Long, thick, and curled eyelashes can perfectly emphasize the way our eyes look, highlighting them and adding charm. But the charm can feel like it’s fading when hairs begin to fall out, leaving visible gaps between them. Losing a lash or two usually doesn’t cause panic. But losing more hair in a fairly short amount of time can set off alarm bells in our heads.
What causes eyelash loss? What can excessive eyelash loss mean? How can it be fixed? You’ll find the answers and more, here.
The natural life cycle of lashes
Have you ever wondered how eyelashes grow? Well, the eyelash growth cycle is very similar to the hair on the head—both hair and eyelashes don’t grow all the time. The difference between them is that the eyelash growth cycle is much shorter.
Lashes go through 3 different phases while growing: anagen, catagen, and telogen. These phases make up a complete growth cycle that takes around 3 months. In the initial anagen phase, active growth runs its course, with all the action taking place inside the hair follicle. The cells there undergo intensive division, resulting in the formation of a hair shaft. This phase takes approximately 2-3 weeks.
Once the anagen phase comes to an end, the catagen transition phase begins. During this phase, the hair follicles begin to shrink, which takes another 2-3 weeks. Following this, the last phase takes place. During the resting telogen phase, the blood vessels around the hair follicles and the follicles themselves begin to atrophy, leading to hair loss. This takes around 2 months or so.
Hair follicles from which eyelashes fall out are not damaged in any way. The loss of hair causes the follicle to undergo the same cycle of growth all over again. So basically, the lashes can be divided into 3 groups: those that are growing, those that are resting, and those that are falling out.
However, this isn’t something that can be seen with the naked eye. Because the lashes are placed randomly along the eyelid, we’re not able to see which eyelashes are in a particular phase. Despite that, it’s worth noting that about 70%-80% of the eyelashes simultaneously participate in the anagen phase together.
So if you notice one or two lashes fall out during the day, there’s no need to worry. It’s all a part of the natural growth process. But if the hair starts to fall out in clumps, a visit to the dermatologist is necessary.
Did you know?
On average, on the upper eyelid, there are 150 to 200 eyelashes, and on the lower eyelid, there are between 50 to 150.
What’s the cause of eyelash loss?
Excessive eyelash loss can be caused by many factors, and some of the most common ones have to do with how we take care of ourselves. Sometimes, we may not even realize that daily care activities can harm our eyelashes. It turns out, that even improper makeup removal can lead to the loss of more eyelashes! Another reason could be excessive use of an eyelash curler or using cosmetics with strong chemicals. Even rubbing your eyes hard can cause hair loss.
Lash loss can also be related to your health. Hairs can begin to fall out due to inflammation of the conjunctiva, hair follicles, or edges of the eyelids. Certain eye diseases, alopecia, or vitamin deficiency can also be the causes of excessive eyelash loss. Aside from that, allergies (for example, to contact lenses), hyperthyroidism, taking certain medications, hormonal disorders, and even stress could be pinned down as the culprit.
Interestingly enough, weakened eyelashes can even be influenced by the weather! The condition of the lashes can be worsened by external factors like the wind, sun, frost, or rapid temperature changes. That’s why it’s important to lubricate the lashes properly, so that they can be better protected against the harmful effects of weather conditions.
An eyelash serum will work perfectly for this. But if you don’t have one, you can even use a colorless moisturizing lip balm—this way you can moisturize and even give your lashes a bit of shine.
How can we fix lash loss?
If lash loss isn’t related to a health problem, then we can strengthen the weakened hair ourselves. In drugstores, you’ll find plenty of nutrients to choose from that not only regenerate hair but also stimulate its growth. Most have a light gel consistency, so the application is both quick and efficient.
But of course, the effectiveness of a product should always be verified by the composition—not the price. Though it does happen sometimes, that the two go hand in hand. While you’re browsing, pay attention to whether the product contains ingredients like pomegranate, cucumber, pumpkin seed extract, vitamins A and B12, and green tea. If so, add it to your cart!
Fixing lash loss also means being extra careful with your makeup removal regimen. It’s best to use a separate product meant only for removing eye makeup. These types of products are different than micellar water, which is used to cleanse the entire face. Their oily formula makes eye makeup removal easy and will gently remove makeup without harming the lashes.
It’s important not to rub the lashes while taking off your eye makeup. Just soak a cotton pad with the product, apply it gently to your closed eyelid, and press down lightly. The mascara should dissolve and slide right off.
To effectively strengthen weakened lashes, give castor oil a shot. There’s a reason why our grandmothers (and their grandmothers) were so fond of its moisturizing properties. Over the years, it’s been a sworn-by method of nourishing weak lashes.
Castor oil should be applied to cleansed eyelashes every day before going to bed. After about 3 weeks, you should be able to see a noticeable improvement. But stick to the schedule. Castor oil reflects the best results when applied consistently.
How to prevent eyelash loss?
The best prevention for eyelash loss is proper care. With the right lash care and a balanced diet, rich in vitamins and minerals, you’ll be able to naturally prevent hair loss. Remember that what you put in and, on your body, will affect the condition of your lashes. So be sure to eat healthy and use natural, chemical-free products.
Regularly using a special eyelash conditioning serum can help keep your lashes moisturized and in tip-top shape. But if you want to take it a step further, there are specialist serums that can inhibit lash loss. These products contain a substance that is responsible for strengthening the hair follicles and improving microcirculation.
Healthy and beautiful lashes start with consistent care! Investing a little TLC into your lashes pays off—and with the right steps, you’ll be able to achieve thick and fluttery lashes that last and say goodbye to eyelash loss forever. Plus, with thicker lashes, you’ll be able to get even more fun services that emphasize their beauty, like a lash lift!