All of the hair on our bodies goes through a growth cycle where it sheds and re-grows over and over again, including our eyelashes. Why is this important information to have as a lash artist? Because our clients lashes are constantly shedding and growing back, which affects the look of their eyelash extensions.
It is natural for our lashes to shed, which makes eyelash extensions appear thinner and the need for a lash fill.
How many eyelashes do we shed per day?
The average person sheds about five natural lashes per day or 35 lashes per week. This is considered normal and healthy lash shedding. After these lashes fall out, they begin the growth cycle all over again and start growing back. There are four phases of growth that our lashes are constantly cycling through:
Initial Growth Phase:
This is the very first stage of growth with eyelashes and it starts in the skin. It is very difficult to see this stage of lashes because they are so thin and fragile. It is important to avoid attaching lash extensions to natural lashes that are in this stage of growth because adding weight or stress on these tiny lashes can suppress the lashes growth in the future.
Anagen Phase or Growth Phase:
This is the active growth phase of the natural lash. In this phase the natural lash will grow thicker and longer after coming through the surface of the skin. Lashes in this phase are a bit stronger and more resilient than in the initial growth phase. It is okay to add a very light and thin extension during this phase. One thing to consider is that these lashes are actively growing, so they can grow out and make your design look uneven. I personally still put an extension on these lashes because I like to leave my clients looking as full as possible.
Catagen Phase or Fully Grown Phase:
During this phase the natural lash has stopped growing and the hair follicle begins to shrink in preparation for the the next phase. This stage is ideal for applying eyelash extensions.
Telogen or Resting Phase:
The telogen is the resting phase, lasting anywhere from 30-45 days. In this stage a new hair begins to grow from the follicle, causing the old hair to shed as it pushes upward. As you comb through your lashes, hair that is in the telogen stage will shed naturally. The new hair that is growing in its place is now in the anagen phase. If you examine a lashes that shed during this stage, there will be virtually no bulb. It is normal to shed 3-5 telogen phase lashes per day. You will not feel anything when these lashes fall out.
What is the Fall Lash Shed?
Have you heard lash artists talk about the fall lash shed? What is it? During the late fall months your clients may notice an increase in lash shedding. If this happens, don’t worry. This is a common phenomenon called seasonal shedding. This is a great thing to learn about so you can educate your clients if they are experiencing increased shedding in those late fall months.
So why does it happen? The exact cause of seasonal shedding isn’t completely understood but some studies have shown that most seasonal shedding occurs in the late fall months like September and October. Why does it happen during the fall? Studies have shown that certain things happen during the summer months that likely cause the fall lash shed.
During the summer months the heat may cause more lashes to go into the telogen or resting phase, which is the stage just before they fall out. This means that all of these lashes that have been “resting” all summer are ready to fall out during the fall.
Another theory is that during the summer months our lash follicles and the lash line collects more sweat, sebum and makeup then in other seasons. This increases the chances that the debris will block the follicles and potentially suffocate the natural lashes. This can prevent the growth of the lashes during the anagen phase and accelerate the lifecycle, resealing in a sever lash fallout in autumn. This is one of the reasons that educating your clients about cleaning their lashes every single day is so important! We hope this information helps! Let us know what you think in the comments!