Humans have been enhancing their lashes for eons. The ancient Egyptians used thick ointments and fluffy brushes to fan theirs out, and in ancient Rome, they used black putty, or kohl, to darken the lash hairs.
Even today, we love to make our lashes look good! But unlike the ancients, we have more modern treatments available to us, like lash extensions. Lash extensions, or falsies, are a popular method used to get fuller, thicker, and healthier-looking lashes. But who can we credit for this world-changing lash invention? If you want to know who the inventor of lash extensions was, learn about them here!
What Are Lash Extensions?
Lash extensions are fake lashes made from materials like mink, fox, and silk. You apply them to the lash line so that they sit over and visually replace the natural lashes.
Who Invented Them?
It was the early 1800s, and the Victorians, per usual, were up to some weird and moderately disturbing shenanigans. Wanting longer, fuller lashes, ladies glued plucked human hairs onto their lash lines. Some even tried to surgically implant them into their skin using unsterile sewing needles! In 1902, presumably terrified by the years of botched lash surgeries preceding, German-born Karl Nesser decided enough was enough and patented a process for producing false lashes. Then, in 1911, Anna Taylor, a Canadian inventor, used this process to produce artificial, glue-on lashes made from strips of fabric and tiny implanted hairs.
But it wasn’t until 1916 that falsies really took off. D.W Griffith, a well-known Hollywood producer, decided to enhance actress Seena Owen’s lashes with fake hairs made by the on-set wig maker. After seeing Seena and her breathtaking lashes on screen, the extension craze took off. And by the 1950s, it was a staple in the beauty world, worn by stars like Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, and Twiggy.
What Are Modern Extensions Like?
Modern extensions use a different but similar process to Nesser and Taylor’s. Today’s semi-permanent extensions are small clusters, or fans, of fake lashes that you apply to the lash line one by one rather than in one large strip.
Who was the inventor of lash extensions? We can credit a few people with that title! Thanks to the chaotic inventiveness of ordinary Victorians, the hard, tireless work of inventors like Nesser and Taylor, and trendsetters like Griffith and Seena, we have the lash extensions we know and love today.