Where do real eyelashes come from?

The eyelashes of the human embryo develop from the ectoderm between the 22nd and 26th weeks of pregnancy. Natural lashes don't grow beyond a certain length and fall out on their own without needing to be trimmed. Where do eyelash extensions come from? According to the beauty magazine Marie Claire, ancient Egyptians began using brushes and ointments to achieve voluminous, wavy lashes in 3500 BC. C.

In Egypt, it wasn't just women seeking to extend their eyelashes. Both men and women used different materials, such as malachite, to darken their lashes. He also said that they wanted to have long eyelashes to protect their eyes from the strong sun. Eyelash extensions offer a different layer of beauty that highlights the eyes and completes an outfit.

But did you know that it's not a modern trend? The love for eyelashes has been around longer than you think. Synthetic eyelashes are made with a plastic fiber called PBT or polybutylene terephthalate. This fiber is a type of polyester that heats up and molds into the desired tab shape. These types of lashes tend to be thicker than normal lashes and generally feel heavier on the eyes due to the stiffer band.

Synthetic eyelashes are designed for single use only. It wasn't until 1916, during the shooting of the film Intolerance, that artificial eyelashes began to cause a sensation. There's no real explanation for this, aside from the fact that trends come and go, but the 1970s and 80s weren't important decades for false eyelashes. However, thanks to all previous attempts to achieve beautiful eyelashes, many types of eyelash extensions persist today, as well as permanent makeup, such as microblading, micro-shading, powdered eyebrows, combination eyebrows and more.

Since the eyelashes play a real role in keeping dirt out of the eyes, that look was incredibly painful. In the 1950s, false eyelashes reappeared when Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe began using them on a daily basis. Nowadays, eyelashes represent a woman's sense of independence and are used to enhance the eyes and show their beauty. Makeup tutorials have become very popular on YouTube, and many YouTubers share videos on how to apply eyelash extensions.

The methods they used were dangerous because the eyelashes play the important function of keeping dust and dirt out of the eyes. A few years later, German hairdresser Karl Nessler offered false eyelash services at his salon in New York. That's probably why, at the end of the 19th century, when long eyelashes were back in fashion, some absolutely crazy treatments were offered. In the Middle Ages, people didn't want to be part of the false eyelash trend that would soon dominate mainstream culture.

In addition, modern false eyelashes are made of different materials and are lighter than ever. In 1915, Karl Nessler, a hairdresser known for his permanent waves, opened a hair salon in New York and sold eyelash services, promoting false eyelashes in his salon as, according to the New York Times, “a protection against the glare of electric lights”. When it comes to eyelash extensions, there are a lot of different types to choose from, so it should come as no surprise that there are also extensions made from human hair.

Randi Miera
Randi Miera

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