Eyelash Warning

Reporter: Rodney Lohse

Debeorah Comacho loves getting her hair done, and was an instant convert to the latest trend of eyelash extensions.

But choosing the wrong salon in which to get them done almost cost her a lot more than her looks.

The extensions, which are stuck on with a super glue like adhesive, were stuck together. Comacho's eyes were burning and she ultimately had to have her eyelashes removed altogether

Beautician Danii Benyon says she is constantly seeing the terrifying results of poorly trained and the inexperienced beauticians.

"With eyelash extensions there is no industry standard, which means anybody and everyone can train, and everybody and anybody can offer these services without any kind of training," Benyon said.

"A good 30 per cent of our clients that we get in have gone to other salons offering cheap deals to get eyelash extensions. What happens is you will commonly see conjunctivitis, we see infections because of people not cleaning their tools safely and efficiently.

Often the only training some have is to watch a video on YouTube.

"People can use whatever adhesive they like and there is a lot of people out there that are just buying adhesives from eBay or from random other places, and they aren't using proper eyelash extension adhesive. This can be really harmful for their eyes," Benyon said.

According to Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Opthomologists President Dr Bill Glason our eyelashes primary function is to act as a filter protecting our eyes, so mess with them at your peril.

"I've had situations where people have had these lashes put on and the glue has run into the eye, and that glue has in fact removed significant parts of the lining of the surface of the eye which is extremely painful," he said.

"They're using a glue that's quite toxic on the eye so any of those glue fragments, like super glue, if it gets in your eye it can be very uncomfortable. The people who are actually applying these artificial lashes need to have formal accreditation and know what they're doing."

Benyon wants a national industry standard for those offering eyelash extension services. "They should be accredited and have had sufficient training in order to offer these services safely," she said.

Benyon has worked to make her own professional standard and trains all her staff.

"We've developed this training over two and a half years to get it through the Department of Education to ensure that the safety standards are met across the board," she explained.

Meanwhile Comacho realises how lucky she is that she didn't suffer a permanent injury, and fortunately her eyelashes have grown back.

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