In this article I’m going to tell you everything you need to know in order to grow your lashes longer and thicker.
I’m going to give you tips, tricks and things that you need to implement in order to regrow your lashes, especially if you’ve been dealing with a lot of breakage or fallout of the lashes.
First of all, our eyelashes can get really dry as a result of wearing mascara and eye makeup on a daily basis, especially if you’re somebody who doesn’t often remember to take it off at the end of the day.
What ends up happening is that really can dry out the lashes, making them brittle and prone to breakage.
There are certain medical problems that can cause loss of the eyelashes. Probably one of the more common is an autoimmune condition called alopecia areata.
This basically results in sudden loss of hair. It can happen on the head or it can involve the eyelashes, and even the eyebrows.
Loss of the lashes can also be a manifestation of underlying thyroid disease. If you are dealing with a lot of eyelash loss suddenly, I strongly suggest seeing your healthcare provider for evaluation.
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My number one tip when it comes to getting your lashes to grow long is the thing that has helped me the most.
Use a cleansing balm or cleansing oil to remove your mascara at the end of the day.
This does two things.
First of all, it removes the mascara and, in my opinion, it does a really good job of removing the mascara, because it coats the lashes and breaks up that coating of mascara, allowing it to slip off more readily.
It also nourishes the lashes. It’s like you condition your hair to reduce breakage. Same thing with using a cleansing balm or cleansing oil. You get a two for your conditioning and your cleansing.
There are certain lubricating factors that are excreted from the glands along the base of the lashes that coat the lashes and keep them hydrated and healthy and moisturized.
If your lashes are constantly caked in mascara, they’re not going to get coated with that and that can really dry out your lashes and contribute to a lot of brittleness.
So definitely make sure you are taking off your mascara.
I think it’s a good idea to use a cleansing oil or a cleansing balm because they simultaneously allow for a gentle removal of the mascara and they also condition the lashes.
Make sure that you’re not rubbing. If you have to rub a lot to get off the mascara using the wrong product, that rubbing can break the lashes.
Stop Lash Enhancements
Lay off any kind of lash enhancements. This includes lifts, extensions and also false eyelashes, because these things do cause a lot of irritation around the lid line that leads to fragility and breakage and loss of the lashes. And they weigh down your lashes, making them more brittle.
Lash extensions really can lead to a lot of fragility, breakage and loss of the lashes. Definitely take a break from them.
The adhesives from your false eyelashes cause a lot of irritation around the lid margin and they also weigh down the lash itself, contributing to breakage irritation and fallout. Long term can also cause a lot of irritation around your eyes and lead to dry eyes.
I suggest everyone, regardless of if you feel as though your lashes are thinning or not, take a break from any kind of lash enhancement cosmetic.
I suggest taking a break every couple of months for six weeks to allow your lashes a little bit of breathing room and to give them a break.
If you do have lash extensions and you’re about ready to take a break, just let them fall off naturally. Do not pull them because that is going to pull out your natural lashes.
You have to stop using lash curlers. At least take a break from them. They really weaken the lash at the root and contribute to breakage and fall out of the lashes.
There used to be this trend, I don’t know if it’s still popular, where you heat up your lash curler to really curl your lashes, almost like a curling iron. That is really damaging to those little baby lashes.
Just like a curling iron or any kind of heat styling tool on your hair is going to lead to more breakage and fragility, same thing with your lashes, but they are a lot more delicate than the hair on your head and they grow a lot more slowly.
Lash Growth Serums
I am not a fan of lash serums, even prescription Latisse.
I really just don’t think it’s a great option for people who are dealing with sparse thinning lashes.
Lash serums in general do cause a lot of irritation around the lid line, further worsen the the lash breakage and the lash loss.
You may appreciate some lash growth initially, but you have to continue using these, and unfortunately they really can cause so much irritation around the lid line that you then suffer from chronic dry eyes.
Some of these have even come under scrutiny by the FDA because they have prostaglandin-like compounds in them similar to the prescription stuff. People have developed side effects and that’s not good.
Speaking of side effects, when it comes to the prescription stuff Latisse, you will appreciate much thicker, longer, beautiful lashes with Latisse. Takes about two months to start seeing results. You have to use it every day and you can only use it to the upper lid.
You have to use it in order to maintain the results. As soon as you stop, your lashes will go back to how they were initially.
Side effects of Latisse are nothing to play around with. Latisse definitely causes a lot of irritation for people and like the other lash serums, causes chronic dry eyes and can ultimately lead to hyperpigmentation of the lid margin of your eyelids. That will go away after you stop using it, but it’s not really aesthetically desirable.
Latisse also can cause dark spots on your iris, the colored part of your eye. Once you stop the Latisse that does not go away.
A lot of people have adverse reactions to Latisse, leading to dryness and irritation and Latisse also can cause loss of fat and that can lead to a sunken in eye. That is irreversible. That rarely happens, but it’s something to think about, like how important is this temporary effect of thick and longer lashes.
What about good old castor oil’
Castor oil is a very viscous oil. It actually has very good moisturizing properties to it and it’s got recinoleic acid in it, which is good for helping both the skin and the hair retain moisture.
It doesn’t actually grow hair, whether it be on your head your eyebrows or your eyelashes.
It’s very viscous though and it coats the hairs that you do have and it makes them appear thicker and it moisturizes them and conditions them.
Unfortunately because it is so viscous, it can ultimately end up causing a lot of irritation around your eyelid and that will lend itself to chronic dry eyes, irritation, you’re rubbing your eyes more and it’s just an undesirable setup.
I’m not really one to recommend castor oil. I do see why people would choose it, it can help moisturize the lashes.
You also have coconut oil. Another oil that people like to use on their lashes.
Again, coconut oil is not going to make them grow, but it will help with moisturizing and it can help remove some mascara. You may choose coconut oil as a natural cleansing oil.
Some people develop flares of acne whenever they use coconut oil and some of the same oil glands that are involved in acne on the face, you have similar glands within the eye and they can be clogged by that. If you have problems with coconut oil with your skin, I wouldn’t use it on the lashes either.
The reason I’m more of a fan of using a cleansing balm product or a cleansing oil product is that they often will have emulsifiers to help them mix with water, allowing them to rinse off more easily as opposed to just a plain oil.
It’s up to you what you want to use, but do be aware of the fact that coconut oil could potentially cause styes and castor oil can cause a lot of irritation around the lid line.
Are you under stress? This is probably something that people don’t think of. They just reach for that quick fix lash serum, but if you are under a lot of stress, there are a few reasons why that could cause your lashes to be brittle or prone to breakage.
First of all, some people when they get really really stressed out, they pull out their hair or they pull out the lashes. This can become almost a compulsion, so much so that it is a disorder called trichotillomania.
Rather than taking out your stress on your lashes, try and keep your hands occupied with other things. Whenever you feel stressed out, keep nearby something to put in your hands. I’m a big fan of adult coloring books, because I’m very task oriented, so if i get stressed out, I like using coloring books and I recommend that to people. It’s relaxing and you’re accomplishing something by completing the picture.
That goes for not only the lashes, but if you pick at your skin or you pull your hair.
If you aren’t aware, your hair follicles on your head are all in different stages of the growing cycle. The majority of them are in the growing phase, but a proportion of them are in the resting or shedding phase.
This is called telogen and your lashes are similar. They have the same kind of stages.
If you go through a really stressful life event, that can trigger a telogen effluvium and it can affect your lashes just like it can affect your hair on your head.
Just like you will notice more hair shedding, you may notice that your lashes are falling out more readily. This is a setup where you definitely want to check in with your doctor.
You may need to have some blood work done to evaluate for an underlying medical cause. You can get a telogen effluvium if you have a little iron, low vitamin D, etc. Those two can impact the hair cycle of the lashes and overall lash growth.
In the case of telogen effluvium and shedding, once the stressful event is under control, slowly the hair cycles will go back to normal, including the lashes. You just have to be really patient.
In the meantime while you’re waiting for the lashes to recover, try and resist the temptation for quick fixes, like lash serums that end up causing more irritation and leads to prolonging the process of lash regrowth. Likewise layoff of the lash extensions.
What about everyone’s favorite hair supplement biotin?
Biotin is a B vitamin and it’s been popular in hair, skin and nails supplements. A lot of people ask me will it help with lash growth.
Truthfully there’s no data to support the use of taking biotin for hair growth, including the lashes.
Biotin deficiency is incredibly rare. There are these rare genetic diseases where there’s biotin deficiency and in those cases supplementing with biotin is necessary.
The only situation where you can run into biotin deficiency in an otherwise healthy person is if you are consuming a large amount of raw egg whites, because egg whites have a compound in them which will bind up biotin in your diet and prevent absorption and that can lead to biotin deficiency.
You don’t need a supplement to get biotin in your diet, it’s very easy to get it from just regular ordinary food.
I don’t recommend any dietary supplements for hair growth because there’s really no data to support any given supplement for any type of hair loss.
Lashes take time to grow. No instant gratification here. They take time.
People ask me what is the best thing for getting your lashes to grow longer. All of these things I’ve told you are really important tips, but ultimately, just leave them alone.
The less manipulation, the better.
Those are my tips for growing long healthy lashes.
Rebecca is a licensed aesthetician and certified laser technician with almost 15 years experience in the dermatology. Her life-long passion is making people look good and happy.