There are lots of reasons why your eyelashes could be falling out, but it’s important to remember that eyelashes naturally fall out due to a continuous cycle, so spotting a lash extension or natural lash on your pillow in the morning is usually nothing to worry about. There are ways to prevent excessive lash loss, and the right aftercare can help to prolong your treatment results.
We’re here to answer one of the biggest questions from lash lovers everywhere – why are your eyelashes falling out?
The eyelash lifecycle
Lashes are different to the hair on our heads; the hair on our heads tends to stop, or rapidly reduce the rate of growth once it reaches a certain length, whereas the more delicate nature of lashes means they fall out naturally once they reach a certain stage in their cycle, which can take in excess of 22 weeks (usually when they are around 9-10mm in length).
The average person has between 90-120 natural lashes per upper eyelid. We naturally shed 2-5 lashes per day as part of the natural lash cycle.
On average, after one week, you may have lost 21 lashes. After two weeks, you may have lost 42 lashes, and after three weeks, you may have lost 63 lashes.
The eyelash cycle consists of three stages:
The anagen phase lasts between 30-45 days and is the most active stage of the lash life cycle. The hair follicle is connected to the blood supply, which nurtures the eyelash to grow until it reaches its full length. Although our individual eyelashes are all growing at different rates, approximately 40% are in the anagen phase at any one time.
During the catagen phase of the natural lash cycle, the hair follicle disconnects from the blood supply and enters the ‘transition’ phase. When the lash disconnects from the blood supply, the hair shrinks in size and is pushed upwards; because the lash is being pushed upwards, this creates the illusion of fuller growth. The catagen phase can last up to three weeks and around 20% of eyelashes are in this phase of the cycle at any one time.
With no connection to an active blood supply, the follicle is dormant, which is why the telogen phase of the cycle is often referred to as the ‘resting’ phase. Approximately 40% of eyelashes are in the telogen phase at any one time.
Environmental changes during the seasons can make lash shedding more noticeable. As temperature, humidity and vitamin D exposure drop during autumn and winter, you may see an increase in lash loss. This is because the dry air caused by artificial heating and the drop in humidity can dry your skin and hair out, making hair brittle and more likely to shed. In spring, as the temperatures rise, it can lead to skin sweating and producing more oils, which can affect the retention of lash extensions.
Diet or Vitamin deficiency
A nutrient-deficient diet has also been linked to lash loss. A lack of essential fatty acids can affect lash loss, as well as a lack of vitamins D, Zinc and Iron.
Excessive eyelash curling and heavy mascara can also be culprits of excess lash loss. Be sure to fully remove any mascara or make-up as part of your evening routine.
Skin conditions, such as Madarosis, can cause the hair on our bodies to fall out. People who suffer with Madarosis, or other skin conditions which affect hair loss, may lose more lashes each month.
Stress or hormone imbalances can also cause excessive lash loss. Stress can push lash follicles into the dormant (or telogen) phase of the eyelash cycle, which can cause these follicles to fall out.
Alopecia is an immune disorder in which cells attack hair follicles and can also be one of the causes for lashes to fall out. Alopecia can affect the hair on your head and scalp, as well as your lashes, which are just like the hair on your head. Always seek professional medical advice if you suspect you may be suffering from alopecia or an underlying medical condition.
How to keep your lashes from falling out
Although you can’t prevent your lashes from falling out fully, there are a few things you can do to keep your lash loss to a minimum.
To prevent your eyelashes from falling out more than they would naturally, avoid over-using eyelash curlers and always remove mascara and make-up every evening. Try not to rub your eyes excessively when removing eye make-up or when washing your face. A Prebiotic Eye Make-Up Remover Gel is ideal for thoroughly cleansing and purifying the delicate lash and eye area; the gel consistency glides over lashes gently without snagging against lashes or lash extension bonds.
Treatments for excessive eyelash loss can include dietary supplements that help to improve the overall health and condition of your lashes.
Using the right aftercare can help keep your natural lashes as healthy as possible. Wash your lashes regularly to remove any dirt and debris that gets trapped, and follow up with a nourishing lash serum. Our Lash & Brow Conditioning Serum helps to maintain optimum health when used as part of your evening skincare routine. The hypoallergenic formula is suitable for sensitive eyes and can help protect against pollutants.
Influencing lash growth
The length of time our hair and lashes grow (in the anagen hair growth phase) is predetermined genetically, so our genes have already set the maximum length our lashes will grow. Often a lack of key nutrients in the diet can prevent lashes from naturally reaching their maximum potential.
Triple Enhance Lash Serum contains key vitamins and nutrients, including a blend of vitamins A, E, F, H and B, as well as Horse Chestnut Seed Extract and Camelia Leaf Extract, to help promote an ideal environment for maximum natural lash growth. Formulated with a Triple-Peptide Complex, the powerful serum helps to supercharge lashes and stimulate lash growth within the follicle.