- To grow your eyelashes, you can use a combination of home remedies and prescription medications.
- Castor oil, bimatoprost, and removing eye makeup can help grow your lashes.
- Lashes usually take two months to grow unless you have a condition like alopecia or skin cancer.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
If you want longer, fuller eyelashes, you can take steps to help them grow. “It is possible to significantly increase the length and thickness of your eyelashes,” says Brett King, MD, a dermatologist at Yale Medicine.
Your eyelashes typically take around two months to grow. However, factors like genetics, health conditions, hygiene habits, and traumatic injuries can affect the growth of your eyelashes or cause you to lose your lashes.
Here are some steps you can take to get longer, thicker eyelashes.
Eyelashes typically grow much slower than the hair on your scalp. “Generally speaking, otherwise healthy eyelashes grow about 0.15 millimeters per day and are typically about seven millimeters long (beyond the skin). So, doing the math, it takes one to two months to grow a normal-length eyelash from scratch,” says King. By contrast, the hair on your head can grow as fast as 1.1 millimeters per day.
Conditions that can affect eyelash growth or cause your lashes to fall out:
- Poor hygiene habits: Wearing expired makeup, sharing your makeup with others, sleeping with your makeup on, and neglecting to clean your makeup brushes are some of the habits that can irritate your eyes and affect your eyelashes.
- Alopecia areata: Often hereditary, this condition is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when the body attacks its own hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.
- Trichotillomania: Also referred to as hair-pulling disorder, this condition is characterized by strong, recurrent urges to pull out one’s own hair.
- Blepharitis: This condition occurs when the oil glands at the base of the eyelashes get clogged, resulting in redness, swelling, and irregularities in eyelash growth.
- Skin cancer: The eyelid is easily damaged by exposure to the sun, making it one of the most common sites for skin cancer, which can result in the loss of eyelashes.
- Trauma: A traumatic event like an injury or a burn can cause you to lose your eyelashes, or they may have to be trimmed off after the fact to prevent eye irritation. Using heated eyelash curlers, or ripping out false eyelashes could also harm your eyelashes.
If you have lost all your eyelashes, King says the underlying reason behind the hair loss can play a role in whether or not your eyelashes grow back. For instance, in the case of alopecia areata, loss of eyelashes may last months or years, according to King.
If you do seek medical or cosmetic treatment for your eyelashes, King says there are medications that can help increase the length and thickness of eyelashes. It may take a few months for your eyelashes to grow back completely.
You should consult a specialist to determine what treatment options are available to you and what you can expect. There are also several eyelash serums available over the counter, that can help you get longer, thicker eyelashes as well as some natural home remedies you can try.
What helps eyelashes grow:
- Bimatoprost solution: Bimatoprost solution is an FDA-approved prescription medication that can help increase the length, thickness, and darkness of eyelashes. “It has to be applied to the margins of your eyelids, from where your eyelashes grow,” says King. You can expect to see noticeable results after eight weeks of treatment and maximum effect after 16 weeks, according to him. Some brand names of this solution include Lumigan and Latisse.
- Castor oil: Castor oil can help prevent loss of eyelashes by reducing your levels of prostaglandin D2 (PGD2), a type of fatty compound linked to hair loss. Castor oil also soothes inflammation caused by mascara and other eye makeup. Applying castor oil to your lashes can help condition the strands and thicken them.
- A nutritious diet: The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends a nutritious diet with plenty of protein, iron, fruits, and vegetables to maintain healthy eyelash growth. Vitamins A, B, D, and E are important vitamins for hair growth.
- Healthy hygiene habits: Your eyes are extremely sensitive to irritation and poor hygiene habits can affect your eyelashes. Taking off all your makeup before you go to sleep, avoiding expired makeup, not sharing your makeup, and cleaning your makeup brushes and sponges regularly can help prevent inflammation.
- Conservative use of eyelash products: Frequently applying mascara and false eyelashes, using eyelash curlers, or exposing your eyelashes to products and treatments that involve a lot of chemicals can damage your eyelashes. Instead, opt for a hydrating routine using castor oil or even petroleum jelly, for naturally healthier and fuller eyelashes.
If you want to enhance your lashes, or if you have a medical condition that is affecting eyelash growth, you should consult your healthcare provider for treatment options. In many cases, it is possible to improve eyelash length and thickness with prescription medication. There are also over the counter products containing peptides and hyaluronic acid that may help.
You can also try home remedies like castor oil for healthier eyelashes. Practicing good hygiene habits and avoiding excessive use of mascara, false eyelashes, eyelash curlers, and other chemical products can help prevent damage to your eyelashes.
There are also cosmetic treatments, like eyelash extensions and false eyelashes, that can help you recreate the look of eyelashes in case you have lost all your natural lashes. You can also opt for these treatments to make your eyelashes appear longer and thicker.