“Is it possible to get eyelash extensions if you’ve got sensitive eyes?”
Like most things, the answer is “it depends”.
It depends on what part of the eyelash extension process you’re getting irritation from, and if your particular symptoms will allow you to keep the lashes on for an extended period if you do get them. Let’s dig a little deeper…
Do You Have Sensitive Eyes?
If you’ve got sensitive eyes you probably already know because they might water more than normal, or get irritated easily when using different beauty products, cleansers, or from being around different types of fumes.
If you’ve got sensitive eyes then you can still get eyelash extensions, BUT it depends on how sensitive they are. If you simply can’t handle anyone being near your eyes then extensions are probably out of the question. However, if you’re just mildly sensitive then it could be okay.
Why Eyelash Extensions Can Irritate The Eye
So why would putting synthetic lashes onto your natural lashes cause irritation?
There are a few common reasons:
You don’t like anyone near your eyes
Self-explanatory, but if you simply hate it when anything is near your eyes then there’s a good chance that even though you consent to have the lashes applied you won’t be able to stop fluttering your eyelids, or moving your face with each touch. This can also cause the eyes to water as an involuntary response which causes the glue to not bond properly – making the process take much longer and leading to early lash fall.
You may have an allergy to the glue
A good lash tech will never get glue in your eye so that shouldn’t be a concern – BUT if you’ve got an allergy to the lash glue then it will be the fumes from the glue that cause your eyes to react…
The reaction can differ between people, but it can involve itching, redness, swelling and even a burning sensation. Sounds pretty bad, right?…
If you’re concerned about having a reaction to the glue then it’s best to get a few drops applied to your arm to see if you have a reaction.
As a side note, I’ve had a client who didn’t have any reaction to the spot test, but did react when we applied the lashes – so if you pass the spot test it’s not a guarantee that you won’t have a reaction.
In terms of a percentage of people, I probably only see a reaction with 1 in around 200 clients so it’s certainly not common, and it’s usually on the mild end of the spectrum with some redness and mild itching. Often the reaction goes away on its own within 24 hours and taking an antihistamine seems to help (I’m not a doctor so this isn’t medical advice – please always consult a medical professional if you do have an allergic reaction).
Sensitive Eyelash Extension Glue
There is a special sensitive glue that can be used, but in my experience, the bond isn’t nearly as strong, so I don’t recommend it unless the lashes are for a wedding or special event and you don’t mind them only lasting around a week instead of 3-4 weeks with the normal lash glue.
If you do get a reaction to the lash glue you can remove the lashes with olive oil (slow process but you can do it at home and it’s chemical-free), or come in for a professional removal which takes longer and while it’s much faster it can cause some irritation during the process.
The lashes could be getting applied improperly
If you’re seeing an experienced lash tech then this won’t be a problem, but not everyone is experienced!
Lashes are supposed to be applied about one millimetre away from the eyelid so that they never touch the eyelid. The distance is so small that it’s hard to tell, but it ensures there’s no irritation.
The problem comes when an inexperienced lash tech or a lash tech in an extreme rush applies lashes that actually meet the skin of the eyelid. The tip of the eyelash is like a little pin, and when that digs into your eyelid it will cause irritation, no matter if you’ve got sensitive eyes or not!
If this happens it’ll cause a lot of eye-watering, redness and possibly some swelling, so the best thing to do is to have the lashes removed.
The Experience At A Good Lash Salon
If you go to a great salon the eyelash extensions procedure will be extremely gentle and non-irritating. Your eyes should never hurt, itch or sting at all and if they do then it’s likely due to poor application!
I’ve had clients in the past who tell me of their experience at previous salons where they were in pain the whole time! One salon actually had a “pain scale” from 1 to 10 where she would keep asking what the pain level was and if it went above a 7 they would take a break!
Ladies… THE PAIN LEVEL SHOULD BE ZERO AT ALL TIMES!
The People I Warn About Getting Lashes
If you’re in the group where your eyes water an excessive amount then it’s probably not a great idea to get lash extensions. Even if it’s not causing you any discomfort, the water from your eyes will be moistening the lash and causing the glue to not work properly – so you should expect higher than usual lash fall – which obviously isn’t ideal and will cost you more money in the long run.
If you have an allergy to the glue…
It’s not recommended, BUT if you know it’ll only be minimal and you’re happy to wait for the symptoms of the reaction to subside, then, by all means, get the lashes.
What To Do If You Have Sensitive Eyes
You should ALWAYS let the lash tech or salon know beforehand so that they can advise you on any steps you can take, or book in extra time, or do whatever it is they do to help you out.
But there are some things you can do to reduce your chances of getting any irritation…
Make sure you’re going to a great salon. That means gentle staff with A LOT of experience – this can make an amazing difference in how comfortable you are during your appointment. The only real way to find one is by asking around – there are not many salons that pride themselves on how gentle they are!
Find a salon with good air circulation. Fumes typically occupy a small space, just like the pocket of warm air we all create around our bodies (fans push the pocket of warm air away which cools us down). So find a salon with good air circulation to get any glue fumes away from your eyes.
And that’s pretty much it!
If you’ve got sensitive eyes then the decision to get eyelash extensions is yours and yours alone – just make sure you know the risks and find a professional salon!