When it comes to a client's reaction or allergy to eyelash extension glue, there are three things we as lash artists must be able to do: treat, minimize, and avoid!
When you get that heart-stopping call from a client saying they're having a reaction, you're limited in what YOU can do for them, so make sure to thoroughly assess the situation so you can give them the best advice possible! Pose the following questions:
- Do you feel any discomfort?
- Do you have itching or irritation around your lash line?
- Is your lash line puffy?
- Do you have redness around your lash line?
If your client answers "yes" to more than two of these questions, tell them to go to an urgent care center and remind them that you are not a doctor. As licensed professionals, we understand how to treat allergic reactions to eyelash extension glue and can advise clients on how to relieve MILD discomfort and reactions. In more serious cases, however, we are unable to provide medical advice to clients. If the discomfort, irritation, redness, and swelling is severe and/or lasts more than 48 hours, they should consult a medical professional.
Treating Reactions to Eyelash Extension Glue
If the symptoms are minor, the client can do the following:
1. Cold Compress – This is more of a Band-Aid than a treatment, but it will feel great if the client is in pain. They might even want to combine one of the suggestions below with a cold compress (ice pack, frozen peas, whatever is available).
2. Cortisone Cream - This cream is a topical antihistamine that can help in mild cases involving lash extensions and adhesive. If your client experiences irritation, redness, or discomfort, recommend that they apply a small amount of cortisone cream to alleviate the symptoms. This cream is available for purchase over the counter.
3. Benadryl - When it comes to clients with adhesive sensitivity, Benadryl is the bomb-dot-com. It will not cure someone's allergy to eyelash extension glue (sadly, nothing will), but it will help to alleviate sensitivity to chemicals present during/immediately after the lash appointment. The irritating chemical is no longer present after a short period of time. Benadryl is a quick reliever if a client calls after their appointment with irritation, redness, and/or swelling around the lash line. It may also assist them in determining whether their sensitivity is severe. Suggest that they start with a small dose and monitor their symptoms for the next 48 hours. I've even had clients who know they have a mild allergy to eyelash extension glue and take Benadryl before their appointment. Those customers always seem to have the best lash naps... hmmm.
4. Urgent Care - Only minor symptoms can be treated at home, and in some rare cases, it may be best if the client visits an urgent care center or a medical professional to determine whether or not the lash extensions should be removed. They may even want to skip this step to save a few dollars, in which case you should recommend the client come in for a (free) lash removal! During the removal, you can discuss with the client whether lashes are appropriate for them and whether they want to try a sensitive adhesive (if not already used).
Read more: How to recognize a Lash Allergy?
Minimizing the Possibility of Reaction to Eyelash Extension Glue
There are a few things you can do if a client is sensitive to products or adhesives:
1. Try Sensitive Adhesive – Sensitive adhesive is an excellent choice for clients who are sensitive. What exactly do I mean when I say "sensitivity"? Ask your previous four questions to your clients. If they answer "yes" to two or fewer of the questions, they are most likely sensitive. Try The Lash Professional's N5 Sensitive Eyelash Glue – it's fantastic! I would advise you to tread carefully if they answer "yes" to more than two of the questions. Continuing to lash a client with persistent and uncontrollable reactions may result in permanent damage to the client's lashes or even EYE! Suggest that they try the "no lash" look (lol).
2. Ditch the Primer - Sometimes, and this is extremely rare, but sometimes... the client does not have a GLUE allergy at all! Other products we use contain chemicals, as well as some natural ingredients that some clients may not tolerate well. Try to find alternatives to those products. Instead of using a primer on a sensitive client, wash their lashes before each appointment. It will essentially achieve the same result and may even solve the problem!
3. Shorten the Fill Times - Instead of every two or three weeks, suggest that the client come once a week for a shorter fill. The less time spent exposed to the adhesive fumes, the better! Reduced lash fill time reduces the likelihood of sensitivity and reaction!
4. Fan the Lashes – If a shorter fill time isn't enough and your clients are still experiencing mild discomfort (i.e. their eyes are watering), try using a fan! As previously stated (and in our blog on Eyelash Extension Glue Ingredients), a chemical is present in adhesive during/immediately after lashing. Once the adhesive cures, the chemical is no longer present (no more than 24 hours). It may be a good idea to use a fan throughout the appointment for clients who are sensitive to the chemical. This will prevent the chemical fumes from lingering and causing discomfort to your client. After the appointment, try using the fan for a few minutes.
Avoiding the Possibility of Reaction to Eyelash Extension Glue
How can we eliminate the possibility of reactions altogether? Ensure that our clients are always well-informed, prepared, and comfortable! Begin by signing a waiver. You must protect yourself and your company, but most importantly, you must protect your clients. How, you ask? They will be made aware of all the risks (and how to avoid them), ingredients, and aftercare instructions by reading a comprehensive waiver.
So, what exactly should your waiver contain?
- Name, Date, Contact (Duh!)
- Ingredients and Products Used
- Appointment Process
- Contraindications of Appointment
- Possible Side Effects or Reactions
- Thorough Aftercare Instructions
- Signature and Date (This part is a MUST)
Make sure each client signs one of these waivers so you can lash out at them with confidence! It doesn't hurt to push it a little further. During the appointment, go over a few of these points with them and ask if they have any questions. This way, you can be confident that they understand.
Although you may not always be able to avoid reactions, you should be aware of how to treat allergic reactions to lash extension glue! Remember to remain calm and professional at all times, and if their reaction is severe, ALWAYS recommend that they see a medical professional.
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