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Lashing out

Looking for a stylish makeover? Just like your hair, you can now perm your eyelashes too, reports Itee Dewan.
Hindustan Times | By Itee Dewan, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 10, 2008 12:57 PM IST

Eighteen-year-old Lovika Sodhi emptied 10 tubes of mascara. No, she didn't have a fetish for the product; it's just that she has very thin eyelashes but wants them to look voluminous.

She had been living on the volume-enhancer for as long as she can remember and tried all varieties - from heavy volume to thick to double impact to long-lasting. "I have almost negligible eyelashes. I couldn't step out without mascara on my lashes." That was before the teenager went for an eyelash perm. Eyelash perm? "Yes, just as you perm your hair, you can get your lashes permed, too," says Sodhi, who got hers done last month and loves the way her eyes look "wider and lashes longer".

The process
A rage in the US, the method involves curling one's eyelashes to add volume and make it more visible and plumper. Dr Bharti Taneja of Alps, who has done a number of eyelash perms, describes the process: "We apply a perming lotion [imported from the US] to the eyelashes, followed by a neutraliser and then set a roller/rod on the eyes for 20 minutes. Later, the lashes are cleaned and then massaged with a moisturiser. The whole procedure takes around one-and-a-half hours."

Taneja tells us that the perming rod is stuck to the eyelash with a special fixer, which is easy on the eyes. Unlike a hair perm, which mostly stays for at least six months, an eyelash perm needs a touch-up every two to four months. The procedure costs around Rs 2,500. |

The flipside
Like all chemical procedures, this one, too, has its share of disadvantages. "There is a slight stiffness immediately after the procedure," says Sodhi. Taneja warns that one should not go swimming without applying a moisturiser on the eyelashes after the perm.

Dr Vivek Kumar, cosmetic surgeon, Ganga Ram Hospital, says he has never got such requests but has heard about the trend. Should you go for it? Dr Anup Dhir, senior cosmetic surgeon, Apollo Hospital, warns, "A chemical process has the potential to damage the body part. For something as sensitive as the eye, one needs to be very careful."

Dr Dhir admits that he does get requests for eyelash perm but he turns them down. "I get a lot of requests to undo the damage on permed and chemically treated scalp hair anyway," says Dr Dhir.

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