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Eyelash extensions are any number of enhancements designed to add length, thickness and fullness to natural eyelashes. They may be compared to hair extensions for one's eyelashes. They can be separated into two types: temporary and semi-permanent.
The invention and use of false eyelashes began in 1916 when director D.W. Griffith was making his film Intolerance. He wanted actress Seena Owen to have lashes "that brushed her cheeks, to make her eyes shine larger than life." The first false eyelashes were made of human hair woven through fine gauze by a local wig maker. They were then attached to Owen's eyes.
Temporary false lashes are any lashes designed to be worn for a short period; i.e. a day or less. They can be made with human hair, or with synthetic materials. They are not designed to be worn when showering, sleeping or swimming. They are applied with lash glue designed specifically for temporary lashes. Permanent lashes, also known as eyelash extensions, are lashes applied with a stronger adhesive. Generally, a single lash is applied to each natural lash; when applied properly, neither the extension lash nor the glue should touch the eyelid; however, slight irritation and watering of the eye may occur if the glue does come into contact with the eye. The bond is designed to last until the lashes naturally fall out, though the extensions may fall out faster if one uses oil-based eye makeup remover or rubs eyes regularly, as oil weakens the bond between the glue and the lash.
For both types, eyelashes come in various lengths, colors and thicknesses, from natural-looking to outrageous. The two most popular styles are doll lashes, consisting of longer lashes at the centre of the lash line, and cat-eye lashes, where the end lashes are longer to create a cat-like eye.
A set of new eyelash extensions can run anywhere from $100 to $500 in the United States, depending on the type and number of lashes used, the skill of the cosmetician and the venue where extensions are performed. It usually takes an hour to two hours to attach a full new set. An average person might have anywhere from thirty to eighty lashes per eye. The variance in the number of lashes accounts for the difference in how long it takes to apply them. Many eyelash extension packages come with repair options, where one can go get the fallen extensions added within a few weeks from the initial application, at a lowered cost.
Dr. Rick Fraunfelder at OHSU’s Casey Eye Institute says the lashes aren't sterile, and the poly-nylon blend ones, especially, can lead to infections. Franufelder manifested that spaces in the fibers allow bacteria to reside because the wet and warm environment of eyelash margin favors bacteria to thrive. Despite different kinds of lashes, using eyelash extension with the glue that is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may cause allergic reaction, either locally or body-wide. Fraunfelder explained that people would lose their real eyelashes permanently due to the improper the pull of the eyelash extension, and eventually eyelash dropout over time from chronic use. However, other sources in rebuttal state that eyelashes themselves aren't sterile, and allergic reactions to the glue (which is not applied to the skin itself) is rare.
Professionals trained in Lash Artistry go by various titles including "Lash Technicians", "Lash Artists", and "Lash Stylists". There are various companies that provide training and certification for potential Eyelash Extensions Technicians. In the UK, the Guild of Professional Beauty Therapists accredit courses for the safe application of semi-permanent individual eyelash extensions. The value of the course content can be judged by the number of CPD (Continued Professional Development) points that the course is awarded.
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