When Your Eyelashes Fall Out, Here's What's Really Happening

Thickening one's eyelashes can be a fun and decorative way to enhance certain makeup looks or beauty styles. Whether it be with eyelash extensions, mascara, or glittery false lashes as part of a creative costume, eyelashes help highlight the natural color of our eyes. But in addition to cosmetic styling, our eyelashes serve another important purpose: protection.

Eyelashes provide different forms of protection including guarding our delicate eyes from potential debris like dust or dirt, as well as regulating air flow around the eye to prevent them from drying out (via Science Daily). A study conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology found that when it comes to eyelash length, the ideal range should be around one-third the width of the eye itself. When examining various lash lengths, both natural and false, research showed anything that measures longer or shorter than this length creates greater airflow around the eye. This resulted in increased debris coming in contact with the eyeball as well as quicker rates of evaporation leading to more instances of dry eyes.

With research showing just how important eyelashes are to our health, should we worry about our eye lashes falling out? 

Eyelash loss can occur for different reasons from makeup use to various health conditions

Experts say that eyelash shedding is a natural and common occurrence and it's normal to lose anywhere between one and five lashes a day (via the American Academy of Ophthalmology). However, any more than that may indicate some potential abnormalities. Some causes may be as straightforward as removing your eye makeup regularly, or having an allergic reaction to the glue used for false lashes.

Other causes of eyelash shedding can be health related. Examples include Blepharitis which causes irritation due to clogged oil glands around the eye, or Trichotillomania where stress leads people to continuously tug on their own eyelashes.

If you're also noticing hair loss on other areas of the body, this could be a potential indicator of a more severe issue such as an autoimmune disorder, thyroid problem, or in rare instances, skin cancer. If you have concerns about hair loss, speak to your primary care physician or other medical professional to rule out any underlying conditions. More often than not, eyelash shedding is merely a sign of our body's regular hair growth process running its course.