All lash artists have experienced working on sensitive clients and/or a client that has developed an allergy to lash adhesive.
Whether the client is allergic or sensitive (reactive to the adhesive), they will be most symptomatic while the adhesive is in its liquid state. As we know adhesive cures from the outside, in and can take 24-48 hours to completely cure/dry.
Although the client can be allergic to carbon black, they are most often allergic to Cyanoacrylate. Cyanoacrylate is the main ingredient in essentially every lash extension adhesive. A patch test using a clear adhesive on one eye and a black adhesive on the other will help determine whether the client has an allergy to carbon black vs. cyanoacrylate.
Unfortunately, a client can develop an allergy at any time in their life and with no warning. This is nothing that you have done as a lash artist, but reflects how the client's immune system is changing and responding to the adhesive. The client's symptoms will increasingly get worse with each application. Once the client's eyes have calmed down, removing the lashes is recommended.
Sensitivities can range from mild to severe depending on each client. A sensitive client will only be symptomatic while the adhesive is in its liquid state (24-48 hrs) and once cured, the symptoms should subside.
Top Tips To Cut Back on Reactions/Sensitivities:
Less is more
Use minimal adhesive during the application. You should never see a ball of adhesive on a lash extension. The more adhesive that is on the extension, the more opportunities there are for your clients to react.
Back it up
Place the extension a little further back from the lash line, at least 1 mm. The closer we are to the skin on the lid, the more reactive our client could be. We never want to touch the skin with adhesive!
Fan, Mist, Fan
By adding moisture with a nebulizer/nanomister, we are curing the outer layer of adhesive and cutting back our client's exposure to the adhesive in its liquid state. It is recommended we do this process several times throughout the appointment to "cure as you go." A suggestion would be with each new adhesive drop we dispense we fan, mist, fan. *Always remember to fan and dry the lash before misting to prevent blooming.
Keep it closed
Make sure the eye is completely closed during the lash extension service. Any slight opening can allow fumes and vapors to enter the eyes, increasing the risk of reactions. Use tape or an eyepad on the lid to add weight and secure the lid closed. You should also make sure your bottom eye pads are not rubbing the eye or causing the eyes to remain open.
If your client is reactive, you can suggest they get approval from their doctor to take an antihistamine to help alleviate symptoms.
Always remember you are the professional! Do not perform a service if you ever feel uneasy or unsure. Always have clients sign consent forms before providing any treatments and always patch test new clients when in doubt.