Eyes of all shapes and sizes can do with a voluminous lace of eyelashes to bring out the best in them. In fact, a pair of eyes that are adorned by fluttering, long lashes look much more defined and attractive. Apart from the obvious cosmetic reason, eyelashes also play a protective function. They form a shield to protect your sensitive corneas from incoming debris.
According to a 2011 study published in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, people generally have around 100 to 150 lashes on their upper eyelids, while the number is half for the lower eyelashes.
While a lucky few are naturally bestowed with long and healthy eyelashes, there are many who consider their lashes to be thin or too scanty. If you happen to be one of those who constantly long for thicker eyelashes, rest assured that your concerns aren’t completely superficial and that there are countless others in the same boat.
Good news for people struggling with sparse or thin eyelashes – you can up your eyelash game by following a few easy-to-do, all-natural beauty remedies and self-care tips. However, before we delve deeper, let’s skim through the various reasons that may be at the root of your sparse lash growth.
Causes of Thin Eyelashes
Some common factors that often contribute to thin eyelashes include:
- Increasing age
- Certain medical conditions
- Treatments for medical conditions such as chemotherapy
- A nutritional deficiency
- An eye infection
- Hormonal changes in the body
Rubbing your eyes roughly and not removing eye makeup at the end of the day can also cause the delicate hairs of your lashes to fall out.
Growing Thicker Eyelashes Naturally
Proper routine care makes eyelashes healthier, and this should be your first step to enjoying thicker lashes. You can also use some simple home remedies to promote thicker growth.
Bear in mind that each remedy will have different results for different individuals. It may take a few weeks to several months to get the desired result, and you may have to try more than one remedy to find one that works for you.
Here are the best home remedies for thicker eyelashes.
1. Groom Your Eyelashes
Sometimes, for thicker eyelashes, all you need is proper maintenance and grooming. Just like the hair on your scalp, the eyelashes need proper care.
- Try to brush your eyelashes with an eyelash brush at least once daily. Brushing encourages blood circulation, enabling more nutrients to reach the hair follicles.
- Always wash your face and eyes with a mild cleanser. Clean the eyelashes especially in the morning after waking up.
- Do not go to bed with eye makeup. If your makeup is waterproof, use an eye makeup remover to remove all traces of makeup.
- Do not wear false lashes on a daily basis, but only for special occasions. Exercise care when applying and removing lashes.
- When it comes to mascara, it is better to use it less often for your eyelash health.
- Avoid tugging at your lashes with your fingers or a lash curler.
Also, do not tint eyebrows and eyelashes as these products are not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. Furthermore, the American Academy of Ophthalmology does not recommend it.
2. Daily Eyelid Massage
Massaging your eyelids promotes the growth of your eyelashes. It improves blood flow to the hair follicles, which means more nutrients reach the follicles. This stimulates hair growth and prevents thinning and breakage of your lashes.
It has been found that massage plays an important role in maintaining lid hygiene, as it helps to clear meibomian gland blockage.
- Put a few drops of olive or coconut oil or shea butter on your eyelids.
- Using your fingertips, massage your lids and lash line in small, light, circular motions.
- Massage for 5 to 7 minutes twice daily for a few months.
3. Apply Castor Oil
The powerful follicle-stimulating and nourishing castor oil can help you enjoy lustrous and voluminous lashes. It also helps fight microorganisms that hamper eyelash growth.
Castor oil contains high amounts of ricinoleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid that aids in hair loss treatment.
- Use a clean brush or a cotton swab to apply castor oil on your lashes before going to bed. You can also add a few drops of vitamin E oil to the castor oil before application. Leave it on overnight, and then rinse it off with lukewarm water in the morning.
- Alternatively, mix 2 tablespoons each of castor oil and fresh aloe vera gel. Apply it on your eyelashes using a cotton swab. Leave it on overnight, and then rinse it off the next morning.
- Follow either of these remedies daily for 2 to 3 months.
4. Nourish Your Eyelashes with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a well-known natural remedy for thicker hair and eyelash growth. This oil is rich in vitamin E and lauric acid that nourish and add volume to your eyelashes. It also helps keep the lashes dark.
In a 2003 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science, researchers pointed out that coconut oil has a high affinity for hair proteins and that it can penetrate deep inside the hair shaft.
- Dip a clean old mascara stick or a cotton swab in warm coconut oil.
- Before going to bed, apply the oil carefully on your lashes, just as you would apply mascara.
- Leave it on overnight, and then wash it off with lukewarm water in the morning.
- Repeat this remedy daily for a few months until you get the desired results.
5. Moisturize with Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a wonderful home remedy that can help your eyelashes to grow long, strong, and thick. It contains several vitamins and nutrients that promote the growth of your lashes. Moreover, it helps keep your lashes moisturized.
A 2010 study published in the Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research reports that the enzyme content of aloe vera prevents hair loss.
- Using a clean old mascara wand, apply some fresh aloe vera gel on your lashes before going to bed. Leave it on overnight, and then rinse it off with warm water the next morning.
- Alternatively, mix 1 tablespoon each of aloe vera gel and jojoba oil along with 1 teaspoon of chamomile infusion. Apply this mixture on your lashes twice a day using a clean old mascara wand. Wait for 15 minutes, and then rinse it off with warm water.
- Follow either of these remedies for several months for best results.
6. Take a Proper Diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is another important step to enjoy thick eyelashes. Just like the hair on your head, your lashes also need a good supply of vitamins and minerals to help them grow long, thick, and strong. Protein and vitamins A, B, C, and E, as well as iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, and selenium, are important for hair growth.
- Include plenty of fresh fruits such as apples, guava, mangos, papayas, avocado, and grapefruit in your diet.
- Eat green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, cabbage, and kale.
- Include whole grains and protein-rich foods such as legumes, nuts, seeds, and beans in your diet. Also, eat alfalfa sprouts as they are high in protein as well as vitamins and minerals.
- Use extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil for your cooking as these oils contain healthy fats. Remember, moderation is the key.
- Also, be sure to get adequate fluid intake every day.
As a lack of essential vitamins and nutrients can have a huge impact on eyelash growth, you can also opt for a multivitamin supplement. Consult your doctor for the supplement type and correct dosage.
- Never go to sleep with eye makeup on. This can dry your lashes, making them brittle. Remove all your eye makeup with a makeup remover to give your lashes a chance to breathe and grow.
- Be gentle with your lashes. Avoid pulling on your lashes when removing or applying makeup.
- Be sure your eye makeup products such as mascara and eyeliner are of the best quality.
- Check for expiration dates on your makeup and avoid using old products.
- Consider avoiding waterproof mascara as it dries out the lashes and is difficult to remove.
- Avoid using fake eyelashes that, when used regularly, can damage your natural lashes.
- Stop using eyelash curlers.
- Carefully remove false eyelashes and extensions.
- Derek Jones. Enhanced Eyelashes: Prescription and Over-the-Counter Options. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3036812/. Published 2011.
- Why Do Humans Have Eyebrows and Eyelashes?. American Academy of Ophthalmology . https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/why-do-humans-have-eyebrows-eyelashes. Published 2017.
- Effects of a New Eyelid Shampoo on Lid Hygiene and Eyelash Length in Patients with Meibomian Gland Dysfunction: A Comparative Open Study. Journal of Ophthalmology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5204100/. Published 2016.
- Iqbal, Jamshed, Farooq, et al. Antioxidant, Antimicrobial, and Free Radical Scavenging Potential of Aerial Parts of Periplocaaphylla and Ricinuscommunis. Advances in Decision Sciences. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2012/563267/. Published July 11, 2012.
- Rele AS, Mohile RB. Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. Current neurology and neuroscience reports. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12715094. Published 2003.
- Kumar KPS, Bhowmik D, Biswajit. Aloe vera : A Potential Herb and its Medicinal Importance. Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research. http://www.jocpr.com/abstract/aloe-vera–a-potential-herb-and-its-medicinal-importance-12.html. Published January 30, 2010.