How to Avoid Lash Lice (Yes, It's a Thing)

photo by @dimid_86/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Don’t let lice get between you and your eyelash extensions. The popularity of eyelash extensions is phenomenal, but the trend is leading some optometrists to note an increase in lash lice, otherwise known as Demodex. According to recent news reports, these outbreaks in eyelash lice are in part due to lack of eyelash hygiene—something that can be easily remedied. When clients don’t clean their eyelash extensions (or makeup off their eyelashes), bacteria can build up and lead to infection as well as lice.  

Cleaning and caring for eyelash extensions is key and can reduce the risk of "lice" in eyelashes. The good news, grooming is quick and easy and there are affordable and easy-to-use eyelash washing products that make the whole process seamless.

So, how do you know if you have lice?  Experts say itchiness, redness and other discomforts could be clues. The lice are organisms that live on the hair follicle and just like having head lice, it can be transferred to anyone, according to health reports.  

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Esther Bolkin, an experienced esthetician and founder of Glad Lash California, a 30-plus-year-old international manufacturer of eyelash extensions and retail stores, recommends the following:

Remove Makeup Every Night

Every night, your nighttime routine should start by taking off your makeup and washing your face, but when you have extensions you have to care for them as well to make sure they stay in place and in-tact.

Wash Lashes

Washing your lashes should be done every 2 to three days. You will want to use an oil-free cleanser such as Glad Lash Wash and Wink which is a specially formulated, botanically infused oil-free cleanser designed to clean and condition your eyelashes and is safe to use around the eye area. You can also use an Eyelash Cleansing Brush being careful to always wash from the base to the tip of the lash. This process is very important and will not breakdown the lash bond, but rather maintain it.

Satin Pillowcase

It sounds luxurious, but it's actually affordable and helpful for your eyelash extensions as you sleep.

Sleep Mask

Why a sleep mask you may ask? The idea is to protect eyelash extensions while offering a deeper sleep with complete light blocking technology. For instance, Glad Lash has a contoured sleep mask that's ideal for bed, long-haul flights, hotel stays, car rides or meditation.

Equipped with an elastic Velcro band to ensure the perfect fit, the 3D satin masks come in pink and black and are great gifts for clients or as party favors for bridal or bachelorette parties.

Ultimately, having a nightly or daily routine to clean off make-up, including eye make-up and eyelash extensions, will make a difference and help not only keep lash lice away, but contribute to your overall well-being.  

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