Has your lash lift gone wrong?
In my experience, the majority of lash lifts don’t work out because the perming solution isn’t applied properly or timed right. You could have issues due to lash placement, tools that won’t stick, or using the wrong curling rod.
Lash lifts are a non-invasive beauty treatment with big results —sometimes too big!
If yes, you’re probably seeing at least one of the following indicators of damaged lashes:
- over-curling lashes
- frizzing lashes
- breaking lashes
- clumping lashes
- eyelashes that appear fused together
- uneven splothchy curls
I’ve been getting lash lifts for more than 4-years and know that undoing lash lift damage takes patience and some know-how. Luckily, you can fix your lashes with a little TLC and the right products.
Here we’ll talk about how to fix a lash lift gone wrong and explore:
- What is a lash lift?
- Solutions to bad lash lifts
- Whether lash lifts leave lasting consequences
- Potential lash lift risks
- Lash lift aftercare
Whether you’re new to lash lifts, or a lash lift pro, knowing how to remedy a bad lash lift makes a big difference. Don’t go through life with frizzy or clumpy lashes. Instead, take control and find a lasting lash solution that works for you.
What is a lash lift?
A lash lift makes your eyelashes appear longer, fuller, and curled.
Much like a hair perm or lash perm, your lash lift is achieved through chemical application and a curling tool. This leaves lashes permanently altered until they grow out or are treated again.
Lash lifts are a great alternative to false lashes or lash extensions, but they’re not without fault. If the chemical solution is left on too long, lashes become over-processed.
The result is frizzy or over-curled lashes, which don’t achieve the desired effect of long healthy lashes.
Worst-case scenarios & fixes to a bad lash lift
There’s more than one way a lash lift can go wrong, and fortunately, there’s also more than one solution to a bad lash lift.
Some bad lash lift scenarios you might encounter, include:
#1 Lash lift didn’t work
There’s nothing more frustrating than finishing a beauty treatment, only to find it didn’t work.
If your lash lift didn’t produce the desired result, it could be because the perming solution wasn’t left on long enough.
Another common reason for a failed lift is too much glue. Lash adhesive blocks the solution from bonding to the hairs, this keeps your lashes from perming properly.
You can re-perm your lashes, through a salon, or at home, although I recommend leaving it to a professional lash tech.
#2 Lash lift too curly
Over-curled lashes can be the result of:
- Silicone pads or rods moving
- Too much perm solution on the lashes
- Overprocessing, leaving the perming solution on too long
When your lashes are too curly, it detracts from the purpose of a lash lift—lengthening and volumizing.
To fix overly curly lashes, the best solution is a second perm.
You may also be able to relax the curl by moisturizing your lashes with a natural oil like castor oil and using a heated eyelash curler.
Before re-treating lashes, prepare them with a protein-removing pad, apply the castor oil from root to tip, and leave overnight.
#3 Lashes are fused together
If your lashes have fused together, your options for lash renewal are limited, but not hopeless.
A keratin lask infusion, also sometimes called a keratin lash lift or perm, uses cysteine to strengthen your lashes, helping rectify some of the damage from the original lift.
Having your lashes fuse together is a bigger problem. Most professionals will tell you to wait it out, or at least let your lashes rejuvenate before their next perm.
A few weeks of rest and relaxation should give your lashes enough bounce to combat a second round of perming.
Talk to your lash artist about properly combing each lash out with the spoolie tool. Set a timer for the chemical processing, and the next lift should be less clumpy.
#4 Lashes are crossed and crinkled
Crinkled lashes are generally a sign of one or a combination of these issues:
- The curling rod wasn’t staying in place
- An improperly sized curling rod was used
- Lashes weren’t properly combed out over the rod
- The perm solution was applied unevenly
Like other solutions listed above, the best way to redeem a crinkled lash lift is to reset and retry the perm.
If your lashes are crinkled because of chemical damage, be sure to moisturize them between treatments. Speak to your lash technician about the straightness of the application and the right-sized curling rod.
If you used an at-home lash lift kit, consider asking a friend for help.
#5 Silicone pads didn’t stick right
Some silicone pads are stickier than others.
This gets problematic when you have a pad that won’t stick. Lashes ping back up off the pad, risking a missed application of the perming solution.
There’s also the risk that lashes could move during the perming process.
Depending on which pads you use, they may be pre-treated with adhesive. If this is not the case, you may need to use extra adhesive to create a sticky surface.
If you glued the pads yourself, using more glue and waiting for it to get tacky before placing lashes should do the trick. 15-30 seconds is the standard time.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with pad placement and adhesive.
Do lash lifts ruin your lashes?
No, a bad lash lift won’t ruin your lashes. It’s important to stay calm and remember that lashes grow back.
If you have a bad lash lift, it may not leave you feeling you’re most confident, but it won’t ruin your lashes forever. There are many ways to remedy bad lash lifts, including letting them grow out and starting again.
If your lashes have broken and are short as a result of a lash lift, consider getting lash extensions. This will add back length to your eyelashes while you wait for your natural lashes to grow back out.
If you’re worried your lashes could be at risk of permanent damage, speak to your lash technician before your appointment.
Potential lash lift risks
As with any chemical treatment, even a mild one like a lash lift, there are potential risks involved. You might notice reactions to your lashes, eyelids, or the skin surrounding your eyes.
Some of the reactions you may experience following a lash lift include:
Irritation or allergic reaction
Some people have a bad lash lift because of their bodies’ natural reaction to the chemicals and overall process. This can cause symptoms like:
- Itchy eyes
- Watery eyes
- Rash around the eyes
The reaction could be caused by constantly touching your eyes, the perm or setting solution, or the tools being used.
If you have sensitive skin, your risk for rash and other allergic reactions is higher. You may want to avoid chemical lash lifts, or speak to your technician about using the mildest formula, or a reduced setting time.
To remedy itchy, dry, or watery eyes, a saline eye drop solution can help. For any rash, you should speak to your doctor. An over-the-counter allergy medicine like Benadryl might help, but it’s best to get a professional medical opinion if allergy symptoms persist.
Damage to your natural eyelashes
Do lash lifts ruin your lashes? Your lashes can be damaged if the chemical agent is too strong, or if you use the wrong rod during the curling process.
Like chemically treating your hair, a lash lift isn’t the best thing to do to your lashes. After the treatment, you may notice your lashes are too curly, brittle, or frizzy. These are all signs of lash damage and should be taken seriously to avoid breakage or eyelash loss.
If your lashes are damaged, you can treat your lashes with nourishing natural oil, like castor oil. You may also want to let your lashes rest before attempting any further treatments. Lashes get stressed with touching and processing, and giving them some time to relax could help bring them back to life.
Damage to the cornea
Lash lifts should be applied by certified experts. If the perming solution makes it into your eye, it could result in an ulcer or burn to your cornea. It’s important to keep your eyes closed while undergoing a lash lift.
If you get anything in your eyes during your lash lift, tell your lash artist right away.
Rinse your eyes with clean lukewarm tap water for at least 20 minutes if you do get any of the lash perm or tint solution in your eyes.
If you feel persistent burning, speak to your doctor as soon as possible.
A chemical burn to the cornea can be serious. Unlike repeating a lash treatment, your cornea can’t be repaired through a second lifting treatment.
How do you treat a swollen eyelid after an eyelash lift?
YouTuber Makinze (see video below) experienced this exact reaction when she used eyelash glue instead of perming rods to perm her lashes.
She recommends reading and following instructions and avoiding putting the glue directly on your eyelid.
Most eyelid swelling tends to result from irritation. If your lids do swell, you can treat them with a cold facecloth to reduce inflammation.
Avoid rubbing them, and speak to a doctor if you’re concerned the swelling is allergy-based. Keep your hands away from your eyes when possible.
How long do lash lifts last?
Comparing the two, the lift offers more bang for your buck with a longer shelf life and lower price point. Your lash lift will last longer if properly cared for.
Follow your lash tech’s instructions for lash lift aftercare to get the longest life out of your lash lift.
Or, for more details on how to best care for your lashes post-lash lift check out “10 Simple Rules for Lash Lift Aftercare.“
Lash lift aftercare
Following an eyelash lift, your lash tech will give you a list of rules to follow. They may change from salon to salon, but generally, follow these rules:
- Avoid getting them wet for at least 24 hours
- Don’t rub or touch your eyes
- Avoid any eye makeup
- Avoid high heat
- Avoid creamy or oil cleansers
- Skip the lash curler, electric or manual
- Be gentle on your lashes
- Use a lash conditioner or eyelash serum
- Skip water-proof mascara or eye makeup
- Give your lashes a break every 3 treatments
General gentleness around your eye area is recommended. Some lash artists may suggest not sleeping on your stomach for the first night or two as your lashes adjust.
Sleeping on your stomach could cause you to press your lashes against your pillow, or rub them in your sleep. Mostly, you’ll hear, “no water”. Wet lashes, even through tears, cause the curl to relax.
Key points on lash lifts gone wrong
There are many ways to experience a lash lift gone wrong, both professionally and through at-home treatments. While most issues are mild, some, like chemical burns to the cornea, are quite severe. Treating any physical ailments caused by the lift should be your first priority, followed by aesthetic fixes to the lashes themselves.
You can treat your lashes by cleaning, moisturizing, and trying to perm them a second time, or by letting them grow out naturally. YouTube influencer, Grace Marie has more tips on returning your lashes to their former beauty.
Have you experienced a lash lift gone wrong? Share with us in the comments down below!
Want to learn more about eyelash treatments like lash perms?
Laura is a beauty expert with 5 years prior experience working in cosmetics and lash salons. When not writing you can find her experimenting with the trending makeup looks, or reading a good book snuggled up with her French Bulldog Max. Laura is currently a contributing writer and Beauty Editor at BeatyStack.