Long and luxurious eyelashes are no doubt the most desirable feature a person – man or woman – can have. Eyelash cosmetics and beauty is a multi-million dollar industry. From false eyelashes, extensions, to mascara, different eyelash products are sold worldwide just to improve your eyelashes. So it can be quite frustrating if you see that one or several of your eyelashes have fallen off. However, it’s important to be aware that this is only a normal process that happens to every one of us. Just like every other hair on our body, eyelashes naturally go through a never-ending growth cycle: the eyelash growth cycle.
The Function Of Eyelashes
Unlike what most people believe, eyelashes aren’t just an attractive feature on your eyes. It also serves a vital role: eyelashes prevent foreign objects from getting in the eyes. Every single eyelash connects to a nerve that enables your eyelashes to close the eyelid whenever it comes close to any foreign material that can potentially harm the eye. The upper eyelid usually has around 90 to 150 eyelashes, while the bottom portion has a fewer 70 to 80. Most of the time, an average person’s eyelashes grow to about 10 mm long (about 3/8 of an inch).
Eyelash Hair Growth
According to the official website of hair care product, Viviscal, every hair on a human’s body follows a growth cycle and will grow at specific lengths. Usually, hair follows a three-stage growth cycle, where it eventually falls out at the end and then repeats again and again. So there is absolutely nothing to worry about when you start noticing your eyelashes falling off. As a matter of fact, eyelashes and every other type of hair completely replace itself every time it falls off of the body.
The Three-Stage Growth Cycle
As mentioned before, hair growth undergoes a cycle constituting three stages. These stages are Anagen (growth), Catagen (transition), and Telogen (resting). Over and over again, hair goes through these phases where they grow, fall off, eventually be replaced with a new one, and vice versa. Get to know each of these stages and expand your awareness of what is exactly happening to not just your eyelashes, but every type of hair in your body.
Otherwise known as the “Growth Phase,” anagen is the stage when lashes are growing in an active state. The growth phase lasts from 30 to 45 days. This period is divided into two among each hair – where 40 percent of the upper lash and 15 percent of the lower are experiencing the anagen phase. These lashes will grow to a specific length before stopping.
The catagen phase is where the hair changes from actively growing to a growth decline; hence it’s other term, the “transition phase.” During the catagen phase, the lash ceases to grow, and the hair follicle weakens and shrinks. If so happens that an eyelash was intentionally plucked out during the transition phase, it won’t grow back instantly as per usual since the follicle still needs to complete the whole catagen phase before it moves to the next stage. This stage usually lasts between two to three weeks.
Once the hair has gone through the catagen phase, the Telogen – otherwise known as the resting phase – will then kick in. The Telogen phase can last up 3 and a half months before the eyelash finally falls out, paving the way for a new one to start growing. Since your lashes are diversely undergoing a particular phase of the growing cycle, it’s pretty standard for a few lashes to fall out during most days. Once the Telogen phase culminates, the cycle will then reset, which could take between four to eight weeks before a new eyelash replaces the old one.
Getting to know these stages is essential as they not only lessen your worry about eyelash loss but will also enlighten you with what is actually happening to your eyelashes and why are they falling out. So the next time you wake up in the morning, and you see some of your eyelashes have fallen out, you are now aware that they are probably on the Telogen phase, and freshly new eyelashes will eventually grow to take their place.