How to remove lash extensions safely, according to an expert

It’s important to know how to remove lash extensions to prevent damage to your natural lashes. Here's the best process...

A close-in shot of an eye with eyelash extensions being removed, to illustrate how to remove lash extensions
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Knowing how to remove lash extensions the right way is almost as important as ensuring you're getting them applied safely in the first place. 

Lash extensions are a great in-salon treatment for when you want a full flutter without the faff. We all know that best false eyelashes still require quite some skill, even when you know how to apply false eyelashes. Extensions give the same look, but they last weeks, not hours.

The upside of falsies though, is that they're pretty commitment-free. Removing false lashes is pretty simple - peel them off at the end of the night, set them down and you're done. Lash extensions are a bit more complicated, and require more maintenance when it comes to aftercare. For the expert take on how to remove lash extensions safely, I spoke to the Head of Education at Blink Brow Bar, Jaimineey Patel who shared her insights. 

Jaimineey Patel
Jaimineey Patel

Jaimineey Patel is an experienced lash technician working as Head of Training at Blink Brow Bar. 

How to remove lash extensions without damaging your natural lashes

What is the safest way to remove eyelash extensions?

My favourite tips often boil down to, 'do nothing', and this is Patel's advice on how to remove lash extensions in the safest possible way. "It’s always best to allow the eyelash extensions to fall out naturally," she advises.

If you don't want to play the waiting game, you should go to a salon to get them removed by a professional. Ideally, it should be the same place you had them applied in the first place – unless you had a bad experience there, which may be why you're in a hurry to get them removed. "Always go to the professionals," agrees Patel. "They will remove the extensions safely, ensuring your natural lashes are not damaged. The process can take up to 30 minutes."

How do you remove glued eyelash extensions?

All the experts I've spoken to in the past agree that you should always visit a salon to remove glued lash extensions if you don't want to wait for them to fall away naturally. 

Patel talks us through the process. "Firstly, a protective shield is applied on the lower lashes, then barrier cream is applied on the eyelids. The eyes must remain closed for the next steps until the extensions are removed." She continues, "Using a micro brush, eyelash remover is gently applied to the lash extensions focusing on where the lashes are attached. The remover is left to soak for a few minutes and then the extensions are gently weaned away. To finish, lashes are cleansed with makeup remover and water."

Can I remove my lash extensions myself?

In a word, no. This may not be the advice you were after if you've been searching for how to remove lash extensions, but it's so important to properly care for your eyes and lashes. Risking an at-home removal simply isn't worth it. 

Whatever you do, don't pull them off yourself, even mindlessly as you're on the sofa (we've all done it). This will pull away your natural lashes with them, leaving you with gappy, damaged eyelashes. This in turn makes you want to get infills again, which could leave your lashes weaker and sparser, and create a bit of a vicious cycle. How to grow eyelashes back is a snail-pace process – even the best eyelash grower serum will take weeks, if not months, to reverse the damage. 

"My tip is to leave them to fall away naturally and wear mascara to fill in any gaps," advises Patel. "They will still look great in the interim and during your cleansing process, you will find they are gradually falling away. This won’t damage the lashes as long as you don’t pull at them."

How to speed up the fall-out of lash extensions

Over the years I've accumulated a lot of advice on how to maintain your extensions for as long as possible, but I think this could be cheekily turned on its head to help you speed up that shedding process. This is how to remove lash extensions lite – slow and steady still, but maybe a tiny bit quicker than waiting for gravity to do its thing. 

You could try...

  • Using an oily makeup remover: One of the main pieces of advice you get when you get lash extensions is to use an oil-free makeup remover to keep the glue intact. If you do use an oilier remover, this could loosen the glue and help the extensions fall away quicker. 
  • In fact, incorporate oils in general: Castor and coconut oils and even Vaseline are said to help loosen up the glue. But – be very careful applying anything around your eyes. Use a tiny amount, and just focus on the lashes, not the eyes.
  • Try steam: If you're wondering how to remove lash extensions while having a lovely pampering time, get steamy. Either by visiting your gym's steam room or by simply having a hotter, longer shower. Warm, moist steam can gently break down the glue bonds and help the extensions fall away quicker. 

To recap, the answer to how to remove lash extensions is never to idly pick them off yourself no matter how satisfying it feels – same goes for picking at your gel nails. Always visit a professional to get them removed in a way that causes the least amount of damage to your natural lashes, but if you did want to help them along, you could try swapping foaming cleansers to oil-based ones. 

Rhiannon Derbyshire
Senior Beauty Editor

Rhiannon Derbyshire is the Senior Beauty Editor for Woman & Home and other publications. 

She started interning for glossy magazines while working alongside her Fashion Journalism degree. There, she was lured to the beauty desk, seduced by matte lipsticks, posh shampoos, and every skincare product imaginable. 10+ years into her career, she can confidently tell you why the best mascaras are always high street, and why SPF is a non-negotiable all year round. Ask her about her curly hair routine, skincare minimalism, and how to find the exact right red lipstick