Will Eyelashes Grow Back After Pulling?

trichotillomania eyelashes regrowth

Why do we need eyelashes?

Aesthetically eyelashes play an important role in our physical appearance, particularly in women. Social standards portray attractiveness in the woman as having long, voluptuous eyelashes. Even in children, beauty and innocence is characterized with the batting of long eyelashes. However, eyelashes also have a very tangible physiological purpose. Eyelashes have the important function of preventing objects and dust from getting into and harming the eyes. You can have three to five layers of eyelashes on each eyelid, anchored to the eyelid by a root. The eyelid has a reflexive response, which enables us to blink at the threat of external danger, and the eyelashes acting as a barrier to the potential irritant.

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How Eyelashes Grow

Eyelashes, like all out bodily hair originate from follicles below the skin. Growth and development of the lash begins with the growth of these follicles, which consists of three phases. The growth phase (Anagen) lasts about 45 days and this is when the lashes are actively growing. The transition (catagen) phase follows this, and during these two to three weeks, there is no growth and the hair follicle shrinks. If an eyelash falls out or is plucked out during this phase, it won't grow back right away because the follicle needs to complete the catagen phase before it can move on to the next phase. Only once the follicle completes this phase is it able to move on to the next the telogen (resting) phase. During this phase the hair falls out; and the cycle of growth is repeated anew, thereby completely replacing itself approximately every two years. The upper lid typically has about 90 to 150 lashes on it, while the bottom has between 70 and 80 lashes. Most eyelashes grow to be about 10 mm long (just over 3/8 inch). Eyelashes on the upper eyelid are longer and there tends to be more eyelashes than those of the lower eyelid. This curved shape of both rows of eyelashes helps to slip sweat and foreign particles out of the eyes.

Impact of Repeated Pulling

When an eyelash is pulled out or drops out, it needs about two months to be regenerated. However, repeated pulling can sometimes lead to damage of the follicle, which in turn could stunt the development through the phases. Many eyelash pullers across different support forums have reported re-growth of eyelashes even after years of persistent pulling behaviour. However, each person, and hence the nature of their pulling is unique and so there may be instances where damage to the follicle causes the re-growth to be much slower or not at all. Some support web resources have recommended treatments such as Olive Oil to provide additional nourishment and moisture to facilitate faster and healthier re-growth.

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