Maybe you are going to get eyelash extensions for the first time and you are wondering if they hurt. Or maybe you just got extensions and experienced some pain. It’s common to wonder if the lash process will cause discomfort since the eyes are such a sensitive area.
But … can lash extensions really cause pain? Do eyelash extensions hurt?
Eyelash extensions don’t hurt when applied properly by a certified professional who uses high-quality products. Any pain experienced during or after the appointment should be immediately communicated to the lash stylist for resolution. The most frequent causes of pain are poorly attached lash extensions and an allergic reaction to the adhesive.
The following article will cover the reasons why your eyes might hurt during and after your eyelash extension appointment.
You will be able to recognize the signs and reasons at a glance. Also, read on to find out what to do when your eyes hurt after getting lash extensions.
Let’s find all the right answers right away!
Can Eyelash Extensions Hurt Your Eyes
Lash extensions shouldn’t be painful. The pain comes only when there’s a problem. The culprit might be your lash tech or even you.
Extensions for eyelashes are extremely safe when applied properly by a licensed technician. Typically, the lash tech uses gel pads and tape to keep your eyes shut during the treatment.
Once they’re done mapping the type of extensions to apply to your eyes, the lash tech picks a lash extension, dips it in the lash-safe glue, and applies it onto a natural lash without touching the skin.
Because each extension is delicately attached one by one to your natural lashes, you shouldn’t feel any discomfort at all.
Fun fact. Going back in history, lash extensions weren’t so painless. In the 19th-century, artificial lash fibers were sewn into the lash line and before that lash extensions were directly glued to the eyelids. Learn more about eyelash extensions history and everything about lashes with our comprehensive lash extension guide here.
Why Lash Extensions Hurt During the Appointment
Let’s find out what type of symptoms to look for during the treatment and the reasons why you might feel pain.
Signs of Discomfort During an Eyelash Extension Session
- Eyelid pain: You might feel stinging pain on your eyelids during a session. Some people might report a tingling sensation along with the pain too.
- Pulling sensation: Oftentimes, you might feel a tugging feeling on your lash line or natural lashes when the lash tech applies extensions. It might feel like extensions are pulling onto your natural lashes.
- Irritation: There’s a chance you might feel like your eyes are burning, often called a chemical burn. In most cases, it’s transient and often mild that doesn’t get worse after the first irritation, and often disappears rapidly. If it persists, have your lashes removed.
5 Reasons Why Lash Extensions Hurt During the Appointment
Take a look at the common causes of pain felt during a lash extension session below.
- Craftsmanship: If the technician who did your lash extensions isn’t well-experienced, your best bet for the pain experienced might be their poor technique.
Any mistake by the lash tech during the treatment can end up hurting your eyes during the treatment whether it has to do with the application or curing of the glue.
If the lash tech accidentally attaches the glue to your eyelids instead of the natural lashes, it can hurt your lids.
It may also hurt if the tech applies the lash tape well passed the waterline instead of immediately bordering it.
- Poor products: Another common cause of eye irritations during lash extension treatment owes to the poor quality of lash products such as lash extensions to primers, cleansers, and even tapes used by the technician.
If the lash artist isn’t using proper products or maintaining them appropriately, adverse reactions can happen that might lead to reactions during the treatment session.
- Crying: If you feel any irritation, it’s possible you might start crying or your eyes might tear up.
This can end up causing lash glue to polymerize rapidly, causing irritation. This can also cause the extension to pop off prematurely due to the nature of the lash bond.
- Opening the eyes when they should be closed: Typically, the technician should be working while your eyes are closed, but if you still happen to open them, there could be adverse consequences.
If you happen to open your eyes in between the treatment session, especially when the lash glue is freshly applied and not cured yet, it can lead to irritation during the treatment.
- Adjustment: For some clients having their eyes closed for the duration of the appointment may cause their eyes to dry.
Also, the technician would be using very bright lights for better visibility. This can cause mild discomfort and your eyes and you may need a few minutes to adjust.
Why Lash Extensions Hurt After the Appointment
Unlike mistakes that happen during the lash session owing to your lash tech, eye pain after the session might not be all their fault. You could be to blame for such pain too.
Take a look at what type of pain happens after a lash session, if at all. Also, figure out the reasons for the same.
Signs of Discomfort After an Eyelash Extension Session
- Itchiness: Your lash line may feel itchy soon after an appointment that may extend for days or weeks.
It may be localized occurring solely around the lash line or may expand to the eyelids and inside the eye. Blepharitis is another condition where the eyelids tend to itch and hurt. Keep in mind that it may happen in one or both eyes.
- Swollen: Mild irritation soon after getting eyelash extensions often comes with inflammation. You might notice your eyes are sore and hard to open too. Swollen eyes are typical symptoms of an allergic reaction to the lash adhesive.
- Tangled: You might feel your eyelashes are twisted and tangled after your first wash. This is quite normal unless it becomes a long-term issue even after cleaning.
- Eye infection: A bacterial infection like a sty looks like a pimple. It can cause pain and often comes with a red bum alongside the edge of the eyelids.
- Uneasiness: For some people, eyelash extensions may feel too heavy, long, or thick such that it pains them to open and close the eyes as usual.
- Bloodshot eyes: It’s possible to develop red eyeballs two to three days after your lash extension treatment. Such a reaction may be accompanied with or without pain and often to both the eyes.
10 Reasons Why Lash Extensions Hurt After the Appointment
What are the factors that lead to lash extension discomforts after the session? The following will tell you all about it!
Keep in mind that factors unrelated to the lash extensions like contagious diseases or preexisting conditions may also cause discomforts after you get a lash extension.
- Poor adhesion: If the lash extension isn’t attached properly to individual natural lashes, it can cause discomfort and even permanent harm to your eyes and eyelashes.
In the unfortunate event, the same can even rip out your natural lashes when they grow. In such a case, you won’t be able to comb through your false lashes comfortably too.
- Clumping: When your lash tech applies a single extension to multiple natural lashes, it can lead to clumping of natural lashes that leads to pain and discomfort when opening and closing your eyes.
It’s typically referred to as a botched job in the industry. Here are a few examples of terrible lash jobs and the most common mistakes I have seen.
- Choice of extensions: Another main reason that adds to eyelash extension discomforts is if the lash tech picks the wrong type of extensions for your eyes.
Typically, lash extensions must match the length, thickness, and shape of your eye so that it feels comfortable. If the professional who worked on you ends up selecting thick lashes, it will feel heavy just as it might poke into your eyelids if they’re too long or curly.
- Excess glue: If the lash tech applies too much lash glue chemical burn may be the culprit. This can lead to excessive fumes from the glue that can end up irritating your eyes.
If irritation doesn’t happen during the session, it can pop up a day or two after the appointment with inflammation and redness.
This could be the reason why your eyes pain every time you wash them with water too. Because lash extensions are waterproof, there shouldn’t be any discomfort anyway.
- Allergic reaction: Eyelash extensions are affixed to your natural lashes using a medical-grade adhesive using an ingredient called ‘cyanoacrylate’.
Fun Fact: There are several ingredients in a typical lash adhesive. Make sure to read my article about lash glues to make the best choice.
It can be allergic to some people with sensitive eyes and if you have this problem, it could end up as inflammation, redness, itching, and contact dermatitis after the lash extension session.
- Improper cleaning: Oftentimes, pain around the lash line could be a direct cause of your poor cleaning routine.
If you wear mascara and eye makeup on top of lash extensions regularly and fail to clean it properly at the end of the day, the same can accumulate around your hair follicles and lead to diseases that cause pain around your eyelashes.
- Forceful lash extension removal: Because lash techs use a medical-grade glue that’s equivalent to the superglue, removing the lash extensions on your own by pulling or rubbing can cause immense pain and irritation.
In case of a problem, your lash tech will remove it professionally using a remover designed for eyelash extensions. In short, don’t do so yourself unless the lash extension has fallen out on its own.
- Corneal abrasion: If your eyelash extensions end up scratching the cornea, corneal abrasion may occur. Such a grave problem is the result of excessive glue and poking extensions that scratch the cornea upon shedding because they are too long or applied improperly.
- Sparse application: If lash extensions are applied too far off from the lash line, they can often get twisted, droopy, and turned, leading to pain and discomforts around the eye.
- Glued to the skin instead of lashes: When eyelash extensions are glued to the skin, it creates something called a nailhead.
This will eventually pull out natural lashes and hurt your eyes within days or weeks after the treatment.
Why Are My Eyelash Extensions Poking Me
Can’t open your eyes because lash extensions are poking you?
Often a result of poor application or poor choice of lash extensions, it can end up poking the new lashes into your eyelids or the eyes.
A few clients may even notice their lash extensions are poking into the eyes, which can turn very serious if left untreated or ignored.
Sometimes, the poking feeling may be experienced after a few days or weeks from getting extensions done when your natural lashes begin to grow.
In any case, head over back to the salon where you got the extensions done ASAP.
What to Do When Your Lash Extensions Are Hurting
The eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of the human body. So obviously you’re seriously worried when they start hurting, itching, swelling, poking, or irritating you in any way.
What to do in such a case?
First off, Inform the lash tech. The first thing to do is get in touch with the lash tech so that they can do a thorough analysis to determine whether it’s from the glue, lash products, or their application.
If you experience constant pain or discomfort from your lashes, you’ll most probably have to go to the salon again for an inspection. Based on the evaluation, they might remove the extensions carefully.
You might also be advised to go to an eye doctor if your condition worsens. But keep in mind the doctor can’t help unless the irritating factor (your lash extensions) is removed, in such a case.
Eyelash extension treatments are painless. It’s so comfortable that most clients even doze off during the appointment.
Typically, your eyes should be closed for the duration of the application process. The lash tech will use medical-grade tape and gel pads to separate the lower lashes from the upper eyelashes so that your lower lashes and skin are protected from the adhesive applied to the upper eyelashes.
If you feel pain, itchiness, inflammation, pulling, or tugging sensation, the reason might be the poor application or low-quality products used by the lash tech.
If you cried or opened your eyes during the application, it can cause some discomfort. Lastly, it might be mild pain due to keeping your eyes closed for a long time.
However, when you suffer from discomforts days or weeks after the lash treatment, the pain might be accompanied by itchiness, inflammation, red eyes, eye infection, uneasiness, or tangled lashes.
Pro Tip: Swollen eyes can be a symptom of an allergic reaction. In such cases, lash extensions should be removed immediately. Learn more about allergic reactions from eyelash extensions here.
It could be due to poor adhesion, applying extensions far away from each other, gluing the eyelid instead of lashes, clumping of lashes, or even too much lash glue. When the lash tech uses the wrong material, the same can happen.
Pain around the eyes is also experienced when you don’t clean your eyelashes regularly or forcefully remove them on your own.
To ensure it’s not a serious problem like corneal abrasion or lash-glue allergy, talk to your lash tech right away. They will proceed to remove lash extensions or instruct the aftercare needs. In some cases, you may also be asked to visit an eye doctor.
If you’re still worried or wondering, feel free to drop a comment below explaining your type of pain and what your lash tech instructed and we’ll help you based on our experience.
Be Fabulash! More Lash Guides & Tutorials
Do Eyelash Extensions Damage Your Eyelashes?
Red Eyes After Eyelash Extensions – How to Treat & Prevent
Allergic Reaction to Eyelash Extensions
– Asako 🙂
- Dr. Melissa Ah-Seng (2019). Ask an Optometrist: Are eyelash extensions harmful to my eyes? Retrieved from https://drbishop.com/blog/ask-an-optometrist-are-eyelash-extensions-harmful-to-my-eyes/ (Accessed on 5 May 2021)
- Mayo Clinic (2020). Sty. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sty/symptoms-causes/syc-20378017 (Accessed on 5 May 2021)
- I. Lindström, H. Suojalehto, M.-L. Henriks-Eckerman, K. Suuronen (2013). Occupational asthma and rhinitis caused by cyanoacrylate-based eyelash extension glues. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/occmed/article/63/4/294/1429196 (Accessed on 5 May 2021)
- Rebecca L. Forand (2020). Risks for injury, irritation and infection associated with eyelash extensions can be minimized. Retrieved from https://www.healio.com/news/ophthalmology/20200213/risks-for-injury-irritation-and-infection-associated-with-eyelash-extensions-can-be-minimized (Accessed on 5 May 2021)
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