Eyelashes go through three stages of hair growth:
Anagen (active/growth phase)
Catagen (transition/regression phase)
Telogen (resting phase)
Unlike hair, eyelashes and eyebrows have a very short anagen phase of about 30-45 days.
The short duration of eyelash growth stage explains why they are shorter than scalp hair.
Approximately 60-80% of the eyelashes are in this phase.
Several different causes of reactions
Allergic reactions are very complex because they can be caused by many different factors relating to the eyelash extensions
and they can manifest themselves at any time and in many different ways. Some people experience redness and swelling of the eyelid close to
the lash line. Some people have diffused redness and swelling all around the general eye area. Most of the time the redness and swelling is
accompanied by itching.
There are several different causes of reactions and it is important to be able to distinguish a true allergic reaction from simple irritation. Irritation
also has several different causes, and differs from a true allergy in that it does not cause the body to produce histamine. Sometimes the only way to
distinguish between an allergy and irritation is to see if the symptoms respond to anti-histamine medications such as Benadryl. Because we cannot give
medical advice to our clients, we sometimes have to refer them to their family doctor if we suspect that they may be having a true allergic reaction.
So, how can an eyelash specialist recognize the causes and symptoms of a true allergic reaction to Eyelash Extension products? There are many variables.
The following is a list of variables that must be considered
Medical Tape A large portion of the population (up to15%) has severe allergies to medical tape and band aids. Many of these people are not aware of
the allergy until they have lash extensions applied. The under eye stickers are similar to medical tape and the skin around the eyes is much more sensitive
and thin than skin on the rest of the body and it reacts much more severely than one might expect.
This allergy can appear at any time. Symptoms can develop after years of using lash extensions, or they can appear the first time the products are
used. To rule out tape allergies, use no stickers or tape on these clients. For most people, gel pads are a good substitute, for others, a plastic mascara
shield must be held under the eye while doing the procedure and no tape or stickers can touch these people’s skin .
Tape allergies usually present themselves with generalized redness and swelling to the whole eye area, not just redness and swelling
along the upper lash line.
Cyanoacrylate Allergies to Adhesives cyanoacrylate-based adhesives are difficult to distinguish from irritation from eyelash extensions in
general. Cyanoacrylate allergies can develop at any time. They can start after years of use, after one use or after a few uses. Generally they manifest
as a red, swollen, itchy lash line.
Eyelash Lid Irritation
Eyelash Lid Irritation Extensions themselves can cause irritation of the eyelid skin because they sometimes rub against the eyelid skin while the client is
sleeping. The thicker the extension, the more irritation they can cause in sensitive individuals.
To rule out mechanical (i.e. non-chemical) irritation, try switching to the thinnest extensions (0.15mm). If the symptoms are reduced or eliminated, you
can Conclude that the adhesive is not the cause. People with sensitive skin are more likely to suffer eyelid irritation from the friction of thick lash extensions
rubbing against the lid. Make sure the extensions are placed perfectly on the lash.
If they are too close, they will rub against the lid and cause itching, redness and swelling. If they are too far away, they’re able to move around too
much, which causes more friction and irritation when sleeping. This also causes itching, redness and swelling
Allergic reactions are very complex because they can be caused by many different factors relating to the eyelash extensions and they can
manifest themselves at any time and in many different ways. Some people experience redness and swelling of the eyelid close to the lash line.
Some people have diffused redness and swelling all around the general eye area. Most of the time the redness and swelling are accompanied by itching.
Seasonal Allergies Some people who suffer from seasonal allergies find that they have to remove their lash extensions for about two months out of
the year when the pollen count is at its highest. Again, the symptoms are the same; swelling, itching and redness. This generally happens in the
springtime, but some people have allergies to pollen that blooms in the fall or summer.
Eye Irritation /Sensitivities
Do you need to patch test for eyelash extensions?
You do not need to patch test lash adhesive on clients; however, all clients must be offered the option of a patch test if they have any concerns. It is important that the client is fully educated of the potential risks involved with lash adhesive reactions for them to make an informed decision
Eye Irritation Many people with sensitivities to the adhesive begin getting irritated during the procedure itself. When the sticker is placed too tight on
the lower lid, it holds the lid open by about 1mm or less. This allows fumes from the adhesive to escape into the eye while the procedure is being done.
Some people feel stinging, burning and irritation.
Others feel nothing at the time, but wake up the next morning with red, swollen, itchy eyes. If the client leaves the salon with redness in the
whites of the eyes, it can be concluded that the eye itself has been exposed to glue fumes. To prevent exposure to fumes, take a moment to
visually inspect the under eye sticker from under the eye.
It is necessary to stand up and walk around the table to view the upper and lower lids and check for a tight seal between the two.
Exposure to fumes can also take place when the client opens her eyes too soon after the procedure. Care should also be taken not to lift the
lid by applying too much pressure to the lashes during the separation process. Lifting the lid can cause fumes to escape into the eye.
Clients who suffer from Rosacea
Clients who suffer from Rosacea Inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and rosacea are much more likely to suffer reactions to eyelash
extension products. There is even a sub-type of rosacea that specifically affects the eyelids.
Again, the symptoms are redness, swelling and itching. Many people may not even be aware that they suffer from Rosacea at all until they
have a problem with their eyelash extensions. It is possible to have eyelid rosacea triggered by irritation from eyelash extensions even if the
client does not suffer from rosacea on other parts of the face.
What is Blepharitis?
Picture send in by lash artist What is Blepharitis? Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids, usually caused by an excess growth of bacteria
that is ordinarily found on the skin, blockage of the eyelid’s oil glands, and occasionally allergies Blepharitis is a common eye condition,
causing the eyelids to be reddened, itchy, and somewhat swollen and scaly-appearing at the base of the eyelashes.
It is the most common cause of dry eyes. A dysfunction of the eyelid’s oil glands that leads to blepharitis occurs because of a hormone imbalance.
What Are the Symptoms of Blepharitis?
Blepharitis cannot be cured and requires ongoing maintenance . However, it can be treated and
controlled through proper eyelid hygiene