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Eyelashes, the hairs that grow on the edges of eyelids and protect the eyes, may fall out or thin over time, becoming sparse and wispy.
Eyelashes can thin due to the natural aging process. There are also certain habits and routines that can contribute to thinning lashes. Rubbing your eyes can cause lashes to break and thin, and leaving mascara on overnight can be damaging to lashes. Infections and medical conditions such as blepharitis, alopecia, and hypopituitarism can also cause eyelashes to thin, so if you experience sudden or excessive symptoms you should check with your doctor to rule out an underlying medical condition.
Modifying some of your behavior can help prevent thinning eyelashes. Don't rub your eyes excessively, don't scrub off your eye makeup and be careful not to tug on your lashes when using makeup tools such as lash curlers. Always treat your eyelids and lashes gently.
Lash loss due to aging can't prevented, but there are safe ingredients and formulas to help stimulate hair growth (see below). Avoid eyelash growth products with potentially harmful prostaglandins, such as Latisse, Lilash and RevitaLash. Prostaglandins are glaucoma drugs, and while they will certainly make your lashes grow, there are potential side effects, such as irritation, damage to sight, hair sprouting in cheeks or even change of eye color.
Copper peptides trigger hair growth by stimulating the capillaries to help follicles switch from the dormant telogen phase into the hair-growing anagen phase. Copper's ability to assist in hair growth was discovered when it was noticed that the hair follicles around treated wounds were exceptionally large. It seems to work on the follicle in two ways: increasing follicle cell proliferation increased follicle size; and copper also decreases programmed follicle cell death, which results in smaller follicles.
Growth proteins from stem cells have been shown to regrow hair. Growth factors — specifically, TGF-Beta, GM-CSF and PDGF — signal the cells to do a myriad things, including repairing wounds, stimulating collagen and glycosaminoglycan production, and inhibiting matrix degradation.
Myo-Inositol, an ingredient often associated with Vitamin B, has also been shown to strengthen the cells of the hair, helping it to retain moisture, serving as a humectant and anti-static agent.
There are numerous eyelash growth products and eyelash conditioners that can help thinning eyelashes by stimulating hair follicles and speeding up the hair growth cycle; be sure, though, to seek out products that do not contain prostaglandin.
One caveat is that you do have to resign yourself to continued use of these products if you want to continue to have results. When you stop using an eyelash growth product, your growth cycle will revert back to normal. The growth cycle of eyelashes is extremely brief compared to head hair. Eyelashes take only four to six weeks to come and go.