Created for expats living in Japan

Eyelash Perm vs Eyelash Extensions: Which is Better for You?

In Japan, the number of specialized salons dedicated to eyelashes has been increasing, and more people are opting for eyelash extensions and lash perms to achieve their desired lash appearance. The 2 main popular options are eyelash extensions, which involve using extensions to enhance the lashes, and lash perms, which involve curling the natural lashes. Here are the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of extensions and perms for your reference in determining which one suits you best. We recommend consulting with a skilled technician to make the final decision on which option to choose.

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What are Eyelash Extensions?

Eyelash extensions involve attaching one artificial eyelash extension to each natural eyelash. They are recommended for people with sparse or thin lashes as they provide a curl and volume without the need for mascara or an eyelash curler. Eyelash extensions fill in the gaps, resulting in a beautifully enhanced look when the eyes are closed. Overall, eyelash extensions are a recommended method for those who desire voluminous lashes.

Advantages of eyelash extensions

Eyelash extensions offer the ability to customize not only the curl but also the length and thickness of the lashes, allowing for the creation of an ideal eye appearance. One of the benefits of eyelash extensions is the eyeliner-like effect achieved at the base of the lashes. By eliminating the need for an eyelash curler, mascara, and eyeliner, it saves time during both morning makeup routines and nighttime makeup removal. Additionally, when it comes time for a refill or removal after approximately 3 weeks, it is possible to change to a different design. With eyelash extensions, it is possible to change the impression of your eyes on a monthly basis, making it suitable for those who enjoy experimenting with various makeup looks.

Disadvantages of eyelash extensions

The main disadvantage of eyelash extensions is the need for careful handling of the extensions in daily life. Since each lash extension is attached to individual natural lashes, some individuals may experience discomfort due to the weight or an unnatural sensation. It is important to choose extensions that are suitable for the length and thickness of your natural lashes to avoid putting too much strain on them.

Furthermore, eyelash extensions require the use of specialized glue, which is generally sensitive to oil-based products. Therefore, it is necessary to select oil-free cleansers and facial washes.

It is also worth noting that some people may experience allergic reactions to the glue used for eyelash extensions. If you have concerns, it is advisable to choose a salon that uses low-irritation or hypoallergenic glue.

What is an Eyelash Perm?

An eyelash perm is a process of applying a perm solution directly to the natural eyelashes to create a curled effect. This allows the lashes to maintain a curled appearance similar to when using an eyelash curler. The perm holds up even when exposed to water, such as during bathing. The outcome of an eyelash perm can range from a natural look to a more glamorous look depending on the amount of natural lashes one has. 

Advantages of eyelash perm

One of the major benefits of eyelash perm is that it requires easy aftercare. It is resistant to water, humidity, and makeup smudging, making it convenient for daily activities. There is no need to be concerned about makeup removal or cleansing products, as they can be used without any special considerations. The design can also be freely changed by adjusting the angle of the curl.

Furthermore, eyelash perm is more cost-effective compared to eyelash extensions. The curl can last for approximately one month, resulting in fewer salon visits and additional cost savings.

Disadvantages of eyelash perm

Unlike eyelash extensions, the outcome of eyelash perm can vary depending on the length and quantity of natural lashes. While it allows for achieving an ideal curl, some individuals may feel that their lashes lack length or volume.

Additionally, similar to hair perming, eyelash perm involves the use of chemical agents, which can cause damage to the natural lashes. Therefore, even if you feel that the curl has loosened, it is necessary to consider the strain on the natural lashes and maintain a one-month interval between treatments.

Similar to eyelash extensions, some people may experience allergic reactions, so it is recommended to choose a salon that uses low-irritation or hypoallergenic products.

How Long do They Last?

The duration of eyelash extensions varies depending on the type of extensions used and the design, but typically they last around 1 month. For repair or refill services, where only the fallen extensions are replaced, it is usually done within 2-3 weeks.

Eyelash perm usually lasts approximately 1 to 1.5 months. Initially, individuals who are getting their first eyelash perm may feel that it doesn't last as long due to the natural lashes' resistance. However, with repeated treatments, the duration of the curl improves.

If you feel that more than half of the curl has loosened, it's time for the next treatment. However, it is important to consider the strain on the natural lashes, so it is recommended to leave a one-month interval between treatments.

Which is Better for You?


People who are recommended for eyelash extensions

If you would like to:

- add volume to their eyes

- achieve thickness and curl

- shorten your makeup time

- shorten your cleansing time

- enhance your eye appearance and create a voluminous and glamorous look even without makeup

People who are recommended for an eyelash perm

If you have naturally long lashes.

If you have downward-pointing lashes.

If you would like to enhance the appearance of their double eyelids.

If you prefer shorter treatment times.

For people with long natural lashes, eyelash perm alone can create a wide-eyed and defined look. People with downward-pointing lashes may find it challenging to achieve a seamless blend between their natural lashes and eyelash extensions, but with an eyelash perm, there are no such concerns as it curls the natural lashes themselves.

What is a Lash Lift?

A lash lift is a technique that focuses on lifting the roots of the lashes rather than curling them. By creating a lifted base and eliminating shadows caused by the lashes, it gives the appearance of larger and more open eyes.

Since it does not involve curling the lashes much, it allows even individuals with shorter lashes to maximize the appearance of length. People with sparse lashes may find that lifting the roots accentuates any gaps at the lash line, so eyeliner may be necessary if it becomes a concern. Over-lifting the roots can result in an unnatural appearance when viewed from the side.

English-Speaking Eyelash Salons

Lea Lourdes (Tokyo)

Eyelash extensions, Eyelash perms, Eyebrow extensions, Eyebrows stylings, Eyebrow waxing, Face waxing, Facial treatment etc.

A: Room#105 COMFORIA AZABUDAI, 3-4-4, Azabudai, Minato-ku, Tokyo

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