Eyelashes have been in focus lately, and there are all kinds of options cropping up for women who would like longer, fuller, more luscious lashes, or even who’ve lost their lashes due to an accident or illness.
An eyelash implant is just the latest option from a series of other solutions, including falsies, or extensions.
But are eyelash implants such a good idea? Can anyone get them? What do you need to know about this procedure before deciding on it? Let’s take a look at some of the essential aspects of this procedure.
What are eyelash implants?
Eyelash implants are exactly what it sounds like – just like you can get a hair implant, you can get an eyelash implant.
It’s kind of like getting eyelash extensions, except this procedure is a bit more complex, but also more long-term. It is actually essentially a hair transplant, because hair is taken from one place and then the doctor performs a surgery to implant the hair follicles along your lash line.
Who gets eyelash implants?
The beautiful thing about eyelash implants is that anyone can get them! But even though they make an excellent strictly cosmetic procedure to make us feel even prettier, they can also serve a much greater purpose.
For people who’ve lost their lashes either while undergoing chemotherapy, or because illnesses like Trichotillomania, where one pulls their own lashes out, eyelash implants can be a procedure that can give them their confidence back and help make them feel normal again.
In fact, there is a fair bit of controversy surrounding this, as some doctors will not even perform this kind of procedure for strictly cosmetic reasons, and instead will only do it on patients who have suffered trauma leading to eyelash loss.
What does the procedure entail?
Okay, but what actually happens during the procedure? First of all, you get an injection with local anesthetic for the area in the back of your head where the hair is getting taken from.
A scalp strip (we promise this sounds scarier than it is) is removed and a technician is tasked with separating the individual hair grafts, while your wound is being stitched up.
These tiny follicular grafts are then implanted into your eyelid individually (that’s why the procedure takes a few hours) with the help of a curved needle.
Where does the hair come from?
The hair comes from your own scalp! Live hair follicles are taken from the back of your head and rearranged on your eyelid during a complex surgery. Isn’t science incredible?
How long do eyelash implants take?
Because this is a tad more complicated than just getting eyelash extensions, the entire operation takes several hours. However, it’s still a relatively quick procedure, in that in takes 3 to 4 hours and you will walk in and walk out on the same day.
What about the after care?
You may be feeling a little tender after the procedure, so make sure to take it easy around the eyes for a few days – no makeup, no makeup remover, no oils, keep hair, sweat and dirt out of your eyes, etc.
It’s all just common sense stuff, really; just keep the area clean and dry, so it can heal properly.
How long do eyelash implants last?
Eyelash implant surgery is permanent, meaning that your lashes are meant to last long-term. There is no going back to the salon to get your lashes filled in, like you do with extensions, and they will not fall off.
That makes them pretty low-maintenance, except for some steps we’re going to talk about in a bit.
How much do eyelash implants cost?
Like all procedures, the cost will depend on the medical practice, what exactly you’re getting done, how complex it is, etc., but you can expect around $5,000.
It is certainly pricy, which is why it may give you pause to get this done as a strictly cosmetic procedure.
That being said, a good set of eyelash extensions can set you back upwards of $100 for a full set – and that’s every month or so! So when you consider how often you’ll need to get those done, eyelash implants start to sound like not such a bad deal.
Do you have to do maintenance?
Actually yes, there is some maintenance involved with this procedure, and we’re going to explain why. Since this is hair taken from your head, it’s going to grow just like it does normally!
That means that when your lashes do grow – it takes around six months for them to grow to their full potential – they will need to be trimmed from time to time, and possibly curled, in order to better mimic natural lashes and blend in seamlessly.
They’re easy steps to do at some, so we wouldn’t be too concerned about the upkeep.
What are the risks of eyelash implants?
The downside with lash implants, compared to just regular old lash extensions, for example, is that while there is little to no risk with extensions, the implants come with some warnings.
In the worst case scenarios, lash implant operations gone wrong can lead to infections, madarosis, blepharitis, or chalzioins (eyelid tumors), none of which are particularly fun.
If you’re particularly concerned with these possible risks, it may not be worth getting them, when extensions are so much safer, and you get the same kind of effect, albeit less permanent.
Should you get eyelash implants?
There are certainly both positive and negative aspects to weigh with eyelash implants, and they’re serious enough that we can’t make the decision for you.
But we can offer you all the details, to make sure you are making an informed decision. Let’s make a PRO & CON list:
They look great
Obviously, the first thing to point out here is that they look incredible and natural. It’s your own hair, and they’re lush and fluttery, and everything your falsies aren’t.
And speaking of falsies, there is no glue involved with implants! No need to put them on and take them off, no struggling to glue them on, and no going back to get your extensions filled in. You wake up beautiful and you go to bed beautiful – forever.
It’s a quick procedure
The procedure is a relatively quick in-and-out with minimal aftercare required. Not quite like a quick shot of Botox, but not majorly inconvenient, either.
There are risks to consider
The medical risks may outweigh the benefits, if you’re not a gambling kind of woman. While the procedure is totally safe, there are still always risks to consider, and that can weigh pretty heavily.
It’s very expensive
Not a lot of women have a cool $4000 to $5000 in spare change just lying around, so paying for it is going to take some penny pinching and couch cushion scraping. This one’s going to hurt, but only in your wallet.
You have to do maintenance
While the maintenance is not a major pain, it is still necessary. The lashes grow straight, like the hair on your head, and they need to be trimmed and curled, so they’re not 100% effortless.