Whether natural or extensions, eyelashes require a delicate touch. Gradual wear and tear through the years can leave your lashes parched instead of plush, but when tended to with tenderness, eyelashes remain lush and full throughout your lifetime. Every hair on your body, from the top of your head to the tip of your feet, follows a natural growth cycle. We are born with a specific number of follicles, and that number pretty much remains the same as the years go by. Chances are if you’re blessed with full lashes now, you’ll be enjoying lovely lashes well into your golden years.
The Life of an Eyelash
Eyelashes exist for protection. They activate the blink response so that dust, dirt, debris and other foreign objects don’t get lodged in our eyes. And here we thought eyelashes were just to enhance our beauty! The upper eyelid holds about 90 to 150 lashes, while the lower eyelid has about 70 to 80. Each individual eyelash is programmed to reach a certain length (3/8 of an inch on average), fall out, and then re-grow in approximately two months.
An eyelash undergoes a three-part growth cycle:
Anagen (the growth phase): The first stage of the eyelash cycle lasts between 30 and 45 days. If all our eyelashes were in the anagen phase at the same time, then they’d all be on track to fall out at the same time! Approximately 40 percent of our upper lashes and 15 percent of our lower lashes are in the anagen stage at any given time.
Catagen (the transition phase): Once the lashes in the anagen phase reach their designated length, they stop growing and the hair follicle shrinks. Should an eyelash fall out during the catagen phase, it won’t begin growing back until the catagen phase has run its course, typically within two to three weeks.
Telogen (the resting phase): The telogen phase is a hundred day resting cycle before the eyelash falls out and a new lash blooms to take its place.
Since our lashes are in different phases of the growth cycle, it’s natural for a few to fall out each day, so blow on that lash and make a wish!
Prevent Eyelash Thinning
It’s not age that has your lashes looking worse for the wear, but the daily abuse you subject them to. All that curling, and rubbing, and tugging can’t be good for them! If you suspect that an underlying health issue has your eyelashes thinning, schedule a visit to the ophthalmologist. Factors such as alopecia—a condition that causes hair loss—eyelid inflammation and chemotherapy could be contributing to eyelash fallout.
Here are some simple tips to keep your lashes looking long and lush:
Don’t sleep in mascara! Mascara stiffens lashes, which is fine for daytime wear, but during sleep the stiffness can cause the lashes to break.
Forego the waterproof mascara! Waterproof mascara tends to dry out the lashes and be too rough for wear. Try our water based oil-free Max2 Mascara especially formulated for eyelash extensions and gentle on your natural lashes.
Use a gentle eye makeup remover like our Glad Lash Oil-Free Makeup Remover Cleansing Wipes. Be sure to dab makeup away, not tug and rub!
Don’t worry if your lashes are naturally sparse. You can always amp up the length and volume with strips, flares or eyelash extensions, which won’t harm your natural lashes.
Lashing out since 1981, GladGirl brings over 40 years experience to the beauty industry. The Eyelash Extensions Blog is our contribution to the advancement of professional skills and industry standards. Here you will find salon business articles, training resources, beauty tips and general health and wellness articles.