Q. What is fueling the resurgence in false eyelashes?
A. Just when you thought the false eyelashes of the 1960s were only a thing of the past, they are back! And they are back even bigger, longer, and more innovative than before. What’s new? The false eyelashes of the 1960s were made of synthetic hair attached to a band that was glued to the base of the eyelashes. While these inexpensive lashes can still be purchased, the new fad is to glue individual lash hairs to the base of the existing lashes. The newer lashes are also made of synthetic materials, but they are lighter and able to hold a much better curl, with a tapered hair tip. The individual lashes are glued on one at a time and are shed as the natural lash to which they are glued is shed. Since the eyelashes have a much shorter anagen growth phase, the lashes need to be redone every 3 to 4 weeks. This is actually good because it can be very difficult to remove the glue from the natural eyelashes without breaking the hair.
The two most common issues associated with the newer false eyelashes are eyelash loss and infection. Eyelash loss can be avoided by using shorter lighter prosthetic eyelashes. It is also a good idea not to wear the eyelashes continually, allowing a month rest every three to six months for the hairs to regrow. This will also prevent infection. It is important to keep the false eyelashes clean, but repeated washing will loosen the prostheses.
Advise the patient to allow the shower water to run over the face and eyelashes when rinsing hair shampoo. This will provide some cleansing without damaging the prostheses.
The glue that is used with the false eyelashes does contain methacrylate, a relatively common allergen. Methacrylate allergic patients should not use false eyelashes.