Women have long relied on false eyelashes to intensify their natural lashes with thickness and length. False eyelashes have come in many varieties through the years, from the classic adhesives to lash extensions individually woven onto lashes in specialty salons.
A new contender in the lash market, magnetic lashes are the latest trend to make news. But do magnetic lashes have staying power? And what are the health concerns, if any, with magnetic lashes?
Instead of fussing with glues and lashes, magnetic lashes offer a new twist. These products work by sandwiching natural lashes between a false lash set that adheres with small magnets. To apply, one simply places the top lash and the bottom lash on the lash line with her natural lashes in between. The false lashes, which are reusable, click into place and are designed to be easily removed by sliding the magnetic strips apart.
Magnetic lashes seem to present some of the same concerns of other false lashes and eyelash extensions. Eyelash extensions have reportedly caused irritation to the conjunctiva (conjunctivitis) or cornea (keratitis). The irritation may be caused by direct contact from the lashes themselves or hypersensitivity to the substances used to attach them. Also, the College of Optometrists in England has warned that "repeated use of eyelash extensions or false lashes can cause traction alopecia, a condition where the hair falls out due to excessive tension placed on the hair shaft."
False lashes have been associated with other problems as well. According to a study from Guillermo Amador, a Ph.D. candidate at the Georgia Institute of Technology, changing the proportion of eyelash (which ideally is one-third the width of the eye in length) can increase airflow around the eye and lead to more dust hitting the surface of the eye. Consequently, this air and dust can dry out the eyes quickly.
Women interested in trying magnetic lashes should first speak with an eye doctor to gauge their safety prior to use, and as with any false lashes, give the eyes a chance to rest between uses.