You accidentally pulled all your lashes out with an eyelash curler when you were in a hurry. Perhaps you realised you unconsciously plucked every single one of your eyelashes because of stress. Or maybe you just notice eyelashes are falling out more than usual for no apparent cause. In a panic, you are most probably wondering: do your eyelashes grow back?
Fret not because except in rare cases, eyelashes do grow back. But how long does it take for eyelashes to grow back? It depends on the life cycle of an eyelash, the cause of falling out, and factors that may speed or slow down the regrowth process.
Stages of Eyelash Growth
How fast do eyelashes grow? The life cycle of your eyelashes is much shorter than the life cycle of the hair that grows out of your scalp. This is because for the hair on your head, the anagen phase or ‘growth phase’ is longer, lasting between two and four years. Here are the stages of eyelash growth:
1. Anagen Phase
The anagen phase is the hair’s growth phase. This lasts about four to ten weeks. Usually, an eyelash grows between 0.12 to 0.14 millimetres per day.
2. Catagen Phase
The hair’s catagen phase is its degradation phase. In this phase, the hair follicle shrinks and the eyelash stops growing.
The hair’s resting phase is called the telogen phase. This is the final phase and at the end, the eyelash falls out.
What Causes Eyelashes to Fall Out?
Eyelashes naturally fall out at the end of their telogen phase, but new lashes should start the anagen phase and grow back. However, there is a condition called madarosis that may cause eyelashes to fall out excessively and drastically. Eyelash regrowth may also be affected by other factors. Here are some conditions that cause madarosis and factors that affect how long eyelashes take to grow back:
Hair loss has been associated with riboflavin, biotin, folate, and vitamin B12 deficiencies. Another significant cause of hair loss is a decline in collagen production in the body. When there is a decrease in collagen synthesis, hair loses its suppleness and thickness, easily breaking and falling out. A decrease in collagen production is also caused by a reduction in estrogen produced by the body during menopause.
Hormonal imbalance is another cause of hair loss, including eyelashes falling out. If you are experiencing extreme eyelash loss, it can be due to thyroid conditions. Your thyroid hormone levels may be too high or too low, interfering with several body processes, including hair growth.
Hair loss, including eyelash loss, can be simply due to genetics. If your parents or grandparents have thinning hair, which may include eyebrows and eyelashes, chances are you got it from them, too.
Losing your eyelashes can be by physical injury. A trauma like burning your lashes or eyebrows can cause hairs to fall out. You can also damage the hair follicle by pulling and plucking your lashes. How long does it take for lashes to grow back after a physical injury? Physical trauma can also slow down the regrowth process of your eyelashes. If the follicles of your eyelashes have been damaged, it will be harder for you to regrow them.
Some illnesses can affect hair growth or even cause hair to fall. Autoimmune diseases such as lupus can make your skin inflamed and can cause your hair, including eyelashes and eyebrows, to get thinner and eventually fall out. Alopecia areata is an illness that causes your immune system to attack hair follicles, making you lose hair including eyebrows and eyelashes.
Blepharitis, or eyelid inflammation, makes your eyelids swollen and irritated. The itchiness can make you frequently rub your eyes and dislodge your eyelashes from your eyelids.
7.Medications and Treatments
Some medications such as certain anticoagulants, anticonvulsants, or treatments for thyroid disease, like carbimazole and propylthiouracil, can cause eyelash loss. Cancer treatment like chemotherapy can also cause hair loss, which includes eyebrows and eyelashes. Can eyelashes grow back during medication? If your eyelash loss is caused by medication or treatment, you may need to wait until you are done and can stop to regrow your lashes.
If none of the above seems to be the cause of your eyelash loss, stress can be the culprit. Telogen effluvium is when stress triggers your hair follicles to enter the telogen phase, or resting phase, earlier than usual. This can make your lashes thin and fall out. Severe stress can also cause trichotillomania, a mental health condition that gives you an intense urge to pull your hair out, including your eyelashes.
How Long Does It Take For Eyelashes to Grow?
The life span of an eyelash can be four to eleven months long, going through all three phases. If it is cut or burned but the follicle or eyelid was not damaged, it will take around six weeks for the eyelash to grow back.
Do eyelashes grow back after pulling or plucking? It is different if you lose an eyelash by pulling. If you pull an eyelash out of your eyelid, the replacement process is slower. So unless you pulled the lash out at perfect timing, which is near the end of the telogen phase, the normal growth cycle of that eyelash is already interrupted and it can take longer for it to start the anagen phase. Pulled eyelashes can take up to six months to grow back. However, repeated plucking can cause permanent damage to the hair follicle and may stop regrowth.
How to Help Eyelashes Grow?
Usually, an eyelash falling off should not be a concern. Eyelashes grow back naturally as long as the life cycle is uninterrupted. But if you notice excessive or severe eyelash loss, you have to address the cause first so you can figure out how to stop it and help your lashes grow back. You can also take measures to help your eyelashes grow healthier and stronger. Here are some ways to help eyelashes grow:
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eat a balanced diet. Make sure to eat food high in protein and biotin as they help with hair growth. Add eggs, fatty fish, sweet potatoes, nuts, and more to your diet. Iron deficiency is linked to hair loss so it’s important to boost your iron intake by eating iron-rich food such as spinach.
Take biotin supplements to help promote hair growth. Biotin helps convert nutrients into energy that helps your skin, hair, and nails grow. You also need enough collagen in your body to keep your hair follicles strong. Collagen helps hair growth and strengthens each hair strand, including eyelashes, from root to tip. Make sure to increase your collagen intake by taking collagen supplements.
The best collagen is one you can sustain and enjoy regularly. Flavourless and colourless collagen powders are great because you can mix them in any food or beverage.
Try Using an Eyelash Growth Serum
An eyelash growth serum can be an easy way to help lash growth. You just apply it to your lash line where the roots of your eyelashes meet your eyelid. Lash serums can help strengthen, nourish, and repair your eyelashes. However, make sure to use an eyelash growth serum that’s safe for sensitive eyes. Irritating your eyelids can do more harm than good and can make your lashes fall out instead of growing better.
How long do lashes take to grow back? It depends on the cause of the falling out. Eyelashes at their natural life cycle can take around six weeks to grow back. However, physical injury, illnesses, and other causes can make the regrowth process longer.
Talk to your doctor to determine and address the cause first to figure out what to do. You can also eat a balanced diet, take supplements, and use an eyelash growth serum that’s safe for sensitive eyes to help strengthen your lashes and encourage growth.