Eyelashes do more than cause attraction of the eyes and face, they also protect our eyes from debris, infections, and strong winds. But people always wonder what happens if they do fall out. Most times they will naturally grow back within a couple of months but the process and time to regrowth can vary depending on different factors. Some factors include diseases and infections, burn accidents, and even certain medications that can affect how eyelashes grow back
How can eyelashes fall out?
- Burns. Burn incidents can singe lashes but if the roots of the hair follicles are not destroyed and eyelids are normal, the eyelashes can grow back in about six weeks.
- Genetics. If there is a family history of hair thinning or hair loss, chances are that a lack of eyelash growth can occur.
- Medical treatments and medications. Medications used to treat cancers (chemotherapies) can cause hair loss as a side effect and therefore cause loss of eyelash regrowth.
Underlying conditions. Autoimmune diseases (i.e., Lupus), thyroid disorders, hormonal changes, nutritional deficiencies, chronic stress, and cancer can be reasons for eyelash loss as well as overall hair loss.
- Alopecia. This can be a major reason for eyelash loss as people with alopecia lose hair in patches since their immune system attacks hair follicles. Alopecia is a common condition that affects 6.7 million people in the United States and 160 million people throughout the world.
- Lash extensions and cosmetics. Extensions are glued to the natural lash line and can rip and damage hair underneath. Mascara and eye makeup being left on for too long can lead to eyelash loss.
- Eyelid disorders. Blepharitis (rubbing eyes too frequently), dermatitis, and eyelid infections can cause issues with the eyelash follicles leading to lash loss.
- Hair pulling. Trichotillomania, or hair-pulling disorder, is when there is an urge to pull out hair sometimes in large clumps. This can lead to loss of eyelashes and hair on the scalp as well.
What are other factors that may prevent eyelash growth?
Other than burns, genetics, and certain medical treatments, there are other factors that can cause eyelash loss and prevent regrowth.
- Trauma. Both physical and mental trauma, especially to the eye area, can lead to a lack of lash follicles and prevent regrowth.
- Hormonal changes. As people age, hormones change, and the lack of hair regrowth occurs.
- Nutritional deficiencies and unhealthy lifestyle. Certain unhealthy habits like a poor diet lacking essential nutrients, smoking, and lack of sleep can have a negative impact on lash growth.
- Chronic stress. Stress can affect all areas of your life even in the growth of eyelashes. The main reason why is that chronic stress can affect and halt the eyelash growth cycle.
When do your eyelashes stop growing?
Like the hair on the scalp, eyelashes go through a growth cycle. Unless there are underlying causes, eyelash growth usually does not ever stop. The average growth cycle is about 16 weeks and once they reach their maximum length, they fall off and regrow again. Sometimes as a person ages, their hair becomes thinner and will be less curly due to the weakening of follicles. This is also the reason people may start to use eyelash extensions and curlers. Losing some lashes daily is normal and part of the growth cycle.
Do eyelashes grow back when they fall out?
Eyelashes do have the ability to grow back. In most cases, if an eyelash falls out or is accidentally pulled out, a new eyelash will eventually grow in its place. The regrowth rate of eyelashes is relatively slow compared to other types of hair, as the natural growth cycle of eyelashes is shorter. Most times it takes between 4 to 16 weeks for eyelashes to fully grow back.
The regrowth process can be influenced by various factors. These include individual factors such as genetics, overall health, age, and lifestyle habits, as well as external factors like the cause of eyelash loss and any underlying medical conditions. If eyelash loss occurs due to factors like natural shedding, physical damage, or temporary conditions, such as certain medical treatments, the eyelashes have a higher chance of regrowing naturally. However, in cases where eyelash loss is due to more severe damage or certain medical conditions, the regrowth process may be hindered or limited.
What is the eyelash growth cycle?
- Anagen Phase: This is the active growth phase of the eyelash follicle as new hairs grow from eyelid follicles. It typically lasts between 1 to 3 months, but the duration can vary among individuals. The length of the eyelash is determined by the length of the anagen phase.
- Catagen Phase: During this phase, the growth of the eyelash stops, and the follicle begins to shrink. This phase lasts between 2 to 3 weeks.
- Telogen Phase: The eyelash remains in this phase until it is naturally shed or pushed out by a new growing eyelash. The new eyelash starts to develop beneath the old one. This phase lasts between 4 to 9 months.
After the telogen phase, the eyelash sheds, and the cycle begins again with the anagen phase. Not all eyelashes are in the same phase at the same time, as they follow their individual growth cycles independently. This ensures that there is a continuous presence of eyelashes and that they do not all fall out simultaneously.
How can I prevent future eyelash loss?
The best treatment regarding eyelash and hair loss, in general, is prevention.
- Handle with Care: Be gentle when touching or rubbing your eyes. Avoid twisting or tugging on your eyelashes because doing so can hasten their premature shedding.
- Remove Makeup Properly: Ensure you remove eye makeup gently and thoroughly each night. Use a mild cleanser and be cautious not to rub or scrub your lashes.
- Avoid Harsh Eyelash Treatments: Be cautious of harsh eyelash treatments such as eyelash extensions, conditioners, or curls as these can weaken the lashes and lead to breakage.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet: A balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins can promote overall hair growth, including eyelashes.
- Manage Stress: Chronic stress can affect overall hair health, including eyelashes. Practice stress management techniques such as exercise, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and getting enough sleep to promote healthy lash growth.
What are the ways to regrow eyelash hair?
- Allow Natural Regrowth: In many cases, eyelashes will naturally regrow on their own. Be patient and give your lashes time to go through their natural growth cycle. Avoid excessive manipulation or use of products that could further damage the lashes.
Healthy Diet: Maintain a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins to support overall hair health, including eyelashes. Include foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats in your diet.
- Eyelash Serums: Products such as VolumLash can be used to enhance lash growth. VolumLash uses natural ingredients to strengthen lashes while also making them darker and longer and preventing breakage. It can also be applied to eyebrows as well to grow and thicken hair.
- Taking supplements: Certain vitamins and supplements such as Vitamin A and C, biotin, iron, and omega-3s may promote overall hair growth including eyelashes.
- Proper Makeup and eye hygiene: When applying mascara or other eye makeup, choose gentle, water-based formulas. Avoid waterproof mascaras, as they can be more difficult to remove and may cause additional stress on the lashes during makeup removal. Also, keep your eyes clean to prevent any potential infections or blockages.
- Consult a Healthcare Professional: If you are experiencing significant or persistent eyelash loss, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional or dermatologist. They can evaluate your specific situation and provide personalized recommendations or prescribe medications that may promote lash growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Eyelashes typically take about 4 to 16 weeks to grow back fully after they fall out or are pulled out. However, the exact regrowth time can vary among individuals due to factors like genetics, overall health, and the reason for lash loss. It's important to be patient and allow the natural growth cycle to take place.
Taking care of your eyelashes involves gentle handling and proper maintenance. Avoid rubbing or pulling on your lashes, as this can lead to breakage. Remove eye makeup gently and thoroughly. Be cautious when using eyelash curlers and avoid excessive heat. Maintain a balanced diet with essential nutrients and consider using lash-enhancing serums. Regularly clean your eye area and seek professional advice if you notice any unusual changes.
While some home remedies claim to promote eyelash growth, their effectiveness varies. Natural remedies like castor oil, olive oil, or aloe vera gel are believed to nourish the lashes, but scientific evidence is limited. It's important to approach home remedies with caution and consult a healthcare professional for guidance. Factors like genetics, overall health, and proper care play a more significant role in lash growth.
An ingrown eyelash, also known as trichiasis, occurs when an eyelash grows in the wrong direction and starts to rub against the surface of the eye or irritate the eyelid. It can cause discomfort, redness, and sometimes even corneal abrasion. Ingrown eyelashes may be the result of various factors, including eyelid inflammation, trauma, or certain medical conditions.
Eyelashes have the potential to grow back naturally through the regrowth process and can vary among individuals. To promote healthy lash growth and prevent future loss, it’s crucial to handle eyelashes with care, remove makeup gently, and avoid harsh treatments. Maintaining a healthy diet, practicing good make-up hygiene, and managing stress levels can also contribute to lash health. Additionally, understanding the eyelash growth cycle and conditions like ingrown eyelashes can help maintain the well-being of your lashes. By adopting proper care practices and being patient, you can support the regrowth and overall health of your eyelashes, enhancing the beauty and protection they provide to your eyes.