I Got a Lash Perm and 13-Year-Old Me Is So Excited
My middle-school dreams of getting my hair permed never panned out, but that just makes me appreciate my new permed lashes even more.
I have naturally curly hair, but that didn’t stop me from wanting a perm in middle school. I wanted to do what the popular girls were doing! Unfortunately for my middle-school self, my mom noticed that this idea made no sense, and stopped me. I was sure she had ruined my entire life.
Flash-forward to today. It turns out, I’m OK! I’ve found a way better cure for my perm FOMO: eyelash perms. Last week, I got my first one at Bucktown’s The Lashe Spot (1922 N. Damen Ave.). I might not have understood what was going happen, but luckily my lash technician, Alex Quinones, has more than two years of experience performing the service. As I lay back in a cushioned chair, he began explaining the process.
Here’s how it went down, in five steps.
Alex started by cleansing my eyes with makeup remover and then placing adhesive silicone pads over my lower lashes to protect them—only the top lashes get permed. He told me that the rest of the service would take about 45–60 minutes and that I’d have to keep my eyes closed the entire time. I immediately missed having open eyes.
As with a hair perm, Alex wrapped my lashes around small rods to curl them, using a medium-sized rod on each eye. He said this would create a noticeable yet natural curl. (There are two other options: a thicker rod, which creates a soft flare, and a thinner rod, which gives the most dramatic curl.)
The rods were sticky, and Alex placed them on my lids near the base of my lashes. He then painted an adhesive over my lashes, drawing them up and around the rods. As he dried the adhesive with a handheld fan, I asked him if he’d ever accidentally glued someone’s eyes closed. He said no. We were off to a good start.
3. Formula No. 1
According to Alex, this formula was a gentler version of the perm solution you’d use on regular hair. My nose agreed—it definitely had that hair-salon-chemicals smell, and during the 15 minutes it took to set, my eyes started to sting mildly. It felt like when your allergies flare up and you just want to rub your eyes.
On the plus side, this formula was hot pink!
4. Formula No. 2
After he removed the excess Formula No. 1, Alex began applying Formula No. 2, an electric-blue goop that he said would set the curl for two to three months. It also had to sit for 15 minutes, but unlike the pink stuff, it didn’t stink or sting at all. It was cooling and felt pretty nice.
I still wanted to open my eyes, though. I was having serious eyelash-extension flashbacks.
Eye-opening time had finally come, right?
Not quite. First, Alex used remover to take off everything that was still on my lashes. In my mind, this took an hour, but in reality, it probably took one or two minutes. Then he gently pulled the rods off my eyelids. This also took another Favin-hour. Then, for another Favin-hour, he wiped my lashes until they were 1000% clean.
Finally, I heard the magic words: “Open your eyes.” Alex handed me a mirror, and I had only one word: “Amazing!” My lashes were so curly.
Similar to a regular perm, Alex warned me not to get my lashes wet for the first 24 hours. Immediately, all I wanted to do was dunk my face in a sink full of water.
I think I have a problem with rules.
Photos: Kelly MacDowell, Groupon
Beauty blogger working at Groupon. For me, both beauty and fashion need to be accessible and not intimidating. I love a great deal and a good DIY beauty treatment. I pride myself on trying new trends, being open minded and getting a great treatment without breaking the bank. In the name of beauty I will try anything once.