If you're over the maintenance and upkeep of falsies, you've come to the right place. In fact, there are several ways to grow out your own lashes naturally without resorting to eyelash extensions or crazy 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 a dermatologist in private practice in Los Angeles, Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, MD, FAAD, 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." Take care when introducing a new eye product into your routine.
Dr. Shainhouse calls out one additional reason your eyelashes could be shorter: if you rub your eyes frequently. She says, "This can both brake eyelashes and pull them out prematurely. Because lashes grow on a four- to eight-week cycle, 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 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. It's always best to check with your own personal expert to rule out any possible allergens.
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 nine 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 fan-favorite oil is made with a combination of 100 percent 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 nearly 3,000 Amazon reviewers.
What fans say: "I began to use this oil and my hair is growing and shedding less! It smells really good too. I also apply it to my eyelashes (very carefully) and my eyebrows every night and after 2-3 weeks, I’ve seen growth there too. I will definitely be purchasing this again."
2. Try An Eyelash Growth 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 over 12,000 Amazon reviews, this eyelash growth serum is truly a best-seller. While you can use this formula on your brows as well, reviewers have had particular luck using it to grow their eyelashes. The formula is packed with plant peptides and biotin to help promote growth. But, I think the reviews speak for themselves.
What fans say: "Before trying Lavish Lash, I had tried another (much more expensive) product with "meh" results. I hadn't used a lash serum before so I kind of just figured that's how they were but still wanted to give one more a try... I've been using it for 2 months now and OMG... it's legit. I look like I wear fake eyelashes and I LOVE it!"
3. Apply Vitamin E Oil
Beloved by both Kardashians and bloggers alike, 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 hundreds of Amazon reviewers.
This vitamin E oil is affordable and designed for use on your skin and hair. This oil can be applied topically to your skin and hair, and is even safe to ingest as an oral supplement. Not only does it moisturize, but it can even boost your immune health.
What fans say: "I'm using this mixed with Castor oil and coconut oil as an eyelash growth remedy. I was expecting this to smell kinda weird but it actually smells quite clean like a lemony smell, and it came nicely packaged."
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 is a handy tool you can fit in even the tiniest of purses. This one comes with two sides, one with a metal tooth comb for your eyelashes, and one with synthetic bristles for your eyebrows. Easily fold both sides inward and it becomes 1/3 the size, small enough to carry with you everywhere. But, don't take my word for it. Over 300 Amazon fans sing its praises in the review section.
What fans say: "WOW how did I live my entire 46 years without a comb... for my eyelashes. WHAT A DIFFERENCE."
5. Moisturize With Coconut Oil
Not only is virgin coconut oil safe for 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 percent 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 percent pure coconut oil from Maple Holistics is a therapeutic-grade oil 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 less processed than other coconut oils out there.
What fans say: "Love it. I use this for eyelash growth (with mixing some other oils too) and it's surprisingly effective! Used for a couple months now and my eyelashes seem to be gradually growing. I haven't used this product for anything else but might consider using it on my scalp as well! I recommend!"
6. Consider Biotin
If you've ever looked into hair growth of any kind, eyelash or otherwise, you've probably heard of biotin. 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 say helped them with their personal hair growth journey.
This biotin supplement has helped people experiencing hair loss either on their head or on their lash line. For just $8, you'll get 100 vitamins, in other words a 100-day supply. One thing to note: You should always check with a doctor before starting any new vitamins or supplements. Even so, there are rave reviews for this supplement.
What fans say: "A patch of eyelashes that had fallen out and didn't seem to be growing back began to sprout within two days of taking this supplement. They're about halfway back in after a week or so of use."
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.
Get a mascara that can pull double duty. This mascara by Rimmel works to darken your lashes will also nourish them to grow. Designed to make your lashes appear more than 100 percent longer in just 30 days, this mascara makes some bold claims. But, fans back it up, saying this mascara improved the length and strength of their lashes with repeated use.
What fans say: "I personally love it, I already seen my eyelashes become longer. The ends of my eyelashes actually didn't have any eyelashes or they were short because they were slowly growing back from my eyelash extensions. But I saw great improvement for my eyelashes when I use this. It also comes off very easily."
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, causing them to appear fuller and more lush. Unsurprisingly, it's one of the most common ingredients you'll find in popular eyelash serums.
This 100 percent pure castor oil has thousands of Amazon reviewers raving. In fact, plenty of fans call it out specifically as the reason they've seen their lashes grow fuller and stronger. And, this castor oil is so versatile you can use it for everything from massages, to essential oil diffusion, to hair growth and skin softening. If you have any doubts about castor oil, check out beauty blogger, Lilith Moon's dramatic before and after using castor oil.
What fans say: "I put this on my lashes and eyebrows every single night with a cotton swab before bed. I’ve used it for a month so far and it has definitely helped my lashes grow longer and thicker."
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 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, apply a bit of cooled, steeped tea along your lash line. The tea's powerful antioxidants can do wonders for growing your lashes, according to Bustle beauty writer, Kristen Collins Jackson.
What fans say: "I have yet to find a green tea that tastes as good as Bigelow, and is not over powering or bitter... I believe this is one of the most potent green teas on the market! I usually see an improvement in my skin and nails when I drink it regularly!"
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.
This post was originally published on May 6th, 2016. It was updated and republished on June 20th, 2019. Additional reporting by Amy Biggart.