Unlike getting your teeth cleaned or hair cut, eyelash extensions are still not regulated by various government or professional bodies. Perfect You is lobbying the government to change this, and we are creating industry standards, which will hopefully be implemented and enforced one day. In the meantime though, there is a great deal of risk to consumers in what is currently a "wild west" type industry. Think about it for a second. Someone is applying glue near your eyeballs, with sharp tweezers, for up to 2 hours. Dentistry is regulated for good reason, and we believe eyelash extensions should be as well. But the question remains: is there any level of licensing or certification that could apply to this industry? The answer is twofold. On the training side, technicians should be deeply deeply trained by someone who has at least 2 years of field experience. In our estimate, this covers about 50% of technicians operating in Ottawa today. Likely around 50% of them have been trained by someone with significant experience. On the regulatory side however, very few establishments have exposed themselves to the rigorous inspection, health and safety standards of various levels of government. In the case of Perfect You, we are inspected by the City of Ottawa Health department, just like restaurants. We are open to these inspections, because it helps us improve on absolutely anything we can, for the health and safety of our clients. We also have our own safety standards, which we have developed since being in business for almost 10 years. For instance, if a client has an allergic, or any type of reaction, it is standard practice for us to discard all implements that came in contact with the client. We also offer a free (and immediate) eyelash removal service for any of our clients. Supplier information is also available upon request by any of our clients.
Eyelash extensions adhesive is a semi-viscous liquid, requiring refrigeration, which -in the right temperature and humidity conditions- cures onto a natural eyelash for the duration of the natural life cycle of that lash. In simpler terms, eyelash extensions adhesives glue a false eyelash onto a real eyelash, until that natural eyelash sheds.
Eyelash extensions adhesives are very much like the adhesives used in surgical procedures. They are non-toxic and generally non allergenic. Eyelash extensions adhesives can be rated based on various factors: price, smell, curing time, bonding strength/length and client reactivity. We have found that cheaper eyelash extensions adhesives have a stronger odour, have extremely fast curing time, do not last that long, and have a higher chance of causing an adverse reaction with clients. In some cases, you can feel a burning sensation as the eyelash adhesive is applied, just from the fumes and chemicals themselves. On the other side of the spectrum is surgical adhesives. These adhesives are more expensive, have extremely slow curing times (sometimes more than 10 seconds), are no odour, and a low to nil rate of adverse reactions with clients. The main issue with surgical adhesive is that the curing time makes it impossible to apply as an eyelash extensions adhesive. At Perfect You, we use something in between. The adhesive we use is low to no odour, extremely expensive (10 times to 15 times more expensive than the inexpensive eyelash extensions adhesives available), has a cure time of 2 second, and lasts 8 weeks.
All eyelash extensions studios should be able to provide product details on the eyelash extensions adhesives. They should be able to provide supplier information and also be open about any adverse effects that have occurred using their glue. Also, every studio should have a clear policy about adverse reactions, and should offer a no-fee removal service, in case of reaction. Any barrier to removal (price, time, worry about being annoying, etc) is unprofessional in our view.
The most common sensitivity to eyelash extensions adhesive is the carbon black ingredient. Some clients have no issues, once they move to a clear adhesive that contains no carbon black. We asked our supplier why they would use carbon black, if some clients do experience sensitivity. The answer is that the carbon black -in part- does increase the bonding strength. Sure enough, the clear adhesive without carbon black does not perform as well, in our experience. So, if you're not experiencing sensitivity, we would recommend using regular adhesive.
A more rare sensitivity with eyelash extensions adhesive iscyanoacrylate.This is a chemical used in all such adhesives, in one form or another, that can cause irritation in some clients. However, the reason that such sensitivities are rare, is because this chemical is actually not supposed to touch the skin.
In either case, if you are experience sensitivity to your eyelash extensions, it is best to get the extensions removed as soon as possible. You can then move to a clear eyelash extensions adhesive, and you should also do a patch test with any adhesive. Perfect You offers free removal service for any clients experiencing sensitivity, or for clients who simply want to remove their extensions, for any reason at all. We book such appointments on a high priority basis.
What should I do in case of a reaction?
In the case of any severe reaction, it's important to visit a medical professional. We offer a removal service for all of our clients, for free, just in case the reaction is caused by the adhesive itself. We also ask that you report any reaction to us, so that we can discard any tools used in past procedures. Note that there are many many factors that could cause reactions, but we feel it's better to err on the side of caution. For any clients who want to take a break from eyelash extensions, we offer a lash lift and tint, which includes no adhesives or extensions.