Why are my eyelashes falling off? How do I stop this loss and how can makeup make the loss appear less visible?
Long lush eyelashes can enhance the beauty of your eyes as well as your face in general. It is every girl’s dream to have long lashes since “dark, defined lashes make you look more awake, attractive, and even younger” [paulaschoice.com].
However, to some ladies, growing them long is a nightmare because they keep falling out. We will explore what causes this loss causes as well as ways to stop it from happening or how to regrow them.
Eyelash loss, technically known as madarosis refers to the abnormal or excessive falling out of lash hairs other than the normal or natural hair replacement process that happens to every hair on the body.
Although the condition is not life-threatening, it is very distressing, and it could indicate you are suffering from another more serious problem. In severe cases, one might end up without lash hairs at all.
The obvious symptoms will include them becoming very few or completely absent, thinning, having gaps, becoming brittle and/or easily coming out as you are applying mascara. Let us now uncover why they do fall out.
Why they falling out or causes
There are many reasons that vary from one individual to another. These causes range from diseases and conditions, diet, some treatments and general care given to your lashes. We are going to cover the most common eyelash loss causes and from this list, you will be able to know what could be causing this problem in your case. So, what makes them fall out?
1. Trichotillomania tangle or pulling them out
This is a physiological condition where the affected person involuntary pulls off their body hairs, including the various facial hairs. Being an impulse control disorder, the “affected people commonly pull hair from their scalp, eyebrows or eyelashes” [healthunlocked.com] and this can lead them being very few.
Trichotillomania Tangle often begins at different stages, especially during childhood or at puberty. Some pull a single hair out from its root while others might pull many hairs at once. This conditions might persist into adulthood in some people while in others, it stops.
2. Hyperactive and underactive thyroid problems
Having an underactive (hypothyroidism) or hyperactive (hyperthyroidism) thyroid glands is another common cause including for eyebrows falling out. It can affect other body hairs.
The common symptoms of underactive thyroids glands include dry skin, weight gain and inability to tolerate cold.
On the other hand, having overactive thyroid glands causes intolerance to heat, weight loss, headaches, a swollen lower neck, and amnesia.
Thyroid problems will cause your hairs to thin as well as make them dry and brittle. When this occurs, your scalp, eyebrow and eyelashes hairs will be falling out. They will be sparse.
3. Alopecia Areata
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that makes some immune cells to begin attacking your hair roots or follicles. It causes hair loss both on your scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes and other body hairs.
Although it does not have a cure, if alopecia areata is the reason, you can opt for the various topical creams to help reduce its effect. You will know you have this problem if you have patchy loss of hair.
4. Allergic reaction to makeup & mascara
To some, the cause is nothing other than the chemicals present in the various products that are used on eyelashes that include mascaras, primers as well as dyes.
These various chemicals that might be contained in this products often trigger allergic reactions that result in the loss. If you often react to other allergens such as pet dander, dust, smoke, etc., then the makeup you use could also affect your lashes making them fall out.
Furthermore, allergens in mascara, lash primes and dyes have been associated with contact dermatitis as well as conjunctivitis. It is rare but possible to have them falling out due to mascara use when used aggressively.
5. Dermatological or eyelid skin problems
Some skin infections such as atopic dermatitis (eczema), psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis can result in the itchy sensation that makes people rub their eyes and thus leading to madarosis.
6. Eyelid inflammation or blepharitis
Excessive growth of the normal bacteria found on the skin, including the one on your eyelids, could also cause eyelid inflammation, a condition known as blepharitis. Furthermore, eyelid inflammation can also be as a result of blocked eyelid oil glands or allergies.
When your eyelid is inflamed, it becomes red and itchy. This can cause eyelash loss as the inflammation damages lash follicles if it is repeated for a long time.
Furthermore, the rubbing of your eyelids due to the inflammation can also have an effect on your lash hairs. This could be what causes them to fall out in our special case if you are suffering from blepharitis.
7. Chemotherapy treatment of cancer
If you are a cancer patient, chemo often causes hair loss i.e. you will have scalp, brow hair and lashes falling out as well as other body hairs. This will be a short-term problem since chemotherapy affects hair follicles. When you stop it, your hairs will begin growing again.
8. Some medications
Besides chemotherapy, there are some medications which have been found to cause general body hair loss. “Research shows that oral anti-acne drugs such as isotretinoin, some anti-clotting medications, anti-cholesterol drugs, thyroid balancing drugs, and blood pressure medications have all been connected to madarosis” [paulaschoice.com]. However, the moment you stop using them, your lashes will start growing back again.
9. Normal loss
If you notice a few of your eyelashes falling off, this is a normal process where once they have grown fully, they fall off as they age to give way to new ones to grow. This happens to all body hairs and it is a normal replacement process that happens unnoticed.
If you are experiencing this loss during menopause, it is normal due to the dwindling levels of estrogen. The reducing estrogen levels often slow the growth of hair and it can cause hair follicle destruction and thus you will be having fewer and thinner lashes and hairs.
This is a condition where long thick hair strands are replaced by “vellus hair, which is the very short, thin, fine, brittle hair that can be seen on close examination of areas of the body we tend to think of as hairless, such as our lashes, brows, cheeks, nose, etc.” [eyehealthweb.com]. It might be inherited or caused by other medical conditions. Latisse can be of help in dealing with it.
12. Other reasons
Other than the above reasons, there are other causes which include the following:
- Some harsh environmental conditions
- Touching them with dirty hands or exposing them to much dirt
- Hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy, can cause lashes to fall off i.e. research has shown some connection between eyelashes falling out and pregnancy.
- Pulling them as you try to remove mascara, especially waterproof mascara is known to also cause some loss.
- Trauma to your eyes can affect the growth of lashes
- The normal aging process does affect general hair growth.
These are not the only causes, there are many others that could be unique to you as an individual. It is advisable to consult your doctor for further advice in case you cannot figure out what causes the loss in your case.
How to stop the loss - treatment & remedies
If you are one of the people who has been complaining that your eyelashes are falling out on your eyes, you now must be knowing what could be causing that problem. Let us not look at some of the ways on to stop the loss i.e. treatments, remedies and how to grow eyelashes back.
1. Careful mascara choice
The first way to stop from falling out is to carefully select the mascara brand you are using. There has been cases of some brands causing this problem. Covergirl bombshell volume was once mentioned to be an eyelash loss reasons [thefrisky.com].
2. Treat any infections
In case of a chronic or severe eye infection, ensure you get treated or take go for the right antibiotics. Treating any skin problem around your eyes will ensure you do not rub them as this might not only affect eyelashes grow back or regrowth but also affect your eyes too.
3. Increase protein and fatty acids in your diet
Ensure you have enough protein and fatty acids in your diet as lack of these two affects hair growth including one of your lashes. “Try eating more protein-rich food and foods containing essential fatty acids like nuts, soybeans, and cold-water fish such as tuna or salmon” [goodhousekeeping.com].
4. Stop using mascara
If your case is severe, you can stop using mascara until you get well. Furthermore, when applying mascara, do not do it aggressively. Alternatively, use lash conditioning mascara brands such as Peter Thomas Roth Lashes to Die for Mascara.
5. Avoid old makeup
Avoid using old makeup as these products tends to host bacteria once they stay for long. Even if there is still a lot remaining, throw them away after 3 months or as instructed by the manufacturer. You also need to handle them carefully to avoid contamination.
6. Remove makeup before you go to bed
Ensure you always remove your eye makeup before you go to bed because it “prevents the follicle from breathing and can eventually stop hair growth altogether over time.” [makeup.com]. It is also advisable you wash your face before going to bed.
When removing your makeup, ensure you do not tug, rub or pull your eyelashes. You can stop wearing waterproof mascaras as they are harder to remove as mentioned earlier.
7. Stop using fake eyelashes & extensions
False eyelashes and extension could be a cause this problem. “Stop using false eyelashes or lash extensions, or if you do, use a dab of oil on a cotton bud to loosen the adhesive before removal.” [lizearlewellbeing.com].
8. Use eyelash enhancers and growth products
Using some of the over the counter tropical products and lash serums such as Latisse, RapidLash, RevitaLash or Talika Lipocils Lash Conditioning Gel might also help your lashes to grow back. These products will improve your lashes but they need to be used religiously and they might take time.
9. Go for Surgical eyelash grafts
If they are pathetic and you have tried all other ways without seeing any good results, you can opt for surgical grafts as well eyelash transplant procedures.
10. Good choice of eyelash curler
Aggressive use of a bad eyelash curler could also be what makes them fall out. It needs to have rubber tabs that are why a “strip was created to preserve your lashes.... a bare curler can chop your lashes at the base” [makeup.com].
11. Try hot eye compresses
Try hot eye compresses to help encourage regrowth. You can do this for about 5 minutes twice daily.
How to use makeup when they are falling off
Walking around without eyelashes or with very few one might make some ladies feel uncomfortable. However, good makeup use can help hide your missing ones. Some of the great ways you can use makeup include:
- Use mascara: Use of mascara is a great way of ensuring you look great as you are still waiting them regrowth. Go for darkest shades of good brands of lengthening and volumizing mascaras as they improve the appearance of your lashes.
- Wear bold eyeliners: Get a good long wearing eyeliner brand and apply it boldly on your lash line. This will create the illusion of fuller lashes. The best eyeliners to go for will be gel although liquid and pencil eyeliners can also work well.
- Wear false eyelashes: After verifying with a doctor that you do not have any skin condition that might get irritated, you can wear them. They will increase the volume of your eyelashes.
- Highlight other facial features: Careful face makeup application such as highlighting your lips, cheekbones can draw attention from your sparse or few eyelashes.
I hope this discussion now answers any of your question such as ‘why are my eyelashes falling out’ or ‘how can this problem' or ‘what causes eyelash loss’. Sharing is loving. Thank you.
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