Article by Cristal G. Orpilla, R.N.
It’s often said that that the eyes are the windows to the soul. So if the eyes are the windows, the lashes are its treatments. Since your eyes are the first thing people see when they meet you, it’s important to take extremely good care of them! To do this, you must have a clear understanding of how hair, specifically eyelash hair, grow.
Eyelashes are like every other hair on the body. They have a specific growth cycle that keeps them growing regularly. Like each other hair, they will grow to a specific length and then stop, and eventually fall out. Although most people don’t realize it, all of the hair on the body will replace itself every few years with new hair, including eyelashes.
How do eyelashes grow?
When an eyelash falls out or you pluck it out, it will grow back. Depending on the individual, it takes roughly four to eight weeks to fully replace one eyelash. The growth of each eyelash is staggered, meaning that they all don’t grow at the same time, or at the same rate. If you lose a large clump of eyelashes, it is likely to take longer for the entire bunch to all be replaced, as it can about 6-8 weeks for replacements to come in fully. In this time, eyelash hair grows in three phases: Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen. The Anagen, or active growth phase, lasts about 1-2 months, at which the hair actively grows. During this phase, the cells in the root of the hair are dividing rapidly, adding protein and keratin to the hair shaft, causing it to grow and push upwards and out of the skin. The second stage is the Catagen (interphase), where the hair growth plateaus for a little while. This is the phase where you want the hair to stay for those long, lush, lashes. Lastly is the Telogen, or resting phase. It is in this last stage where hair older and falls out, since it s root is the closest to the surface of the skin.
How can you maintain the length of eyelashes?
There are a few things I have tried to try to maintain the length of my lashes. Here are some ways to keep lashes long, longer:
Beware of lash falsies and eyelash glue- they can contribute to dry lash hair that will cause them to shed more quickly. Additionally, the glue is more prone to pulling out several lashes at a time.
Keep lashes moist and healthy by using clear Vitamin E gel. Like skin, eyelashes must also stay hydrated to stay healthy. It helps to keep them from becoming brittle and from drying out. Apply the Vitamin E gel with a clean mascara wand to coat each lash and add a beautiful sheen. If Vitamin E gel is not accessible, I have found that popping the Vitamin E capsules or using a dab of olive oil also are good substitutes. But try not to use too much, especially on the roots because you may clog them.
Remove all traces of eye makeup with eye makeup remover before going to bed, as any residue left on the lashes will cause the pores to clog. This asphyxiates the root of the lash, causing it to fall out more quickly.
Use an eyelash serum to promote eyelash growth and length. Eyelash conditioners maintain the moisture of the lashes, keeping them lush much longer. Certain formulations that contain prostaglandin derivatives also induces growth of lashes. Those that contain vitamins A, C, and E also promotes a healthy environment for the roots, so they stay in the growing phase (Anagen) a little longer.
So don’t be afraid to Lash Out! Keep your lashes healthy and long by taking care of them.
Image Credit: http://www.pgbeautygroomingscience.com