How to Fix Eyelashes That Won't Curl

Updated March 23, 2017

Curling eyelashes is one of the easiest ways to dramatically enhance your appearance; unfortunately, eyelashes may be too straight, sparse, fine or short to curl using conventional means, such as an eyelash curler on bare lashes. If your eyelashes refuse to curl, do not despair. With a little extra effort, you can curl those stubborn lashes and make your eyes appear larger and more open.

Use a heated eyelash curler. Heat a conventional eyelash curler using a blow dryer if you can't obtain a heated eyelash curler. Hold the eyelash curler approximately six inches from the front of the blow dryer, and apply heat to the eyelash curler for five seconds. Check the eyelash curler to ensure that it is warm but not hot enough to burn your eyelid. Use the eyelash curler like a hair curling iron. Begin by curling the base of your lashes, and work your way upward, curling the lashes again in the middle and at the ends of the lashes.

Apply thickening mascara to your lashes, which will adhere to the lashes in such a way that it creates a tubular structure of mascara around the lash. The mascara is pliable and will retain its structure once bent. Curl the lashes using the curler after applying the mascara. Thoroughly clean the eyelash curler using soap and water to ensure that mascara residue does not remain on the curler.

Visit a beauty salon that offers permanent eyelash curling performed by a state licensed cosmetologist. The process, called eyelash "perming," involves applying chemicals to the eyelashes while they are moulded into a curved position and has the effect of permanently curling the eyelashes and works on sparse and fine lashes that cannot be curled using more conventional methods. Eyelashes will retain their curled appearance until the curled lashes have fallen out and are replaced by new lashes. Eyelashes typically fall out and are replaced every one to three months.

Lengthen your lashes using a medication containing bimatoprost. According to Scientific American magazine, this type of medication is available by doctor's prescription for the treatment of eyelash hypotrichosis, a condition in which the eyelashes do not grow. Lashes that are too short may be difficult, if not impossible, to curl. Lengthening lashes will allow you to curl them using the methods described above.


Purchase heated eyelash curlers from most drug or beauty stores.


Medication containing bimatoprost is approved by the Food Drug Administration, but it can cause serious side effects; only use it as directed by your doctor. Do not share this medication with others, and do not use this medication unless you doctor prescribes it for you.

Things You'll Need

  • Heated eyelash curler (or eyelash curler and blow dryer)
  • Thickening mascara
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About the Author

Morgan Owens has a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice, and minors in biology and psychology. She attended Boston University and is currently applying to law school for matriculation in 2014. Her articles have been published on numerous informational websites.