Intro to Lash Allergies



Is it Allergy or Eye Irriation Series


So... you give a client a beautiful, full set of fresh lashes. That evening they call you back telling you their eyes are red and itchy. There are a couple of different things that could cause this type of reaction; allergy, chemical burn or irritation. Thankfully these types of reactions are few and far between. However, should you be faced with a client calling and telling you they've had a reaction we want to help you know how to deal with it!

We are creating this indepth series of blogs to help you spot the difference between a true “Allergy” versus something else that can be easily fixed. 


Identifiying Allergies and what to do if it happens to you





Advice to Customer

Advice for Lasher

Swollen Eyelid

Allergic to adhesive or lashes too close to eyelid

Immediate full removal of lashes. 

remove lashes

seek medical attention if they have concerns

After swelling is gone, try a patch test with allergy adhesive which has less active ingredient.


Lash Lift is another great alternative


Your customer sends you a photo and she litterally looks like Quasimodo ... it is probably an allergy.

What is an Allergy?

Your body sees a substance that it doesn’t recognize and it does its best to get rid of it.  Lashers recognize this in their customers by customers presenting with both eyelides swollen and puffy.  It will never just be one eye, and it will worsen over repeated applications.  It can happen to anyone, at anytime, even if they have been getting lashes for a year. 



There have been many clients that present with an allergy that were done by another lasher, and when I did a patch test, they did not react. The skin can react like an allergy if lashes are placed too close to the skin, or on the skin, and the lashes will actually scratch the skin and cause swelling that presents like an allergy.  Going forward, just make sure to put lashes further from the skin, usually about ½ mm or more if they are sensitive



Bring your customer in for a full removal of lashes immediately.  Allow the swelling to go down, usually a few days.  She can call her doctor for advice on how to bring down swelling, but we recommend an anti-allergy medication like Benedryl to reduce the swelling and discomfort.


After the swelling has subsided, try lashing her again, but this time use an allergy adhesive on one eye and your regular adhesive on the other. Only apply 3 lashes on her natural eyelashes at least ½ mm away from her skin. Do not use any other products to eliminate any other products that she might be allergic to (no primer, no cleanser). Within 1 day, there should be swelling if she is allergic.


Does allergy adhesive work?

There are 2 kinds of allergy adhesive. It depends on what your client is allergic to. Patch tests are beneficial so that you don’t apply a full set only to have to remove it the next day.


Clear Adhesive: First, clear glues are just regular adhesive but with no carbon black. The theory is that is a client is just allergic to the “black” additive; then the clear adhesive would not cause them any issues.


Low Cyanacrolate Adhesive: Since most people are allergic to the active ingredient, cyanoacrylate, this adhesive is probably going to work better for your clients. An actual allergy adhesive will have a minuscule amount of cyanoacrylate, so the hope is that it may only cause some irritation, but not enough to have a severe reaction. With less cyanoacrylate, the retention will be very short, but at least they can wear lashes.


Latex Allergy: There are NO lash adhesives that have Latex in them, which a popular misconception. I often chuckle when I see “Latex Free” adhesive! However, clients that are allergic to latex are more likely to be allergic to cyanoacrylate.  Similarly, people that are allergic to Latex are more likely to be allergic to banana and avocado than people who are not allergic to latex. That doesn’t mean that people who are allergic to latex cannot get lashes or eat bananas... but they are more likely to be allergic than their friends.





  • Can you have a reaction in only 1 eye? No, because allergy would impact both eyes


  • Will it go away? It's doubtful that a true allergy will go away, so you are best off trying to look at options like Lash Lift with a Growth Serum as a replacement. Allergy adhesives are another option, but the lashes won’t stay on very long.


  • My client wore lashes for years – why is she having this reaction now? Allergies can happen at any time, from food allergies to lash adhesive allergies!


  • Can clients be allergic to the lashes? Someone may be allergic to the actual lashes, but highly unlikely. Lashes are not made from animal hair (that’s gross!). They are made from Polyvinyl toluene – a synthetic polymer that is used in many consumer products.


( Please note: Do not ever give clients medical advice. We are Lash Technicians and not Medical Professionals. If you are ever unsure of what to tell your clients, please ask them to go and see their General Practitioners.) 

Coming up next:

Red and Blood Shot Eyes – what Causes it, and what can you do to avoid it?

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