Leave the Horror to the Movies: How to Recognise and Prevent Four Common and Completely Avoidable Lashing Nightmares!

We love a horror movie franchise as much as the next person and we can’t get enough of Stephen King’s creepy stories, but we really have to draw the line at those scary stories creeping into real life lash sets! The good news is that simply by knowing how something can go wrong, you stand a far better chance at preventing it.

Here are the most common issues that can arise from improper lash extension application and aftercare. Reader discretion is advised – things are about to get scary! 


This is rarer than you might think, but the potential for this to happen alone is enough for it to be something you definitely want to work towards preventing at all times.

Blepharitis is characterised by red, itchy eyelids and crusty residue around the roots of the lashes. It’s essentially our body reacting negatively to a buildup of dead skin cells and sebum. It can happen to anyone regardless of if they have eyelash extensions or not, but it’s quite commonly seen in those who have lash extensions, simply because – due to years of misinformation – many clients believe that they shouldn’t ever get their lashes wet, and so avoid washing them. 

a set of lashes with some green residue around the roots

By not washing our lashes, we’re allowing this build up to happen, which is why it’s so important that we explain to each and every client that it’s paramount that they keep their lashes clean, and that they are using a specially formulated eyelash extensions cleanser to do so. Or else. 

Lash Mites

If we sounded dramatic at the end of the last point, consider it the segue to the second movie in this particular series: Blepharitis 2: Curse of the Lash Mite! 

By not washing our lashes and letting all of that sebum and dead skin build up around the lash roots, we encourage Demodex Mites out of their usual hiding places inside the hair follicles (that’s right, they’re always with us doing important work and keeping our skin and hair healthy. Best not to think about all the bugs we play host to, if you’re a little on the itchy side), out to the surface where they’ll snack on all of that residue, and even the lashes. If the lashes get eaten, they’re highly unlikely to grow back so if nothing motivates your clients to wash their lashes, perhaps the idea that they may never have lashes again will. 

a digital drawing depicting lash mites on eyelashes

If a client does get Blepharitis and/or mites on their lashes, refer them to a doctor or Pharmacy to receive treatment before you even think about applying a single eyelash extension. It may be necessary to remove the lashes in the meantime, but see what is advised by medical professionals before you do anything. 

Chemical Burns

Believe it or not, red eyes after eyelash extensions is not something that just happens when you apply a set of lashes, it’s actually completely avoidable and is something that comes down to not making sure our client’s eyes are completely closed while we’re applying lashes. 

Chemical burns are a result of the glue fumes getting into the eyes and aggravating the mucus membranes on the eyeballs. All we really need to do to prevent this is to ensure that the eyes remain closed during the lash set. 

  • Advise your clients to avoid caffeine and or lots of sugar prior to appointments to prevent their eyelids from flickering
  • Also try not to chat too much during the lash set. Pop on some lovely chilled music and let them doze off
  • Always ensure that the eyepatches and/or tape aren’t touching the eye, as this can lead to the eyes flickering, and in particularly bad cases can lead to bruising on the eye – ouch!
  • Make sure you’re not pressing down too hard on the eyepatch with your isolation tweezers – this is the most common cause of chemical burns among beginner Lash Techs
  • Use tape to keep the eyelids down and unmoving if your client struggles to keep their eyelids closed during treatments
  • Try foam tape to keep the bottom lashes down instead of surgical tape or eyepatches. They’re a little thicker so help to block the gap if your client struggles to close their eyes completely due to their shape
  • Use a small lash mirror to check throughout the lash set that their eyes haven’t opened
  • Remind clients to turn off any alarms and put their phone on silent.
a close up of an eye with chemical burn

Chemical burns can be pretty sore and uncomfy, and lead to dry eyes. All of this can lead to your client rubbing their eyes more, which in turn can lead to their lashes getting damaged.


This is a Lash Industry term that just means that lashes are sticking together. There are a few different types of stickie but all are equally damaging if they’re left unseparated. Stickies are so damaging because as one lash grows, it pulls its neighbour with it, leading to discomfort up until the point where it pulls the other lash out entirely. When we pull out lashes prematurely, we risk damaging the bulb of the hair, meaning that lashes may grow back finer and weaker, or may not even grow back at all. 

a digital drawing depicting three different types of stickes

Unlike chemical burns, Stickies are part and parcel of lash extensions – even if your isolation is on point and you use the perfect amount of glue, you will inevitably have a couple of stickies knocking about when you finish your lash set, which is why we always recommend that you put aside at least 10 minutes at the end of every single lash set and lash fill appointment to go through and check for stickies. 

Here’s how to avoid stickies as best you can:

  • Don’t use too much glue
  • Ensure you’re using tweezers designed for isolation. You’ll need decent quality tweezers with fine tips and a decent amount of grip – this will help you to separate any stickies you find later
  • Make sure you're using very bright lighting so that you can see the lashes clearly while you're working
  • Work across both eyes evenly and leave a small gap between each lash that you apply to give fresh glue a chance to cure a little before you apply the lash next to it
  • Make sure you’re using the right eyelash extension glue for you – if your glue is a little too slow then you run the risk of it giving you more stickies because you’re working faster than it can cure

Here’s how to check for and separate any stickies that you do find:

  • Use two pairs of isolation/Classic Lash tweezers and go through the lashes one by one, and then layer by layer
  • If you come across a stickie, grip both of the affected lashes with your tweezers and gently pull them apart
a lash tech checking for stickies and then separating one that's found

It’s that simple, so you have zero excuse not to do it! 

Eyelash extensions should never be painful or uncomfortable, so if they are, it means that something has gone wrong! While there is plenty that can go wrong with a lash set, the vast majority of things can be avoided if you take the time to check for them and give your clients the proper advice when it comes to how to look after their lashes.