Eyelash perm: Risks and alternatives for perfectly curled lashes

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An eyelash perm is a cosmetic procedure that flips up eyelashes using hair perming...

An eyelash perm is a cosmetic procedure that flips up eyelashes using hair perming chemicals. The eyelashes are first treated with a chemical solution and then wrapped around a miniature roller to achieve an upturned look that can last for weeks or even months without the use of mascara or lash curlers. The average cost for an eyelash perm is $20 to $70 per session.

Eyelash perm benefits

  • Permed eyelashes stay curled for six to eight weeks on average, but can last longer depending on how well you care for your lashes.
  • You will no longer need to apply mascara every day.
  • Your eyes can look more open and awake, especially if you are experiencing dropping eyelids.

Eyelash perm risks

  • The chemicals used for eyelash perming are not currently approved by the FDA because of the danger of using perming solution near the eyes. The chemicals used to prep and curl your lashes can cause serious eye injury, including permanent blindness.
  • Go to a licensed professional who has completed training on the eyelash perming technique.
  • Do not wear contact lenses during an eyelash perming procedure. Even without touching the eye, the lash perm chemicals can be irritating. Wearing contact lenses can increase the irritation.
  • Avoid touching or washing your eyes too much after receiving an eyelash perm. The chemicals used during the perming process can damage your eyelashes, making your lashes more brittle. Touching your eyes as little as possible can prevent breakage.

Alternatives to eyelash perming

If eyelash perming is not for you, there are a number of options for giving your lashes the look you want.

  • Use an eyelash curler and mascara at home to achieve the upturned look. Makeup carries fewer risks than chemical perms and is less expensive. Professional mascara on average costs about $30 per tube.
  • Try eyelash extensions for fuller lashes. Depending on the salon you go to, eyelash extensions can cost between $70 to $200. However, unlike a perm, extensions do not require the use of harmful chemicals.
  • Ask your doctor for a prescription eyelash serum if you have inadequate eyelashes (hypotrichosis). Prescription lash serums encourage the growth of longer, thicker and darker eyelashes. As with all medications, prescription serums come with some risks, so talk to your doctor if you think a medical treatment is the right option for your eyelashes.

Talk to a local Atlanta plastic surgeon to discuss whether lash perming is right for you.

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