Lash Lift Gone Wrong: Potential Risks and Side Effects

A lash lift gone wrong can mean disappointing results, or more serious lash lift side effects. Read our guide to learn what the risks are, and how to prevent them.

Lash Lift Gone Wrong: Potential Risks and Side Effects

Image source: Instagram @misskatykins

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2020. Updated August 2021.

Women have always longed for long luscious lashes. To achieve this look, many people are turning to new trends.

The well-known lash extensions are a possible solution perfect for those who want a more dramatic, makeup look. But the lash lift treatment is becoming an equally popular choice, as a more natural-looking, low-maintenance alternative.

The lash lift is a very simple, painless, and generally considered safe treatment. But since it does imply chemical products applied directly to your lashes, it carries certain risks.

Keep reading to find out the most common lash lift gone wrong scenarios, potential lash lift risks, and possible side effects.

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What Are the Most Common Lash Lift Risks and Side Effects?

Even though the treatment is very simple, since the eye area is very sensitive and the eyelid skin is thin and prone to irritation, there are a few potential eyelash lift side effects and risks to watch out for.

The consequences of lash lift gone wrong can be either unsatisfactory results, which is annoying but not dangerous, or an allergic reaction or irritation. There’s also the very low possibility of the chemicals getting into your eyes, which is a potential health hazard.

Lash Lift Gone Wrong

You can consider your treatment a lash lift gone wrong if the results were not what you wanted and you feel like you’ve wasted your money. Here are the most common scenarios that can leave you with unsatisfactory results.

Scenario #1: Lash Lift Didn’t Work

Your lashes remain straight and the curl is very slight or non-existent.

Why does this happen?

  • Your lashes weren’t cleaned properly before the treatment and the chemicals couldn’t do their magic. Your artist should have cleaned them more thoroughly.
  • The products used were low-quality.
  • The tech did something wrong. They may have removed the chemicals too soon.
  • You messed up the aftercare. You need to follow aftercare instructions in the first 24-48 hours after a lash lift, or the curl will relax.

What to do?

If you didn’t follow the aftercare routine properly, try to do so next time. But if the tech messed up, ask for a refund. Unfortunately, you can’t repeat the treatment straight away – you need to wait 6-8 weeks or you’ll damage your lashes.

Scenario #2: You Lashes Are Over Curled

The treatment worked too well – your lashes look too curled and unnatural.

Why does this happen?

This is your lash tech’s fault. If they leave the perming solution on for too long, the overcurl happens. They need to know how to use the products they work with.

What to do?

Ask for a refund.

You can wait for the over curled lashes to grow out and fall off, or you can have them relaxed. You can get it done professionally – some techs offer this treatment – or you can DIY it by not following the aftercare and brushing them down with an oil.

You Lashes Are Over Curled
Image source: Instagram @elaines_lashes

Lash Lift Side Effects

The potential lash lift side effects are not too serious, but they may be uncomfortable.

Irritation

Why does this happen?

The skin on the eyelids is very thin and sensitive, so if chemicals come into contact with it, it might react. Irritation is manifested in redness and possible itching.

What to do?

Chances are, the irritation is not too serious and it’ll subside within a day. If it gets too uncomfortable, you can relieve the symptoms with a cold compress.

But if you experience extreme discomfort, consult your tech and a dermatologist.

2. Damage to Your Natural Lashes – They Became Brittle and Fragile

Why does this happen?

The artist might have left the perming solution on for too long or used some low-quality products. This is why it is important to find an experienced artist, to avoid lash lift gone wrong.

What to do?

There’s not much you can do about it except wait for them to grow out. You can try nourishing your lashes with oils (this will relax the curl) and using serums that stimulate growth.

It goes without saying, find another tech.

Lash Lift Side Effects - Irritation or Damage to Your Natural Lashes
Image source: Instagram @eyelashinstitutecph

Lash Lift Risks

The lash lift implies the application of chemicals directly onto your lashes and they can get on the skin, too.

The more serious lash lift risks are:

Allergic Reaction

Why does this happen?

The eyes and the skin on the lids are a very sensitive area. The chemicals can cause an allergic reaction that manifests in itching, burning, or redness.

If you’re generally prone to allergies, let your tech know and do a patch test.

What to do?

If your allergic reaction is mild, it’ll clear up on its own. Go to someone who uses a different brand of products and do a patch test next time.

But if the treated area is unusually swollen, red, and painful, contact your lash lift artist immediately. If the situation looks serious, visit your dermatologist.

Damage to the Cornea

Why does this happen?

First things first, this hardly ever actually happens. But it’s still one of the potential lash lift risks and you should be aware of it.

If the chemicals get into your eyes during the treatment, they can hurt them. They can cause retinal burns and infections. The worst case scenario is blindness.

We’re not trying to scare you – we’re only trying to warn you not to open your eyes during the procedure. It goes without saying, always to a certified tech who knows what they’re doing, and uses products that were tested and approved.

What to do?

If chemicals get into your eyes during the treatment, consult a doctor as soon as possible. One of the symptoms to look out for is bloodshot eyes.

How to Prevent a Lash Lift Gone Wrong

  • Choose your lash tech carefully. It’s best to base your decision on recommendations and online reviews.
  • Don’t let the price be the primary factor. Getting great lashes on a budget is possible, but a price significantly lower than the average lash lift price can mean lack of experience, or a bad reputation – all red flags for a lash lift gone wrong. Research the artist carefully before booking.
  • Report proneness to allergies to your tech and do a patch test.
  • Keep your eyes closed during the treatment.
  • Follow the aftercare tips so you don’t ruin the results.

How to Prevent a Lash Lift Gone Wrong
Image source: Instagram @mj.beauty.bar

Lash Lift Gone Wrong – Main Takeaways

The lash lift is affordable and simple, so many people love it and many salons offer it. It’s a pretty safe treatment in general, and there is nothing to worry about if you go to a certified artist who knows what they’re doing and follow their aftercare advice.

But bear in mind that there are certain lash lift risks more serious than unsatisfactory results – allergic reactions, irritations, damage to your lashes or your eyes. Still, everything should be fine as long as your tech is skilled and you keep your eyes closed during the treatment.

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