The Life Cycle of an Eyelash

images_f170x170Eyelashes exist for protection. They activate the blink response so that dust, dirt, debris and other foreign objects don’t get lodged in our eyes. And here we thought eyelashes were just to enhance our beauty! The upper eyelid holds about 90 to 150 lashes, while the lower eyelid has about 70 to 80. Each individual eyelash is programmed to reach a certain length (3/8 of an inch on average), fall out, and then re-grow in approximately two months. An eyelash undergoes a three-part growth cycle:

Anagen (the growth phase): The first stage of the eyelash cycle lasts between 30 and 45 days. If all our eyelashes were in the anagen phase at the same time, then they’d all be on track to fall out at the same time! Approximately 40 percent of our upper lashes and 15 percent of our lower lashes are in the anagen stage at any given time.

Catagen (the transition phase): Once the lashes in the anagen phase reach their designated length, they stop growing and the hair follicle shrinks. Should an eyelash fall out during the catagen phase, it won’t begin growing back until the catagen phase has run its course, typically within two to three weeks.

Telogen (the resting phase): The telogen phase is a hundred day resting cycle before the eyelash falls out and a new lash blooms to take its place.

Since our lashes are in different phases of the growth cycle, it’s natural for a few to fall out each day, so blow on that lash and make a wish!