There was a time in our lives when a fallen eyelash meant we had a wish that was about to be granted. Fast forward a dozen years later, and every fallen lash is capable of freaking you out for the rest of the day. What does that mean? Will it grow back again? Am I just getting old? Will they all fall off soon? How do I make that stop – or better yet, how do I make my lashes fuller? Is that even possible!
Well, yes, that is very possible. A few decades ago, the most common practice of growing eyelashes was to get a transplant done. Yes, you read that right. A lot of procedures and surgeries. But then something very unexpected happened. One day they examined glaucoma patients who were taking medications for eye pressure, and found that one very interesting side effect of these medications was fuller, longer, and fluffier eyelashes!
Soon enough, this phenomenon was put under extensive research, and the answer to fuller, longer, and even heavier eyelashes (without any needles or scalpels) was discovered. We’ll get around to this in a couple of minutes, but first we’ll need to explain how eyelashes grow in the first place.
Understanding the Natural Cycle of Your Eye Lashes
Eyelashes are, after all, hair. They have a life cycle, and just like your scalp hair, they can fall off and grow again… with a slight difference in the duration of each. While each strand of your hair has an average life of 2 to 7 years, upper eyelashes live around 100 to 150 days. The lower lashes have an even shorter life span of around 50 to 70 days. During that life cycle, each strand passes through 4 phases.
Without going all scientific, we’ll get into the 2 phases that concern us: The Anagen and the Telogen. The Anagen is the first phase, and it is when a lash starts to grow. This takes around 2 weeks. In the Telogen phase, your lashes are at rest, and it usually lasts more than 100 days.
If an eyelash falls out, or is pulled out, in the Anagen phase, it won’t grow again right away. Rather, it will wait until the next Anagen cycle to regenerate. Towards the end of the Telogen phase, it’s normal for the lashes to start falling only to regenerate again in a couple of weeks.
So why did we go all scientific, you ask? That’s because the secret in all of the eyelashes enhancing products that followed the medical breakthrough plays on the scientific understanding of the lash life cycle. Scientists reached the realization that, if they were somehow able to create a product that accelerates the eyelash growth phase, perhaps overlapping two strands growing from the same follicle over each other, the lashes can grow longer and thicker. And so it was!
Products You Can Use To Get Fuller Lashes
Following this breakthrough, pharmaceutical companies started creating a wide range of products to focus on the growth of eyelashes. Individuals with a scientific background also started experimenting with different natural oils and products to see if they can reach the same effect. Alongside products that have some kind of active ingredients, let’s get into the top of the line products you can use to get fuller lashes!
1- Eyelash Serums
Eyelash serums are the latest in the trend, promising great results that are backed up with scientific evidence. Xlash is one product that is actually widely known for their eyelash serum which actually works wonders if you use it consistently. These serums typically have an active ingredient that works on the Anagen phase of the hair follicle, resulting in longer, fuller and fluffier lashes. This active ingredient also has the ability of inducing the Anagen phase, which means you won’t have to wait for the next cycle for you fallen lash to grow.
How To Apply Eyelash Serums
While you might be thinking “the more, the better!”, that is not the case with serums. Your eyelids can only absorb so much after all, so any extra liquid will only be wasted. The tiny 3 ml bottle of serum should last you a very long while in fact. That being said, there are steps you should follow while applying the serum.
- Before you apply the serum, or any sort of make up generally, make sure your face is freshly washed and clean. Avoid applying the serum on any existing makeup, including any and all remains of eyeliners and mascara. Make sure you’re not wearing any contact lenses either.
- Dip the applicator into the serum, making sure to remove the excess liquid. Remember what we said about how more is not better? The serum is already present in a very high concentration, enough to keep its effects lasting for a long period of time.
- While taking good care of not getting any serum into your eyes (they burn sometimes!), stroke the tip of the applicator across the baseline of your eyelid, where the hair follicles break out of the skin. Think of applying an eyeliner: start from the inner side and all the way through to the outer end of your eyelid.
- Allow your eyelids to absorb the serum on their own, no rubbing or massaging. This usually takes a minute and a half or so.
- It is best if you follow this routine right before bedtime. If you opt for any other time, make sure you don’t apply any other makeup before the serum is fully absorbed.
- While more is not better, consistency is definitely what’s better. Apply no more than once a day, but make sure to keep it a habit.
- You should also take care of not getting the serum anywhere else on your face. You don’t want, well, unwanted hair in other areas of your face… do you?
After around 4 weeks, you’ll start to see results, but don’t stop! Experts recommend 8 weeks of regular application for the best results. Afterwards, it’s recommended to use it once or twice every week to sustain the effects. Take a month break every six months, experts also advice, so your lashes won’t become dependent on the serum for growth.
2- Eyelash Conditioners
While most of the eyelash conditioners won’t have the same lash-growing effect of serum and their active ingredients, conditioners take care of your lashes in a different way. As a result of regular use of makeup, mascara, or the effects of everyday life generally, your lashes can lose some of their protective outer layer. Conditioners usually have ingredients that help hydrate and smoothen the lashes, while repairing the outer layer. They also supply the lashes with beneficial nutrients to support their growth and strengthen the hair follicle.
How To Apply Eyelash Conditioners
- As a general rule, make sure to cleanse all traces of makeup before applying the conditioner.
- Apply the conditioner gently over your lids, while taking good care of not getting any into your eyes.
- If you notice any redness or a burning sensation in your eyes, you definitely need to stop using the conditioner and consult with your ophthalmologist right away.
- As it is with serums, the best time to apply a conditioner is once a day, preferably right before bedtime too.
- To get the benefits of both serums and conditioners, you can use them together (but apply them separately, of course).
Mascara is known for its instant effectiveness: darker, shinier, and thicker-looking eyelashes. They achieve this effect as a result of the wax, resin, pigments, and other ingredients they contain. After they are applied and left to dry, they add an extra layer of volume to the eyelashes.
There is a very wide variety of mascara available, some of which are for pure aesthetic purposes, while others have eyelash enhancing properties. If you’re looking for more than the temporary effect of the mascara that goes away as soon as you wash them off, you might want to get a mascara that also acts as a conditioner at the same time. Another cool option mascara gives you is the ability to switch between shades and tints of colors, keeping a fresh look every other time!
How To Apply Mascara
- Cleanse your face and eyes first. This should come naturally to you at this point!
- If you’re going to use any other eye makeup, you should apply it before starting with the mascara.
- Use the curler to give your eyelashes the curl you want.
- Swirl the mascara wand into the tube to get some liquid in, but avoid pumping it repeatedly into the tube. This might get the liquid to cluster a bit on the wand.
- Start with the roots of your upper lashes, so that the weight of the mascara added will be more concentrated towards the roots, giving it an extra support.
- As for the lower lashes, you might want to switch the wand to a narrower one to get it right.
- At the end, comb your lashes using a clean wand to separate any clumps sticking together.
- If you still need and extra layer, you can go for a second round, even give it an extra curl if you feel you need to.
- Always make sure to clean off the mascara properly at the end of the day, don’t keep it on your eyes overnight!
4- Eyelash Extensions
When speaking of eyelash extensions, what comes to mind is usually fake sets of eyelashes that get glued into the eyelid. While there are quite the different options of artificial eyelashes you can use, eyelash extensions are a bit different. They’re also different than eyelash transplants. So what exactly are they?
Eyelash extensions are usually made of synthetic materials, such as nylon or silk, and crafted in a way that looks just like the natural eyelashes. You can also find a natural option of extensions made of natural fur. The fiber extensions are glued into the eyelid right between your own lashes, one fiber at a time, or a few at the same time together. It’s like adding new strands of lashes, but without the whole surgical procedures, resulting in extra volume, enhanced length, and an overall look of thicker eyelashes. They are no permanent solution, however, as they fall out alongside the natural lashes when they run their course. At an average rate, they take around a month to fall off.
How To Apply Eyelash Extensions
While it is no surgical procedure, applying eyelash extensions still need a specialist with swift and precise hands. Accordingly, it’s often done by aestheticians or technicians at beauty salons and spas. The aesthetician uses a pair of tweezers to both separate your natural lashes (making room for their new friends) and add in the new ones. After dipping the base of the fibers into glue, they’re inserted into the empty room made for them. It usually takes a few seconds for the glue to dry, and then you won’t feel any difference. You’ll definitely notice the difference though!
Lifestyle Factors That Affect Our Lashes
When it comes to our eyelashes, there are many factors other than aging that can affect the way they look, their volume, or how fast they fall out. Many of these factors are associated with our lifestyle. The way we eat, the nutritional value of our diet, our makeup routines, our makeup cleansing routines, the products we use, and the care we take of our overall health and beauty all play a very important role. Some simple lifestyle modifications can go a long way, and here are some tips to start with:
- Make sure to incorporate into your healthy diet the nutrients that your lashes need for growth. Include a variety of proteins, Biotin-rich food (such as broccoli, nuts, onions, kale, and cauliflower), Vitamins A & C-rich food (like avocados, orange, and lemon), Vitamin B-3 (chicken, turkey, fish, beef, peanuts, and avocado), and iron (found in dark leafy veggies, seafood, and beans).
- In case your diet falls short of such nutrients, taking a multivitamin supplement should do the trick.
- Make sure the products you use are authentic, and it’s better to always get the consult with a specialist before using any.
- Always cleanse your skin from makeup before going to bed. Sees those little mascara smudges left? Make sure you get all of them.
- When it comes to taking off eyelash extensions or false lashes, take very good care and remove them gently. You don’t want to pull out your natural lashes with them too.
Taking Care of Your Lashes
Alongside the care we can take of improving our lifestyle, there are many products available for eyelash application to provide them with support, strength, and extra volume. Among the most novel discoveries are eyelash serums, which have been proven to induce and accelerate lash growth. Eyelash conditioners have a moisturizing and repairing effect on our lashes. While mascara will give our eyelashes a look of having an extra volume temporarily, some kinds of mascara also have the moisturizing properties of conditioners. Lastly, eyelash extensions can also be used to boost the volume and density of the lashes, providing a temporary, but sure, a boost of our self confidence.