Like many modern tendencies, the wearing of false eye-lash extensions hardly ever raises the issue of the circumstances and the country of their origin.
Historically, eyelash extensions have followed a tricky path since their first appearance which dates back to the time of The Roman empire. The ups and downs in their dominance have reflected different beliefs and fashion trends. Their invention is attributed to different people but it is actually the activities of all those, whose names are associated with eyelash extensions, that have contributed in one way or another to their popularity and fame.
Despite the modern belief that the necessity to eye-lash extensions comes from the misconception that natural ones diminish in length with age, it was not always like that.
During the reign of The Roman emperor Vesparian, a famous natural scientist Pliny The Elder proclaimed them a symbol of chastity and any sexual over-activty could affect their length. In their aspiration to prove their chastity women competed to use eyelash extensions which were very primitive, made of human hairs and natural means of fixation.
In the following years up to Modern times eyelash extensions have been the subject of extreme opinions. In the Middle ages women went to the extreme to pluck out their natural eyelashes completely since the Church rejected any exposure of hair on the human body as a sin.
The opposite extreme came in the 19thC when eyelash extensions were fixed by needle stitching without any medication to ease the unbearable pain except cocaine. Such practice was especially fashionable in Paris. Another popular practice at that time was to glue bands of hairs on the natural eyelashes.
Gradually eyelash extensions started to gain more popularity but the event which gave them the greatest boost was the establishment of Hollywood and the time of their triumph – the period between the two World Wars. The additional enhancers were the invention of the Kurlash tool in 1923 and that of nylon and plastics. The former eased eye-lash extensions curling to match the natural one and the latter led to the use of more sophisticated raw materials.
There does not exist any unanimity about the person to whom could be ascribed the greatest contribution to the popularity of eye-lash extensions. A succession of events, related to different names, served a s a mixed source of their gaining the admiration and preference of more and more women.
The year 1911 was the time of their being patented by the Canadian Anne Taylor. Three years later the hair salon, run by the German permanent-hair-wave inventor, Karl Nessler became the a centre of offering eye-lash extension services.
But what really gave the impressive momentum of the their ubiquity was the the movie “Intolerance” in 1916 by the Hollywood director D.W.Griffith who made the make-up artists put “supernatural” eye-lash extensions on the leading actress’s eyelids. A further enhancement was achieved also in 1917 by the The Westmore brothers, “the image and make-up gurus” of the time.
Eye-lash extensions reached their heyday in the 50-ies and 60-ies, to be followed by a gradual decline in the successive years. The 70-ies imposed the search for a more “natural” look and it was not until the 90-ies that eye-lash extensions made their first comeback on the faces of some celebrities like Anne Nicole Smith and models like Cindy Crawford. The second comeback started in the 2000-s with their being used by Madonna and Jenniffer Lopez.
Nowadays, eye-lash extensions still have an appeal to women and continue to be a focus of their desire for a more conspicuous and attractive appearance on a variety of occasions.