7 Common Causes of Eyelashes Falling or Thinning & Ways to Speed Up Its Growth

Who doesn’t love having long, thick, and full eyelashes? Lashes are important in enhancing our eyes, our face, and our overall beauty. Having well-defined eyebrows and long and full eyelashes are considered to be a desirable beauty trend. However, losing eyelashes and even eyebrow hair is known to be a common issue for many people. Over-tweezing, rubbing your eye too roughly, and many other reasons can all contribute to eyelashes falling or thinning out. The losing of hair from your eyelashes can be due to many reasons. While some reasons are temporary, others can be more permanent. Some of the common reasons for eyelashes falling or thinning of your eyelashes can be hair removal, changes in metabolism, certain medications, stress, medical conditions, natural hair loss such as alopecia, etc. However, with proper treatment, it is possible to speed up the growth of eyelashes.

7 Common Causes of Eyelashes Falling or Thinning

Common Causes of Eyelashes Falling or Thinning

Even eyelashes have a natural growth cycle similar to the hair on your head. Eyelashes also grow, fall out, and then regrow once again. Eyelashes also shed as new lashes grow in and an occasional stray eyelash on your cheeks, pillowcase or your towel, is not a cause for alarm. However, if you start to notice that your old eyelashes are falling out faster than the new ones grow in, then you may have a problem. Identifying the cause of your eyelashes falling or thinning out is one of the first steps you need to take in order to solve this issue.

Let us look at some of the common reasons for eyelashes falling or thinning:

Mascara Use

Madarosis is known as the condition where your eyelashes start to fall out. Many studies have found that many women lose their eyelashes due to an excessive use of mascara, or from using poor quality makeup on their eyes. In particular, waterproof mascara has been found to be the biggest reason for eyelash fall. In some cases, people have even had an allergic reaction to the mascara being used, causing them to lose their eyelashes. On the other hand, trying to remove waterproof mascara has also resulted in the loss of eyelashes along with the mascara. Mascara is made with several chemicals that can cause allergic reactions, causing your lashes to fall out.

Also, if you suffer from air borne allergens such as dust, dust mites, pet dander, etc., then it is recommended that you avoid wearing mascara. Mascaras can also be a cause of conjunctivitis and dermatitis. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to skin allergies, then it is also suggested that you avoid wearing mascaras. Even if you do not, you should still make sure that you wash your eyes and face thoroughly, but gently, and properly when wearing any kind of eye makeup and mascara.


It is possible to lose eyelash hair when you experience higher than normal levels of stress. When you feel stressed, it has an effect on your body. Your metabolism changes and the levels of cortisol, the hormone that controls your fight-or-flight response, begins to fluctuate. These changes affect how your body functions overall. These fluctuations caused by high-stress levels can also cause hair loss, not just from your scalp, but also from your lashes and brows.

Trichotillomania Tangle

The condition of trichotillomania is associated with your psychological state and is known to a disorder of impulse control. In this condition, the patient pulls out his/her own hair. While commonly sufferers tend to pull out hair from their head, some people also pull out the hair from their eyelashes and eyebrows. Patients of trichotillomania pluck out each hair out from its roots and many even pull out large chunks of hair at one time.

The condition usually begins in childhood itself or in the adolescence years. It can also coincide with the onset of puberty. While many patients stop pulling out their hair with therapy, for others the condition can continue well into their adulthood.


Having an overactive or underactive thyroid gland can also cause falling or thinning of eyelashes. In an overactive thyroid gland, the hair breaks off and leaves behind bald patches on the head, eyebrows, and eyelashes. An overactive thyroid will also cause an inability to tolerate heat, weight loss, swelling in the lower neck, headaches, and difficulty in sleeping. On the other hand, an underactive thyroid gland causes eyelashes and eyebrows to become scanty as the hair becomes thin, brittle, and dry. An underactive thyroid gland will also cause symptoms such as dry skin, being prone to colds, constipation, and weight gain.

Alopecia Areata

Commonly only known as alopecia, this condition is an immune system disorder that causes hair loss. In this illness, the body’s own immune cells start attacking the hair follicles, causing hair loss. This can cause hair loss all over the body or just in one particular area, such as the scalp, or eyelashes, or eyebrows. As of today, there is no cure for this, but it can only be treated. Topical products are prescribed as being the best treatment for eyelashes falling or thinning due to alopecia.


There are certain medications that cause eyelashes to fall or thin. So it is recommended that you do not self-medicate yourself under any circumstance and always consult your doctor on the possible side effects of any medications that you have been prescribed or that you are taking.


Eczema is a skin condition that causes chronic itching, redness, and discomfort of the skin. Many people suffer from severe eczema and need to consult a dermatologist for getting the correct treatment. Eczema is known to affect your eyelids, causing hair loss from your eyebrows and eyelashes. If you further continue to rub and irritate the skin of your eyes and the eyelid area in order to relieve itching, then you will experience even more hair loss. Therefore, eczema should be immediately treated by a proper doctor so that you can start taking the proper medications for treating your skin and preventing the eyelashes from falling or thinning.

Ways to Speed-Up The Growth Of Eyelashes

Yes, once the underlying cause of eyelashes falling or thinning has been addressed, there are certain steps that you can take to speed up the growth of your eyelashes. These include:

Maintaining a Healthy Nutrition

Getting good and proper nutrition is necessary to speed up the growth of eyelashes and your overall health as well. Some nutrients that are likely to speed up eyelash growth include:

Biotin: Biotin is responsible for supporting keratin production in your body. Keratin is the basic material that makes up your hair. It can be found in foods such as cauliflower, nuts, onions, broccoli, kale, and whole grains. Make sure your body gets the required amount of biotin to speed up the growth of eyelashes.

Protein: Protein is the building block of hair and your hair is also 90 percent made up of proteins itself. Therefore having a diet high in protein is necessary. Protein also provides your body with the correct amino acids which are required for the production of keratin. Keratin helps keep your eyelashes strong and healthy, preventing breakage and helping support growth.

Iron: If your diet lacks the correct amount of iron then it might cause your eyelashes to go into a resting phase. Having foods rich in iron will help your eyelashes grow and also prevent breakage. Beans, dried fruit, poultry, dark, leafy vegetables, cereals fortified with iron, and seafood, are some examples of foods that are rich in iron.

Niacin: Niacin is a form of vitamin B3 and it helps in improving the blood flow to your hair follicles, thus boosting the growth of eyelashes as well. You can find niacin in foods such as fish, chicken, turkey, green peas, avocados, beef, peanuts, etc.

Take Your Multivitamins

You should supplement a proper diet with a multivitamin to make sure that you are getting all the nutrients that you require. While there are many vitamins available that are geared towards promoting the growth of hair, nail and boost skin health, it is not necessary that you need to take those itself. You can take any pure and high-quality multivitamin to make sure you are getting all the right nutrients.

Over-the-counter Eyelash Conditioning Treatments

Nowadays, you can easily find a wide range of over-the-counter eyelash growth serums and conditioning gels that you can use along with or alone with your makeup. Many eye products also contain conditioners including peptide complexes and lipids, which also boost hair growth on your eyelashes.

Find Out About Latisse

Latisse is the only topical treatment that has been approved by the US government for eyelash growth. Latisse is a treatment that helps increase the number of hair follicles on your eyelashes during the growth phase of the lashes. It also helps in lengthening and darkening the lashes.


Before becoming alarmed over eyelashes falling or thinning, do remember that eyelashes follow a natural phase of growth and they tend to fall out also at a regular rate. However, they do tend to grow back without any treatment. To speed up the process of eyelash growth, you can always try out some home remedies and bring about some lifestyle modifications to ensure your healthy hair. If you notice some unusual hair fall from your eyelashes, then it is a good idea to consult a dermatologist before you start to self-medicate.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 31, 2022

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