Do Eyelashes Grow Back?

Like the hair on the rest of your body, your eyelashes can fall out. Thankfully, they also grow back. It takes a couple of months for lashes to grow back under normal circumstances. However, your lashes don’t typically all fall out at once, so you won’t notice that they’re in the process of growing back.

Sometimes, lashes can fall out due to an underlying condition. If there’s a medical issue causing your lashes to fall out, they may take longer to grow back. Sometimes, they won’t grow back at all. 

Lost eyelash on finger

Fascinadora / iStock / Getty Images

How Eyelashes Grow

Eyelashes go through a growth cycle. It comprises three distinct phases. 

Stages of the Growth Cycle 

Here are the three eyelash growth stages. 

  • Anagen phase: This is the growth phase. After the telogen phase, your lashes fall out. They begin in the anagen phase. Lashes grow at a slow rate of about 0.12 to 0.14 millimeters (mm) per day. It takes several weeks for lashes to grow in. The anagen phase can take between four to ten weeks on average.
  • Catagen phase: This is also called the degradation phase. This is when the lashes have grown in and haven’t yet fallen out. Lashes don’t usually grow to longer than 12 mm.
  • Telogen phase: This stage is the resting phase. The entire lifecycle of an eyelash can take almost a year. It varies from person to person.

Causes of Eyelash Loss

Lashes fall out for a variety of reasons. Your eyelashes fall out naturally, of course—like your hair—but there are other causes for eyelash loss.

Alopecia

If you’re losing hair on other parts of your body in addition to losing eyelashes, you may have this auto-immune disease that’s characterized by hair loss. It can be either chronic or acute.

Acute cases can be brought on by stressors like surgery, illness, and anemia. With acute alopecia, eyelashes will eventually grow back. People who have chronic or long-term alopecia may lose lashes permanently or experience slower lash regrowth.

Other Causes

Other causes of eyelash loss include:

  • Irritation: Allergies to cosmetics and other beauty products can cause irritation that leads to eyelash losh. Don’t use products if they cause irritation around the eyes. Stop using them immediately. Infections can also cause irritation and eyelash loss. 
  • Blepharitis: This is a condition that involves inflammation of eyelash oil glands. Symptoms of blepharitis include eyelid swelling and redness. This is a chronic condition and will continue to cause eyelash loss. 
  • Mental illness: Trichotillomania is a psychological condition that causes a person to remove their eyelashes in response to stress. 
  • Thyroid disorder: If you have thyroid issues you may experience hair loss, including eyelash loss. 
  • Skin cancer: Cancer is an unlikely reason for eyelash loss, but it can be a symptom of eyelid cancer in rare cases. 
  • Medications: Some medications can cause undesirable side effects like hair and eyelash loss. It is a common side effect of chemotherapy.

When to See a Doctor

You should see a doctor if you notice eyelash loss is:

  • Occurring on both eyelids
  • Accompanied by hair loss elsewhere
  • Happening with skin changes 
  • Accompanied by vision loss, irritation, or discomfort around the eyes 

How to Encourage Growth

Many products on the market claim to give people longer, more beautiful lashes. But there are only a few proven ways to encourage eyelash growth.

Latisse (bimatoprost) is a research-backed, FDA-approved treatment. Latisse increases the number of eyelashes that are simultaneously in the growth phase. There’s also evidence that it produces thicker, darker lashes.

There are a few side effects that can occur, such as: 

  • Eye irritation
  • Dryness 
  • Eye burning 
  • Eyelid pigmentation
  • Feeling like there’s something in the eye
  • Pain
  • Vision issues

Latisse is available by prescription only. Typically, you would request it from a dermatologist. 

In addition to some of the causes listed above, eyelash loss can also happen due to nutritional deficiencies. However, there’s no conclusive evidence that diet and vitamins can encourage eyelash growth. If you have a deficiency that’s causing hair loss of some kind, rectifying that deficiency can obviously help stop additional hair or lash loss.

Preventing Eyelash Loss

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends sticking to good hygiene to prevent eyelash loss. This includes washing your face every day, using gentle products that don’t irritate the skin, and avoiding moisturizers around the eyes. The AAO also suggests eating a healthy diet with fruit, vegetables, and protein.

A Word From Verywell

Did you recently notice a stray lash and panic? Don’t worry. It’s normal for your eyelashes to fall out. Falling out is part of the growth process. When an eyelash falls out, a new one will usually regrow in its place.

However, if you’re noticing more hair loss than usual. It can be a sign of an underlying condition. It might also even be a reaction to a cosmetic product you’re using. If you start to experience increased irritation or you feel anxious about how many lashes you’re losing, don’t hesitate to speak to a medical professional for advice. 

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Article Sources
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