What makes eyelashes grow?

Long lush eyelashes add to your attractiveness! But sometimes, certain health conditions, nutritional deficiencies, or lifestyle changes can lead to rapid eyelash loss to the point where your eyes could be in danger of going bald. It often causes serious self-esteem issues – typically in women.

In this blog, you’ll discover what makes eyelashes grow and what you can do to groom and grow your lashes.

What is responsible for eyelash growth?

It is important to first understand what is the reason behind eyelash growth. And for that, you need to know a bit about its anatomy. Similar to your scalp, eyelash lines contain hair follicles. These cells keep dying and pile up together. As a result, they start growing out of the skin and appear in the form of hair. In other words, your eyelashes are dead and packed with keratin. The alive cellular part is near your lash line.

Is it normal to lose eyelashes?

Just like your head hair, it’s normal to lose a few lashes daily. A person usually loses 20% of their lashes every 2 weeks, which makes up about 1-5 lashes per day. This is because of a growth process where old hair falls out and new regrow. However, if you notice excessive eyelashes falling out, it could be a sign of an underlying disease. Get it checked by a doctor immediately.

What is the eyelash growth cycle?

All hair on our body including the eyelashes goes through a growth procedure which usually takes about 3 to 11 months to complete. During this process, the old hair falls out and is replaced by a newer one.

This growth cycle comprises 3 phases; anagen, catagen, and telogen. Anagen (also known as the growth phase) lasts for about 4 to 10 weeks.

The anagen phase of eyelashes is shorter than that of scalp hair. During this time, the lash starts growing and reaches up to 12mm.

Catagen is also called the degradation phase and is a time that marks the end of eyelash growth. It lasts for about 2-3 weeks. Now the blood supply to the eyelash follicle stops so it can be prevented from growing further.

Next is the telogen phase, also called the resting phase. It is the final stage when the fully-grown eyelash is about to shed off. It lasts for about 3 months.

What conditions can cause eyelashes to fall out?

While losing a few lashes is normal and a part of its life cycle, frequent shedding of lashes indicates an underlying issue. Following are some reasons why eyelashes fall out:

  • Using bad cosmetics: Perhaps you have used a bad eyelash glue or eyeshadow, applied a poor quality serum or primer, that has caused rapid lashes loss.
  • Skin cancer: A form of cancer called eyelid cancer can also affect the growth of eyelashes. Through either basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, you might develop a crusty region near the eyelid, which is a cancerous production.
  • Chemotherapy: Getting treated for cancer can cause you to lose your eyelashes as well.
  • Alopecia: Yet another popular condition that leads to permanent hair loss is called alopecia. Most often it impacts the scalp. But it can also affect eyelash or eyebrow growth.
  • Trichotillomania: this is a mental disorder that causes people to pull out their hair. These people can also pluck their eyelashes upon urge.
  • Thyroid imbalance: Thyroid hormone imbalance can also lead to losing your hair, even that on eyelids. It happens during both hyperthyroidism (hyperactive thyroid function) and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid function).
  • Stress: Any form of stress is bad for your hair growth. Constant stress might often cause you to lose your lush eyelashes.

How do eyelashes grow medically?

The most common medication used for growing eyelashes is Latisse or Bimatoprost. This medicine is used to get thicker and longer eyelashes. Initially, people applied an earlier version to treat glaucoma. This is an FDA-approved drug and is remarkably effective in treating eyelash fall issues. However, there are some side effects to it. Latisse can cause your eyelids to become darker and can even change the color of eyes in those with light brown shades. It can even cause you to have eye bags under the eyes. Therefore, it should always be used with a prescription and after consulting a doctor.  

How can diet affect eyelash growth?

Low iron, zinc, and vitamins in your body can eventually cause eyelash loss as well. Therefore, it’s necessary to pay close attention to your diet. Eat leafy greens to get sufficient zinc and iron to regrow your lost eyelashes. Plus, make sure you take supplements recommended for your age. Eat berries, tomatoes, mangoes, soybeans, and mushrooms to enhance eyelash growth. Apply a combination of coconut oil, lavender oil, rosemary oil, olive oil, castor oil, or sunflower oil for better eyelash hair growth.