Long lashes may have been a sign of wanton behavior in the middle ages, but that ideal has long since been tossed to the wind. Over the past 100 years, riveting thick eyelashes have held a certain allure in both high fashion and everyday life.
Aside from the aesthetic appeal, eyelashes serve a specific purpose, to protect our eyes from dirt, debris, and other irritants.
While virtually everyone is born with some respectable length of eyelashes, not many have that movie star thickness that most people desire. Women and men alike have been enamored by the look and feel of thick eyelashes for generations.
There are many ways to go about increasing the look of your natural lashes ranging from plumping mascara to actual eyelash extensions. One of the most common methods of getting that dramatic look people love is through the use of fake eyelashes.
Improving The Look Of Eyelashes Through The Ages
There have been a lot of different methods used over the years to increase the look of one’s natural lashes. There was a time when people even used to take hair from their own head and sew it into their lashes to get a more dramatic look.
That method transformed into one of the earliest forms of false lashes, which was human hair attached to a thin strip of silk or gauze. Of course, you can imagine how that looked, but for that time period, it was all the rage.
Fake lashes have come a long way since then, now being applied with glue or magnets. From the small screen to big movies, and even just for a night out of town, false lashes are a basic necessity for anyone who wants to be trendy.
That being said, there is only so much human hair to be used for fake lashes, or even for wigs. With the commercial explosion of fake lashes, the industry had to come up with alternatives to what was previously a very niche product.
Most eyelashes are made from three main sources, animal hair, human hair, or synthetic materials. Let’s delve further into this topic to learn more about what your fake lashes are really made of.
What Are Your Natural Lashes Made of?
Before we get into fake lashes, let’s talk about natural lashes. Your body naturally produces keratin which is the base of your eyelashes. Your keratin lashes are rooted along the edge of your eyelid and get their nutrients from the follicle, just like the rest of the hair on your body.
Ten percent of your eyelashes are water, and the rest is proteins. Aside from making you look attractive, they help protect your eyes and keep your sebaceous glands safe from external irritants.
Your lashes keep out insects, dust, and other irritants from disturbing the gentle structure of your eyeball. The growth phase of your lashes is the same as the hair on your head.
The total process is about two months in length, 45 days of which the hair is growing, and the rest when it has completed its growth. The last phase is when your eyelashes shed and fall out, only for the whole process to start anew.
What Are Fake Lashes Made From?
Now that you understand what real eyelashes are made from and their purpose, we can talk about fake lashes. The purpose of false eyelashes is purely aesthetic, they don’t serve to protect your eyes in any way.
Fake eyelashes are made from human hair, mink hair, synthetic hair, and horsehair. Let’s discover a little bit more about each.
These are made from a mixture of all manmade materials. Typically, rubber and various recyclable materials are used to make this type of fake lash. Of all the options, synthetic eyelashes are the most affordable, but also have the lowest quality.
They tend to have a shiny look to the lash and are also heavier than natural hair lashes. While there is a curl to most synthetic lashes, they do not often look natural.
Synthetic lashes are generally for single-use, but higher quality synthetic lashes may be used multiple times with proper cleaning and maintenance.
Human Hair Lashes
The best type of fake lashes are those made from actual human hair. They look and feel like real eyelashes and are also more expensive than synthetic lashes.
They have high longevity and can be used multiple times. Most people who wear human hair lashes mention that they are hard to tell apart from natural eyelashes. They are more delicate than synthetic lashes and must be stored properly to prevent their breakdown.
Mink Fur Lashes
These types of lashes are the most expensive and the most controversial. Mink fake eyelashes are typically made by hand. The hair for these lashes is harvested from minks.
Most minks used for lashes are caged in farms for the specific purpose of providing hair for fake eyelashes. They are very light, comfortable, and look naturally feathery.
It is important to note that many companies offer cruelty-free mink lashes, while others do not state if their mink lashes are sourced from a mink farm.
Horsehair fake lashes are another option for those who want natural hair lashes but prefer to only purchase those that are guaranteed as cruelty-free.
They also provide a dramatic yet natural look when worn and do not cost as much as mink lashes. The hair is sourced from the horse’s tail which is trimmed on a regular basis just like human hair. There is no pain or cruelty involved.
What Lashes Should I Wear?
The lashes you purchase should reflect your personality. There is no right or wrong answer. Your budget, the look you are going for, and what is available in your market will ultimately help you decide which option is best for your situation.
If you have any sort of allergies to animal hair, it is a good idea to choose synthetic lashes or human hair lashes. Make sure you research the length, curl, and styles available prior to choosing a lash to fit your lifestyle.