Too many salons, therapists and untrained individuals who bought products off the internet to perform lash extensions from home are trying to cash in on the eyelash extensions craze and putting profits ahead of what is best for their clients, according to eyelash expert Marnie Kallmeyer.
"It's an unregulated industry and it's so important to go by word of mouth and even book a consultation. Ask questions, see photos, see the extensions themselves," she said.
Dodgy extensions could transfer bacteria and cause eye infections.
Ms Kallmeyer said it was important to visit a reputable lash stylist and steer clear of practitioners who used clumps of lashes rather than individual lash extensions.
Word of mouth was the best way to find a reputable practitioner.
"Clumps should not be called lash extensions," she said.
"Some salons use these and make you look like Priscilla."
She said clumping of lashes could cause pain and premature shedding of natural lashes.
Steer clear of inexperienced practitioners, Ms Kallmeyer said.
She had heard of cases where clients had their top lashes glued to the bottom ones, requiring the lashes to be cut apart with scissors, which was a danger to the eyes.
Q. Can you wear regular eye make-up with extensions?
Marnie Kallmeyer, Beauty Image: It is fine to wear eye shadows but, in general, you must avoid oil-based products and eyeliners and mascaras, as this will weaken and disintegrate the glue. The chemicals that make waterproof mascara waterproof damage the glue and must be avoided.
Q. Should any people steer clear?
Natalie O'Brien, Total Brow: Semi-permanent eyelashes are suitable for most people. However, as eyelash extensions are applied to existing lashes, an individual must have some natural lashes for the procedure. Eyelash extensions should not and, in many cases cannot, be applied to clients who have alopecia, any eye condition, are undergoing chemotherapy and those who suffer from trichotillomania (compulsive urge to pull out one's hair) unless the individual has received effective treatment and normal lash growth has returned. Also if an individual has a latex or adhesive allergy, a patch test is advised.
Q. How long do they last?
Ms O'Brien: A natural eyelash typically sheds every 60-90 days and is replaced with the growth of a new eyelash. Since eyelash extensions are applied one by one to each individual hair, after two to four weeks, about one-third of the lashes will have cycled out. At this point, touch-ups are required to replace the lashes that have completed their life cycle.