About Eyelash Implants

by Lea WhiteFeather

Over time, more and more options have become available for those who want thicker, longer and darker eyelashes. Even alternatives that were once more purely medical in nature have gradually been made accessible to the public for beauty purposes. Included among these is the process of sewing real hairs along the lash line. If this is a step you're thinking about, you might want to consider the pros and cons, as well as other lash-defining choices that are perhaps safer and less costly.

Function

In order to get eyelash implants--or transplants, as they are also called--a patient is required to undergo cosmetic surgery. For this particular kind, a graft containing a strip of hairs is taken from the back of the head. The space this creates is sealed, and the skin and oils coating the extracted hairs are cleaned off. About 50 to 60 hairs are then individually sewn into the patient's upper eyelid, along the lash bed. Upkeep following surgery includes trimming the eyelashes on a regular basis, as these will grow at a rapid rate, unlike natural eyelashes. From this point onward, due to more defined eyelashes, mascara application is optional when wearing makeup.

History

Eyelash enhancement has been a beauty priority for as long as makeup has existed. Before cosmetics were developed for commercial purposes, women darkened their eyelashes with kohl in ancient times and soot in modern days just prior to the invention of mascara. While burn victims and illness survivors who'd lost their hair were the primary beneficiaries of eyelash implants, the procedure has gained popularity with those desiring thicker and longer lashes. Asians, who generally have shorter, sparser lashes, form a particularly large client base of the operation.

Significance

With the standards of Hollywood to live up to, women apparently feel that long, dark lashes are a must when applying makeup. Proof of this can be seen in the variety of mascaras constantly being developed for the next big thing in lashes, from applicators that promise more curl to formulas that guarantee a noticeable change in length. The beauty revolution has even gone so far as to come out with battery-operated mascara wands meant to coat each lash considerably in an attempt to increase volume. However, since false eyelashes were made widely available to the public in the 1960s, it appears that mascara is no longer deemed enough of an adornment for lashes.

Misconceptions

Eyelash implants are not eyelash extensions, which in turn are not traditional false eyelashes. Lash extensions are semi-permanent, requiring anywhere from two to three weeks before they are touched up at a salon for lashes that are always impeccably in shape. Unlike implants, extensions are shaped with a curl that resembles the ideal lash that beauty buffs strive to achieve with the use of an eyelash curler. Regular false eyelashes, on the other hand, are worn like makeup--by the end of the day, they should be taken off as a hygienic practice. They are not made to withstand showers, baths and heavy sweating in the way that eyelash extensions are.

Considerations

Before you make the decision to get eyelash implants, weigh all the factors on your list. For instance, as transplanting lashes is a surgical procedure, there are safety risks involved. Despite the use of an anesthetic and the care taken by the doctor during the operation, you may have to deal with physical pain, discomfort, infections and unforeseen complications that arise from going under the knife as you recover. Obviously, the price--not just in monetary terms--for making a commitment such as this is also relatively larger as compared to simply purchasing a pair of strip eyelashes or even choosing to get eyelash extensions instead. Still, depending on your priorities, you might feel that you have more to gain in the long run by going the route of eyelash implants.

Photo Credits

  • Leprechaun Art & Photography

About the Author

Lea WhiteFeather writes to share her colorful experiences with all who can benefit. She enjoys traveling as well, and has worked and resided in New York, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Philippines, where she received her undergraduate education in art history.