How do you grow your eyelashes if you want to keep things natural? Well, one persistent misconception is that crying will make them grow longer. But, how true is this? And does crying help in the growth of longer eyelashes?
Crying neither speed up nor lengthen your eyelashes in any shape or form. Plain and simple! Eyelashes have a natural cycle of growth that you have no control over. Some eyelash serums and natural oils may help grow long eyelashes. But, crying is, undoubtedly, none of those.
Read on to learn more about why crying won’t help in the growth of your eyelashes and the science behind it.
Does Crying Affect the Growth of Your Eyelashes?
No Scientific Data to Backup This Claim
There is a popular belief that your eyelashes will grow longer if you cry very often. There is no scientific data whatsoever to back up this claim.
Cortisol’s Role in the Hair Follicle’s Growth
The sensation is linked to how stress hormones like cortisol damage hair follicles. These hormones may promote growth, but they are unlikely to result in longer eyelashes.
Sure, we can all agree that crying is a healthy habit. It is always better to let go rather than keep your feelings inside.
Ugly Crying Has Its Health Benefits
In fact, contrary to popular belief, a good round of ugly crying is not that bad. It’s the exact opposite, as it is beneficial to your health. The old guard used to preach that tears have no place in the workplace. We often have no choice because we are human beings with crying eyes.
Eyelashes Have a Natural Cycle of Growth
While the pros and cons of crying are absolutely plenty, crying does indeed have many health benefits for the mind and body, but growing longer natural eyelashes is not one of them.
When you cry, you shed many tears, and every single one of them contains some protein. These tears include about 1,500 proteins, but they still won’t help you develop longer eyelashes.
Your eyelashes have a natural cycle of growth, and what this means is that they fall and regrow every few months or so.
Other Popular Misconception
The other popular misconception why many people buy into this myth is that the moisture in your eyelashes soaks and binds eyelashes together when you cry. This, of course, makes them appear darker, wetter, and fuller and thus leaves you under the impression that they are longer.
Why Do So Many People Believe That Crying Lengthens Their Eyelashes?
1. Provides Pain Relief
We all know that crying is self-soothing, yes. Emotional tears release oxytocin and endorphins, two hormones with several health advantages.
In fact, in one study published by Medical News Today, they referred to oxytocin as the love hormone, while they maintained that endorphins help in stress relief.
The thing is, these molecules make people happy and may help with physical and emotional suffering. In other words, less pain, more growth. Still, this has nothing to do with growing longer eyelashes.
2. Cleanses the Eyelashes
When you cry, your tears are valuable for getting dust or debris out of your eyes. Plus, they also protect your eyes from certain diseases.
Yes, sobbing contributes to the cleansing process because the high amount of lacrimal secretions help remove bacteria and all debris from your eyes. This is why some people believe crying somehow gets to grow your eyelashes.
Moreover, crying boosts your immune system because it protects against irritation, so people mistakenly think that nothing will get in the way of eyelash growth. Again, this has nothing to do with growing longer eyelashes. All it does is that it cleanses the eyelashes, and that is that.
3. Releases Toxins
Tears normally contain high levels of manganese and stress hormones, and the combination of these two helps a great deal in mood regulation. When you cry, you lower your stress levels by decreasing your body’s overall levels of stress hormones.
So, what happens here is that instead of tightening, your muscles loosen. But, here is the trigger, having a somehow relaxed and loosened muscle around your eyes has nothing whatsoever to do with growing longer eyelashes.
4. The Psychological Advantages
When you cry, you let go of all the bad emotions hurting you.
Crying is in no way a sign of weakness, and it is a vital step toward mental and emotional well-being. Now, cryologists often argue that crying is stress-free and delivers better emotional relief than any other form of therapy.
Yes, shedding a tear or two has plenty of health benefits, such as stress reduction and increased creativity, but it has nothing to do with the growth of eyelashes.
5. Promotes a Healthier Skin
There is a reason why a good weep makes us feel better. Crying, it turns out, has a significant impact on the skin. It removes impurities from your skin and gives it a healthy glow, and a calming effect is beneficial to the skin.
Understanding the Different Types of Tears
There are three forms of tears that you should know about:
1. Basal Tears
These are always in your eyes to lubricate and feed them while protecting them from the outside elements.
2. Reflex Tears
When you subject your eyes to irritants like onion or smoke, you get these.
3. Emotional Tears
When sad, happy, or experiencing other very strong emotions, you get these tears.
The structure of your tears is identical to that of saliva. Water makes up most of them, but they also contain salt, fatty oils, and over 1,500 different types of proteins.
Tears contain the following electrolytes:
The following elements together form three unique layers in your tears:
- The mucous layer is responsible for keeping the tear adhered to the eye
- The aqueous layer is the thickest. It hydrates your eye, protects your cornea, and keeps microorganisms at bay
- The oily layer keeps the surface of the tear smooth so you can see through it
Again, does crying make your eyelashes longer? There’s a myth saying that crying makes your eyelashes grow longer. If you cry, your body releases cortisol, a stress hormone that affects hair follicles’ growth. However, this hormone does not cause longer eyelashes.
Why Do We Need Eyelashes
Shield Your Eyes from Dirt
Eyelashes shield your eyes from dirt, debris, and potentially hazardous things. The first line of defense for your eyes is your eyelashes.
When your eyes are open, your eyelashes catch some airborne debris, but they provide an almost impenetrable barrier against foreign particles entering the eye when they are closed.
Filters Sunlight Striking Your Eyes
Eyelashes also aid in the filtering of sunlight that strikes your eyes. They offer some protection from UVB and UVA rays.
How Stress Affects the Eyelashes’ Growth Cycle
One of the things that have a big impact on the growth cycle of your eyelashes is stress. A study conducted by Dr. Ya-Chieh Hsu of Harvard University researched how stress affects hair growth in mice, lending credibility to the theory that stress causes hair loss.
The researchers found that the higher corticosterone (equivalent to cortisol) amounts, the less hair regrowth most mice experienced.
Furthermore, when researchers looked at the effect of corticosterone on hair follicle stem cells, they discovered that the hormone affected the dermal papilla. It blocked it from secreting certain chemicals that affect the growth of stem cells in the follicle.
While it is unclear if this reaction applies to people, it is a reliable predictor.
When it comes to eyelash care, the best thing you can do is control your stress levels to avoid any negative consequences.
Three Stages of Eyelash Development
According to a paper published by the National Library of Medicine, the normal adult has about 50 to 75 lower lashes and 100 to 150 upper lashes. Each eyelash goes through three stages of development:
1. Anagen Phase
This stage usually lasts about two weeks. If you lose an eyelash during this time, it will not regrow.
2. Catagen Phase
The hair follicles here start to shrivel, which affects the overall growth process.
3. Telogen Phase
This is certainly the longest one and lasts anywhere from four to nine months. This phase refers to the time it takes for an eyelash to fall out so that a new one grows in place.
How to Prevent Eyelash Loss
Rubbing and pulling at your eyelashes might cause loss, but a more immediate risk of your eyelashes falling out does come from any physical stress exerted on your eyes.
So, avoid excessive stroking of your eyes and lashes at all costs. Above all, make sure that your hands are clean and go with gentle touches when you do so.
The other thing is that not all lash loss is negative.
Similarly, short lashes do not always indicate something wrong with your body. Eyelashes do shed regularly. They have their cycle of growth.
You are estimated to lose 1 to 5 eyelashes per day on average and will lose 20% of your lashes every two weeks. New lashes grow within a few weeks to months of losing them, so they may appear short or sparse now but are still growing in.
Did You Know That Your Eyelashes Have Peak Seasons of Growth and Loss?
You will notice that you are losing more eyelashes, for example, in the autumn and spring seasons. Much of it has to do with the season’s general dryness.
Similarly, your eyelashes will likely grow faster during the wetter months when you have more moisture in the air. Remember that not everyone goes through the same eyelash loss and development periods.
As we mentioned earlier, genetics have a big role in the natural growth process of your eyelashes.
Finally, it’s important to bring up your worries about hair or eyelash loss at your next doctor’s appointment, especially if you suspect it’s due to persistent stress or an imbalance.
What Makes Your Eyelashes Longer If Crying Does Not?
1. Eyelash Supplements
You can drink biotin, a vitamin commonly used to promote hair growth. Fish oil is another alternative that has healthy fats for your hair follicles. Finally, you can also use folate, found in leafy greens and beans.
2. Olive Oil
Olive oil can undoubtedly strengthen your eyelashes and promote healthy growth. The essential fatty acids you get in natural olive oil will work as emollients basically and hydrate your eyelashes.
Pro tip: To apply these oils, get disposable mascara brushes and dip them in the oil before brushing the oil onto your lashes.
3. Coconut Oil
It is an excellent moisturizer for your lashes. In fact, according to Healthline, coconut oil can promote hair growth and prevent protein loss, among many other health benefits.
4. Use a Curler
Curl your eyelashes with a heated eyelash curler, making them appear longer.
5. Use a Mascara That Adds Length
There are various mascaras on the market that promise to lengthen your lashes.
6. Consider Using a Primer
By providing a substrate for your mascara to cling to, a primer can help your lashes appear longer.
7. Artificial Eyelashes
You can try some of these as they will make your eyelashes look thicker than they are.
8. Stick with a Cruelty-free Mascara
Some consumers choose cruelty-free items because they believe animal experimentation is unethical, while others want products without animal-derived substances.
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Conclusion – Crying vs. Longer Eyelashes
So, what are the benefits of crying? Plenty, but crying does not affect the growth rate of your eyelashes. It’s simply a common misconception that your eyelashes will somehow get longer if you cry a lot.
Your eyelashes develop and shed once a month based on their normal growth cycle. There are undoubtedly many ways to promote healthy eyelash growth, but crying is never one.
Above all, remember that eyelashes do need time to grow. It does not happen overnight. Although it would be wonderful to be able to grow eyelashes so quickly, there is no harm in allowing nature to take its course here. Above all, be gentle with yourself and show some love for your body.