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Sparse Eyelashes? Try These Expert-Backed Tips to Grow and Thicken Them

Get the luscious lashes you've always wanted.

Having long, luscious lashes is the dream for many women. They frame your eyes and make them look lifted, larger, and more alert. Unfortunately, as we age, our lashes can weaken and thin. Sure, you can use false lashes, slather on mascara, or even go the surgery route — but these solutions are costly and time-consuming. There’s good news, though: If your lashes aren’t what you want them to be, experts say you can strengthen them by doing a few simple things. Their tips are below.

Tip #1: Be gentle.

No matter how frustrated you are with your thinning lashes, don’t take it out on them. It’s important to be gentle. Lashes are fine and fragile, so rubbing them to take off waterproof mascara or using harsh makeup removers can weaken them, says Mind Body Green. Even the tools you use to do your makeup can have an impact: Beauty pro Andrea Starr tells Byrdie, “I’d suggest avoiding lash curlers that could cause damage to your natural lashes while regrowing.” She also warns against fake lashes, as the adhesives are exceedingly harsh. 

Tip #2: Talk to your dermatologist about a serum. 

There’s no shortage of products on the market claiming to improve lash length and encourage growth. And while some may have positive effects, the one preferred by pros is Latisse, dermatologist Hadley King tells Byrdie. Latisse’s active ingredient is bimatoprost, “which has been shown in clinical studies to make eyelashes grow longer, thicker, and darker,” according to King. Indeed, Latisse may increase the length of your lashes in fewer than two months, says a 2016 study. But because it can cause side effects like irritation, dryness, redness, and more, it’s important to discuss it with your doctor before getting a prescription. 

Tip #3: Look into oils. 

Not ready for a prescription? There are natural oils that may offer some benefits. Brushing castor oil into your lashes doesn’t necessarily promote growth, dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban tells Mind Body Green — but it helps keep the lashes you already have strong and nourished. “It’s super hydrating, so lashes don’t become brittle and dry or break, which happens as we age,” she says. You can also try vitamin E oil, which may protect and moisturize hair, as well as stimulate hair growth, Dr. Harikiran Chekuri tells Vegamour. Byrdie recommends applying it topically or incorporating more of the vitamin into your diet to see the benefits.

Tip #4: Take regular care of them. 

You probably brush the hair on your head regularly to keep it smooth, healthy, and beautiful. So why not do the same for your lashes? Starr mentions that brushing your lashes can help keep them looking separated and long, plus it can help avoid breakage. It’s also a good way to distribute any serums or oils you may be using. Lash Lovers recommends using a dedicated lash comb; try this highly rated option from MSQ (Buy from Amazon, $4.99).

Tip #5: Consider your diet. 

Incorporating certain vitamins and minerals into your diet could contribute to your lash health. And while the results may not be immediate, it’s important to get nutrients into your diet anyway — so, why not try it? Health site OnlyMyHealth recommends protein-rich foods like eggs; foods heavy in omega-3 fatty acids like nuts and salmon; and beans, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, which are full of strengthening vitamins and minerals to promote lash and hair health. Want to eat a bunch of these lash-lifting foods at once? Try this delicious Salmon and Apple Walnut Salad with Sweet Curry Vinaigrette from food blog Killing Thyme.

The Bottom [Lash] Line

The wisdom and peace that come with age are wonderful, but some changes, like thinning hair, can take a hit on our confidence; so if promoting longer, stronger lashes makes you feel like a better you, go for it — you deserve to feel good!

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

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