Why Does Eyelash Growth Slow Down After Illness?

Eyelash growth can slow down after an illness due to various factors. The life cycle of an eyelash involves three phases: the growth phase, degradation phase, and resting phase. The growth phase, or anagen phase, can last between 4 and 10 weeks, and during this time, an eyelash grows between 0.12 and 0.14 millimeters per day. The degradation phase, or catagen phase, occurs when the eyelash stops growing and the hair follicle shrinks. Finally, the resting phase, or telogen phase, is when the eyelash falls out. The entire life cycle of an eyelash is shorter than that of the hair on the scalp, which may explain why eyelashes grow back faster.

However, after an illness, the regrowth process can be affected by factors such as medication, damage to the hair follicle, and recovery time. It’s important to nurture your lashes back to health by avoiding further damage, consulting with a doctor if you experience excessive lash loss, and addressing any underlying medical conditions.

eyebrow and eyelash loss during cancer treatment

Key Takeaways:

  • Illness can slow down eyelash growth due to various factors.
  • The life cycle of an eyelash involves three phases: growth, degradation, and resting.
  • Factors such as medication, damage to the hair follicle, and recovery time can affect eyelash regrowth after illness.
  • Nurturing your lashes back to health and addressing underlying medical conditions are important for promoting regrowth.
  • Consulting with a doctor is recommended for excessive lash loss and personalized advice.

Understanding the Different Scenarios of Eyelash Loss and Regrowth

Eyelash loss can occur due to various reasons, such as burns, chemotherapy, trichotillomania, thyroid conditions, and medications. The timing and regrowth of eyelashes depend on the underlying cause. Let’s explore the different scenarios:


If the hair follicles are still intact after burns, the lashes will usually grow back in about 6 weeks. However, if the follicles are damaged, regrowth may not occur.


Chemotherapy can cause temporary hair loss, including eyelashes. Fortunately, they usually start to grow back shortly after treatment ends.


Trichotillomania, a condition characterized by hair pulling, can result in the loss of eyelashes. Regrowth may take a few months.

Thyroid Conditions

Thyroid conditions can also lead to eyelash loss. Treatment of the underlying condition is necessary for regrowth.


Certain medications, such as anticonvulsants and anticoagulants, can cause eyelash loss. Stopping the use of these drugs may be necessary to encourage regrowth.

It’s important to consult with a medical professional to determine the specific cause of eyelash loss and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Understanding the underlying scenario will help guide the regrowth process and ensure the best outcome for your lashes.

Scenario Regrowth Time
Burns About 6 weeks if follicles intact
Chemotherapy Shortly after treatment ends
Trichotillomania A few months
Thyroid Conditions Varies, depends on treatment
Medications Varies, depends on discontinuation

Strategies to Promote Eyelash Regrowth

While there is no guaranteed way to speed up the regrowth process, there are some strategies that may promote eyelash regrowth.

  • Supplement with vitamins: Vitamins play a crucial role in promoting hair growth, including eyelashes. Biotin, a B vitamin, is particularly known for its potential to support hair health. Consider incorporating biotin supplements into your daily routine to nurture your lashes from within.
  • Adopt a healthy diet: A balanced and nutritious diet can contribute to overall hair health, including the regrowth of eyelashes. Ensure your meals are rich in protein, which provides the building blocks for hair growth. Also, include foods that are high in biotin, such as eggs, and iron-rich foods like spinach, to support healthy lash regrowth.
  • Try castor oil: Although scientific evidence is limited, some individuals claim that applying castor oil to their lashes can stimulate growth. Castor oil is believed to nourish the hair follicles and promote lash regrowth. Apply a small amount of pure castor oil to your lashes using a clean mascara wand or a cotton swab before bed and leave it on overnight.
  • Consider eyelash growth serums: There are various eyelash growth serums available on the market, such as the FDA-approved Latisse. These serums often contain active ingredients that may promote eyelash regrowth. It’s important to note that these products can have potential side effects and should only be used under the guidance of a medical professional.

Remember to be gentle with your lashes and avoid any additional damage that could hinder regrowth. Consulting with a doctor or dermatologist can provide personalized recommendations and ensure that you’re taking the most suitable approach to promote eyelash regrowth.

Coping with Eyelash Loss During Illness

Coping with eyelash loss during illness can be challenging, both emotionally and physically. It’s crucial to remember that eyelashes typically grow back after an illness, but it may take time. In the meantime, there are several options to cope with the loss.

Using makeup techniques, such as eyebrow pencils and mascara, can help create the appearance of fuller lashes. By carefully filling in the gaps and adding definition, you can enhance your eye area and recreate the look of natural eyelashes. Experiment with different products and application methods to find what works best for you.

cope with eyelash loss

Alternatively, you may consider using false eyelashes or eyelash extensions for a temporary solution. These options can instantly provide the illusion of longer and fuller lashes. However, it’s important to properly apply and maintain them to avoid any damage to your natural lashes.

If you prefer a more long-term solution, specialized services like semi-permanent makeup can help create realistic-looking eyebrows and eyelashes. These techniques involve tattooing or microblading to recreate the appearance of natural hair. Consult with a trained professional to discuss the process, potential risks, and desired outcome.

During this challenging time, it’s crucial to prioritize self-care and seek support from loved ones and healthcare professionals. Remember that eyelashes are a part of your physical appearance, but they do not define your worth or beauty. Take care of yourself holistically, focusing on your overall well-being as you navigate through your illness and recovery.

Understanding Eyebrow and Eyelash Loss During Cancer Treatment

Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, can have a significant impact on hair growth, leading to eyebrow and eyelash loss. The timing and extent of this loss may vary depending on the specific treatment and individual factors.

Chemotherapy drugs that cause hair loss typically result in the loss of eyebrows and eyelashes as well. However, it’s important to note that not all chemotherapy drugs have this effect, and some individuals may retain their eyebrows and eyelashes throughout treatment.

On the other hand, radiotherapy only causes hair loss in the areas being treated. This means that eyebrows may be affected in certain cases, depending on the location of the radiation.

To cope with eyebrow and eyelash loss during cancer treatment, it’s essential to discuss potential hair loss with your medical team. They can provide support and guidance on available options for coping with hair loss, such as using makeup techniques, wigs, or semi-permanent makeup.

After completing cancer treatment, eyebrows and eyelashes usually start to regrow. However, keep in mind that regrowth may take time, and the new hair may have a different texture or color.

Overall, it’s important to remember that hair loss during cancer treatment is temporary, and there are solutions available to help manage the appearance of eyebrows and eyelashes during this period. Stay positive and consult with your medical team for personalized advice and support.

Treatment Effect on Eyebrows Effect on Eyelashes
Chemotherapy May cause loss in some cases May cause loss in most cases
Radiotherapy May cause loss if applied near eyebrows May cause loss if applied near eyelashes

Maintaining Healthy Eyebrows and Eyelashes

When it comes to maintaining healthy eyebrows and eyelashes, gentle care and attention are key. Avoid excessive pulling or rubbing of the eyes to prevent damage to the delicate hair follicles. Be mindful when removing makeup, ensuring that you are gentle to avoid further lash loss.

Leaving eye makeup, especially mascara, on overnight can dry out the lashes, making them more prone to breakage. It’s important to remove all traces of makeup before bed to allow your lashes to breathe and rejuvenate.

A healthy lifestyle can also contribute to the overall health of your eyebrows and eyelashes. Consuming a nutritious diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals, such as biotin and iron, can promote hair health and potentially support regrowth.

If you have any underlying medical conditions, such as thyroid imbalances, it’s crucial to address them as they can impact the health of your eyebrows and eyelashes. Prioritizing self-care, practicing good hygiene, and seeking professional guidance when needed are essential steps in nurturing your lashes and maintaining their health and appearance.

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