What are Eyelashes?

The eyelashes are the small strands of hair that are found at the base of both the superior and inferior eyelid. These serve a number of purposes, including to protect the eye from debris. In the situation that the eyelashes sense that something is about to enter into the eye, they close in a reflexive manner, so as to offer the necessary protection. This is because the eyelashes are highly sensitive, responding quickly to airborne contaminants.

Why do Eyelashes Fall?

There are a number of reasons that might lead to one’s eyelashes falling out. Below, you will find some of the most common causes, along with the proper explanation.

eyelashes falling out

Eyelashes falling out

Trichotillomania tangle

This is a medical condition, characterized by the obsessive impulse of pulling out one’s hair. The person might constantly feel the need to pull his/her eyebrows or eyelashes. This is a psychological condition that commonly begins in the childhood period but it can also appear during adolescence. It is possible that the behavior continues well into adulthood or disappears with the passing of time.

Thyroid disorders

Hormonal imbalances, as encountered in those who suffer from hypo- or hyperthyroidism, can cause the eyelashes to fall. Many people lose their hair, including their eyelashes and eyebrows, these changes being characteristic for those who suffer from an overactive thyroid gland. In the situation that one suffers from hypothyroidism, the eyelashes might become sparse and fall as well.

Alopecia areata

This is a medical condition, in which the immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing the hair to fall out. This condition does not affect only the hair on the scalp but also the eyelashes and the eyebrows. Even though this condition cannot be cured, with the proper treatment, it can be kept under control. In general, topical treatments are recommended for the proper management of alopecia areata.


Many people may lose their eyelashes, as they develop an allergic reaction to the chemical ingredients contained in mascara. The symptoms experienced are typical for an allergic reaction and they improve as soon as one stops using the product in question. Such problems can be easily avoided by switching to hypoallergenic mascara.


This is an inflammatory condition, caused by the bacterial overgrowth occurring at the level of the eyelash follicles. It might also appear as a consequence of an allergy or in the situation that the sebum glands of the eyelids have suffered from a blockage. The eyelids become red, inflamed and intensely itchy. This condition requires proper eyelid hygiene in order to improve.


Patients who undergo chemotherapy for varied forms of cancer often lose their hair, including their eyebrows and eyelashes. This is because the substances used to attack the cancerous cells might also damage the hair follicle. Depending on how aggressive the treatment actually is, the eyelash loss might be temporary or permanent.Natural loss. Just as our hair falls off, it is normal for our eyelashes to fall from time to time. There are a number of factors that favor the loss process, such as the toxicity of the environment (pollution), improper hygiene and excess rubbing of the eyelids. In general, it is recommended that you avoid touching the eyelids with dirty hands, as you might favor an infection in the area and cause even more eyelashes to fall.

Do Eyelashes Grow Back?

If they Fall out

If your eyelashes have fallen out, whether they will grow back or not depends on the cause that has led to them falling out in the first place. However, in the majority of the cases, they do grow back. Like the hair on the scalp, the eyelashes go through two phases, one for growing and the other one for resting. When the end of the resting phase has been reached, the eyelashes fall off, only to make room for the new eyelash. The re-growth period can vary anywhere between one and six months, so be patient.

After Plucking

If you have plucked your eyelashes in a repeated manner, it is possible that the respective hair follicles might have sustained damage. Unfortunately, if the damage is permanent, the eyelashes will not grow back. Keep in mind that, by plucking an eyelash, the necessary regeneration period is of two months.

After Chemo

As it was already mentioned above, this depends on how aggressive the substances used for chemotherapy were. If they are powerful, they will probably damage the hair follicle and the eyelashes are not going to grow back. On the other hand, if the chemotherapy is less aggressive, the eyelashes might start to grow back after a period of time.

When Cut

In the situation that you have cut your eyelashes, do not worry, as they will grow back. On average, it will take between two and four months for them to resume their length. Patience is all you need during that period but the important thing is that the effect is not permanent.

After Lash Extensions

eyelash extensions

Eyelash Extensions

There is no reason why lash extensions would prevent your eyelashes from growing. However, in the situation that you have used adhesive of poor-quality, you might suffer from eyelash loss. Many adhesives contain harmful substances, causing the eyelashes to fall. So, make sure that you use only quality products and you won’t have to worry about such problems.

If Burned

burnt eyelashes

Burnt Eyelashes

It depends on how extensive the burn actually was. If only the eyelashes have been affected but the hair follicle is intact, the eyelashes will grow back. On the other hand, if the hair follicle has been damaged by the burn, it is possible that your eyelashes are not going to grow back (permanent effect).

How to make your Eyelashes grow?

There are a number of measures you can take, in order to stimulate the growth of the eyelashes. Below, you will find a number of recommendations that you can consider for such purposes.

Petroleum jelly

Petroleum jelly acts as a natural conditioner, stimulating the growth of the eyelashes. You can apply it with your fingers or with the help of a cotton swab (make sure that your hands are clean either way).

Olive oil

Olive oil has a naturally hydrating effect, plus it is chock full of health vitamins and nutrients, making your eyelashes grow longer and thicker. You can easily apply it with an old mascara brush. For the best results, leave it overnight.

Egg whites

Egg whites have a high protein content and they represent the perfect natural remedies for stimulating the growth of the eyelashes. For the best results, mix them with castor oil.

Eyelash brushing

The daily brushing of the eyelashes will stimulate the blood circulation at the level of the hair follicle, causing the eyelashes to grow longer and stronger. Avoid aggressive brushing, as you might do more harm than good.

Eyelid massage

Massaging the eyelids will also stimulate the blood circulation at the level of the hair follicle, having a positive effect when it comes to eyelash growth. The massage should last between five and ten minutes, being performed in a circular manner.

How long does it take for eyelashes to grow back?

As it was already mentioned above, it can take anywhere between one and six months for the eyelashes to grow back. The actual growth period depends on the reason why the eyelashes have fallen in the first place. For example, if one is undergoing chemotherapy, it is clear that it will take a longer period of time for the eyelashes to grow back. On the other hand, if the eyelashes have fallen off because of an allergic reaction to mascara, they will grow faster (most likely, in a couple of weeks).

How to stop eyelashes from falling out?

There are a number of measures that you can take, in order to prevent the eyelashes from falling out. Below, you will find some easy suggestions to follow.

  • Hypoallergenic cosmetics - If you know yourself to be allergenic, it is recommended that you use only hypoallergenic cosmetics. This is even more valid when it comes to mascara, as your eyelashes can be easily affected by an allergic reaction to such products.
  • Excellent eyelid hygiene - First and foremost, you must refrain from touching the eyelid and the eyelashes with dirty hands. Second, you have to stop rubbing your eyelids excessively, as this favors secondary bacterial infections and also causes the eyelashes to fall.
  • Say goodbye to the eyelash curler - No matter how much you love having curled eyelashes, you are actually causing them to fall off. If you want to prevent such problems in the future, you need to stop using such products. Upon using the eyelash curler in an aggressive manner, the eyelashes might stop growing and you certainly do not want for such things to happen.

In general, it is sufficient to take good care of your eyelashes, in order to prevent them from falling off. In the situation that the eyelashes have fallen off because of an underlying medical condition, it is recommended to seek out adequate treatment.

Jan 26, 2016
General Health

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