Getting thick, long, luscious eyelashes is a ‘dream goal’ that we all struggle to achieve. Though the oomph and appeal of naturally dense lashes can take our eye makeup game to the next level, very few of us are blessed with such fluttering beauties. Fortunately, there are ways to thicken up your thinning lashes and create a dramatic look for your eyes. All credit goes to tricky eye makeup, natural home remedies, and innovative grooming practices. Read on to know more about how to get thicker lashes.
The Natural Eyelash Growth Cycle
Eyelashes protect the eyes from dust, sand, debris, and other potential dangers by working as a barrier to them. However, it is natural to lose a few of them daily as they fall out and grow back just like regular hair. The natural growth cycle (5 to 11 months) that every eyelash goes through is divided into three phases (1):
- Anagen (Growth) Phase: In this first phase, the eyelashes start growing, and the process continues for 2-4 weeks. A lash fallen during this period will not grow back immediately.
- Catagen (Transition) Phase: Once the eyelashes reach their maximum lengths, their growth stops. This transitional period runs for 2-3 weeks. A lash fallen during this period will not grow back until the entire period is over.
- Telogen (Resting) Phase: The last phase takes almost 4 to 9 months to be finished. It involves both the fallout of an old eyelash and the growth of a new one in its place.
On average, most adults have 100-150 upper eyelashes and 50-75 lower lashes on each eyelid (2). However, the length and thickness of eyelashes vary widely from one person to another.
Why Do Eyelashes Thin and Shorten?
If the hair on your head is sparse or thin, the lashes on your eyes will be the same. But sometimes eyelashes may start falling out abnormally, resulting in a condition called ‘eyelash hypotrichosis.’ It may happen due to several factors, including the following ones:
- An advancing age
- High levels of stress
- Deficiency of vitamins
- Reduction in estrogen levels in the body due to menopause
- Thyroid hormone imbalances
- Frequent eye infections
- Allergic reactions to certain eye makeup products
- Chemical reactions caused by poor-quality eyelash extension glue
- Vigorous scrubbing of lashes during eye makeup removal
- Sleeping with the eye makeup on
- Underlying medical conditions like hypotrichosis, blepharitis, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, alopecia areata, eczema, psoriasis, scleroderma, lupus, trichotillomania, etc.
- Undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatments
As we age, our skin loses its ability to retain natural moisture. This often results in an imbalance of hormones in the body (3), which may eventually slow down the growth of hair and eyelashes by decreasing follicle stimulation.
8 Foolproof Ways to Get Thicker Lashes
So, what if you start losing your eyelashes due to any of the aforementioned reasons? Well, you can still make them appear thicker with expert-recommended tips and tricks. Effective methods can help you get your lashes growing again or protect the lashes without causing harm to your lash lines. Let us talk about those below:
1. Apply Mascara Like a Pro
- Start with curling your clean lashes with an eyelash curler. Then, as you are trying to make your lashes thicker, cover them with one or two coats of primer to avoid clumping and let it dry for a few minutes before getting into the main job (4).
- Choose a cream-based mascara for obtaining killer fat lashes. Beginning from the base of your lashes, twist the wand a little back and forth and then move it through its edges. You need to apply at least 2-3 coats with a drying time of 2 minutes between them.
- Make sure that you brush the upper section of your eyelashes after each coat dries. Doing it with an eyelash comb will create a ‘feathery’ effect, eventually making the lashes appear thicker.
- For mega-thick eyelashes, you should grip the mascara wand straight up and swipe it from the internal to the external corner of your lower lashes.
Try to find a keratin-rich mascara that will make your eyelashes stronger in the long run. Again, choosing a waterproof formula may make it difficult for you to remove the product after a hectic day or a night out.
2. Get a Pair of Falsies
- Wearing falsies can give you a more dramatic look by making your actual eyelashes appear longer and voluminous. For this, always buy false lashes that are well-manicured.
- It is better to use a good quality adhesive instead of the lash adhesive that comes with fake eyelash kits. It will help the falsies stay still in their places for long, thereby offering you an amazing lashed-out look. Moreover, a quality adhesive will ensure that your lashes are not damaged over time.
- Before gluing the falsies to your lash lines, make sure that you measure and trim them to fit your eyelids perfectly. The glue applied to them should also be tacky enough for a good hold. Also, you must press them down onto your upper lash line until the glue dries up completely.
False eyelashes need to be cleaned after each and every use. You can make use of a mild natural cleanser for this.
3. Try Eyelash Extensions
- If false eyelashes are not your cup of tea, go for eyelash extensions. These artificial lashes made of semi-permanent fibers are available in small strips or sections, placed in between the actual lashes of a person using lash glue. The outcome is fuller, longer, and darker eyelashes.
- Choose high-quality synthetic silk or mink fibers for a naturally glamorous look. You can even customize the extensions for lengths, colors, and patterns.
- Always lie on your back while sleeping with your eyelash extensions on. Also, carefully brush them out every single day. These would prevent tangling, thereby improving the life of your fatter lashes.
- Find a trained, skilled, and licensed professional to get the procedure done in a painless, safe, and perfect manner.
Typically, eyelash extensions last for a few weeks after the very first application. Hence, you may need to reapply them every 6 weeks or so.
4. Use an Eyelash Growth Serum
- There are several over-the-counter eyelash growth serums in the market. They contain ‘proprietary peptides,’ essential vitamins (mostly biotin or vitamin B7), and natural extracts to make the lashes strong and healthy, which can eventually turn them rich and lush.
- Latisse (Bimatoprost ophthalmic solution 0.03%) is the only FDA-approved prescription serum that helps grow missing eyelashes longer, thicker, and darker by lengthening the eyelash growth phase. However, you need to apply it to your upper lash line daily for 2 consecutive months to see the best results (5). Also, stopping the use of the medication may take your lashes back to the previous condition.
- You can also prepare your own eyelash growth serum at home. Just pour 1 teaspoon of castor oil into an empty and clean mascara bottle. Add 2-3 drops of lavender and cedarwood essential oils to it and shake very well. Apply this DIY serum to your lashes every night so that the follicles get nourished by castor oil.
Try looking for OTC serums, which contain natural and safe ingredients. Products with unknown and unproven mechanisms may lead to side effects like red eyes, dryness, itchiness, irritation, eyelid swelling, darkened eyelids, darkened iris, unwanted hair growth around the eyes, and so on.
5. Consume the Right Nutrients
- If you want to grow your eyelashes thicker in a natural way, focus on your food consumption. Instead of taking readily available food supplements, live on a healthy and well-balanced diet to support the healthy growth of lashes and avert their fallout naturally.
- Take an ample amount of proteins (fish, egg, poultry, lean meat, milk, cheese, etc.) and healthy fats (olive oil, sunflower seeds, avocado, almond, etc.) to get beautiful lashes.
- Include lots of fresh fruits (citrus fruits, apple, guava, strawberry, blueberry, cranberry, etc.) and vegetables (dark leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, tomato, peas, Brussel sprouts, etc.) in your daily diet to thicken up your eyelashes naturally.
- Increase your vitamin intake as much as possible. For example, it has been found that biotin-rich (vitamin B7) foods can lead to lesser eyelash fallout. Hence, consume plenty of whole grains, onions, spinach, carrots, legumes, nuts, bananas, egg yolks, mushrooms, and so on.
Readily available biotin supplements can also ensure the growth of healthy hair on your eyelashes as well as your scalp. (6)
6. Try Effective Home Remedies
- Add a drop of essential oil of your choice (lavender/rosemary/rosehip/neem) to a few drops of cold-pressed castor oil and apply the mixture to your lash lines every night by using a Q-tip. (7), (8)
- Mix castor oil and olive oil 1-2 drops each and apply the oil blend to your lash lines with a Q-tip before going to bed.
- Peel off a fresh lemon, cut them into small pieces, and soak in (1/4) cup of olive oil or castor oil for 2-3 days. Apply this lemon peel oil to your eyelashes every night.
- Scoop the gel out of a piece of fresh aloe vera leaf and apply it along your lash lines. Leave this aloe vera gel on your eyelashes overnight and wash it in the morning.
- Soak 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves in a cup of hot water for 5 to 10 minutes and then strain it. Apply this green tea infusion to your lashes once it cools down completely. You can also drink it twice a day for better outcomes. (9)
- Apply pure petroleum jelly to your eyelashes and leave it on overnight.
7. Change Your Makeup Habits
- Use high-quality eye products that do not tamper with the quality as well as the density of eyelashes.
- Stop using expired eye makeup products to avoid permanent damage to your eyes and lashes.
- Stay away from applying waterproof mascara over and over again.
- Use your eyelash curler very carefully. It should be used for ‘wrapping and letting go’ just like a regular hair curler.
- Make it a point to remove all your eye makeup with a mild makeup remover before sleeping. Also, cream- or oil-based removers work the best for waterproof products.
- While removing eye makeup, be extremely gentle and cautious rather than rubbing and tugging on your delicate lashes.
- Go slow as you remove your falsies. Following the correct method along with the use of micellar cleansing water is the key here.
- Always remove the eye makeup in the same direction your lashes grow.
8. Take Care of Your Lashes
- Stop crash dieting from becoming skinny as it will take a toll on your eyelashes’ growth. Regular workouts also indirectly help in making your lashes beautiful. In short, it is important to be healthy to get healthy lashes.
- Brush your lashes for 2-3 minutes twice every day by using an old and clean mascara wand. This will enhance blood circulation and distribute the natural oils evenly throughout the roots of the lashes.
- Give your eyelids and your lash lines a gentle one-minute massage every day with the tips of your ring fingers. Make sure that your hands are clean and you follow a small, circular motion. This will stimulate the growth of your eyelashes by enhancing the flow of blood significantly to the lash area.
Love your eyelashes just like you love your hair, and they will grow beautifully. Just be regular with your routine and follow the tips religiously. Your patience will be worth it!
Our eyelashes fall out and grow back every day just like our regular hair. The natural growth cycle of an eyelash includes the growth phase, the transition phase, and the resting face. But sometimes eyelashes may start falling out abnormally due to aging, stress, menopause, hormonal imbalances, allergies, poor makeup hygiene, certain underlying medical conditions, and even chemotherapy. In such cases, you can make your thinning eyelashes appear thicker with expert-recommended tricks and some proven to be effective methods. You can master the mascara skills, invest in a good pair of falsies, apply eyelash extensions, use an eyelash growth serum, consume the right nutrients, try proven natural home remedies, change poor makeup habits, and groom your lashes properly. Just be regular with your routine to get your lashes growing again or protect the lashes without causing harm to your lash lines.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
How Long Do Eyelashes Take to Grow Back after Cutting?
If you cut your eyelashes accidentally, they will regrow in 2-3 weeks automatically.
What Mascara Makes Eyelashes Grow?
Certain mascaras in the market come enriched with ingredients like peptides, proteins, and conditioners. They have been found to make eyelashes grow longer and more voluminous.
Do Lash Extensions Damage Natural Lashes?
If not applied and removed by a trained and experienced professional with proper care, the strong glue of lash extensions may end up damaging natural eyelashes.
Which Oil is the Best for Eyelashes?
Being a rich source of essential fatty acids, castor oil is known to be the best oil for eyelashes. It nourishes and conditions the lashes to prevent them from falling out and promoting their growth at the same time.
- “Eyelash Growth: Know the Facts”, Healthline.com
- “Enhanced Eyelashes: Prescription and Over-the-Counter Options”, NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Figuring Out Your Hormones: How to Navigate Your Body’s Changes as You Age”, BHG.com
- “If You’re Not Using Eyelash Primer Before Putting on Mascara, You’re Making a Big Mistake”, Insider.com
- “Is There a Medication to Thicken Eyelashes?”, MayoClinic.org
- “The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review”, NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Castor Oil: Properties, Uses, and Optimization of Processing Parameters in Commercial Production”, NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “In Silico Prediction of Prostaglandin D2 Synthase Inhibitors from Herbal Constituents for the Treatment of Hair Loss”, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Human Hair Growth Enhancement In Vitro by Green Tea Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate (EGCG)”, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov