The eyelashes are still pretty much hair that follows a certain cycle of growth just like with the hair on our head and the rest of our body. They grow, fall off, and grow once more on a regular basis. The common misconception is that the eyelashes don’t grow once they fall off but the reality is, they do grow back but albeit in a slower pace. The thing is that people have different growth rates when it comes to their eyelashes but nevertheless they still follow the same cycle of eyelash growth: anagen, catagen and telogen. But what are these cycles anyway?
- The first part of the cycle is the anagen phase which is pretty much the active phase of the eyelash growth. This is the part of the eyelash growth where the hair is actually growing. Think of it as a seed coming to life. The plant is basically fighting its way out of the seed that has protected it. When it comes to the eyelashes this is the time when, cellular division builds the shaft of the hair. As more and more cells accumulate at the base of the shaft, the lash slowly begins to grow out of the lid. And this doesn’t just happen with our eyelashes mind you. The rest of our bodily hair goes through the same growth phase as well.
- The second part of the eyelash growth cycle is the catagen phase. This phase occurs directly after the completion of the anagen phase. This phase is the end mark of the growth stage as the hair follicle slowly transitions to the resting or the hibernation phase. This is actually the shortest phase in the three cycle growth stage and during this time there is little hair on the body.
- The last phase is the telogen phase. Think of this phase as the hibernation phase of our hair as this is the time when the hair and the follicles are at rest. This is the time when no new hair growths occur while the hair is in this phase. New hair will only grow when you begin to shed off the old one as the cycle begins anew by starting with the anagen phase once more.
The time frame from phase to phase is different from each person to person; however you can expect an average time frame for each. Generally the anagen phase lasts between 30-45 days and from there the cycle shifts to the catagen to the telogen phase and it then sheds afterwards.
Many people however would like to slow down the first phase of the eyelash growth in order to enjoy their long and beautiful eyelashes longer. However when they do this they would compromise the basic function of their eyelashes. Eyelashes serve only one distinct purpose and that is to protect your eyes. People who tinker with their eyebrows with the use of products like mascara raise the risk of infecting their eyes.
The best thing to do is to let nature take its course and the only thing you can do is to protect and nourish your eyelashes.