Semi permanent eyelash extensions are artificial eyelashes used to enhance the length, thickness, and fullness of natural eyelashes. Depending on the treatment and the person using it, the extensions can last from four to eight weeks — unlike permanent eyelash extensions, which are surgically attached, or false eyelashes, which must be applied with each use. Each artificial extension is applied to individual eyelashes as a single strand of synthetic material. They are removed when the real eyelash falls out naturally to allow a new one to grow.
As a cosmetic enhancement, semi permanent eyelash extensions are believed to improve the appearance of the eyes and face. Length and volume can vary, depending on purpose. While some use eyelash extensions to add a natural look of volume and length to thinning or sparse eyelashes, others opt for more extreme and fashionable applications, in varying lengths and colors.
Extensions can be applied by a trained professional or by using a do-it-yourself kit. The latter is generally considered the most cost-effective, but may also yield less polished results, depending on the materials and skill of the user. As the eyelashes fall out, they must be re-applied individually through either repeated salon visits or the materials in the kit. Semi permanent eyelash extensions are usually waterproof, and capable of withstanding the same environments as natural eyelashes.
The life of semi permanent eyelash extensions can be prolonged through proper care of both the natural and artificial eyelashes. Although eyelash loss occurs as part of the normal lash growth cycle, appropriate attention to eyelash health can extend the cycle, with the added benefit of fuller, healthier lashes. Grooming the artificial eyelashes can also reduce the effects of wear and tear.
With improper application and care, the extensions can pose certain dangers. The adhesive and synthetic lash material can irritate the eye should they come in contact with the eye's surface, and in some cases can cause infections. Prolonged use of semi permanent eyelash extensions can even cause the natural eyelashes to fall out, a condition known as Traction Alopecia, in which the added weight and tension place undue stress on the body, and root of the eyelash.
Since the eyelashes act as a defensive barrier, shielding eyes from contaminants and irritants, inflammation or infection from foreign substances can result. Eyelashes will grow back after suffering Traction Alopecia, but the eyes will remain vulnerable until enough regrowth has taken place. Doctors often advise treatment at a reputable salon to avoid misuse and improper handling of eyelash extensions, to minimize the risk of problems.