There is a wide range of materials to choose from. (Your salon may not stock them all.)
Synthetic lashes (also called acrylic lashes) are made from a type of polyester plastic fibre called PBT, or to give it its full name, Polybutylene Terephthalate. It is ideal for artificial eyelashes because it can be made into very fine fibres which are quite strong while being flexible at the same time, and they can be made to look like natural lashes (as well as mink or silk lashes). To make the lash, the fibre is heated, formed into the correct shape and curl, and it then keeps that shape when it cools.
You can have real mink lashes. These aren’t mink eyelashes! They are hairs obtained during the natural shedding season of the mink (so ‘they’ say). They come from the tail of either the Siberian or Chinese mink, with the Siberian version generally being of higher quality.
Advantages of real mink lashes:
- They look and feel the most natural and soft
- They are (nearly) the most lightweight (because mink hairs are hollow).
- They have a natural fluffy look.
Disadvantages of real mink lashes:
- They are expensive
- Synthetic mink tends to last longer and keeps its curl
- Real mink tends to lose its curl when wet, and you need to perm them at home to keep their curl.
The hair for lashes is obtained like mink hair. Sable is the most lightweight of all. It may be perfect for anyone with very thin and sparse natural lashes.
One of the most popular type of lashes is ‘faux mink’ or ‘synthetic mink’. ‘Faux’ (pronounced ‘foe’) is French for imitation. These lashes are also made of polyester. ‘Mink’ is only a marketing name to suggest the desired appearance of the lash. (There is ‘faux sable’ too.) Faux mink lashes are low maintenance because there is no need to curl them or add mascara. They have a glossy appearance, and are more shiny than silk lashes. These are probably the most popular lashes.
‘Silk’ is another marketing name for a synthetic lash – one designed to look like silk obviously. Silk lashes are quite light, keep their curl, and they tend to have a rich matte black colour. They are less rigid than faux mink. Some websites recommend them as being ideal for a more glamourous or dramatic look. Others say they have a softer (than faux mink) and more natural feel.
You can have human lashes.