Is Eyelash Perming Safe?

Updated March 23, 2017

Women who are tired of mascara and eyelash curlers may be considering an eyelash perm. Eyelash perming is a semi-permanent solution to flat, lifeless lashes. There are some concerns about the risks of the procedure, however, so before you sign up for an eyelash perm, make sure you understand the risk you are taking.


The procedure begins with your lashes being cleaned and dried. Then a small piece of adhesive cotton is placed along the lower lash line. A perming rod is glued to your eyelid, and your lashes are combed and curled over the rod. Once they are in place, a diluted perm solution is placed on them. You will wait, with your eyes closed, until the solution has done its job. The perming rod is removed and the lashes are washed to remove the solution and glue, giving you a beautiful curl to your eyelashes.


Because of the strong nature of perming chemicals, many wonder whether eyelash perming is safe. The FDA has not yet granted approval to the products used to perm eyelashes, even though there have been few documented cases of severe injury after an eyelash perm. The FDA still feels that placing perming solution near the eyes poses a danger to someone undergoing an eyelash perm. However, this risk is not yet strong enough for the FDA to pull the product from the market, and since FDA approval is not required for cosmetic products, eyelash perming is readily available.

Time Frame

A typical eyelash perming procedure takes 45 minutes to 1 hour. During that time the customer must keep his or her eyes closed to avoid any potential damage caused by perming solution leaking into the eyes. A gentle adhesive forces the eyes to remain shut. The results can last up to four months, but most customers report that their results last for closer to five weeks. Once the eyelashes all fall or grow out, the procedure's results will no longer be visible.


It is possible to purchase eyelash perming kits online. However, you should not try to do this procedure at home. While there does not appear to be a high level of danger associated with professional eyelash perming, doing the procedure yourself increases any risk significantly. Besides the risk of harming your eyes with the perming solution, you also have the risk of causing your eyelashes to fall out, curling them too tightly, or missing some of your lashes and creating a lopsided look. If you are going to have your lashes permed, let the professionals do it for you.


So is it safe to have your eyelashes permed? No official decision has been made. Thousands of men and women have had their eyelashes permed with no apparent damage other than slight discomfort after the procedure, so many salon professionals feel it is safe. The FDA is not yet sure, and until FDA approval is granted, there will be a question of the safety of the procedure. If you are considering an eyelash perm, have it done at a reputable salon or spa so that you can feel confident with the results.

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About the Author

Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006, specializing in real estate, finance and travel. When she's not writing, she enjoys traveling and has visited several countries, including Israel, Spain, France and Guam. Harms received a Bachelor of Science in Education from Maranatha Baptist Bible College.