Let’s clear this up right away: eyelash extensions do not cause mites – poor hygiene does. So what does this have to do with lash extensions? The short answer is it comes down to the eyelash adhesive. Many lash professionals use an adhesive that doesn’t allow you to wash, clean, or even touch your extensions or natural lashes, which can create an improper hygiene routine…and an over-infestation of mites.
Sophy Merszei, the founder of NovaLash, is a molecular biologist and cosmetic chemist. In the video below, she explains what lash mites are, why certain adhesives allow you to practice good hygiene, and how to properly cleanse your lashes to avoid lash mites. Don’t have time to watch the video? We’ll go over the highlights below!
What Are Eyelash Mites?
Eyelash mites, or Demodex folliculorum, are microscopic creatures that feed on dead skin cells. Everyone has a small number of mites living on their skin, but mites can become a problem when there’s an over-infestation.
When you have an over-infestation, mites crawl into your hair follicle headfirst. There, they’ll feed on dead skin cells as well as the oil in your pore. If you don’t clean your lash extensions regularly, mites can continue to reproduce. As more mites take up residence in and around your eyelash follicle, they may start to push the hair out of the follicle. This can contribute to eyelash loss or slowed growth.
Why Can Some People Clean Their Lash Extensions And Some Can’t?
The glue your lash professional uses is the biggest reason why some people are able to clean their lash extensions and some aren’t. NovaLash glue is rubber-toughened, which gives it a strong but flexible texture. To break this down, imagine bending a piece of licorice. No matter how much you bend or twist it, it won’t break or crack. Similarly, when stress is put on your natural lashes or extensions, it won’t crumble or come loose from the natural lash. This means the adhesive (and your extensions) will bend and flex with your lashes as you clean them instead of falling out.
Many lash glues on the market aren’t rubber-toughened, which creates a strong but brittle texture. Imagine bending and twisting a Butterfinger – unlike the licorice, the candy will break down, crumble, and crack. Just like the Butterfinger, non-rubberized adhesives break down when you clean or wet your eyelash extensions.
How Should I Clean My Lash Extensions?
You should be able to regularly clean your lash extensions once or twice a day without losing them. To simplify lash hygiene, NovaLash created an aftercare kit that features 100% cotton flannel wipes designed to cleanse and condition your natural lashes and extensions. To clean your lashes, gently rub the wipe across your lash line and eye area.
In addition to using a cleansing conditioning wipe, you can also use an eyelash shampoo. Put the cleanser on the back of a disposable wand and brush it through your lashes as if you were applying mascara. If you haven’t been cleaning your lashes and are concerned about eyelash mites, consider finding a product that contains tea tree oil, since it can ward off mites.
What Should I Do If My Eyelash Extensions Can’t Tolerate Cleaning?
If your lash extensions have fallen out when you clean them, ask your salon or lash professional what brand of adhesive they use. If they don’t offer a rubber-toughened adhesive like NovaLash, consider switching to a stylist that does.
Practicing good hygiene is a critical part of maintaining lash extensions and promoting the health of your natural lashes. The good news is that you don’t have to choose between lash health and gorgeous eyelash extensions! If you’re interested in getting lash extensions that can stand up to normal hygiene practices, find a NovaLash stylist near you today.