The Truth About Eyelash Perming

We get it. Your lashes are so straight and pointy that you'd kill to have lashes that sweep and curl. And if you've been traumatized by dodgy eyelash extensions (have you seen your lashes fall out in clumps?), this may be the time to consider another option: eyelash perming.

Spa owner Shizuka Bernstein tells Self that the procedure is "very similar to the perm you'd get for your hair," because the procedure uses chemicals to prep the hair strands before they are molded around a mini roller before being treated again so they hold their new curl. The whole process, which begins when the first solution is added to your lashes, to the time the second solution is added on, takes about 45 minutes to an hour. Permed lashes cannot get wet for 24 hours after treatment which means no to washing your face and no mascara for a day after. Your newly permed lashes will also require a special conditioner to keep from getting brittle (it is hair, after all), and the use of a lash curler is not advised. If you like the look, you need to give yourself four weeks between perms, so that your lashes can maintain the lift, and so they can recover from the chemical treatment.

Is an eyelash perm worth it?

If it sounds like it's all too good to be true, it may be, at least for some folks. Healthline warns that because chemicals are involved, people with sensitive skin need to think more than twice before getting the procedure done. If you decide to go ahead with the procedure, seek out an expert who is well known, and who you can trust. The risk of having something go wrong is increased when you work with an inexperienced beautician, so paying a bit more to get the perm done is worth the extra. 

Healthline also cautions that because the chemicals do leave your lashes more brittle, they could get damaged, which could also leading to (temporary) bald eyelids. Perhaps the factor which might give you the most pause is that even if it all goes well, the procedure is likely to leave you with shorter-looking lashes. So unless you have long, straight lashes and have few to no skin sensitivities, it sounds like putting up with the daily use of a lengthening mascara and lash curler could be a more sensible option. Plus, it'll save you around $70 per perm.