash lift should not damage your lashes. Lifts can temporarily dry out your lashes, but with a good conditioning serum, there will be no lasting damage. Make sure you are going to a professional who is using high quality lash lift products and can educate you on proper aftercare. 

Lash Extensions

What are lash extensions?

Lash extensions are individual synthetic hairs that are applied to the lashes with specialized lash adhesive. They are available in many different styles, lengths, and colors, so meeting with a professional lash artist who conducts consultations is a must.

The lash extension process is a little more involved than a lash lift. Your lash artist will apply tape and eyepads to protect your eyes, and then dip the individual eyelash extensions or lash fans into lash adhesive. Then, with an eyelash extension tweezer, each extension is applied to a single natural lash until the entire lash line is filled (or enough to satisfy the client).

How long do lash extensions take?

A lash extension appointment will usually take about 2-3 hours, depending on the specific style, the lash artist’s speed, and other factors. Consider bringing headphones to your appointment or just take a nap while your lash tech is working! 

How long do lash extensions last?

Like lash lifts, extensions will generally last about as long as your natural lash growth cycle, about 4-6 weeks. When a natural lash falls out, the extension attached to it will as well. You might notice a few extensions fall out on their own; this is usually normal and not an issue, unless there is a ton of fallout or the extensions are stuck to multiple lashes. 

While it might be up to 6 weeks until that last extension falls out, your set will likely appear noticeably sparse after just a couple of weeks. This is when you should go in for a fill appointment so your lash artist can remove any outgrown lashes and fill the set back in.

How much do lash extensions cost?

The cost of lash extensions will vary depending on the style you choose. For example, classic sets are usually on the cheaper side, around $150-$175. Then, as you get further into hybrid, volume, and mega volume sets, the prices will rise closer to $200-$250. Again, your location and salon of choice will also impact the cost, so make sure to shop around and find a decent middle option.

How do I take care of my lash extensions?

Lash extension aftercare has mainly to do with avoiding direct contact with water right after the service and keeping the lashes clean. Although modern lash adhesive can handle moisture much more quickly than older adhesives, it’s still a good idea to avoid swimming, saunas, and steam for about 8 hours after getting extensions. 

Maintaining the cleanliness of your lashes is hugely important as well. Part of this is not using any oil-based products or waterproof mascara and eyeliner (or any eye makeup, really). The second part is physically cleansing the lashes every day with a dedicated lash and brow cleanser to remove any oils, dirt, dead skin, or other debris. These can build up on the lashes, creating a perfect breeding ground for lash mites!

Will lash extensions damage my lashes?

If done properly by a trained lash technician, lash extensions should not damage your natural lashes at all. 

However, that’s not to say there aren’t risks involved. That’s why it’s crucial to consult with your lash artist beforehand, letting them know any allergies or sensitivities you have and learning about any potential issues that may arise. Make sure to go through your artist’s photos and check the quality of their work before booking with them — not all lash artists have gone through the same training or have the same skill sets. They should also be using the best lash extension supplies so as not to introduce any low quality products near your eyes.

How Do I Decide Which Is Right For Me?

To decide between a lash lift or lash extensions, you should consider the pros and cons of each.

Lash lift pros

  • Less expensive than lash extensions
  • Can be done quickly
  • More natural looking + low maintenance

Lash lift cons

  • Some risk of sensitivity from chemicals used in processing solutions
  • Not great for naturally short lashes

Lash extension pros

  • Customizable maps and styles
  • Can be applied to a range of lash lengths, densities, and thicknesses
  • No need to use mascara on a daily basis

Lash extension cons

  • More expensive than lash lifts
  • Can take a few hours to apply
  • Some risk of sensitivity, usually to adhesive
  • Higher maintenance than lash lifts

PLA: Your One-Stop Shop For Lash Extension Supplies, Lash Lift Kits And More!

So in the end, it really comes down to your budget, how much maintenance you want to do, and what look you’re going for. Both lash lifts and lash extensions can add drama, elegance, and symmetry to your lashes, just in different ways! Whatever you choose, you’ll have full, fluttering lashes in no time.