Do Eyelash Curlers Damage Your Eyelashes?

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There are two major types of eyelash curlers. The original Eyelash curler was patented in 1931 and has been a staple in women’s basic makeup kits ever since.

Recently, heated eyelash curlers have stormed onto the market.

In this article we are going to answer the question: do eyelash curlers damage eyelashes? In order to do that we are going to look at both types, how they are different and how both designs have the potential to damage lashes in different ways.

We are also going to give you tips on how to use each, so you don’t damage your lashes.


Eyelash Curlers vs Heated Eyelash Curlers

Eyelash Curler

The classic eyelash curler  consists of a metal body with curved clamps that use either rubber or silicone pads to clasp your eyelashes and curl them upwards.

We all know these babies.

Heated eyelash curler

Most heated eyelash curlers , on the other hand, consist of a heated wand that looks a bit like a mascara brush.

Rather than clamping the eyelashes, it uses heat to curl your lashes.

If you’re trying to decide which is right for you, see our article Heated Eyelash Curlers vs Regular.

Do Eyelash Curlers Damage Eyelashes?

Yes, eyelash curlers can damage eyelashes if they’re not properly used.

The traditional clamp design of the eyelash curler can be potentially damaging if you are not using it correctly.

If you apply too much force, or ‘clamp’ for too long, you will put a crimp in your lashes, and weaken your lashes at the crimp point.

Eyelash Curler

This can result in your eyelashes breaking off after a while.

You also need to worry about ripping out your eyelashes. Remember, you’re working with a clamp! Here are some common mistakes:

  • Your eyelashes stick to the pads because they are not clean
  • Mascara sticks to the pads
  • You simply haven’t ‘unclamped’ enough when you pull the clamp away

Heated curlers don’t have the same issues compared to traditional lash curlers.

Heated Eyelash Curler

Because of the wand design, you are not going to accidentally rip out your eyelashes the way you can with a regular curler.

However, heated lash curlers come with their own damaging potential.

Heat is what makes these lash curlers more effective than the traditional mechanical version. But heat can damage your lashes if you are not using the curler properly.

The heat can weaken and dry out your lashes, causing them to become brittle and break.

If you are trying to curl your lashes after you’ve put on makeup, the makeup could melt and stick to the heated wand. That could result in you pulling out or burning your lashes if you are having a hard time unsticking them.

How Do You Curl Eyelashes Without Damaging Them?

Although lash curlers can damage your lashes, the damage is typically caused by (ahem) user error.

We’ve put together some pro tips on how to use both traditional and heated eyelash curlers, so you can achieve the results you are looking for without damaging your lashes.

How to use a heated eyelash curler

Clean Your Lashes

First step is to use an eye makeup remover to properly clean your lashes. Make sure there is no residue from mascara or false eyelash glue or dirt or anything else, before you get started.

This is especially true if you are using heat. This residue will melt and stick to your curler, and may cause your eyelashes to stick to it.

You should avoid using a heated lash curler after you’ve applied mascara.

Fire It Up

Turn on and heat up your lash curler – it might take a few minutes.

Some curlers have one set temperature that’s deemed safe for your lashes, while others have different temperature settings.

If you have one of the latter, run the wand along your fingertips and adjust if needed.

Use the Curler

Place the heated wand in the middle of the base of your lash line. Bring it forward, toward the tip of your lashes.

Stop about halfway and gently push your eyelashes toward your lid for a curled effect. Hold for five seconds.

Then, bring the wand to the tip of your lashes, gently push, and hold.

You will need to repeat this process on either side because your eye has a natural curvature and the wand is straight.

Give your lashes a boost in volume and length with a coat or two of mascara to seal in your curled lashes.

How to use a regular eyelash curler

Check Your Pads

Make sure your curler pads are clean and in good shape. If you don’t want to bend or crimp (and damage) your lashes, resist the urge to clamp down and hold in just one spot.

You will need to periodically replace your pads, and occasionally replace your eyelash curler.

Pump Your Curler

You should ‘pump’ your curler, for about 5 seconds at a time.

Start at the root, then ‘pump’ up along the lashes to the tips. This will give a more natural curve, rather than a crimp.

Try not to ‘pump’ too forcefully – remember these are eyelashes, you’re not curling steel bars.

Follow it up with some mascara and you’re all set!

Just a note on heating up traditional eyelash curlers with a blow dryer – yes heated eyelash curlers create a longer-lasting effect than traditional eyelash curlers.

But it is highly advisable NOT to try and heat up your regular eyelash curler, despite loads of blogs advising to do just that.

If your eyelash curler uses rubber, rather than silicon pads, they could melt and stick to your eyelashes, resulting in you ripping them out.

Even if you use silicon pads, which stand up to heat much better than rubber, if they are too hot, they can damage your eyelashes.

We’re trying to avoid that, people!

Not to mention that because most regular eyelash curlers are made of metal, there is a very good chance of burning your eyelids, your face, and fingers because you have no control over the heat.

Heated eyelash curlers are not that expensive. If you want your eyelash curler heated – buy a heated eyelash curler!

Chella Heated Eyelash Curler with Included AAA Battery - Safe and Gentle Won't Damage Your Eyelashes (AAA Battery)…
  • GENTLE FOR YOUR LASHES: Gentle heating...
  • MAXIMUM CURL: our heated lash curler is...
  • NO MORE CRIMPING: Say good-bye to the...
  • TIP: Use mascara prior to use to give...


Do eyelash curlers damage lashes?

No. Both traditional and heated eyelash curlers are safe to use and should not cause damage to your eyelashes as long as you are using them properly. But they can cause damage if you aren’t careful.

You may even want to go a step further and use a lash conditioning treatment, like Neutrogena Lash Enhancer Serum , Grande Cosmetics GrandeREPAIR Leave-In Lash Conditioner , or No products found. for soft, extra healthy and conditioned lashes.

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Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).