Lash Lift vs. Lash Perm: Which Is Better for You?

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Want to make your eyelashes look extra special without using messy mascara or worrying about streaks and smears?

As mascara wands take a backseat, two transformative techniques have emerged in the spotlight: the lash lift and the lash perm.

You may ask, which is better, a lash lift or a perm? While these two popular procedures may seem similar, there are some significant differences you need to know about!

The master combs the eyelashes of the client after the lamination procedure.

Curious? We shine the spotlight on lash lift vs. lash perm. We unravel the procedures, pros and cons, aftercare tips, and budget allocation for each procedure type. 

Read on and decide which procedure aligns with your unique style so you can achieve that coveted lash transformation!

What Is a Lash Lift?

A lash lift is a specialized beauty procedure that utilizes specially designed shields or pads. These pads are placed at the base of the lashes to lift them upward, creating a lifted and more open look.

As their name implies, a lash lift primarily focuses on lifting lashes from the base, producing a more natural and lifted appearance that enhances the eye’s overall shape. 

The effect typically lasts 6 to 8 weeks, making it a convenient option for anyone looking to simplify their beauty routine while achieving captivating, long lashes.

Lash Lift Application

Does it sound like a lash lift is for you? Let’s look closer at the lash lift procedure.

Make-up artist makes the procedure of lamination and dyeing of eyelashes to a beautiful woman in a beauty salon.

Here is a step-by-step guide to the lash lift procedure.

Step 1: Preparation

Your eyelashes are thoroughly cleansed using a gentle, oil-free cleanser to remove any makeup, oils, or debris.

Your lash technician may also use a lash primer like Pacifica Beauty to prepare your lashes for the lift.

Step 2: Choosing the Shields or Pads

Next, your technician will select the appropriate size of silicone shields or pads based on your eyelash length and desired lift.

The shields come in various sizes to create different levels of lift. 

Step 3: Adhesive Application

Then, a gentle adhesive is applied to the back of the silicone shields or pads, which are carefully placed onto your eyelids (while your eyes are closed), ensuring they are properly centered and secure. 

Step 4: Lash Placement

When the shields are secure, the technician will use a lash tool or tweezers to attach the lashes to the silicone shields carefully.

They are neatly separated and adhered smoothly to the shields, and the technician will make sure no lashes overlap or cross.

Step 5: Lifting Solution

When the lashes are applied, a special lifting solution will be applied to them, covering them all evenly.

The lifting solution softens the hair structure of the lashes, allowing them to be reshaped.

Step 6: Processing

The lifting solution will be allowed to sit for the recommended time (usually around eight to 15 minutes), depending on your lash type and desired lift level.

Lashes will be monitored to avoid over-processing.

Step 7: Neutralizer

After the desired processing time, the solution will be lifted using a gentle, oil-free cleanser.

Then a neutralizer will be applied for another five to 10 minutes to set your lashes in their new lifted position.

Step 8: Cleansing and Removal of Shields

Once the time is completed, the neutralizer is removed with a clean, damp cotton pad or swab.

The lashes are gently cleaned to remove any residue, and the shields or pads are removed.

Step 9: Brush

Once the shields are removed, the lash technician will gently brush the lashes using a clean, disposable mascara wand, such as the ones from Chefbee, to separate lashes that may have clumped together.

For a more detailed guide, check out this video: 

Pros and Cons of Lash Lift

Understanding the process is an excellent first step, but to further help you choose between lash perm vs. lash lift, you must look at the lash lift treatment’s advantages and disadvantages.

Pros

  • Natural appearance

    Lash lift treatments deliver a naturally elevated appearance to the lashes. 

    By lifting them from the base, this procedure provides an open-eyed effect, enhancing the overall attractiveness of the eyes without the need for lash extensions.
  • Low maintenance

    Many favor lash lifts for their minimal maintenance requirements. They reduce the daily makeup routine by eliminating the need for lash curling or mascara, saving time and effort in the morning.
  • Gentler on lashes

    Lash lifts utilize a milder chemical solution compared to lash perms. 

    The gentleness of these solutions is achieved through milder reducing agents like thioglycolic acid and ammonium thioglycolate, which soften and reshape the lashes with lower concentrations. 

    Also, lash lift solutions typically contain less hydrogen peroxide, which is responsible for setting the lifted lashes, reducing the potential for harsh reactions.

Cons

  • Shorter duration

    The results of a lash lift are relatively short, typically lasting around six to eight weeks. You need to return for touch-ups frequently compared to lash perm treatments.
  • Limited lift options

    Lash lifts may not be ideal if you seek highly specific or dramatic curl styles. The available lift options might be considered somewhat limited for those with distinct preferences.
  • Not suitable for all lash lengths

    If your lashes are extremely short or straight lashes, they may not respond as effectively to lash lift procedures.
  • Potential allergies

    While lash lift solutions are generally milder, they can still contain allergens.

    You may find fragrances, parabens, and other preservatives in some solutions that may trigger allergies in sensitive individuals.

What Is a Lash Perm?

A woman is getting her eyelashes permed in a salon performed by a master artist wearing an apron and face mask.

Now that you know about lash lift, let’s look at lash perm.

Are lash lifts and lash perms the same? We know many of you are wondering, and the answer is — no.

A lash perm, distinct from a lash lift, is a specialized beauty treatment designed to give natural lashes a semi-permanent curl. 

This method employs silicone cylindrical rods and a perming solution. The process includes applying the perming solution to soften the lashes’ structure, resulting in uniform curling along the entire length of the lashes. 

Unlike the temporary effects of a lash lift, the results of a lash perm can last for about two to three months, offering a long-lasting solution for those who desire consistently curled lashes without the need for daily curling or extensions.

Lash Perm Application

You understand the fundamental difference between lash lift and lash perm. Let’s look at how their procedures differ.

Here is a step-by-step look at the lash perm process.

Step 1: Preparation

Your eyelashes are thoroughly cleansed using a gentle, oil-free cleanser.

This step, similar to the lash lift procedure, is also crucial for ensuring proper adhesion of the perming solution.

Step 2: Silicone Rod Selection

Then, the lash tech will select the appropriate size of cylindrical silicone rods based on your desired curl and lash length.

Smaller rods create tighter curls, while larger ones create a softer curl.

Step 3: Adhesive Application

Once the rods are selected, a gentle adhesive is applied to the back, and the rod is carefully attached to your eyelid (while your eyes are closed). 

The rod is aligned with the base of the lashes, placed carefully at the center, and properly secured.

Step 4: Lash Placement

Using a lash tool or tweezers, the technician gently lifts and attaches your lashes to the silicone rod.

They ensure lashes are neatly separated, adhered smoothly to the rod, and aligned along the length of the rod for an even curl.

Step 5: Perming Solution Application

Once the lashes are applied, a perming solution is applied, starting from the middle of the lashes down to the lash roots, covering the lashes evenly.

This controlled application helps create a gradual and natural curl.

Step 6: Processing Time

The perming solution is left to sit for the recommended time (usually 10 to 15 minutes), depending on your lash type and desired curl. Lashes are monitored to avoid over-processing.

During this time, the perming solution creates a curl in the lashes.

Step 7: Neutralizer Application

After the desired processing time, the perming solution is removed using a damp cotton pad or swab. 

Then, a neutralizer solution is applied to the lashes to set the curl. This is left on for approximately five minutes.

Step 8: Cleansing and Removal of Silicone Rods

When the time is up, your lashes are thoroughly cleansed with a gentle, oil-free cleanser to remove any remaining residue of the perming and neutralizing solutions.

Step 9: Brushing

After the lash technician ensures the permed lashes are free from any possible residue, they brush them using a disposable lash mascara wand to separate them gently.

Here’s a detailed process of how a lash perm treatment is done:

Pros and Cons of Lash Perm

Like we shared the pros and cons of lash lifts, we look at the benefits and drawbacks of lash perm treatments.

Pros

  • Long-lasting results

    One of the most popular advantages of lash perm treatments is their long-lasting results.

    The curl achieved in a lash perm can endure for an extended period, typically two to three months, reducing the need for frequent maintenance.
  • Customizable curl

    A lash perm procedure offers considerable flexibility in tailoring curls to meet everyone’s preferences. Technicians can adjust the level of curl with their choice of rods to create a personalized look.
  • Suitable for various lash types

    Lash perms are versatile. They work on various lash types, including short, long, straight, or moderately curled lashes, making them suitable for more people.

Cons

  • Strong chemical process

    The difference between lash lift and lash perm lies primarily in the chemical process. Lash perm solutions typically contain stronger concentrations of thioglycolate or ammonium thioglycolate than lash lift solutions. 

    This can increase the risk of weakening or even breaking the lashes if the treatment is performed incorrectly or if the client has delicate or sensitive lashes.
  • Maintenance required 

    Clients with permed lashes must adhere to maintenance routines, including using lash conditioners or serums like Grande Cosmetics to maintain lash health and prevent dryness or brittleness. 

    Additionally, they may need to avoid certain products like oil-based makeup or activities such as rubbing and pulling lashes, as these could compromise the curl. 
  • Risk of over-processing

    Inexperienced technicians may risk over-processing the lashes, leading to excessive curl or damage. Therefore, it’s crucial to seek a skilled and experienced technician.
  • Risk of allergic reactions

    As with many cosmetic treatments, there’s a small risk of allergic reactions to the products used in lash perms. Patch tests are vital for identifying potential allergies in clients with sensitive skin. 

Cost Comparison: Lash Lift vs. Lash Perm

Comparison between lash lift vs. lash perm cost can vary based on different factors.

In this section, we look at the different factors that affect the price for each treatment, as well as a rough estimate of the price range and difference for lash lift and perm.

Factors Affecting Price RangeLash LiftLash Perm
Procedure timeRequires less time to complete, which contributes to a lower overall costLonger sessions with a more intricate process leads to a higher cost
Chemical compositionMilder chemicals with lower concentrations; ingredients are less expensiveStronger concentrations that are effective in creating long-lasting results; costlier
Treatment durationResults last 6 to 8 weeks Results last 2 to 3 months
Curl/Lift customizationLimited choices; simplicity in lift selection influences affordabilityGreat flexibility in curl customization; requires additional expertise and time, often resulting in higher price point
Technician expertiseStandard procedure which helps maintain a lower price pointDemands a higher level of expertise, which contributes to a higher price point
Maintenance needsFewer touch-ups and productsRequire more maintenance products
Salon/Location reputationMay influence pricingMay influence pricing

Lash lift treatments typically range from $40 to $100 per session. On the other hand, lash perm treatments usually range from $60 to $150 per session.

Maintenance and Aftercare

Now that you know the differences between lash lift and lash perm, another essential thing to understand is maintenance and aftercare.

Maintaining and caring for your lash lift and perm is a must to ensure they last as long as possible while keeping your lashes healthy. Generally, the aftercare for both is very similar.

Here are some tips to safeguard your new lashes.

Avoid Excess Moisture

For the first 24 to 48 hours after the treatment, avoid exposing your lashes to excess moisture, including swimming, saunas, or steam rooms.

This allows the curl to set properly.

No Lash Curlers

Avoid using manual and heated lash curlers, which can strain and damage the permed lashes.

Avoid Waterproof Mascara

Even after the initial 24-hour period, avoiding waterproof mascara is best, as it can be challenging to remove without oil-based products.

Gentle Cleansing

When cleansing your face, be gentle around the eye area.

Use an oil-free makeup remover or micellar water like the ones from Bioderma to avoid breaking down the perm or lash lift solution.

Be Mindful of Sleeping Habits

Try to sleep on your back or with your face not directly pressed into the pillow to prevent flattening the curled lashes.

Lash Serums and Conditioners

Use lash serums or conditioners to maintain the health and strength of your lashes.

You may also check with your technician for recommendations.

Scheduled Touch-Ups

Schedule touch-up appointments as your technician recommends to maintain the curl as your natural lashes grow.

Close-up of a woman's eye after an eyelash lamination procedure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Keratin Lash Lift the Same as Lash Perm?

No, a keratin lash lift is not the same as a lash perm. 

A keratin lash lift focuses primarily on enhancing and nourishing the natural lashes using a keratin-based solution.

This treatment lifts and curls the lashes, similar to lash perm, but it mainly aims to improve the overall health and strength of the lashes. 

This can be particularly beneficial for those with brittle or damaged lashes.

On the other hand, a lash perm focuses solely on curling the natural lashes using chemicals like thioglycolate or ammonium thioglycolate. 

While both treatments create a curled lash appearance, the emphasis and primary purpose of a keratin lash lift vs. lash perm differ. A keratin lash lift aims to enhance lash health alongside the curl, while a lash perm focuses solely on curling the lashes.

Can I Wear Lash Extensions With a Lash Lift or a Lash Perm?

Yes, you can wear lash extensions with both lash lifts and lash perms, but it’s crucial to observe specific timing considerations.

Following a lash lift or lash perm, it’s generally recommended to wait approximately 48 hours minimum before getting lash extensions. This waiting period allows the curl or perm to set correctly and ensures the best results.

Combining extensions with a lash lift or perm can result in a striking and long-lasting lash appearance, offering both curl and length. 

It’s vital to consult with an experienced lash technician with expertise in both treatments to achieve the desired look while preserving the health of your natural lashes.

Lash Lift vs. Lash Perm for Confidence-Boosting Lashes: There’s a Perfect Choice for Everyone

Choosing between a lash lift and a lash perm boils down to individual preferences and needs.

Lash lifts offer a natural curl with lower maintenance, suitable for those seeking a subtle yet refreshed look.

On the other hand, lash perms provide longer-lasting and customizable curls, appealing to those desiring a more dramatic transformation.

Consult a skilled lash technician, consider factors like duration, maintenance, cost, and customization, and choose the option that best enhances your beauty while keeping your natural lashes happy and healthy.

Gorgeous lashes are absolutely within reach, so weigh your options and choose the procedure best suited to your needs.

When you do, you’ll enjoy gorgeous, luscious, curled lashes daily.

Looking for Ways and Products to Enhance Your Lashes?

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Author

  • Janille Gultiano

    Jan, a distinguished freelance makeup artist, also boasts a BA in Mass Communication, laying the foundation for her diverse talents. For over four years, she's carved a niche as a captivating content writer, with her articles resonating in various spheres. Beyond writing, her expertise extends to crafting robust Public Relations and Corporate Communications strategies. Each endeavor reflects Jan's unique blend of creativity and precision

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