It's the phone call or text we all dread as lash providers...
“Hi this is Stacy from yesterday. You did my lashes and now my eyes are itchy and swollen.”
Your heart sinks, your hands get clammy.
Did you get her to sign a waiver prior to treatment? Yes.
Was she aware that any beauty service (although rare) comes with a chance of a negative reaction? Yes.
Your promptly book her in for a (hopefully free) removal ASAP, and wish her the best - possibly giving her a small credit towards a different service like LashLift or Tinting… Crisis Averted. However, we all know we would do ANYTHING to minimize these types of situations which are uncomfortable for them, and let’s face it… the worst part of our job.
Full blown allergic reactions are rare, and there are usually warning signs for you and your client to be aware of. These symptoms signal that your client’s body is beginning to become intolerant to the service.
- ANY swelling at all after their lash appointment. Even if it’s just a touch, beware. If you continue with fill appointments this will continue to get worse and can eventually become a full blown “can’t open my eyes” reaction. Don’t play with fire - any adverse reactions mean to stop the service immediately and recommend different treatment (such as a growth serum and Lash Lift).
- Itching directly after service (for the first 48 hours). Sometimes itching can happen for different reasons such as an eye infection or seasonal allergies - but if your client is getting itchy directly after they have their lashes done, you can bet their body isn’t liking what it’s being exposed to. Be leery and continue with caution. Note: SOME clientele will push through with eyelash extensions despite some itching for 48 hours after their appointments by taking Benadryl prior to, and after their lash appointment but you need to get their doctors permission first. If your client desperately needs their lashes but are showing adverse signals be sure to send them to the doctor and have them get a note stating that they can continue the service and how to do so (the doctor will prescribe anti allergy pills or a shot). It is NEVER our place to recommend medications or medical advice. Always error on the side of caution.
To put it into perspective in my lash lounge we saw between 800-1100 clients per month and on average had around 3 clients who became intolerant to the service. That’s pretty phenomenal. However, we absolutely need to be doing everything in our power to protect our clients and our business reputation (and sensitive service provider hearts!) by taking measures to reduce sensitivities developing. Here are my tips:
- Wash Well at EVERY appointment. Clients may or may not wash their lashes well at home. At each appointment however, it is our job to make sure their lashes and lash line are squeaky clean before we start the service and preferably again before they leave (see tip no. 7). If your client isn’t washing well at home it is up to us to train them how to do so. I find the best way is to physically show them any residue or debris that comes off of their lashes when we are shampooing them. Explain how bacteria can build up, and cause infections if their lashes aren’t washed properly and that would mean a temporary halt of services which they obviously don’t want. Wash, Wash Wash!
- Ditch the Primer. There are chemicals in our eyelash adhesive that are unavoidable within the service, so we want to limit the amount of other chemicals within the service. Primer is the main culprit that we can do without. A simple shampoo/rinse with LashPure cleanser to prep the lashes is ideal, and many go right to lashing from there. If you feel you need that one more step before lashing to prime the lashes, opt for saline instead. A nice natural product that won’t cause reactions, or irritate the skin or eye area.
- Low vapour adhesive. All adhesives are made differently. Did you know that even from person to person their noses perceive adhesive vapours differently? What someone may consider odour free, someone else may find it smells sharp and irritating. All of our Sugarlash adhesives are low/no vapour (odour) so rest assured most clients do well on them.
- Silicone Eye Pads/Low Ingredient Gel Pads. Some gel pads are packed with a bunch of “extras” which can cause a negative reaction in some clients. The top culprit is Coenzyme Q10 but there are many others. At Sugarlash we carry the biog. eyepads which have the bare minimum ingredients with no additives, as well as silicone eye pads which are hypo-allergenic.
- Fan During Appointment. If your client is experiencing any irritation during the appointment, create a cross wind if possible. Let them hold a hand held fan where they need it, or place a small table fan beside the client to blow air across their eyes, and away from them.
- Curing. As the adhesive cures there is an off gassing that produces gas that can be irritating to some. By using a mister, we force cure the adhesive so that the process of taking a liquid and turning it into a solid is done in 30-60 seconds. This way, once the adhesive is cured, there are no further vapours or gassing to worry about.
- Washing Eyes before they leave. If you want to be really, really sure your client’s lashes are cured, and are squeaky clean before they leave, after misting get your clients to wash their lashes before they go. Any residues will be cleansed away and you can rest easy knowing they are set before they walk out the door.
I hope this post helps you all, and inspires you to know that it is truly possible to have a lash business with NO large reactions. By paying attention to warning signs, and taking additional steps to minimize risk - your business will flourish, and your clientele will stay happy and healthy for years to come. Remember, when a reaction happens - it is nothing you or your client did wrong! Treat each instance as a priority, and learning experience.
All the best this week,
Featured Image: @eyelashstina