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Do Eyelashes Turn Gray?

Are you noticing that your eyelashes are becoming grayer as you get older? Do you find yourself wondering why this is happening and if it’s something to be concerned about?

If so, then read on! I’ll let you know if you can expect your lashes to turn gray through the years, and when you can expect to start seeing some changes with your natural eyelashes… 

Close up image of a woman's eye with eyelashes

The Aging Process Of Eyelashes

Just like the hair on your head, your eyelashes can show signs of aging, and understanding this process can help you anticipate and manage these changes.

The aging process of eyelashes is a natural part of life, just as your skin wrinkles, and your hair may turn gray.

The pigment cells in your hair follicles, which are responsible for the color of your hair and eyelashes, decrease over time. This leads to a reduction in melanin, the pigment that gives your hair its color, resulting in gray hair and, yes, gray eyelashes.

The next question you might ask is, when do lashes show signs of aging? This can vary greatly from person to person, depending on genetics and overall health.

However, it’s typically around your mid-40s to early 50s that you may start to notice changes.

Your lashes may become sparser, shorter, and weaker. They may also lose their curl and become straighter.

You can combat these changes with a good diet, hydration, and proper eyelash care. Products like eyelash serums and conditioners can help to strengthen and nourish your lashes, prolonging their life cycle.

When and Why Do Eyelashes Turn Gray

Your eyelashes’ transition to gray typically begins around your mid-40s to early 50s, a natural aging process driven by the decrease in pigment cells in your hair follicles.

This reduction in pigment cells means that less melanin, the substance that gives your hair its color, is produced. As a result, your eyelashes may start to turn white or gray.

The process isn’t immediate; it happens gradually over time. You might first notice a few sparse, lighter lashes among your darker ones.

Over time, more and more eyelashes may lose their color until the majority, or all, have turned gray or white.

Environmental factors, such as excessive sun exposure, can also impact the rate at which your lashes turn white.

Sunlight can bleach the melanin in your hair, accelerating the graying process. So, if you’re often in the sun, your eyelashes may gray quicker than they otherwise would.

Certain health conditions, like vitiligo, can cause your lashes to gray prematurely. Certain medical conditions like vitiligo disrupts melanin production, leading to patches of skin—and sometimes hair—that lack pigment.

Woman with long gray hair and subtle makeup

Comparison With Scalp Hair: Do Eyelashes Gray The Same Way

The graying process of hair, whether on your scalp or your eyelashes, is linked to the decrease in melanin production as you age. 

However, there are some differences to consider between the two.

Rate of graying:

  • Scalp hair: Usually, your scalp hair turns gray or white earlier because it has a longer life cycle. It’s not unusual to start seeing some grays in your 30s or even late 20s for some people.
  • Eyelashes: Eyelashes typically gray much later in life, often not until your 50s or 60s. This is because eyelashes have a much shorter life cycle and are replaced more frequently.

Visibility of graying:

  • Scalp hair: The graying of scalp hair is more noticeable due to the larger area it covers.
  • Eyelashes: Graying eyelashes can often go unnoticed unless you’re looking closely, as they’re less prominent.

Intensity of graying:

  • Scalp hair: It can show varying shades of gray before turning completely white.
  • Eyelashes: When melanin production reduces, your eyelashes can turn white, often appearing to skip the gray stage.

Is Graying Eyelashes Hereditary

Continuing with the topic of graying, you might be curious to know if there’s a hereditary aspect to your eyelashes turning gray.

The simple answer is, yes. Genetics do play a role in when and if your eyelashes will go gray. However, it’s not as straightforward as it may seem.

You see, just like the hair on your head, your eyelashes and eyebrows can also go gray. But, unlike scalp hair, they don’t necessarily follow the same timeline or pattern.

While some individuals may notice their lashes turning gray or white in their early 40s, others mightn’t experience this until much later in life, if at all.

This is where the hereditary aspect comes into play. If your parents or grandparents had gray or white eyelashes at a certain age, you’re likely to follow a similar trajectory.

However, genes aren’t the sole deciding factor. Environmental factors and lifestyle choices can also impact when your lashes will go gray. 

Prolonged stress, poor nutrition, and exposure to pollutants can all speed up the process, causing your lashes to gray earlier than they might’ve if these factors weren’t present.

Woman with long gray hair and wearing a white shirt

Can You Prevent Graying Eyelashes?

The truth is, there isn’t a surefire way to prevent graying eyelashes, just as there isn’t a sure way to prevent gray hair on your head. 

However, there are a few things you can do to potentially delay the process and keep your lashes healthy.

Here are some strategies to consider:

Maintaining a Healthy Diet:

  • Consuming a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help maintain the health of your lashes.
  • Particularly, Vitamins A, C and E, and minerals like iron and zinc are known to promote hair health.

Avoiding Damage:

  • Try not to rub your eyes harshly, as it can damage the follicles and speed up the graying process.
  • Be gentle when removing makeup, and avoid using eyelash curlers excessively.

Proper Hydration:

  • Keeping your body well hydrated can help maintain the health of your hair, including your lashes.
  • Drinking sufficient water daily benefits your overall health and contributes to lash health.

How to Cover Gray Eyelashes

From mascara to eyelash dye, there are ways to camouflage the grays and bring back that youthful look to your eyes.

One of the easiest ways is by using mascara. It’s a simple, quick fix that you can do daily.

Mascara comes in various colors, but black or brown are the most common choices for covering grays. Invest in a quality brand to ensure that it doesn’t clump or smudge.

If you’re looking for a more lasting solution, consider tinting your lashes. It’s a semi-permanent dye job for your lashes that can last up to six weeks.


Aging is an inevitable part of life, and as you get older, you may notice that your eyelashes start to turn gray.

This graying process often begins in your mid-40s to early 50s, driven by the decrease in melanin production in your follicles.

It’s a natural process that can be accelerated by certain environmental factors and health conditions. Genetics also play a role in when and if your lashes will go gray.

Although there isn’t a surefire way to prevent graying eyelashes, there are several steps you can take to prolong the effects of aging and keep your lashes healthy for longer.

From maintaining a balanced diet and proper hydration to using mascara or tinting services, there are ways to cover up those pesky grays and regain confidence with younger looking eyes.