Are you frustrated with the appearance of your thin or sparse eyelashes? You’re not alone. Many people struggle with the same issue and may be wondering if there is any hope for regrowing their lashes.
The good news is, there are several natural ways to encourage lash growth and improve the overall health of your lashes.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some common causes of eyelash loss and share helpful tips on how to promote eyelash regrowth.
What Is The Natural Eyelash Growth Cycle?
Your eyelashes go through a growth cycle that includes three distinct phases: the Anagen (growth) phase, the Catagen (transition) phase, and the Telogen (shedding) phase. Each has its own characteristics and timeline.
- Anagen Phase: This is when your eyelashes are actively growing. It lasts between 30 to 45 days. During this time, your lashes are lengthening and getting stronger. Approximately 40% of your upper lashes and 15% of your lower lashes are in the Anagen phase at any given time.
- Catagen Phase: Following the growth period, eyelashes enter this transitional phase. It is a brief but critical phase that lasts around two to three weeks. In the Catagen phase, the lash stops growing, and the hair follicle begins to shrink. If an eyelash falls out during this phase, it won’t immediately grow back, as the follicle needs to complete the cycle.
- Telogen Phase: Known as the resting or shedding phase, this stage can last upwards of 100 days. During the Telogen phase, your lashes are getting ready to fall out naturally. Once an eyelash sheds, the natural cycle repeats, and a new lash begins to grow in its place. It is normal for you to lose a few eyelashes daily as part of this natural cycle.
Most Common Causes Of Eyelash Loss
Eyelash loss, or madarosis, can stem from a variety of conditions, often indicating an underlying health issue or the result of physical trauma to the eyelid.
Several autoimmune diseases, such as alopecia areata, directly affect hair growth, leading to the loss of eyelashes. Thyroid conditions like hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can also lead to thinning lashes due to hormonal imbalances affecting the body’s growth and regeneration cycles.
Trichotillomania, a psychological condition that compels you to pull out your own hair, often includes eyelashes as a target. This chronic behavior can result in noticeable lash loss.
Inflammation and Infections
Eyelid inflammation, known as blepharitis, is characterized by swollen and itchy eyelids. It can disrupt the natural growth of your eyelashes. In severe cases, skin conditions such as rosacea or eyelid infections can contribute to lash fall out.
The application and removal of eyelash extensions can cause significant lash loss due to the stress on hair follicles. Continuous use of certain makeup products might lead to irritation, further exacerbating the problem.
Undergoing chemotherapy often results in hair loss, including that of the eyelashes, as the chemotherapy drugs target rapidly dividing cells.
Injuries or burns to the eyelids can harm the delicate hair follicles, leading to temporary or permanent eyelash loss.
Do Eyelashes Grow Back?
Your eyelashes do grow back in most cases, provided there is no underlying medical condition or significant physical trauma resulting in permanent damage to the eyelash hair follicles.
Much like the hair on your scalp, eyelashes follow a natural growth cycle, with phases of growth, transition, and rest.
Growth Cycle of Eyelashes
- Anagen Phase: This is the growth stage where eyelashes actively grow. It lasts around 4-6 weeks.
- Catagen Phase: This is the transition stage. The growth of eyelashes stops and the hair follicle begins to shrink. This phase lasts 2-3 weeks.
- Telogen Phase: Also known as the resting phase, this lasts about 3 months before the eyelashes fall out and a new cycle begins.
Using certain growth serums may encourage eyelashes to regrow. These serums often contain peptides and biotin which can fortify and lengthen the lashes.
It’s important to choose eyelash growth serums that are tested and deemed safe for use around the eyes.
While home remedies such as applying castor or olive oil are popularly touted for eyelash regrowth, they lack solid scientific evidence to prove their effectiveness.
However, they are known to be moisturizing and could provide a conducive environment for growth.
Be cautious with lash extensions, as improper application or removal can cause damage, leading to eyelash loss. It’s crucial to follow good hygiene and proper care with extensions.
How Long Does It Take For Eyelashes To Grow Back?
When you lose eyelashes due to natural shedding or an external factor, the regrowth time is often a matter of several weeks to months. The growth cycle of eyelashes is broken down into three key phases:
- Anagen (Growth) Phase: Lasts around 30 to 45 days. During this time, your eyelashes are actively growing.
- Catagen (Transition) Phase: This is a brief phase where eyelashes reach their maximum length and the follicles begin to shrink.
- Telogen (Resting) Phase: Eyelashes remain in this phase for approximately 100 days before falling out.
The complete cycle can take about 4 to 8 months; however, individual hairs are in various stages at any given time, ensuring that you typically have lashes present.
Factors Affecting Regrowth
- Chemotherapy: Can cause lashes to thin or fall out; regrowth may commence after the treatment ends.
- Burns or Trauma: If hair follicles are undamaged, lashes usually return within 6 weeks.
- Underlying Conditions: Issues such as alopecia areata or thyroid conditions might affect regrowth and require treatment.
To Promote Eyelash Growth
- Good Hygiene: Keeping your eyelids and lashes clean can prevent issues like blepharitis.
- Proper Nutrition: A diet rich in proteins and vitamins supports healthy hair growth.
Do Eyelashes Grow Back Faster When Cut?
When your eyelashes are cut, they will grow back. The growth rate, however, is not typically accelerated by the cutting itself.
The process of regrowth adheres to a natural cycle, which is noted for its consistency.
As mentioned above, this cycle comprises three phases: the anagen (growth phase), the catagen (transition phase), and the telogen (resting phase).
The duration of the eyelash growth cycle varies per person but usually completes in about two months. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect during the regrowth process:
- Anagen phase: This phase lasts between 4 to 6 weeks. If your eyelashes have been cut, this is the time when they actively grow.
- Catagen phase: A transitional stage that lasts 2 to 3 weeks, during which the eyelashes stop growing and the follicle shrinks.
- Telogen phase: The final phase, a resting period of around 4 to 9 months, after which the eyelashes will eventually fall out to make room for new growth.
It’s important to understand that age can also influence the growth rate of your eyelashes. Young individuals often experience faster hair growth compared to older adults.
Maintain healthy eyelid and lash follicle conditions to foster optimal growth. Avoid rough treatment, such as pulling on lashes or using harsh chemicals, as these can affect the growth cycle and potentially lead to longer regrowth times or damage that can be permanent.
What Can You Do If Your Eyelash Hairs Are Not Growing Back?
If you’re experiencing eyelash hair loss and noticing they’re not growing back, consider consulting with a doctor.
A healthcare professional can assess for underlying conditions such as alopecia, thyroid issues, or side effects of medications.
Treatments may vary based on the cause but could include prescription options like bimatoprost, an FDA-approved growth serum commercially known as Latisse.
Be aware of side effects such as redness or eye infections, and follow the guidelines provided by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
In terms of cosmetics, avoid harsh makeup and heavy mascaras that may clog the hair follicles or pull at the lashes. Using eyelash curlers gently can prevent excessive pulling and damage.
As for over-the-counter options, various growth serums containing nutrients for hair fortification are available. It’s critical to review ingredients for potential allergens or irritants.
Regarding nutritional support, a healthy diet contributes to hair growth.
Consuming nuts rich in omega fats, fruit with vitamin C, and food high in protein, iron, zinc, biotin, vitamin D, and other vitamins supports overall hair health.
Supplements can also be beneficial; however, it’s important to take them with a healthcare provider’s guidance. Avoid eyelash extensions and fibers that may stress your natural lashes.
Lastly, maintain proper eyelash hygiene by cleaning your eyelids regularly and safely removing makeup each night. This ensures that lash follicles aren’t obstructed, reducing the risk of hair loss from poor hygiene practices.