Okay, I know it's not officially Fall yet but tell that to Starbucks & Spirit Halloween store! Everywhere you turn, it's pumpkin related so why not get ahead on a topic that you may or may not be aware of...seasonal hair loss or "Fall Shed". It sounds spooky but it's totally normal.
Let's back it up a bit and start with the hair growth cycle (yay biology!). There are 3 phases to it, anagen, catagen, and telogen.
1. Anagen (growth phase) - You guessed it, the lashes are just starting to grow and they'll most likely be baby sized, fine, and teeny tiny. The first stage of the eyelash cycle lasts between 30 and 45 days or 4-6 weeks. Approximately 40 percent of the lashes are in anagen stage at any given time.
2. Catagen (transition phase): Once the lashes in the anagen phase reach their designated length, they stop growing and the hair follicle shrinks. If a lash falls out during this phase, it won’t begin growing back until the catagen phase has run its course, typically within two to three weeks.
3. Telogen (resting phase): The telogen phase is a 100 day resting cycle before the eyelash falls out and a new lash grows to take its place. Since our lashes are in different phases of the growth cycle, it’s natural for a few to fall out each day. If you're wearing lash extensions, it's normal to see an extension shed out with the natural lash.
But is it true that we'll lose more during this time of year? According to an article by Health.Com, seasonal hair loss is normal.
“Mildly increased hair loss in the summer and fall is normal,” co-author Shawn Kwatra, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, tells Health. “This is speculative, but from an evolutionary perspective one of the roles of hair loss is to provide warmth,” he says. “This would be less necessary during the summer months.”
What does this mean if you wear lash extensions? Don't freak out if you see more lashes on that bathroom counter or on your bed sheets. As long as the extension is attached to a grown out natural lash, all is fine and well. If the extension is attached to a lash that looks broken, attached to 2 or more natural lashes, or there's a big chunk of glue attached, this could be signs of damage and your lash artist should be contacted immediately.
Since more lashes will be shedding out, you'll have more lashes that are in the anagen (growing) phase. As those baby lashes grow back, they'll be on the fine side so your lash artist may have to use lashes that are lighter weight, resulting in a more natural look. If that's the look you like, carry on! If you want more, you may want to request a volume mix or full volume.
This might be a good time to try out a lash serum if that's not already part of your beauty routine. Lash serums are loaded with vitamins and polypeptides (think of those as very small proteins). They send nourishment to your hair follicle, helping the lash grow back stronger. Some formulas will help the lash grow back in as little as 4 weeks.
There are so many lash serums out on the market now! Not sure which one to try? Stay tuned for my next post and we'll learn more them!