#13 - To remove or not to remove? (Clients & reactions)

To remove or not to remove (when a client gets a reaction), that is the question.

I wanted to give you guys some quick and hopefully educational info on eyelash extension glue & when your client gets an allergic reaction. There are a lot of opinions and thoughts on the glue, and their reactions and applications and all sorts of other ideas about this important aspect of our lives. However, when the scientists in their white coats and glasses get together and do all their experiments with test tubes and microscopes there’s usually only one result, and that’s the truth. Here’s what I’ve found in looking through some (amazingly boring) scientific papers.

Have a look at our other blog which explains rather well why some clients get a reaction and others don’t. You can read it here….

The next thing we have to think about is what do we do when they get a reaction?

Firstly, we all know that our glue is called “cyanoacrylate”. What you might not know is that there are different types of cyanoacrylates (CA). I won’t bore you with all the names, but the one that’s in our glue is usually Ethyl-Cyanoacrylate. “Acrylates” are actually just a type of liquid plastic.

The little bits inside are alone and running around each other like a bunch of kids at a picnic. When water gets introduced, all the little single bits get together, hold hands and don’t move anywhere. Which is the setting or curing process of our lash glue. When the glue is set, from a scientific viewpoint, it is now considered to be a form of plastic.

One thing to note about the liquid glue and the curing process is it lets off fumes.

To be honest, there is no black & white answer to what exactly your client may be reacting to without sending individual samples to a science lab for testing.

However the common things people react to is the Ethyl-Cyanoacrylate, and rubber/latex and sometimes the black pigment that is added to the glue. It is not only these things, but these are the things we have found people are most commonly allergic to.

 We are dipping plastic eyelashes into a chemical and placing that anywhere from 0.5mm to 2mm away from a person’s skin. When the glue is liquid, the person is more likely to have a reaction (contact dermatitis) because of the fumes. It is ALL about the fumes! The chemical needs to get into the blood, and it’s the fumes that get in.

When the glue is solid, it’s basically plastic.

Your references for this are here if you want more information…


Essentially, there are 2 types of reactions: irritation and allergic. The glue itself is irritating to almost everybody. Only a small amount of people are actually allergic to the glue. Irritation will show itself by stinging, and redness, usually in the white of the eye. Allergic reactions will show itself by swelling and itching. You can prevent the irritation by making sure the eyes stay closed during the whole application process. (Don’t have the eye pads too high, don’t press too hard with your tweezers, telling the client to keep her eyes closed, using a puffer or fan to clear away fumes frequently.)



In my years as a Lash Professional, I’ve seen some allergic reactions from others and myself. Whenever people reacted with an allergy to the lashes, the technician removed the extensions. I don’t think that is wise in every case. Most times, the reaction occurred when the glue was still liquid and giving off fumes. It’s actually the fumes that are causing the problems. In most cases. The fumes get into the body, then later the body has a physical reaction of swelling and itching etc. Fully cured glue is actually relatively harmless.

Allergic Reaction


Here is your reference on this….


If we were to put another harsh chemical near weakened skin (debonder to remove the extensions), we could make the problem worse or last longer.

Debonder has many chemicals in it, whose job it is to eat the glue and tear it up. There is a possibility that some of the particles could be harmful again. Because there are a lot of chemicals involved here, we can’t be certain to what your client is reacting to. If she’s reacting to cyanoacrylate (CA) fumes, then leaving the lashes on would be better for her. If she’s reacting to the small amount of latex in the glue, then we want to take the lashes off.

According to this source, latex allergies most commonly occur straight away. Most people know if they are allergic to latex, so you should find out in your consultation form and during your patch test. It’s a very common product found in gloves, underwear waistbands, condoms, dental equipment, and the list goes on. http://acaai.org/allergies/types/skin-allergies/latex-allergy

So I’ve given you a bit of a problem here haven’t I? To remove or not to remove, that is the question.

It is my viewpoint, based on all of this research, that if the client reacts to her eyelash extensions a day or 2 later, leaving the lashes on (if correctly applied) would help with her recovery. Antihistamines should be considered to reduce swelling, and itchiness (but remember we are not medical doctors so can’t legally recommend this to our clients, we can only ‘suggest’). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contact_dermatitis#Medical_care

I hope this helps. Always do a patch test and get as much info from your client as possible to avoid any possibility of a reaction.

Happy lashing!


Derik from Locks Lash