Whether you are trying for a baby soon or you just got pregnant, it is an exciting time but this should not exempt you from looking good. A bit of self-care may be all you need to get through the day.
Since many physical changes occur during pregnancy, you are probably wondering if eyelash extensions are safe during pregnancy. After all, your health and the health of your little one are paramount.
In this article, I share my own experiences applying lash extensions on pregnant ladies and all the tips I have developed over the years to make this a safe and pleasant experience for my clients.
With that being said, let’s get started!
Can You Get Eyelash Extensions While Pregnant?
Eyelash extensions are a non-invasive cosmetic procedure and can be worn by pregnant women. Necessary precautions need to be taken by your lash technician during the appointment. It is always recommended to consult with a certified physician before getting lashes while pregnant.
Now, the eyelash extensions themselves are generally not a cause for concern for my clients. That’s because synthetic fibers are used instead of real mink and silk hairs, which can cause allergic reactions.
However, the glue used to adhere them is a different story. Let’s look at that next.
Is Eyelash Glue Safe During Pregnancy?
What drives the main concern when it comes to getting eyelash extensions during pregnancy is the glue that is being used for the bonding process.
More specifically, the risk of an allergic reaction to the eyelash extension glue.
An allergic reaction during pregnancy is problematic because you might be limited in the medicines and treatments you can take.
To explain how an allergic reaction from the lash adhesive can occur, I have to explain the composition of lash adhesives.
Multiple products are used in eyelash adhesives :
- Adhesive ingredient
- Thickening agent
- Stabilizing agent
- Coloring agent
- Other compounds for various purposes
Cyanoacrylate is the key ingredient found in eyelash extension adhesives, it is widely used as an instant adhesive (i.e. crazy glue or super glue is 100% ethyl cyanoacrylate.).
Cyanoacrylate is an acrylic resin, which exists in a liquid form while isolated in the bottle and rapidly polymerizes in the presence of water. When a single molecule comes in contact with water, it goes through a chemical reaction where the molecules begin to form long, strong chains and settle into a hard solid form.
So, what does all of this have to do with an allergic reaction?
The most common culprit of allergic reactions is formaldehyde.
Formaldehyde is released during the polymerization process of cyanoacrylate when it cures. Some individuals experience adverse effects from exposure to formaldehyde when the air concentration is above 0.1 ppm.
These effects include:
– Burning sensation in the eyes
– Watery eyes
– Skin irritation
The level of sensitivity to formaldehyde varies greatly from one person to another. Some people will not have any adverse effects from the same level of exposure.
As a lash artist, there are a few ways to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction for pregnant ladies.
#1 Use Sensitive Lash Glue
The proper glue for eyelash extensions is very important because it will hold the extensions in place and strengthen them. There are many different types of lash adhesives with different properties, and the best one for you depends on your personal preferences.
Some lash adhesives are specially made for clients with glue sensitivity.
Sensitive adhesives typically will give shorter retention than some stronger adhesives. In other words, if your lash stylist uses sensitive glue, you might need more frequent refills to maintain your lashes.
The quality of the glue being used is also extremely important. Cheap glues can cause skin irritation, and could even trigger more allergic reactions.
You want your stylist to use high-quality glue that is safe to use on your eyes.
#2 Have Good Ventilation
For most women, sensitivity to smell is higher during pregnancy. They become more conscious of chemicals and other things.
The lash studio where you are getting your treatment must be well-ventilated.
Often, it is due to the lack of ventilation that most women are unable to stand the smell of the glue. If you are not getting enough air circulation, talk to your lash technician about it.
#3 Do a Patch Test
Although allergic reactions to eyelash extensions are uncommon, it is recommended that a patch test should be done for mothers-to-be and people that are new to the synthetic lash extensions world. This is to know if you would develop a reaction to the adhesive used to apply eyelash extensions.
Patch tests are very important for expectant mothers even if they have never had any issues before. You are unlikely to develop an allergy during pregnancy if you formerly do not have a history of one, however still important to conduct a patch test before the application.
Why is that?
It is rather difficult to treat allergies during pregnancy because of the restriction of medical solutions that you can utilize while pregnant.
So what is a patch test?
A patch test is a completely painless and safe procedure and involves the placement of a few lash extensions (around 10 extensions) on the outer corner of one eye. The purpose of this test is to see if a small amount of formaldehyde triggers an allergic reaction.
Within the next 24 to 48 hours, you should check whether there are any signs of irritation or redness in that area. If there’s no redness or irritation, then the treatment can be performed without worrying about any allergic reactions or discomfort during or after the treatment.
If there is irritation after a patch test, then you’ll need to consider some other alternatives.
#4 No New Client
There is a distinction to be made between a regular client that has been doing lash extensions for a while and gets pregnant VS a pregnant client who wants to get lash extensions for the first time.
Although it is possible to develop an allergic reaction to the lash adhesive suddenly, it is less likely.
For that reason, pregnant women who get their lashes done for the very first time are considered riskier since you don’t know how they will react.
You could explain the situation thoroughly to the new client and see if they still wish to go ahead. At the very least, you should do a patch test (see point #3 above).
#5 Remove Lashes if an Allergic Reaction Occurs
If you do experience an allergic reaction after getting eyelash extensions, it’s best to ask your lash stylist to remove the extensions as soon as possible.
If the allergic reaction is severe, seek medical help immediately.
Also, people who experienced an allergic reaction in the past are likely to experience it again. For that reason, it is best to avoid lash extensions and opt for alternative solutions instead.
How to Get Lash Extensions While Pregnant
1- Find a Good Position
An appointment can take up to three hours and the client typically lays flat on their back.
So, can you get eyelash extensions while pregnant laying on your back?
Laying flat on their back is not a recommended position for pregnant women especially if they’ve reached over 20 weeks. This position can cause discomfort for both the expectant mother and her baby.
Pregnant ladies should lay on their sides with their heads straight-up during the treatment. This position will be helpful for both the stylist and the client and it will not affect the procedure.
The client can also put a pillow behind their spine, under their leg, or between the legs to provide comfort and support; this can help relax and reduce stress.
2- Take Plenty of Breaks
It is common for pregnant women to feel restless and uncomfortable, this may be a result of the baby’s weight. You might not be able to conclude the entire treatment without taking a break; your lash artist knows this as well.
Both of you need to incorporate small breaks into the appointment to enable you to stretch your legs, relax and use the restroom.
You can even opt to go through with the application of an eye and then take a long break to relax, unwind and eat. Taking these little breaks would help your appointment go smoothly.
3- Use a Low-Fume Eyelash Adhesive
This is the most important factor to consider to reduce the risk of getting an allergic reaction to the lash adhesive.
The appointment might take a little longer but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Hormonal Changes During Pregnancy and Hair Retention
Hormonal imbalance and physical changes are unavoidable during pregnancy and childbirth. These changes can affect hair growth and retention and it differs from woman to woman.
While other expectant mothers might be experiencing faster hair growth, you may be dealing with hair loss and vice versa. This imbalance can affect the retention of the extensions. In most cases, you may have to make eyelash appointments more often than expected.
Your hormonal changes can cause your natural lashes to renew themselves at a speed that requires you to get infills sooner than when you were not expecting a baby.
You should understand that this is normal and it does not necessarily mean that your body has a problem with retaining hair; it just means that your natural lashes are experiencing regeneration faster.
The Bottom Line
It is not surprising that mothers are always cautious when it comes to anything that might affect their baby’s health.
Although there is no general research that has indicated that synthetic eyelash extensions are harmful to pregnant women; it is still recommended that you consult with your doctor before getting them done. This is because hormonal imbalances differ from person to person and your doctor is the best person to tell you what is suitable for you.
Due to the adjustments and breaks that happen during eyelash appointments with pregnant women, it is important to talk to your lash artist before making appointments. This ensures your lash stylist allocates enough time for your appointment.
Pregnancy is a special moment in anyone’s life and many changes come with it; even though you might not be feeling your best, don’t forget to give yourself time for some self-care. There’s nothing wrong to have the desire to feel beautiful plus those lashes will look gorgeous in your maternity photos!
– Asako 🙂
- Jenna Fletcher (2020). How to recognize an allergic reaction to eyelash extensions. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/allergic-reaction-to-eyelash-extensions#other-possible-causes (Accessed on 15 October 2021)
- National Cancer Institute (2011). Formaldehyde and Cancer Risk. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/formaldehyde/formaldehyde-fact-sheet (Accessed on 15 October 2021)
- Ashley Marcin (2018). Why Hair Loss Can Occur During or After Pregnancy and What You Can Do. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/hair-loss-in-pregnancy (Accessed on 15 October 2021)
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Asako Ito is the Co-Founder of Divine Lashes and a certified eyelash stylist. She has garnered acclaim for her cutting-edge techniques in the lash industry.
Holding multiple certifications and licenses, including Luxury Eye, THE LASH SHOP, World Microblading, and The Lash Bible, she has a constant thirst for knowledge. These credentials reflect her commitment to excellence and staying at the forefront of lash and brow artistry.
With over 10 years of experience, Asako continuously increases her knowledge both as a technician and educator by collaborating with top lash artists worldwide. You can read her full bio here.