Allergic Reactions

All lash techs will experience a client having an allergic reaction and its not pretty. There's nothing worse than telling a client that they can no longer have lashes on, even though its more than likely they have had regular lash infills with no bother. For a newly qualified techs this can be quite a worrying thing.

Most allergic reactions happen due to the vapours/fumes coming off the adhesive. The moisture in the eye attracts these vapours and causes sensitivity. Like a lot of allergic reactions, it happens because of over exposure across periods of time. Which means it really important to be reducing the exposure to the glue fumes as much as possible, to reduce the risk of a reaction. 

To reduce the exposure, there's quite a few things you can do:

  • Make sure your room is well ventilated, air needs to be freely circulating around the room.

  • If you don't have windows in your room and its an enclosed space, then invest in an air purifier to keep the air clean. 

  • Don't keep old blobs of glue lying around, bin them straight away into a closed pedal bin. If your bin is open its another chance for those vapours to escape.

  • Don't use too much glue on your client, get into good practise of using a minimal amount of glue. You might just find your retention its better!

Sometimes you can do as much as you possibly can to reduce those fumes and you still might get that one client allergic. It might be because they've been somewhere else previously and exposure has already started to build up, or simply because they are more sensitive to allergic reactions you might find this is people that are allergic to other things like hair dye and latex.

When a client gets in touch to let you know they think they have has an allergic reaction, you need to try and determine whether it is a reaction or sensitivity (like bloodshot eyes). Ask if the eyes are puffy, red, itchy, dry and ask for a photo.

You have to remember that we're not doctors and we cannot diagnose but its safe to say we know an allergic reaction when we see one, but despite this you do have to be careful how you word things to your client. 

"I am not medically trained and so can not diagnose this but your symptoms would suggest its an allergic reaction. Sadly its the age of insurance claims and it only takes that 1 client to take legal action. So be careful and mindful how you word everything.

You will need to get the client back in as soon as you can, to remove the lashes safely. If left on the risk of the reaction getting worse is higher and the client is more likely to start picking them out whilst itching their eyes which is going to lead to natural lash damage, Once you've removed the lashes safely give the eyes a thorough wash to remove any residue and glue fumes.

Advise your client to get in touch with their GP or go to the nearest pharmacy where they can legally advise them on what to take to alleviate the symptoms.

You are not qualified to tell your clients to take anti histamines. I know its ridiculous, but if you were slapped with a legal case they would nit pick everything and this could be seen as you prescribing the client to take antihistamine,

So you've taken the lashes off safely, you've advised the client to seek medical advice what now?

  • Most clients will be allergic to either the cynocrylate or the carbon black pigment the adhesive. If its the cynocrylate, they won't be able to have lashes on again. If its the carbon black, you can actually use a clear adhesive.

To safely figure out, the client will need to keep their lashed off for at-least a good month so the histamine in the body has had enough time to calm and their eyes are back to normal. Do a very thorough patch test with clear glue apply at-east 10 single lashes (0.07 or under)b across both eyes, wait at-least 48 hours to see if a reaction occurs,

As we covered in patch testing even by doing a thorough patch test there is still a chance a reaction will occur when it comes to doing a full set.

You need to speak with your client and be realistic about their expectations and give them all the knowledge so that they can choose whether to go ahead and try the clear glue.