Many women have experienced times in their lives when it's apparent some of their eyelashes are falling out. It's a disconcerting sight, trust me... I know! As we age, our eyelashes become slightly sparse and more brittle. So, it's easier than you think to loose enough to become noticeable. One here and one there and suddenly it's looking frighteningly barren up there. Plus, some of us don't have enough to spare in the first place!
No matter what your age, there are a number of reasons we loose them. Quite a few of the ways can be prevented, fortunately. Some are caused by conditions that will require medical treatment. So, let's have a look.
Why Are My Eyelashes Falling Out, Anyway?
More often than not, when you notice you've lost some of your eyelashes the culprit is something you've done. Here are some of the more common causes:
- Improper use of an eyelash curler. Be careful getting too close to the root of the eyelashes or you run the risk of yanking them out. Another common practice is curling your eyelashes after you've put on mascara. This is a recipe for disaster, ladies! The mascara makes your eyelashes sticky, which increases the chances they will stick on the rubber pads.
- Vigorous eye rubbing. We all have those itchy eye days, but you need to be careful about rubbing your eyes too vigorously.
- Use of cosmetics or other products. If you aren't sure why you're experiencing eyelash loss, take a look at the products you're using. It's possible you're allergic to something you're using. Be particularly suspicious if you've recently begun using a new mascara, eyeshadow, eye liner, eye cream or makeup remover.
- Blepharitis occurs when the eyelash follicles become inflamed from a bacterial overgrowth.
- Conjuctivitis, also known as Pink Eye can cause eyelash loss. The eye tends to water a lot and is itchy. The eyelashes can get sticky so are particularly prone to getting tugged out with a fairly vigorous eye rub.
- Alopcia areata is an autoimmune condition in which your body actually attacks its hair follicles. If you're noticing hair falling out all over your body, it's likely you're suffering from this medical condition.
- Demodex folliculorum is a condition caused by a pesky mite. The mites are normally found on the skin and in the hair follicles. But, the condition occurs when there's an overabundance of them in hair follicles.
- Aging can cause our eyelashes to thin, just like the hair on our heads.
- A poor diet affects all the system's in our bodies, including our hair.
- Seasonal allergies can also lead to thinning eyelashes if one of your symptoms is itchy eyes.
- Trichotillomania is an anxiety disorder, often beginning in childhood that causes people to pull out their eyelashes.
Do Eyelashes Grow Back?
Once you loose some eyelashes and have a noticeable bald patch on your eyelid, you may begin worrying your lashes will never grow back. The good news is they WILL grow back, but it's a longer process than you may like. If the hair on your head grows pretty quickly, well then there's a good chance so will your eyelashes. In other words, speed of hair growth is genetically determined. Eyelashes don't grow as quickly as other hair on your body, however. The normal time frame for eyelash regrowth, however is four to eight weeks. You can expect your lashes to grow approximately one half a millimeter per day or approximately a quarter of an inch per month. This is about half as quickly as the hair on your head grows.
Tips for Keeping Your Luscious Lashes Intact
- Be very careful when you're curling your eyelashes! Speaking from personal experience, this is a very easy way to inadvertently yank them out. Instead of curling them with one long squeeze of the curler, use light, brief bursts. About five of these will do the trick, plus they'll come out looking better as well.
- Never curl your eyelashes AFTER you've put on mascara. It's a recipe for disaster. Mascara is sticky by nature, so it will act as a glue on the eyelash curler pads. Once you release the curler, you run a large risk of pulling out these precious hairs.
- Change the pads on your eyelash curler about every 3 months, or more if you find it's getting gunked up.
- If your eyes are itchy, resist the urge to rub them vigorously... especially when you have mascara on your lashes.
- Be careful removing eye makeup. Not only are you risking pulling out the lashes, but eyes are sensitive and you need to avoid getting any makeup or makeup remover in them. Gently shampoo your eyelids with a mild soap or cleanser. Use a non-soap bar like Cetaphil. Close your eyes and gently use your fingertips to massage the lashes and eyelid. Obviously, you want to avoid getting any of the cleanser in your eyes. Avoid using any products around the eyes meant to work as facial scrubs. If you still have leftover makeup, use a gentle makeup remover. Then, wash off the makeup remover with your non-soap cleanser with the same gentle, eyelid massaging method.
- Don't use old, clumpy mascara. You run the risk of getting lashes stuck in the brush during application.
- If you wear contacts, never grab your eyelashes to open up your eyelid. Open up the eye by raising the eyelid itself.
- It's okay to use an eyelash brush, but never use it when you have mascara on. Use it only on clean, make-up free eyes. I like to dip mine in warm olive oil to keep mine from getting brittle. It makes them smooth and silky, too!
Nithya Venkat from Dubai on February 12, 2012:
Never knew all this about eye lashes. Thanks for the information. Voted up.
Elsie Nelson (author) from Pacific Northwest, USA on February 02, 2012:
Thanks, guys for all the comments. I appreciate everyone reading and taking the time to comment...
Stephanie Marshall from Bend, Oregon on January 25, 2012:
Very interesting hub! I have a friend whose daughter pulls out her hair and eyelashes and I've wondered about how long it takes for them to grow back. Rated up! Best, Steph
instantlyfamily on January 25, 2012:
Good info. A friend of mine had some of her eyelashes accidentally waxed off during an eyebrow wax. It was absolutely noticable. So now of course I am nerveous every time I get an eyebrow wax! LOL
Robin Kemp on January 25, 2012:
A fantastic read. Thank you for the information. Love the olive oil tip!
Kristen Haynie from Scotia, CA on January 25, 2012:
Wow this is exceptionally good advice! Many of these things I've never heard anywhere but here. I had no idea that it was so easy to pull out your lashes. I just started using an eyelash curler recently, and I noticed once that I accidentally yanked out a lash, it scared the daylights out of me because I thought they wouldn't grow back. This hub is a real eye opener! Ha! Thank you for sharing this with all of us!
Lily Rose from A Coast on January 25, 2012:
Great info here, WS! I lost just about all my body hair when going through chemo EXCEPT for my eyelashes and that was my one saving grace - I was thankful that at least I could still wear mascara and look half decent. About a week after finishing chemo, however, I suddenly lost my lashes! Everything else was starting to grow back. I was mortified. Eventually they came back just fine, thank goodness. I had looked into some of those expensive lash "builder" / growth products because I was desperate to have my lashes back but ultimately didn't get any when I found out that one of the side effects is possible brown spots on the iris. If you have brown eyes, that's no big deal, but mine are green and I didn't want to mess with that!
Tara Carbery from Cheshire, UK on January 25, 2012:
Thanks for this! My eyelashes started to fall out about two years ago as I was going through a very stressful time. I got lash extensions. They looked fabulous but when I took them off the remainder of my lashes went with them! It took them a year or so to get back to normal. They are ok again now. I would love to get extensions done again though for extra umph but i'm too scared in case they fall out again!
nityanandagaurang on January 25, 2012:
you have given reason that why eyelashes falling problem occurs as well as provided the precautions one should take.very nice hub wordscribe43
Elsie Nelson (author) from Pacific Northwest, USA on January 25, 2012:
Thanks for reading and commenting, lorenmuria. I hope you keep your thick lashes indefinitely!
lorenmurcia on January 25, 2012:
As of now, I'm not worried with my lashes since they are a bit thick. But since you mentioned that they will eventually fall out as we get older, it made me think of taking better care of them.
Voted up, useful...
Elsie Nelson (author) from Pacific Northwest, USA on January 25, 2012:
Thanks, kehussy! I appreciate your comment and sharing this with your wife.
kehussy from Houston, Texas, USA on January 25, 2012:
Thank you for coming up with this post. I'm gonna share this with my wife who is constantly worried about her lashes.