If you're over the maintenance and upkeep of falsies, you've come to the right place. In fact, there are several ways to get longer lashes naturally without resorting to eyelash extensions or dramatic false lashes. Whether it's moisturizing them with various oils and serums or simply combing them through, there are plenty of easy and effective ways to make your lashes grow longer and stronger.
Why Your Eyelashes Aren't Growing Or Are Falling Out
According to Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, FAAD, a dermatologist in private practice in Los Angeles, your eyelashes could be on the shorter side for a few reasons. "Your eyelashes become brittle and fragile due to products like mascara or medicated eye drops that may dry out the hair or cause the lashes to break mid-shaft," she explains. Take care when introducing a new eye product into your routine.
Dr. Shainhouse also calls out an additional reason your eyelashes could be shorter: rubbing your eyes frequently. She cautions that this can both break and pull out your eyelashes. “Because lashes grow on a four- to eight-week cycle,” she explains, “the hairs will not grow right back in if you pull them out, which will leave your fringe looking short and sparse."
How To Grow Your Eyelashes Long & Strong
When it comes to growing your eyelashes, there are plenty of DIY hacks that might be worth trying before you seek any prescription treatments. In fact, a lot of people have had luck using these products to stimulate hair growth on their lash lines. But, as with any product, be sure to check with your doctor or dermatologist before adding new things into your beauty routine and confirm that there’s no major medical reason for your lash loss.
Over time these methods can give you your fluffiest lashes yet. So to strengthen your lashes and give them a little extra oomph, here are eleven ways to grow your eyelashes — no falsies required.
1. Use Olive Oil
There's a lot of lore out there that olive oil can improve the length and strength of your lashes. Natural olive oil is rich in essential fatty acids that act as emollients, moisturizing and softening your eyelashes. Pro tip: The easiest way to apply these oils is to get disposable mascara brushes, and dip them into the oil, then brush the oil onto your lashes.
This oil from Bliss Of Greece is made with a combination of 100% natural oils, including olive, lavender, almond, and grapeseed oils. While this does come in a spray mist bottle, you can easily take out the top and dip in your mascara wand to pick up the oil and apply it to your lashes. This formula is organic, vegan, and has the backing of more than 24,300 Amazon reviewers.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Very happy with purchase! My eyelashes have grown longer, pores reduced in size, skin much healthier glow - love the product.”
2. Try An Eyelash Enhancing Serum
You've probably heard a lot about different eyelash serums that can boost the length of your lashes. While the market is flooded with a lot of different varieties (and not all of them great), you'll want to be mindful of the ingredient list in order to find the best eyelash growth serums.
With more than 16,700 Amazon reviews and a solid 4.4-star rating overall, this eyelash enhancing serum from GrandeLASH-MD is truly a best-seller, with tons of people commenting that it works wonders on their lashes. The serum contains a blend of vitamins, peptides, and amino acids to help promote naturally longer and thicker lashes. To apply, use a single stroke of the product on both of your eyelids (just above your upper lash line), and allow it to dry for a minute or so. Use the product daily for the best results.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “This stuff is a miracle product. I rarely write reviews but I really was compelled to because I LOVE this product. I started seeing results after two or three weeks but now, after consistently using it daily for three months I have eyelashes that look false ( or like extensions!) I am beyond pleased. My eyelashes used to be short, [sparse] and I was missing lashes on each corner of the eye. Not only did it make them thicker, it made them grow back in the corners and they are SO long my son told me today I may have to cut them at some point because they are almost touching my eyebrows. Lol.”
3. Apply Vitamin E Oil
Vitamin E oil has long been used to promote stronger and more moisturized eyelashes. While science hasn't definitively proven it promotes hair growth, you can't argue with thousands of Amazon reviewers.
This vitamin E oil from Nature’s Bounty is affordable (it’s under $10 a bottle!) and it’s designed to be applied topically to your skin and hair. It’s even safe to ingest as an oral supplement, too, according to the brand. Not only does this pick moisturize, but it can even boost your immune health.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I [ordered] the oil to enhance my eyelash and eyebrow. It works perfectly! There's significant increase in the speed of the hair growth and the final length.
4. Comb Your Eyelashes
It may sound basic, but brushing out your eyelashes is a great way to make them appear longer and to promote growth. While there isn't a ton of science to back this, plenty of professional make-up artists and experts extoll the virtues of brushing your lashes out.
A foldable eyelash brush like this one from DUcare is a handy tool you can fit in even the tiniest of purses. This one comes with two sides — one has a metal tooth comb for your eyelashes, and the other features synthetic bristles for your eyebrows. Easily fold both sides inward and it becomes 1/3 the size... aka it’ll be small enough to carry with you everywhere! But, don't take my word for it; more than 2,000 Amazon fans sing its praises in the review section.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Oh. My. Goodness. How I've lived this long without this item is a mystery. [...] Thought it was too good to be true - that it would not go through my lashes or might just push them away from the tool instead. Wrong. This thing combs every single individual eyelash when your mascara starts going on thick or clumpy and makes them beautiful. [...] I just bought more of these so I'll never have to travel without. 12/10 recommend.”
5. Moisturize With Coconut Oil
Not only is virgin coconut oil safe for cosmetic use around your eyes, but it's also a great moisturizer and strengthener for your eyelashes. In fact, one study showed that by applying coconut oil to your hair before and after washing it, you can prevent your hair from protein loss.
And, if you are wary of dipping your mascara wand in a bottle of 100% natural coconut oil, you can simply pick up a little bit on your finger tips, rub it into your fingers and then rub your eyelashes. This will transfer the coconut oil to your eyelashes to boost softness and strength.
This 100% pure coconut oil from Maple Holistics is a therapeutic-grade oil that you can easily apply to your eyelashes to promote growth. In fact, a few reviewers say they've seen growth to their hair (both eyelashes and otherwise) since using this oil. It's also cold-pressed, so it's not as processed than other coconut oils out there.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This stuff is FANTASTIC!!! My eyelashes were falling out, so I started putting this coconut oil on my lashes to try to help them. After 2 weeks, my eyelashes had grown to be longer and more full than they were before! My mom and sisters were asking me what I used to make my lashes look so long!”
6. Consider Biotin
If you've ever looked into hair growth of any kind, eyelash or otherwise, you've probably heard of biotin. But does biotin actually improve your hair growth? According to Dr. Shainhouse, "Specific nutritional, vitamin, and mineral deficiencies can ultimately affect hair growth. While taking vitamin and mineral supplements [will] not stimulate hair growth in and of themselves (sorry if you bought bottles of Biotin!), if you are deficient in certain ones (iron, vitamin B12, protein intake, vitamin D, or biotin — though this is very rare), your hair will not grow as well."
So, while biotin may not be the right supplement for everyone, it's helpful to know what your vitamin and mineral deficiencies are when trying to grow hair back anywhere on your body. And, even without the science backing it, this biotin supplement is a popular option that many reviewers commented helped them with their personal hair growth journey.
According to Amazon reviewers, this biotin supplement from Natrol has helped them address hair loss either on their head or on their lash line. For under $20, you'll get 100 vitamins, aka a 100-day supply. One thing to note: you should always check with a doctor before starting any new vitamins or supplements — even with this product’s rave Amazon reviews.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "This is a great product for growing eye lashes which is why I bought it.”
7. Use A Lash-Boosting Mascara
There are plenty of mascaras that not only boost the look of your eyelashes while you wear them, but also promote growth overtime. Look for fiber-lash mascaras and any designed to improve the length of short lashes.
This mascara from Rimmel can do double duty to darken your lashes while also nourishing them to grow. Designed to make your lashes appear more than 100% longer in just 30 days, this mascara makes some bold claims. But fans back it up, with reviewers indicating that this pick improved the length and strength of their lashes with continued use.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "I have been using this for years and it will always be my favorite. It has made my lashes so strong (they used to fall out sooooo easily). My lashes are very long and healthy, love it!”
8. Use Castor Oil
While castor oil has been both lauded and debunked as an ingredient that promotes hair growth, one thing that's clear is that it will help moisturize your eyelashes, which could cause them to appear fuller and more lush. Unsurprisingly, it's one of the most common ingredients you'll find in popular eyelash serums.
This castor oil from Sky Organics has more than 51,000 reviews on Amazon — and a 4.5-star rating overall — with tons of fans calling it out as the reason they've seen their lashes grow fuller and stronger. This pick is USDA-certified organic, plus it’s cruelty-free and vegan. And it contains no added ingredients, fragrance, alcohols, or preservatives. For use on your eyelashes, apply one to two drops of castor oil onto a clean cotton swab and brush it along your lash line.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I should have taken a picture of my eyelashes before. I was getting worried about them. Really short and thin. I've only been using this for about 3 weeks and I'm noticing they are longer and thicker. I'm so happy! I also use it in my hair. [...] I feel like it gives my hair some texture (good thing!) I've always thought my hair is thin. I'm happy with my purchase and plan on buying again when I run out. It does seem to last a long time.”
9. Apply Green Tea
Green tea is packed with antioxidants to boost your overall health. But one hack you may have not heard of? Putting a bit of cold green tea along your lash line to promote eyelash growth.
While not a lot of reviewers have tried this green tea from Bigelow on their lashes, it's still wildly popular for the benefits they've seen to their skin and overall health after drinking it. To use it on your eyelashes, Shannique Austin, celebrity lash artist and owner and master stylist of Glam Spa in Westlake Village, California told Bustle in a previous interview that you can soak a cotton ball in cooled green tea, apply it to your lashes, and then let it sit for 4-5 minutes before rinsing it off. And of course, if you don’t feel like using green tea as a topical treatment, you can always enjoy it as a beverage to reap its health benefits.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: "Love this tea. [...[ helps keep my skin clear and promotes hair and fingernail growth. I drink it twice a day mixed with some lemon juice and honey.”
10. Give Omega-3 Fatty Acids A Try
Omega-3 fatty acids are naturally found in certain foods, including fish like salmon, mackerel, and oysters, and even flax seeds and chia seeds. However, they can also be found in dietary supplements like fish oil. Dr. Dylan B. Alston, a board-certified dermatologist in Riverton Utah, explains that this supplement can “provide critical oils that are useful in eyelash health,” so it may be worth giving it a try in order to achieve fuller, longer lashes.
This fish oil supplement from Nature Made is wildly popular on Amazon — boasting a knockout 4.8-star rating overall, among 17,100 and growing reviews. The 250 softgels are easy to swallow, and each serving (two softgels) provides 600 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids. This pick is gluten- and dairy-free, it contains no artificial flavors, and it has been USP-verified for quality and purity.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “Fish oil is a great supplement for anybody to add to their vitamin regimen. [...] This product contains a great amount of bang for your buck when considering the number of pills you get, not to mention the mg. per pill.”
11. Use Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is known for its ability to provide some relief to sunburned skin, but did you know that it may also be beneficial for your eyelashes? “The main idea behind aloe vera working as an eyelash growth hack is the moisture it can provide,” explains Dr. Alston. “Keeping the lashes hydrated promotes follicular development of the hair and can lead to a healthier lash.”
A word of caution: avoid getting aloe vera directly in your eyes. You may also want to consider doing a patch test with aloe vera on your skin first before using it on your face.
Free from added fragrances, alcohol, parabens, and colors, this aloe vera gel from Earth’s Daughter features 99.75% pure and natural aloe vera. Amazon reviewers give the product a whopping 4.5-star rating overall on the site, among 1,000 and growing reviews, with commenters specifically calling out that the product itself and the packaging (the aloe is grown and bottled in Texas) are both of superior quality.
Enthusiastic Amazon review: “I love this Aloe Vera gel. It is pure with no parabens or any other things added to it. I have very sensitive skin & can't use many products. I bought a bottle to try it out at first. It is such a nice gel that I bought two more bottles. [...] Don't think of this gel as being thick, it isn't, because it is the pure juice that comes from the aloe vera leaf, with no thickener added to it. I love it for its purity & for how it feels on the skin. I highly recommend it.”
Burnett C, Bergfeld W, Belsito D, et al. (2011) Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Cocos nucifera (Coconut) Oil and Related Ingredients. International Journal of Toxicology, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1091581811400636
Rele A, Mohile R. (2003) Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. J Cosmet Sci, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12715094/
Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, FAAD, who has a private practice in Los Angeles, CA
Dr. Dylan B. Alston, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Riverton, UT
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