Where Did My Eyelashes & Eyebrows Go? And, How Do I Bring Them Back?

10 Things You Should Do When Your Eyelashes and Eyebrows Start Thinning for Seemingly No Reason


Yes. I would love to have great-looking eyelashes and eyebrows!

No.  I'm resigned to having thin eyelashes and sparse eyebrows.


Welcome to the Beauty Of The Nile podcast. Your hosts are Susan and Darryl. They are also co-founders of Beauty Of The Nile.

This podcast does the homework on healthy, beautiful skin-of-color and brings

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what is learned to you. The research also helps in development of the Beauty Of The Nile skin care products - which are effective, gentle and 100% focused on the unique skin care needs of skin-of-color.

Beauty Of The Nile is Science-based Skin Care for Skin-of-Color™. Check us out at BeautyOfTheNile .com.  In fact, right now you can use code PODCAST to get a great discount on a purchase at BeautyOfTheNile .com*. 

Today, Susan & Darryl will share what to do when your eyelashes and eyebrows start thinning out of nowhere. (It happens.)

They will take you through 10 steps anyone can take to fix their thinning eyelashes & eyebrows. They also provide high-impact info on the unique issues facing the skin of Black & Brown people.

Okay. Click the arrow above to hear the podcast above or read along with the podcast notes below for the "10 Things You Should Do When Your Eyelashes and Eyebrows Start Thinning for Seemingly No Reason.”

Podcast Notes: 10 Things You Should Do When Your Eyelashes and Eyebrows Start Thinning for Seemingly No Reason

These are some of the key points from Beauty Of The Nile’s podcast episode titled: 10 Things You Should Do When Your Eyelashes and Eyebrows Start Thinning for Seemingly No Reason.

In this podcast, we do the homework on healthy, beautiful skin-of-color and bring what we learn to you. Our research also helps us in development of our skin care line - Beauty Of The Nile - which is effective, gentle and 100% focused on the unique skin care needs of skin-of-color.

Here are the “10 Things You Should Do When Your Eyelashes and Eyebrows Start Thinning for Seemingly No Reason”

What-To-Do Step #1:  Make sure you are cleansing the right way

#1. Choose a Gentle Cleanser: You want to find a mild, fragrance-free cleanser

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that's suitable for your skin type. Look for one that’s labeled "gentle" or "sensitive". This will minimize any skin irritation.

#2. Cleanse Twice A Day: Make cleansing a part of your morning and evening routines. This helps remove makeup, oil, and debris that may accumulate on your lashes and brows.

#3. Use Lukewarm Water: Use your cleanser with lukewarm water. Hot water can be drying. Warm water helps dissolve makeup and softens dirt so you can remove it more easily.

#4. Gently Massage: Apply the cleanser using gentle, circular motions with your fingertips. Avoid harsh scrubbing or pulling because this can damage your delicate eye lashes and brows.

#5. Rinse Thoroughly: Rinse your lashes and brows thoroughly to ensure there's no residue left. Residue can clog your hair follicles and lead to thinning over time.

#6. Pat Dry: After cleansing, pat your lashes and brows dry with a clean, soft towel. Avoid rubbing or pulling on them.

#7. Be Careful with Eye Makeup Remover: If you use an eye makeup remover, choose one specifically formulated for sensitive eyes. This is less likely to cause irritation.

#8. Replace Old Products: Check the expiration dates on your makeup removers and cleansers. Using expired products can increase the risk of eye and skin issues.

#9. Consider Oil Cleansing: I know that some people prefer oil-based cleansers for makeup removal. These are great because they can effectively dissolve makeup without tugging on your lashes and brows.

And #10. Patch Test New Products: If you're trying a new cleanser, always perform a patch test on a small area of your skin to ensure it doesn't cause any adverse reactions.

These simple steps can go a long way in maintaining the health and appearance of your lashes and brows, no matter what your skin type is.

What-To-Do Step #2: Maintain a Balanced Diet

What you eat can significantly impact the health of your eyelashes and eyebrows. It's a crucial factor in making sure they remain lush and full. And guess what? This advice holds true for men & women.

Eating right  provides the essential vitamins and minerals needed for hair growth and overall health.

#1. You want to eat Protein for Keratin Production: Lashes and brows are primarily made up of a protein called keratin. Including an adequate amount of

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protein in your diet ensures your body has the building blocks it needs for strong and healthy hair. The recommended daily allowance of protein for the average woman is 45 grams per day.

#2. You want to eat the right Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins like A, C, and E, along with minerals like biotin and iron, play key roles in growing and keeping your hair. Vitamin A, for example, helps you produce sebum which is a natural conditioner for your hair. While biotin improves your hair's structure and strength.

#3. You want to make sure you’re getting Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These healthy fats, found in fatty fish, flaxseed, and walnuts, can help improve the elasticity and shine of your lashes and brows. They also happen to support a healthy scalp, which is vital for hair growth.

#4. You want Antioxidants: Foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables, help fight oxidative stress, which can weaken your hair follicles. ‌Oxidative stress is what happens when your antioxidant levels are low. These levels can be measured through your blood plasma. Antioxidants also promote your overall skin health.

#5. You want to be well Hydrated: Staying well-hydrated is essential for your lash and brow health. Water helps move nutrients to your hair follicles, ensuring they receive the nourishment they need.

Here are some specific food suggestions.

#1. Go for Lean Protein Sources: Include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and plant-based proteins like tofu and legumes in your diet.

#2. Choose Colorful Fruits and Vegetables: You want to eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to ensure that you're getting a wide range of vitamins and antioxidants.

#3. Eat Whole Grains: Options for whole grains include brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat pasta. These complex carbohydrates will provide you sustained energy.

#4. Take in Healthy Fats: Look for ways to include sources of healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil into your meals.

#5. Choose Dairy or Dairy Alternatives: Dairy products and fortified dairy alternatives can be good sources of calcium and vitamin D, which are important for lash and brow health.

#6. Limit Your Consumption of Sugar and Processed Foods: Minimize your intake of sugary snacks and processed foods. These can lead to inflammation in your hair follicles and negatively affect your lash and brow health.

The bottom line is that what you put into your body really impacts the health of your lashes and brows. A balanced diet filled with nutritious foods is not only good for your overall well-being but also for maintaining healthy hair follicles and your beautiful lashes and brows.

What-To-Do Step #3: Avoid Overuse of Eyelash Extensions

For those of you who love eyelash extensions, we need to talk about using them responsibly. Even though extensions can add drama and allure to your look, overusing them will jack-up your natural lashes and nobody wants that.

Here’s what experts we interviewed said about…

Weight and Strain: Eyelash extensions, especially if they're too heavy or long, can put additional weight and strain on your natural lashes. This can lead to lash

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breakage and thinning over time.

On Glue and Allergic Reactions they said: The glue used for eyelash extensions can sometimes cause allergic reactions or irritation and that this can affect both your natural lashes and the delicate skin around your eyes.

And here’s what they said about Infection Risk: Improperly applied or poorly maintained eyelash extensions can create an environment where bacteria can thrive which increases the risk of eye infections.

They also had some tips for women who want to start or continue using eyelash extensions safely.

  • They suggested finding a Certified Lash Technician: Certified Lash Technicians should know and follow all the proper hygiene and safety practices when applying your lash extensions.
  • They suggested going for a Natural Look: Choosing a more natural looking length for your lash extensions means that there will be less weight. This means your lash extensions will put less strain on your natural lashes. You can still get a stunning look without going overly dramatic.
  • They suggested Following the Maintenance instructions provided by your lash technician. This is likely to include having regular touch-ups to replace lost extensions and how to wash your face so that you prevent buildup of dirt, oils, and bacteria.
  • They suggested you get tested for Allergies: If you've never had extensions before, you want to request a patch test to check for any allergic reactions to the adhesive.
  • They suggested you Take Breaks: It's super important to give your natural lashes a break from extensions every now and then. A few months without extensions can allow your lashes to recover and get stronger.
  • They suggested you Listen to Your Lashes: If you notice excessive shedding or discomfort, consult your lash technician and consider taking a break from extensions.

Eyelash extensions can be a fantastic way to enhance your beauty, but it's crucial to use them responsibly so you can protect the health of your natural lashes. A little care and attention can go a really long way in maintaining your lush lashes.

What-To-Do Step #4: Identify Potential Causes

When your lashes and brows start thinning unexpectedly, you have to look at potential causes. It may not be just a matter of the cosmetics you’re using or bad habits. There could be serious underlying issues at play.

For example, some of the causes of thinning eyelashes & eyebrows include:

  • Hormone Imbalances: Hormonal changes, like those that happen during
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    pregnancy and menopause, or thyroid disorders, can affect your hair growth and lead to thinning lashes and brows.
  • Aging: As we age, hair growth naturally slows down, and the quality of our hair can change. This is a common reason for your lashes and brows thinning out of nowhere.
  • Stress and Anxiety: High stress levels can disrupt your lash and brow growth cycle, leading to increased shedding and thinning.
  • Nutritional Deficiencies: If you’re not getting enough of the essential nutrients, like biotin or iron, this can cause your lashes and brows to thin.
  • Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, likes alopecia areata or trichotillomania, can result in lash and brow thinning. If you have one of these conditions, you should see a professional for proper evaluation and treatment.
  • Medications: Some medications, including chemotherapy drugs, can cause temporary hair loss, including in the lash and brow area.
  • Allergies or Irritation: Allergic reactions to makeup or other eye products, as well as skin conditions like eczema, can lead to lash and brow thinning. According to the National Eczema Association, Black, Asian, and Native Americans suffer from atopic dermatitis -which is a form of eczema - at much higher rates than White Americans. So--- watch out!

What’s key here is to seek medical advice as soon as you notice any signs of thinning lashes or brows.

  • That means Early Detection: Identifying the underlying cause of thinning lashes and brows early can be crucial in being able to get yourself effective treatment. Plus, some conditions - like thyroid disorders- have broader implications for your health.
  • That means Tailored Treatment: Medical professionals can provide you a personalized treatment plan based on your specific issue. This can range from addressing any hormonal imbalances to recommending dietary changes or prescribing medicine.
  • That means Preventing Further Damage: In some cases, addressing the underlying cause can prevent further hair loss and promote regrowth. This is especially important for individuals who have thinning lashes and brows due to medical conditions.
  • That means Managing Stress: If stress is a contributing factor to your thinning lashes or brows, healthcare providers can offer strategies to help you manage your stress as well as mental health support if you need it.
  • That means Safety First: Seeking medical advice ensures that you're not overlooking a more serious underlying issue. It's always better to be safe and get a professional opinion.

What-To-Do Step #5: Choose the Right Makeup Products

Your makeup choices can significantly impact the health of your eyelashes and eyebrows. And let's not forget the importance of makeup removal!

#1. Avoid Waterproof Mascara: Waterproof mascara can be tough to remove. As a result, we end up rubbing really hard, pulling out lashes in the process. This can also weaken lashes over time. So, you want to stick with regular mascara.

#2. Choose Hypoallergenic Products: If you have sensitive skin or eyes like me, you want to find hypoallergenic and fragrance-free makeup products. These reduce the risk of irritation and allergic reactions.

#3. Mind your Ingredients: Look for makeup products that are enriched with

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vitamins and nourishing ingredients. This can promote lash and brow health.

#4. Avoid Excessive Layering: Applying multiple coats of mascara or piling on eyeliner can make your lashes and brows appear fuller temporarily, but it can also weigh them down and cause breakage.

#5. Be Gentle During Application: When applying makeup, especially eyeliner and mascara, be gentle to avoid tugging or pulling on your lashes and brows.

Here’s what the experts said about makeup removal:

  • Removal Every Night: Always remove your makeup before bedtime. Sleeping with makeup can cause it to flake and crumble, leading to potential eye and skin irritation and clogged hair follicles.
  • Use a Gentle Makeup Remover: Choose a gentle makeup remover specifically designed for your delicate eye area. These products are formulated to dissolve makeup without excess rubbing.
  • Avoid Harsh Rubbing: When you take off your makeup, avoid harsh rubbing or scrubbing. This can damage your lashes and brows and irritate your skin.
  • Have a Gentle Cleansing Routine: After you remove your makeup, follow up with a gentle cleansing routine to ensure that all makeup residue is gone. This will prevent clogged hair follicles.
  • Be Careful with False Lashes: If you use false lashes, take them off carefully at the end of the day. Removing them too roughly can damage your natural lashes.

By selecting the right products and gently removing your makeup each night, you can enjoy the beauty of makeup without compromising the condition of your lashes and brows.

What-To-Do Step #6: Avoid Excessive Heat Styling on Your Eyelashes and Heat on your Eyebrows

For those of you who love to style your lashes with heat, we need to discuss the potential harm it can cause. Excessive heat styling can damage and weaken your precious lashes. You can even suffer damage to your eyebrows from sitting under a hot hair dryer.

  • Heat Styling Leads to Weakened Lashes & Brows: Excessive heat can weaken the protein structure of your lashes and brows. This makes them more prone to breakage and thinning.
  • Heat Styling Leads to Dry Lashes & Brows: Heat can dry out your
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    eyelashes and eyebrows. This can make them brittle and more likely to become damaged when you are grooming them or removing your makeup.
  • Heat Styling Can Lead to Skin and Hair Follicle Irritation: The delicate skin around your eyes and the hair follicles of your lashes and brows can be sensitive to heat, leading to redness, irritation and thinning.
  • Heat Styling Can Lead to Long-Term Damage: Overuse of heated tools on your lashes and brows can result in long term damage that keeps your lashes and brows from looking their best

Here are some tips the experts provided for the safe use of heat styling tools.

  • Use the tools on Low Heat: When you use heated tools like eyelash curlers or heated brow brushes, it’s best to use the lowest heat setting possible. High temperatures can be harsh on your lashes and brows.
  • It is important to Invest in Quality Tools: Quality matters when it comes to heated tools. You need to invest in reputable brands that have adjustable settings and are designed with safety in mind.
  • Limit Use as Much as Possible: Avoid daily heat styling. Give your lashes and brows a break between styling sessions to allow them to recover and remain healthy.
  • Apply Heat Protectant: Just as you would for your hair, consider applying a heat protectant specifically designed for lashes and brows before using heated tools.
  • Be Gentle: When using heated tools, use gentle and controlled movements to avoid excessive tugging or pulling on your lashes and brows.
  • Do Regular Maintenance on your Tools: Clean your heated tools regularly to prevent the buildup of dirt and old makeup - which can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Know When to Say No: If you notice signs of damage or excessive thinning, it's time to take a break from heat styling and focus on nurturing your lashes and brows.

What-To-Do Step #7: Eyelash and Eyebrow Serums

Eyelash and eyebrow serums can be game-changers when it comes to nourishing and promoting the growth of your thinning lashes and brows. Here’s why:

#1. Enhanced Growth: Eyelash and eyebrow serums often contain ingredients that stimulate hair follicles, promoting the growth of longer and thicker lashes and brows.

#2. Nourishment: These serums are packed with vitamins, minerals, and peptides that nourish and strengthen lashes and brows, making them less prone to breakage.

#3. Hydration: Hydrated lashes and brows are healthier. Serums can lock in moisture, prevent, dryness and brittleness.

#4. Protection: Some serums have antioxidants that protect your hair follicles from damage caused by free radicals, pollution, and UV rays.

#5. Conditioning: Many serums act as conditioners, improving the overall texture and appearance of your lashes and brows.

Here are the key ingredients in eyelash and eyebrow growth serums.

  • Betaine: Helps protect skin and moisturizes it.
  • Biotin: Biotin, also known as vitamin H, is essential for hair growth and strength. It can help improve the structure of your lashes and brows.
  • Peptides: Peptides like Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17 and Acetyl Hexapeptide-8/Argireline are known to stimulate hair follicles, encouraging growth.
  • Castor Oil: Castor oil is rich in nutrients and fatty acids that promote hair growth and strengthen your lashes and brows.
  • Panthenol (also known as Provitamin B5): Panthenol helps to condition and hydrate lashes and brows, preventing dryness and breakage.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: Hyaluronic acid is excellent for locking in moisture, keeping your lashes and brows well-hydrated.
  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, protecting your lashes and brows from environmental damage.
  • Keratin: Keratin is the protein that makes up the structure of hair. Adding keratin to your serum can help strengthen your lashes and brows.
  • Glycerin: Glycerin is a humectant that helps maintain the moisture balance of your lashes and brows
  • Ferulic Acid: Ferulic Acid acts as an antixoxidant, antimicrobial, and antibacterial.

Whether you're dealing with thinning lashes and brows or simply want to enhance what you have, eyelash and eyebrow serums can be a fantastic addition to your beauty routine. Look for serums that contain these key ingredients, and you'll be on your way to more luscious and healthy lashes and brows.

What-To-Do Step #8: Manage Stress.

Don't underestimate the impact stress can have on your lashes and brows. High stress levels can disrupt your hair growth cycle, leading to increased shedding and thinning.

The connection between stress and hair health is profound, and managing stress effectively is essential for maintaining the lushness of your lashes and brows.

Here’s a few things I’ll bet you didn’t know:

  • Hair Growth Phases: Hair goes through growth and resting phases. Stress can push more hair into the resting phase, leading to increased shedding and thinning of your lashes and brows.
  • Hormonal Changes: Stress can disrupt your hormonal balance, which can affect hair growth and result in loss or thinning of lashes or brows.
  • Compulsive Habits: Stress can trigger compulsive behaviors like pulling on lashes or brows, a condition known as trichotillomania, which can lead to hair loss.
  • Reduced Blood Flow: Chronic stress can reduce blood flow to the scalp and all hair follicles, impacting the delivery of nutrients necessary for healthy hair growth.

Here are some stress management tips:

  1. Deep Breathing for Relaxation: Incorporate deep breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga into your daily routine to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
  2. Exercise Regularly: Physical activity releases endorphins, which are natural stress relievers. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
  3. Eat a Healthy Diet: A balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help stabilize your mood and reduce stress.
  4. Get A Good Night’s Sleep: Being sleep deprived contributes to stress and negatively impacts the health of your lashes and brows.
  5. Time Management: Effective time management can reduce the pressure of deadlines and help to alleviate stress.
  6. Seek Support: Don't hesitate to reach out to friends, family, or a therapist for emotional support and guidance in managing stress.
  7. Hobbies and Relaxation Techniques: Engage in hobbies or relaxation techniques that bring you joy and help you unwind.
  8. Limit Caffeine and Alcohol: Excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption can exacerbate stress. Moderation – or not drinking any at all – is key.

Managing stress isn't just beneficial for your mental and emotional well-being; it also plays a vital role in maintaining the health of your lashes and brows. By incorporating stress management techniques into your life, you're not only reducing the risk of thinning hair but also improving your overall quality of life.

What-To-Do Step #9: Avoid Overplucking

Over-tweezing can damage hair follicles and lead to sparse brows.

Those who overpluck tend to suffer from:

  1. Damaged Hair Follicles: Overplucking can damage your hair follicles, making it harder for brows to grow back.
  2. Thinning Over Time: Repeated overplucking can lead to the gradual thinning of your brows, making them appear sparse and uneven.
  3. Difficulty in Shaping: Over time, overplucking can lead to difficulties in achieving your desired brow shape. This is because you may have permanently removed hair from areas you shouldn't have.

Here are 5 alternative methods for brow maintenance that can work for you. In no particular order:

  1. Professional Shaping: Consider getting your eyebrows professionally shaped. An experienced brow technician can help you achieve the right shape for your face and maintain it properly.
  2. Tweeze Sparingly: If you prefer tweezing at home, do so sparingly. Only remove stray hairs or those outside your desired brow shape.
  3. Trimming: Instead of plucking, consider trimming longer brow hairs with small scissors. This can help maintain a tidy appearance without removing too much hair.
  4. Use Brow Products: Fill in sparse areas with brow pencils, powders, or gels to create a fuller look while you wait for any overplucked areas to grow back.
  5. Brow Serums: As we talked earlier, consider using brow serums that contain growth-promoting ingredients to encourage hair regrowth in overplucked areas.

Remember that hair grows slowly, so it may take some time for overplucked areas to recover fully. Be patient and avoid further overplucking.

What-To-Do Step #10: Embrace Your Natural Beauty.

We’ve reached the final and most important thing on our list that you should do. That is, embrace your natural beauty. No matter what the state of your eyelashes or eyebrows, it's essential to feel confident and empowered in who you are.

You must:

  1. Know That You Are Beautiful: First and foremost, remember that you are inherently beautiful just the way you are. Your individuality is what sets you apart and makes you special.
  2. Embrace Imperfections: Nobody is perfect, and that's perfectly okay. Embrace any imperfections or quirks you may have; they add character and charm to who you are.
  3. Make Space for Self-Care: Take time for self-care, not only for your physical appearance but also for your mental and emotional well-being. When you feel good on the inside, it radiates on the outside.
  4. Celebrate Diverse Beauty: Beauty comes in all colors, shapes, and sizes. Celebrate the diversity of beauty and appreciate the uniqueness of each individual.
  5. Embrace Positive Affirmations: Practice positive affirmations to boost your self-esteem and self-worth. Remind yourself daily of your strengths and beauty.
  6. Limit Comparisons: Avoid comparing yourself to unrealistic beauty images in heavily edited magazines or in the totally fake world of social media.
  7. Surround Yourself with Positivity: Surround yourself with people who uplift and support you. Positive relationships can boost your self-confidence.
  8. Set Goals Beyond Appearance: Focus on setting and achieving goals that go beyond physical appearance.
  9. Radiate Confidence: Confidence is magnetic. When you carry yourself with confidence and self-assuredness, others will be drawn to your beauty.
  10. Share the Message: Lastly, empower others to embrace their natural beauty too. Share the message of self-love and positivity with your friends and loved ones.

There you have it, 10 Things You Should Do When Your Eyelashes and Eyebrows Start Thinning for Seemingly No Reason.

We hope this conversation has been informative and empowering.

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And, always… Love Your Brown Skin®


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Please note – for the purpose of Skin Care: We use Black skin, Brown skin, and skin-of-color interchangeably when discussing people-of-color. When we use the term people-of-color, we intend to mean those whose skin tone is not White and who are Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, Mediterranean, Pacific Islander, or of Middle Eastern descent.

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