An eyelash perm gives you that permanent eyelash curl that you’ve been looking for. 

We’ve all accidentally poked an eye or pulled on our lashes, so we know that achieving that perfect curl can be a literal pain. Investing in a good lash perm saves you the time and stress of curling your lashes every day and maximizes your mascara’s impact.

Need more convincing? Even on makeup-free days, your eyes will look brighter. Eyelash perms give your eyes the perfect boost so that you look more awake with less effort each day. 

What is eyelash perming?

Eyelash perms are semi-permanent chemical treatments that curl your eyelashes. Some Pros will combine their lash perm offerings with services such as lash tinting or eyebrow tinting.

After treatment, your lashes stay curled until they fall out. Don’t worry, though! This is a natural part of your lash life cycle. When performed correctly, the curled effect will lessen over time unless you decide to get another lash perm. 

Here’s what you can expect from your eyelash perm appointment:

  1. You’ll wash your face and arrive with clean lashes. Oils can interrupt the perming process, so after using makeup remover on your lashes, be sure to cleanse your face thoroughly. If you have eyelash extensions, make sure that you remove them correctly before your appointment.
  2. Your Pro will use a gentle glue to secure a rod above your lash line. This rod is like a mold for how your lashes will curl. They’re available in different sizes depending on what look you want for your lashes.
  3. Your Pro will apply the perming solution. This chemical breaks down the bonds in your lashes so that they can be reshaped. Your Pro will likely secure this solution in place with some cling wrap. After about 15 minutes, a neutralizing solution is applied. This rebuilds the bonds in your lashes so that they hold their new shape. 
  4. Your Pro will apply the neutralizing solution. This takes about 15 minutes to work and rebuilds the bond in your lashes so that they stay curled. Afterwards, your Pro will gently remove the rod and solution from your lashes. Expect the entire process to take at least 45 minutes. You don’t want to rush this treatment. 
eyelash perm step-by-step process

Lash perm vs. lash lift

Lash perms and lash lifts are terms used interchangeably by many beauty lovers, but they’re not the same treatment. Both lash perms and lifts leave you with curled lashes, but the chemicals and processes are a bit different.

Lash perms use a similar process as a conventional hair perm. They use a perming solution and a neutralizing solution to curl your lashes. A lash lift uses a newer, simplified technique. Lash lifts use a lifting lotion instead of the two-step perming process.

Another difference is that lash perms will often mold your lashes around rods, whereas lash lifts mold your lashes to a silicone strip on your lid. Lash lifts are also pricier and can cost between $35 and $110.

Because these terms can get confusing, it’s important to talk to a Pro so that you know exactly which treatment you’re getting for the best lash experience

How can I prepare for my lash perming appointment?

  1. Come in with a clean face.
  2. Avoid any oil-based products around your eyes.
  3. Wear glasses instead of contacts. 

These are all important steps to get the best results from your lash perm. Avoid using eye makeup remover that has oils or moisturizing properties. These can interfere or react poorly with lash-perming chemicals. 

You should avoid wearing face makeup as well because you will not be able to get your lashes wet for a day or so after your appointment. This makes it difficult to properly remove your face makeup while your lash perm sets.

woman washing her face in the bathroom

How long does a lash perm last?

Your eyelash perm will last four to eight weeks, depending on how quickly your lashes grow. After about four weeks, you will start noticing that your lashes are looking straighter due to new, unpermed lash growth.

Lash perms are not completely maintenance-free. You’re going to need to do some aftercare to make sure that your lashes look their best. Getting a fresh perm wet is the quickest way to derail your Pro’s hard work. For 24 to 48 hours after your treatment, you should avoid getting your lashes wet. 

During that time you should avoid wearing makeup, applying products near your eyes, and even showering if you can help it. Your lashes will be most vulnerable right after getting your lash perm done, so it’s important to be gentle and take care of them during this time.

Can I apply mascara?

You need to avoid mascara for the first 24 to 48 hours after your lash perm. Mascaras will interfere with the perming solution since they’re either water- or oil-based. 

woman putting on mascara

How often can you get an eyelash perm?

You can generally get your lashes redone about once a month, but the answer is going to be a little different for everyone. For example, if your lashes don’t fall out as often, you can wait longer in between appointments. If you’re unsure how long you should wait, give your lash Pro a call for their advice.

As with any beauty treatment, your perm looks best on a healthy lash base. So take care of your natural lashes before you pursue semi-permanent treatments, like a lash perm. Ask your Pro for lash care recommendations to keep your natural lashes conditioned and in good shape.

How much are eyelash perms?

You should expect to pay between $60 and $80 for your lash perm. That might sound like a lot, but it’s worth it to invest in quality service, especially when the service is performed near your eyes.

Many variables affect the cost of your lash perm. Salons in cities with higher costs of living generally charge more for services. Prices also change depending on your lash Pro’s level of expertise. 

Does eyelash perming damage your lashes?

Any treatment that alters hair texture has the potential to affect your hair’s health. However, as long as you’re going to a licensed and experienced technician, your lashes should not be damaged.

It’s important to research and select your salon and lash technician carefully. A lash perm can damage your lashes if it’s done incorrectly. Mistakes like leaving the perming solution on for too long or using low-quality products can leave your lashes prone to breakage.

Some Pros might recommend a conditioning treatment to keep your lashes hydrated after your lash perm. Remember to wait at least a day or two before trying any conditioning treatments so that you don’t deactivate the curl. When in doubt, consult with your Pro for their advice on how you can keep your lashes healthy.

If you notice a bit of shedding after your lash perm, that doesn’t mean that you should panic. Remember that lash shedding happens all the time. Consider that you’re just noticing shedding more often because you’re paying more attention to your freshly permed lashes.

What are some eyelash perm side effects?

The most common lash perm side effects are mild, like eye or skin irritation. As with any treatment, there is also a chance that you could have an allergic reaction to your lash perm. Researching your salon and lash technician ahead of time reduces your risk of experiencing side effects.

You can expect to have some sensitivity in and around your eyes immediately after your lash perm. If you’re unsure about your eyes’ reaction, or if your symptoms persist, reach out to your lash Pro or your doctor for guidance.

Your lashes may feel drier than normal after treatment as well. Again, this is a normal reaction to your lash perm and can be helped if you add a lash conditioner to your routine. 

All these potential side effects sound scary, but lash perms are a safe service as long as you find a licensed and experienced lash technician.

Booking a consultation with an experienced Pro is the easiest way to prevent unnecessary side effects. This gives you a chance to ask about your Pro’s experience, see pictures of past clients, and confirm the cleanliness of the salon. Skimping on researching your salon and lash technician leaves you vulnerable to eye infections and unnecessary irritation.

Patch tests are an important safety measure for clients with sensitive skin or allergies. A patch test is when you take a small amount of the product used during a service and apply a bit to your skin to check for an allergic reaction.

Usually, your Pro will apply a bit of the solution on your inner wrist. This is because it’s a lot easier to manage a smaller reaction on your wrist than on your eyes.

common eyelash perm side effects

Can I do a lash perm at home?

You shouldn’t try to do a lash perm at home, no matter how tempted you are to save money. You’re way more likely to experience negative side effects like infection and lash damage if you attempt a lash perm at home. Limit your lash DIYs to temporary solutions like strip lashes.

Another risk of attempting an at-home lash perm is that your lash kit could contain risky ingredients. Seeing a lash Pro for your lash perm ensures that your treatment uses safe products and techniques for the best results.

Is it worth it to get an eyelash perm?

Lash perms aren’t a good fit for everyone. Whether or not your lash perm will be worth it depends on your expectations for the treatment. If you’re looking to take lash curling out of your daily routine or give your eyes a more natural eye-opening effect, then a lash perm might be right for you.

On the other hand, some clients report that they didn’t expect their lashes to look so short after their lash perm. Just like with the hair on your head, curled lashes can appear shorter, so if your lashes are already short, lash extensions might be a better option. Just keep in mind that lash extensions cost more than perms and require more time and effort.

woman curling eyelashes

Eyelash perms can completely revamp your lash game, but it’s not a service that you should get done on a whim. If you’re ready to commit to an eyelash curler-free life, find a lash Pro in your area that suits your needs for a stress-free experience.