Cluster Lashes vs. Individual Lashes: Which is Better? 

Cluster lashes, as the name implies, are a type of false eyelashes that use clusters of strands instead of individual strands. When false eyelashes were first becoming widely available, cluster lashes were advertised as a way to get a dramatic look with a fraction of the time and effort. 

But these days, some people say that using cluster lashes is less than ideal, both in terms of technique and for the health of your eyelashes. While there are some benefits to using cluster lashes, the bottom line is that they can heavily damage your natural lashes and aren’t worth the saved time. 

We’ve scoured the internet and compared advice from countless aestheticians, stylists, and makeup artists, and their advice is pretty universal: cluster lashes aren’t good for you, and for that matter, they don’t look as nice — or last as long — as better-quality individual lashes.

In this article, we’ll run through the reasons why you might want to swap the cluster lashes for a high-quality lash job. 

What are cluster lashes? 

Cluster lashes are false eyelashes designed as clumps or lash clusters grouped in one item. Because they are grouped, they take a fraction of the time and effort to put in place. For clients, this can be an attractive prospect because it means they can get a whole new look in roughly 30 minutes, as opposed to hours. 

Cluster lashes also make it easy to create a dramatic look in a short period. Because they don’t take long to put in place, they are often a more affordable option than traditional individual lash extensions. 

How do cluster lashes work? 

Most lash extensions involve the painstaking process of affixing a false eyelash to every real lash. Alternatively, cluster lashes work by adhering directly to your eyelid, just above the lash line. This means that they aren’t lash extensions at all, but rather a type of stick-on false eyelash. 

Why are cluster lashes a bad idea? 

So, it is clear that cluster lashes aren’t very high quality, but what makes them a bad idea? 

There are quite a few reasons why sticking a cluster of false lashes on your skin isn’t wise. Here are just a few ways that cluster lashes could actually become dangerous. 

  • They are heavy — Unlike individual lashes, which are applied hair by hair to your natural lashes, clusters are glued on in groups. This means that they achieve a highly dramatic effect, but it also means that they cause a lot of strain on your natural lashes and even on your eyes. This can cause irritation and discomfort in the short term, but can lead to serious damage over time. People who wear cluster lashes for several days or weeks may notice that their eyelashes are breaking, falling out, or failing to grow back.
  • They can cause allergic reactions — Some stylists try to affix cluster lashes to the lash line, while others put them right on the eyelid. Either way, it is necessary to use a lot of adhesive — much more than you would otherwise ever come in contact with. That can dramatically increase your risk of an allergic reaction, which may be severe or even lifelong (that is, causing bad reactions with every exposure). 
  • They aren’t meant for long-term use — Individual lashes don’t need to be removed; instead, they fall out naturally as your true lashes grow. After four to six weeks, individual lashes will be shed completely (at which point you can replace them, if desired). Cluster lashes, on the other hand, shouldn’t be worn for more than a day or two at the most, or they can cause serious problems. 
  • They can cause irritation or infection — It’s fairly common for people to experience eye irritation while wearing cluster lashes. But they can even cause an eye infection in some cases. That’s because cluster lashes don’t fall out, a process that helps keep your eyes clean and healthy. Over time, they’re likely to gather more and more bacteria.
  • They can cause permanent damage — In many cases, cluster lashes don’t just damage your natural lashes temporarily. They can ensure that they never grow normally again, thanks to damage to the hair follicle. These could mean unhealthy, brittle lashes or even alopecia. 
  • They impede natural hair growth — Because cluster lashes don’t grow and fall out, they can also keep your lashes from growing as they should. This can cause clogged pores, leading to thinning eyelashes or, even worse, pimples and styes on your eyelids.

What makes individual lashes better?

So what makes individual lashes better than cluster lashes?

  • Individual lashes don’t adhere to your skin: Unlike cluster lashes, which affix directly on your eyelid, individual false lashes glue onto your natural lashes. This reduces strain on your lashes and reduces the risk of long-term or even permanent damage.
  • Individual lashes fall out naturally as your true lashes grow. This reduces the risk of eye infection from overwearing.
  • Individual lashes are less likely to irritate your skin or eyes or cause an allergic reaction.

So what should you do?

If you are looking into getting eyelash extensions, you might be tempted by cluster lashes. After all, they are a quick and economical choice, right? 

But while you’ll save money in the salon, you could pay in other ways. Cluster lashes make it easy to damage your eyelashes permanently. They can also cause eye infections or allergic reactions to the glue being used on your skin. 

If you are looking for great eyelash extensions, opt for a high-quality individual lash job. The extra time and money you’ll spend will be worth it when your eyelashes look great and stay healthy.

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