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Eyelash Extension Application Course
Allergies and Reactions

Just as every client’s eyelashes are different, client reactions to certain products may be different as well. Allergies and sensitivities differ from client to client.

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This is a YouTube client post from an unknown salon.

Please note there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic lash glue

(this is misinformation given by the lash salon she went to and many others. Please never tell a client this).

Just as every client’s eyelashes are different, client reactions to certain products may be different as well. Allergies and sensitivities differ from client to client. You won’t always be able to avoid reactions, but you should know how to minimize and respond when it happens. Always remember to stay calm and professional, and if their reaction is severe, recommend they see a medical professional. There is a repetition of information on this page because understanding everything on this page is very important before you start seeing clients. 

Professional Young Woman

KEY THINGS TO REMEMBER ABOUT LASH ALLERGIES

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The human eye is an extremely sensitive area and a patch test is necessary to ensure your client's safety. It is recommended that the patch test is done at least 3 days in advance of the appointment.

HOW TO CONDUCT A PATCH TEST

OPTION 1: APPLY A FEW LASHES

  • Have the client fill out your intake form (this is in your manual) and ensure no contraindications exist. Ask if they have ever had any allergic reactions to acrylic of any kind, as there is a form of acrylic in the lash extension glue. Also, ask if they have ever had a reaction to medical tape. If not, proceed. 

 

  • Clean their lashes with your lash foaming cleanser, prime their lashes with witch hazel, and apply the under eye pad or tape.

  • Apply 10-15 eyelash extensions on each eye. Use a lash extension length similar to the client's natural lashes so they don't leave looking funky with only 10 long lashes on each eye. This is not supposed to be noticeable. You are just putting on enough to elicit a possible allergic reaction. 

 

  • Ask the client to contact you if they have any reaction. Most allergic reactions will show themselves as puffy and/or flaky eyelids. 

 

  • If any redness or irritation occurs within the first 3 days, cancel your upcoming lash extension service and offer them a complimentary removal of the lashes you applied.  

It is best to charge a small fee for the

OPTION 2: APPLY A TINY BIT OF GLUE BEHIND THE EAR

  • Have the client fill out your intake form and ensure no contraindications exist (ask if they have ever had any allergic reactions to acrylic of any kind as there is a form of acrylic in the lash extension glue) and if they have ever had a reaction to medical tape. If not, proceed. 

  • Clean behind the ear with your lash foaming cleanser.

  • Apply a drop of glue to the tip of a microfiber wand (do not put on a cotton swab because the glue reacts with cotton and it could start creating smoke). 

  • Apply a dot of glue behind the client's ear. 

  • Ask the client to contact you if they have any reaction. Most allergic reactions will show themselves as puffy and/or flaky eyelids. 

  • If any redness or irritation occurs within the first 3 days, cancel your upcoming lash extension service and offer them a complimentary removal of the lashes you applied.  

Doctor's Desk

CONTRAINDICATIONS

If any of the following applies to your client, DO NOT do the lash extension service. 

  • Allergy to acrylics. 

  • Reaction to the patch test

  • Cyst or stye on eyelash line or lid

  • Blepharitis 

  • Chemotherapy (currently undergoing)

  • Cut, skin trauma, burns or swelling around the eyes

  • Weak eyelash hair

  • Eye infection (such as pink-eye)

  • Recent operation around the eyes

  • Watery eyes

  • Hypersensitive eyes/skin

  • Keratitis (inflammation of the cornea of the eye)

  • Alopecia (loss of hair)

  • Bells Palsy or any other condition that makes the closing or opening of the eyes difficult.

ALLERGIC REACTIONS

If you apply lashes long enough, YOU WILL have clients who develop allergic reactions.

The more educated you are about it, the less you will "freak-out" when it happens. 

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Issue: My client’s eyelids are puffy!

Disclaimer: We are not eye doctors and cannot give you medical advice. We are just sharing what we have seen with clients and ourselves over the years.

 

If your client’s eyelid skin is puffy and pink, she/he is most likely having an allergic reaction to the adhesive.  Some people develop an allergy to cyanoacrylate, a type of acrylic, which is in the adhesive. This ingredient is in every eyelash extension adhesive made in the world. There are some “sensitive” adhesives on the market which contain less cyanoacrylate but the lash extensions will not stay on longer than a week with the minimized amount of this ingredient. We do not recommend using the “sensitive” adhesive because it will still trigger an allergic response (if your client is allergic) and the lashes won’t last very long, so what’s the point in getting them?

It is best to charge a small fee for the

What do you do if your client has an allergic reaction? 

First, we are not doctors but from our experience, these are the best following steps:

  • Stay calm...it will be okay! 

  • Schedule a removal (no burn cream remover is best...gel remover can sting the already sensitive skin). 

  • Get a removal within a couple of days of the allergic reaction. 

  • Have your client check with their doctor to see if it’s okay for them to take an antihistamine, such as Benadryl. They may advise she/he take it for a few days until the allergic response goes down. 

  • Ask the client not to rub or further irritate the eyelids

MORE INFO ABOUT A LASH GLUE ALLERGY...

A small percentage of clients will with repeated exposure, develop an allergy to the cyanoacrylate in the eyelash extension glue. All eyelash extension glue contains cyanoacrylate, as that is the primary ingredient that allows the lash extensions to actually stay on the lashes until the natural lash sheds.

 

There are "sensitive" lash extension glues on the market with a lower amount of cyanoacrylate in the glue but even with less of it in the glue, the client will still have a reaction and these glues don't tend to allow the lash extensions to last very long on the client. 

Some clients may present the allergy within 3 days of your patch test. Others will have been getting lashes applied for years and suddenly develop the allergy. 

If a client calls and they say they have any or all of the following symptoms, inform them that you are not a doctor but from your experience, this sounds like they are having an allergic reaction: 

  • Swollen eyelids within the first 3 days of their last lash extension appointment. 

  • Flakey/dry eyelids within the first 3 days of their last lash extension appointment. 

Again, remind them that you ARE NOT a doctor but this is something that occurs in a small percentage of clients after repeated exposure to the cyanoacrylate in the glue. Once the allergy develops, it does not usually go away and you recommend that they get the extensions removed ASAP. Many clients also find taking an over-the-counter antihistamine helpful (but your client should check with their doctor to make sure that is okay for them).  

 

UNDER-EYE PAD/LASH TAPE ALLERGY...

A few clients may be allergic to the sticky part of medical tape or the back of the eye pad. If this occurs, the client's under-eye skin may feel itchy during the service or irritated after the service. If this occurs, make sure you add it to your notes and use a different tape or eye pad the next time they are in. 

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RED EYEBALLS

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Disclaimer: We are not eye doctors and cannot give you medical advice. We are just sharing what we have seen with clients and ourselves over the years.

My client’s eyeballs are red! 

Sometimes after getting lash extensions applied, a client’s eyeballs (eyelids are addressed in the section above) will be irritated and red. This can happen for a few different reasons listed below.

 

  • The client left their contacts in during the service. Leaving contacts in with eyes closed can irritate the eyes because the contacts get dry. This is no different than taking a nap on your couch with your contacts in. Treat as you normally would if you slept in your contact lenses. Most people just put in eye drops and the redness subsides. Always keep contact solution and disposable contact lens cases at your salon so clients have the option to remove their contacts before the service. Throw away the contact case at the end of the service. DO NOT sanitize and reuse. 

 

  • Your client opened their eyes during the service. The adhesive we use is strong and the fumes can irritate the eyes if they open during the service (even opening them a little tiny bit). This is not an emergency but should be addressed quickly if the client feels any stinging/burning sensations. To address, dry the lashes with the dryer and nano-mist with water. Keep repeating until the sensation subsides. If the eyes are red after the service, most people put in soothing eye drops and the redness subsides within a few hours to a day. 

 

  • The client talking/laughing/moving during service. When a client talks, laughs or moves while having lash extensions applied, their eyes usually open a little bit. 

  • If your client has a dark red spot below the iris (pictured below), the tape may have moved and rubbed their eyeball. This typically occurs when the client’s eyes water and the pad unsticks from the skin and moves into the client’s eye or when the client talks and the pad moves up into the eye. If your client feels like the pad is poking her/him in the eye, adjust the eye pad, or apply a new one. In our experience, the red spot lasts about 3-7 days and there is not a lot you can do to get rid of it before then because your eye needs to heal from the bruise. This can be completely avoided. How?​

    • Check-in every 20 minutes or so and ask, “Is anything stinging or poking?”

    • If the pad has moved close to their eye, dry the lashes, mist with the nano-mister, turn off your light, and move or remove and reapply the eye pad. 

    • Tell the client at the beginning of the service, “If anything feels uncomfortable at any time, please let me know. It will not hurt my feelings. This should be a comfortable and pain-free experience for you.” 

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BLEPHERITIS

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PINK EYE (CONJUNCTIVITIS)

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Quiz yourself! 

Answer the questions below and then check your answers by clicking the down arrow next to it. Just a reminder...there is a final exam at the end of this course and in order to receive your certificate, you will need to pass it. Re-watch the video and re-read the information above if you didn't pass the quiz below.  

Reflection Questions: 

What was the most interesting thing you learned in this section?

Why do you think understanding and being able to communicate clearly about allergies and eye conditions as a lash artist is important?

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