I often get questions from clients or read posts on facebook from stylists looking for a sensitive glue for Eyelash Extensions.
To know the answer to this you would need to have some adhesive knowledge and how it works adhering synthetic material, as in false eyelashes, to human hair.
What is the Eyelash Extension Glue´s active ingredient? The adhesive/glue for Eyelash Extension is Cyanoacrylate based. Cyanoacrylate comes in various forms, and has a broad area of usage, from the medical field in adhering bones together, instead of using sutures for wound stitching, in the electronic field to glue small electronic parts together and other areas to. For Eyelash Extensions we use mostly Ethyl-2-Cyanoacrylate or Methyl-2-Cyanoacrylate based adhesives.
What makes the Eyelash Extension glue last so well? Cyanoacrylate is known to form long, strong chains, joining surfaces together. Cyanoacrylate cure when exposed to mosture, which makes it effective for Eyelash Extension application due to its fast ability to cure within seconds when coming in contact with the humidity in the air, and reduces the time the client and techinican is exposed to the chemical aiborn compound.
Why does a person get allergic to Eyelash Extensions? A person may become sensitized to Cyanoacrylate if exposed the glue repeatedly over a longer period of time. Usually a reaction won´t occur the first time being exposed to the adhesive, it can take years to develop, and the reaction usually starts with an itch on the upper eyelids, and for each exposure the reaction worsens.
Can I have Eyelash Extensions again if I had an allergic reaction? Once you have had a strong reaction to Cyanoacrylate you are very likely to have developed a permanent allergy to the substance and should avoid being exposed again.
Many clients are very frustrated once they develop a Cyanoacrylate allergy. As a Lash Technician this is frustrating too, of course we want to be able to keep the client. No one wants to stop having lashes done if they have been done right from the start and you had them done for months or maybe even years.
Can I find a different glue from Eyelash Extensions suiting sensitive eyes? It´s very tempting to start looking for an adhesive that works for sensitive or allergic clients.
The fact is, all adhesives for Eyelash Extensions are made from Cyanoacrylate. This ingredient is crucial to bond the synthetic hair to the natural hair and keep a bond stay on for a longer period of time. The sensitive glues advertised on the market are still Cyanoacrylate based but actually just contain a little less percentage of the substance. This means you may not react straight away but you are still being exposed, and you may actually start developing allergies to other substances around you.
What about a Cyanoacrylate free glue? There are also some brands now advertising “Cyanoacrylate Free adhesives for Eyelash Extensions”. I would take these miracle fixes as a “too good to be true” kind of information. They might not contain Cyanoacrylate, but they are still within the acrylate family, and I have had students try on their allergic clients where the reaction was more severe than ever before. And the remover wouldn´t even work on this glue!
Conclusion, can I have lashes if allergic to the glue? So to conclude, are there any sensitive glues for Eyelash Extensions? -Yes there are glues advertised as sensitive glues, containing less Cyanoacrylate or another type of Acrylate within that same adhesive family, but they should not be used on allergic clients. Remember if your client once reacted and you still go ahead and apply lashes with this knowledge, you are actually liable if a worse reaction occurs.