I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking eyes are the most attractive feature (especially with enhanced lashes!). But while the eye area holds potential for a major beauty boost, it’s also the most sensitive part of your face.
So, you should avoid risky eye enhancements no matter how stunning the results. It’s undeniable that lifted eyelashes make the most of your beautiful eyes, but are lash lifts safe?
Lash lifts are safe when done by qualified lash technicians trained and experienced in this procedure. When performed by untrained, inexperienced individuals, lash lifts pose risks such as eyelash damage and loss, skin and eye irritation, and eye injury.
At the hands of a reputable lash tech, a lash lift is a low-risk beauty procedure. But they take on a dangerous edge when applied by wannabe lash techs. Lash lifts are also dicey for some people whether or not a pro applies them.
Don’t take chances with your precious eyes – read my warnings before you have a lash lift done.
Let’s get started!
Is a Lash Lift Safe?
You might have seen “disaster lash lift” YouTube clips or heard about a friend’s horrible experience, and now you’re too scared to try the procedure yourself even though you’d love to wake up with lovely, lifted lashes.
Real talk: Lash lifts can go wrong and have nasty side effects. But there’s no need to fear this procedure. The lash lift isn’t to blame for the bad results; the person who applied it is. Plus, some people have a higher risk of side effects no matter who does the lash lift.
Here are the basics of lash lift safety:
- Lash lifts are safe when done by a pro.
- Lash lifts are risky when done by a novice.
- Some people are at increased risk for side effects.
Lash Lifts Are Safe When Done by a Pro
Lash lifts are safe when applied with precision and skill. I’ve seen YouTube videos of nightmare lash lifts, but I haven’t seen results like that in my studio during the 14 years we’ve been beautifying lashes.
Trained, experienced lash artists understand eye anatomy and lash lift chemicals. They also know what precautions to take before, during, and after the procedure to keep you and your lashes safe.
How can you track down a pro lash artist who’ll prioritize your safety?
Follow these guidelines:
- Check whether your state requires lash techs to be licensed and certified. Then ensure the tech you’re considering has the right credentials.
- Look at examples of the lash tech’s previous work. Even better, ask the tech if you can chat with a past client, or read reviews online.
- Have a full consultation with the lash tech before your procedure. The tech should ask whether you have eye or skin sensitivities or allergies and assess your lashes to ensure you’re a good candidate for a lash lift. The tech might also suggest you have a patch test to check how your body responds to the chemicals used during the procedure.
Lash Lifts Are Risky When Done by a Novice
The danger comes into play when lash lifts are done by someone who believes they’ve got the procedure down purely because they’ve read a home kit’s instructions several times.
Pro Tip: Make sure you also know all the risks of doing a lash lift on yourself before you attempt the DIY route.
When you accept a lash lift from an untrained, inexperienced individual, you expose yourself to risk in 2 areas:
- Safety risk #1: Lash damage.
- Safety risk #2: Skin and eye irritation and injury.
Safety Risk #1: Lash Damage
Lash lifts performed by novices can damage your lashes and trigger lash loss.
Lash lifts aren’t one-size-fits-all. Procedures need to be customized for different lash types – everything from the size of the lash shield to the timing of solutions is determined by your natural lashes.
Anyone not trained in lash lift best practice might use the wrong shield size, position it incorrectly, apply too much lifting solution to lashes, or leave the solution on too long. The result: Lashes can become fragile and likely to snap or even fall out.
Luckily this nasty side effect is temporary.
Lashes regrow! (But this takes about 6 weeks.) And damaged lashes from a lash lift can heal. You can speed up the repair process by applying nourishing oil like coconut or castor oils to your lashes daily.
A good lash growth serum gives you multiple benefits (like improved strength, growth, and luster) with every application. Start applying the serum 24 to 48 hours after your lash lift.
You can have another lash lift when your lashes have fully recovered and look as good as new (after about 6 to 8 weeks).
Pro Tip: I’ve written a complete article on how to use a growth serum with a lash lift here.
Safety Risk #2: Skin And Eye Irritation And Injury
Potential damage to your lashes is enough to make you dread having a lash lift done by a beginner, but the real reason you should only have this procedure done by an expert is to cut your chance of a bad eye or skin reaction.
An inexperienced tech might get some lash lift solution on your skin, triggering redness, itching, and burning.
More worryingly, someone who’s not up to scratch on safety protocols could get the solution in your eyes, where it could cause serious irritation, a burn, or an ulcer. If you then rub your irritated eyes, you could injure your corneas (your eyes’ outer layer)2.
Some People Are at Increased Risk for Side Effects
People with specific skin, eye, and lash conditions should think twice about getting a lash lift done or avoid the procedure.
Lash lifts are riskier for you (and you should proceed with caution) if you have:
- Sensitive skin.
- Chronic dry or watery eyes.
- Skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, or seborrheic dermatitis.
- Eye conditions like ocular rosacea.
Alert: If you have a temporary eye condition like pinkeye or a stye, wait until you’ve fought it off before getting a lash lift.
Lash lifts aren’t worth the risk if you:
- React badly to a patch test.
- Have fragile, sparse lashes.
Alert: If you’re pregnant, have an eye condition like glaucoma or cataracts, or had eye surgery recently, get the go-ahead from your doc before you have a lash lift done.
Are Lash Tints Safe?
A popular pick is to combine a lash lift and tint (dye is applied to make your lashes darker and more defined for several weeks).
Again, lash tints are only as safe as the techniques used. And the know-how of the person applying the dye! An experienced lash pro will minimize risks, and someone who’s not sure what they’re doing will maximize them.
As risks include permanently irritated eyes and damage to your vision3, don’t have your lashes tinted by anyone other than a qualified, experienced lash tech.
The Bottom Line
You don’t need to threaten your skin, eyes, and lashes to get long-lasting lash lift and curl. Lash lifts are safe when done by experienced lash pros.
On the flipside, inexpertly done lash lifts come with risks like lash damage and loss and eye and skin irritation and injury.
So, do your homework to find a qualified lash tech who’s done plenty of successful lifts and will take your safety and lash health seriously.
Let’s leave on a good note, shall we? Here’s a before and after picture of a lash lift I’ve recently done. it really opens up the eyes!
- Kristeen Cherney – Medically reviewed by Catherine Hannan, MD (2018). Lash Lifts And Your Skin. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/lash-lift-side-effects (Accessed on 22 June 2022)
- Cyrus Wahome – Medically reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS (2021). Can You Safely Tint Your Brows and Lashes? Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/is-it-safe-to-tint-brows-and-lashes (Accessed on 22 June 2022)