Eyelash Growth: The Natural Process and How to Enhance It

Closeup of woman with thick eyelashes

There are very few women who don't want to encourage eyelash growth. The desire for longer, thicker lashes even before you apply mascara runs deep. Everyone has a trick for encouraging longer lashes and some of them seem to work, although you can end up spending a lot of money for not much.

Natural Eyelash Growth

Genetics determine the length of your eyelashes, along with your mother's diet when she was pregnant. It's been observed that women who eat more olive oil and omega-3 fats when pregnant will have babies with longer, thicker lashes. Eyelashes are on a growth cycle much the same as the hair on your head. They grow at the rate of about every three months, so that when one falls out, it will soon be replaced. If you trim them, however, you will have to wait for them to fall out and grow back to see them return to their original length. It seems to be a myth that trimming lashes encourages them to grow longer.

However, there are some natural topical applications that seem to encourage longer, thicker eyelashes. It should be noted that for all the people who have tried something and say it works, there's someone else who debunks it. That said, many women report that Vaseline will give you longer lashes. A light coat, applied nightly, may eventually result in noticeable eyelash growth. Vaseline is also an alternative to clear mascara, adding shine and definition to your lashes. Pure olive oil is also said to encourage longer, thicker lashes. Many women see that after a month or two of nightly use, there is improvement. If nothing else, the oil acts as a conditioner, improving the general health and appearance of your lashes. If you use mascara every day, you should definitely be conditioning your lashes at night.

Other women swear by castor oil. The stuff that used to be the bane of sick children's lives has been shown to grow beautiful eyelashes. Castor oil has even been seen to re-grow lashes that had fallen out due to illness or stress.

The same effect has been reported by women using emu oil. It conditions lashes as well as stimulating longer, thicker growth. Some women warn, however, that it can be too effective. If you accidentally get some on your skin, it will make the hairs on your face start to grow.

If you choose to try any of these products, use good eye sense. Get a sample mascara brush from a makeup counter and keep it in a sterile container. If you prefer to use your fingers for application, make sure they are thoroughly clean. The last thing you want in pursuit of prettier lashes is an eye infection.

Eyelash Growth in a Bottle

There are also numerous products on the market that claim to increase eyelash length and thickness. The most popular are:

These products tend to be expensive and not everyone has found them to work. Furthermore, they have ingredients that are very worrisome, and certainly not something you want to risk getting in your eyes. Since long-term effects of parabens, pthalates and other cosmetic additives are still under study, you may do better to avoid them or at least use them very cautiously.

Artificial Growth

Beauty salons are increasingly offering eyelash extensions as a quick and sure means of appearing to have longer, thicker lashes. These are especially popular for big events like weddings, when many pictures will be taken and tears may be shed, so mascara is best avoided. However, many women report that the glue used for the extensions is irritating and that when the extensions are removed, the natural lashes can be pulled out, leaving ugly patches. If you want to try extensions, go to a very reputable salon to have them done.

Some women are now trying eyelash transplants. This radical procedure is too new to be properly assessed and for now best left to people who have experienced severe lash loss.

If nothing else, a quality mascara, preferably organic, is a tried and true method of creating beautiful, bat-ready lashes.

Eyelash growth can be hard to encourage, but with a variety of natural suggestions and other procedures to create longer, lusher lashes, every woman can have gorgeous eyes with a luxuriant fringe.

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Eyelash Growth: The Natural Process and How to Enhance It