If the eyelids and hair follicles are healthy and not severely damaged, eyelashes will eventually grow back.

The specific cause of lost eyelashes will impact the speed and time it takes eyelashes to return. Most eyelashes fully regrow after two months.

Eyelash Growth

While eyelashes are commonly thought of as attractive, they also protect the eyes from debris, infection, and strong winds.

Healthy eyelashes go through a natural cycle of shedding and growth, similar to the hair on top of the head. It’s normal for new eyelashes to replace old ones gradually as they age. However, it’s not typical for eyelashes to all disappear and fall out at once.

Causes of Eyelashes Falling Out

When someone experiences madarosis or has lost their eyelashes, this may occur due to a variety of causes, such as these:

Alopecia

Autoimmune conditions like alopecia impact the lives of nearly 6.8 million people in the U.S. alone. This disease causes a partial or complete loss of hair on the scalp and other areas of the body, such as the eyelashes.

Although there is no cure, as long as the hair follicles are alive, there’s hope for regrowth.

Burn Accidents

There's hope if the eyelashes become singed because of a fire-related incident. As long as the roots of the hair follicles aren’t destroyed and the eyelids are healthy, the eyelashes should grow back after six weeks, as this is when a new growth cycle starts.

Chemotherapy

When a patient is undergoing chemotherapy treatment, the scalp isn’t the only possibility for hair loss. Eyelashes may become thin or fall out because of certain chemotherapy drugs.

Patients may notice hair loss within the first few weeks of treatment, continuing throughout the duration of chemotherapy, and a few weeks after it ends. Currently, there is no absolute way to prevent hair loss related to chemotherapy.

Thankfully, the eyelashes should return some weeks to a few months after treatments have ended. However, the new hair growth may be a different color or texture following chemotherapy.

Infection & Inflammation

Good hygiene practices reduce the chances of the eyes developing a bacterial, fungal, or mite infection and eye ‌inflammation. It’s critical to remove makeup and clean the eyes and face to prevent irritation or infection that could trigger hair loss.

Inflammation of the eye or blepharitis may show itself as itchy, red, swollen, or irritated eyelids. This occurs when the eyelid's oil glands become clogged, which can lead to problems with eyelash hair follicles.

Depending on the cause of an infection, a patient might need to take medications to clear up any issues with the eyes before regrowth can take place. Once the eye and surrounding eyelid are healthy and free of swelling and redness, the eyelashes should be able to grow within weeks.

Thyroid Disease

The thyroid is a small butterfly-like gland in the neck that produces specific hormones to regulate certain activities in the body. Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can trigger hair loss and changes in body weight, and they can affect the cardiovascular system.

With treatment and improved stabilization of the thyroid gland, eyelashes should grow back on healthy eyelids within a few months.

Trichotillomania (Hair-Pulling Disorder)

Trichotillomania is an impulse disorder that causes people to break or pull out their hair, sometimes in large clumps. Consequently, this disorder can lead to the loss of eyelashes, hair on the scalp, and other areas.

Despite hair being pulled out, healthy hair follicles will continue to grow hair. So, new eyelashes should slowly regrow and replace pulled-out hairs within a few months. However, in severe cases, hair follicles can be damaged, and the hair may never grow back.

Other Causes of Eyelash Loss

These are additional causes of eyelash loss:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Chronic stress
  • Cancer

If you’ve experienced eyelash loss and aren’t sure why, consult a physician. They will assess the situation, ask you questions, and hopefully be able to diagnose the underlying cause.

How Long Does It Take for Eyelashes to Grow Back?

The time it takes for eyelashes to grow back depends on what caused the loss of eyelashes initially and the health of the hair follicle and eyelid. In most scenarios, it will take between 6 weeks and 3 months for eyelashes to fully grow back.

What Is an Average Eyelash Growth Cycle?

To better understand the factors that influence eyelash growth, it’s helpful to learn more about the eyelash growth cycle. The hair follicles on eyelids naturally go through a life cycle, emerging from the roots to full extension and then shedding.

Eyelashes go through three different phases as they grow:

  • Anagen phase: This phase usually lasts between 4 and 10 weeks
  • Catagen phase: Lashes reach their maximum length and growth stops. This phase lasts 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Telogen phase: Aged eyelashes fall off during this phase.

Eyelashes usually reach a maximum length of 12 mm and grow at a daily rate of 0.12 to 0.14 mm.

How to Make Your Eyelashes Grow Back More Quickly

To make eyelashes grow back more quickly, try these approaches:

Use Growth Serums

Specific prescription serums may help stimulate eyelash growth, so lashes grow fuller, longer, and faster. However, results can vary greatly.

A consultation with a medical provider is necessary to obtain a prescribed eyelash growth serum. Various eyelash growth serums are also available over the counter at most beauty supply and cosmetic stores.

Take Vitamins

Certain vitamins and supplements may support hair growth, including eyelash growth. Consider adding the following to your regimen:

  • Vitamin A: The recommended supplement amount is 700 mcg for women and 900 mcg for men daily.
  • Vitamin C: This is found naturally in citrus fruits and peppers.
  • Biotin: Take 3 to 5 mcg daily as a supplement. It’s also available in seeds, nuts, and whole grains.
  • Iron: This is naturally found in both animal protein and vegetable sources.
  • Omega-3: This is found in flaxseed and fish oil as well as supplement form.

Be Cautious With Home Remedies

While there are many tales of home remedies that can increase eyelash growth, thickness, and attractiveness, be wary of these approaches.

To protect your vision and eye health, it’s best to avoid putting ointments, drops, or other homemade solutions on the eyelids or eyelashes. If there is a home remedy or other product that interests you, talk to your doctor first.

References

Eyelashes Divert Airflow to Protect the Eye. (April 2015). Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

Sensitive Cilia - Eyelashes in Health and Disease. (October 2020). The PMFA Journal.

The Eyelash Follicle Features and Anomalies: A Review. (July 2018). Journal of Optometry.

Chemotherapy and Hair Loss: What to Expect During Treatment. (February 2022). Mayo Clinic.

Is My Thyroid Condition to Blame for My Hair Loss? (August 2018). Cleveland Clinic.

Thyroid Hormone. (February 2022). Cleveland Clinic.

Will Burned Eyelashes Grow Back? (July 2014). American Academy of Ophthalmology.

What You Need to Know About Alopecia Areata. National Alopecia Areata Foundation.

Trichotillomania: Hair-Pulling Disorder and Eyelashes. (January 18, 2019). American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Easy on the Eyes: How Eyelash Length Keeps Your Eyes Healthy. (February 25, 2015). Georgia Tech.

Are Eyelash Extensions Safe? (October 6, 2021). Baylor College of Medicine.

The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review. (December 13, 2018). Dermatology and Therapy.

The Best Vitamins and Supplements for Hair Growth. (August 12, 2022). Cleveland Clinic.

What You Should Know About Eyelash Growth Serums. (December 05, 2019). American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Randomized Trial of Topical Periocular Castor Oil Treatment for Blepharitis. (January 2021). The Ocular Surface.

The information provided on this page should not be used in place of information provided by a doctor or specialist. To learn more, read our Privacy Policy and Editorial Policy pages.