True story: I’ve had actual nightmares that are just a montage of me seeing all of my eyelashes falling out. My reaction was the opposite of how Lady Gaga feels watching horror movies.
But when I ask Dominic Burg, PhD, chief scientist for Evolis professional, whether my eyelashes falling out is something I should truly be afraid of, he tells me that typically, losing more than a handful of lashes per day is caused by one of the nine common issues below. (He’s also offering advice on how to get yours to grow back naturally.) If none of these are what’s causing you to lose the curtains to your soul windows, go see a doc, stat, to rule out more serious problems.
1. You’re tugging at your eyes
I don’t think that anyone purposefully or consciously tugs at their eyes but there are a number of insidious ways in which you could be doing so which can lead to eyelashes falling out. The first is just by rubbing your eyes. The second is if you’re a particularly abrasive when it comes to taking off makeup.
2. Mascara is weighing them down
If you have delicate eyelashes or are using heavy mascara (either because the formula is thick or because you’re coating your lashes in lots of layers), it’s possible your lashes can’t withstand the heavy load.
3. Your eyelash curler is pulling them out
There are enough horror stories about eyelash curling accidents on the internet that I’ve always approached the tool with serious caution. However, even if you’re using a curler carefully, it’s one of the easiest ways to dislodge and remove eyelashes.
5. You have an eyelid infection
Anything that causes inflammation in the eye can cause your eyelashes to fall out. Dr. Burg says that conjunctivitis and similar viruses can set off an inflammatory reaction leading to weaker hair growth and hair loss.
6. Your hormones are out of whack
“Hormones have some of the biggest influence on the hair cycle,” Dr. Burg says. Your hormones can cause you to grow hair in ways you’d rather not, or it can do the opposite. When your hormones are affected by things like stress or sickness, your hair growth pattern changes. The cycle can become too short leading to hair falling out quickly and excessively and growing back weaker. It’s a process which Dr. Burg says can definitely happen to your eyelashes.
7. Your diet is lacking key nutrients
Beauty from the inside out is no longer a novel idea but while you may be familiar with the idea of eating your way to good skin, you might be overlooking that you can do the same with hair. When your diet is lacking in or running low on certain essential substances, “nutrients are redirected to vital organs instead and in turn, will impact your hair growth cycle” Dr. Burg says.
8. You’re leaving makeup on for too long
Another reason to take off your makeup before you go to sleep is that leaving it on for too long can cause you to lose eyelashes. “Makeup, in general, can contain heavy pigments and waxes that don’t allow air to penetrate the follicle” explains Dr. Burg. “When left on for extended periods of time, that lack of airflow can lead to clogged pores and inflammation, which in turn, can lead to eyelashes falling out.”
9. You’ve been wearing fake eyelashes or getting extensions
Like with hair extensions, eyelash extensions can take away more than just length when you remove them. The adhesive they’re applied with can pull out your natural lashes when your artificial ones are removed.
How to grow out your lashes naturally
1. Adjust your diet
If not just your eyelashes, but your hair in general, seems to be falling out and is overall lackluster the problem could be related to your diet. If you suspect this to be the case make sure you’re getting your fill of fatty acids and protein. Consulting a nutritionist is another option if you want a more customizing food plan to fit your needs.
2. Invest in an eyelash Conditioner
3. Try a hair growth supplement
Taking a supplement that promises any type of hair growth, could lead to every type of hair growth, meaning Rapunzel-like locks aren’t the only potential thing you could gain by consuming them.
4. Use a cheap and easy DIY remedy
Conditioning your eyelashes in coconut oil like supermodel Joan Smalls is one of the easiest (and most DIY friendly) ways to encourage them to grow. Apply the oil on your lashes and lash line once a day for a gentle growth stimulant. Almond or castor oil, which are often used by those seeking fuller eyebrows, works similarly on lashes as well.
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