December is here, and we’re officially transitioning into the Holiday season! The weather outside isn’t the only thing that’s changing - your lashes are undergoing a big change too. You may experience your clients coming in for their fill appointments complaining about their lashes falling out, but don’t panic! It’s completely normal for this time of year. Here’s a little more information for you and your clients about why this happens and what you can do about it.
On average, you lose between 1 and 5 lashes every day. When eyelashes are extended with quality extensions, it will be more noticeable when those lashes fall because they are longer and darker than your natural lashes. With or without extensions, the shedding process is perfectly normal. This is because at any given point in time, you have lashes in every stage of growth. A single lash normally takes months to complete its growth cycle, but in fall and winter that cycle can shift, and lashes may fall out more frequently.
It’s not entirely known why our lash cycle changes with the seasons, but we do know that this change actually begins mid-summer. On average, the lifecycle of a single lash lasts between 60 and 90 days. There are three phases in this cycle:
Growth (Anagen) Phase
This is the phase when lashes are growing actively. This can last anywhere from 30 to 45 days. Only about 40% of the upper lashes and 15% of the lower lashes are in this phase at any one time. When growing, each lash will grow to a specific length and then stop.
Transition (Catagen) Phase
During this phase, the lashes stop growing and the hair follicle shrinks. If an eyelash falls out or is plucked out during this phase, it won’t grow back right away. This is how gaps in the lash line appear when lashes are under unnecessary stress. The follicle needs to complete the Catagen phase before it can move onto the next phase and a new eyelash can start to grow. This part of the cycle lasts between two to three weeks.
Resting (Telogen) Phase
The resting phase can last for more than 100 days. This is the period before an eyelash falls out and a new one begins to grow. Because each eyelash is in its own phase of the growing cycle, it’s normal for a few lashes to fall out most days. It typically takes between four and eight weeks for an eyelash to be fully replaced.
During summer, intense heat may trigger more lash hairs to go into the resting phase, stopping growth, and causing them to fall out over the next month or two. Since more lashes are in the resting phase, you will experience more lashes than normal shedding at the same time. Additionally, changes in humidity also affect your lashes and extensions. When the seasons get colder and less humid, your hair follicles don’t get as much nourishment as they would normally need for your lashes to grow. This can result in dry or brittle lashes that are more likely to fall out prematurely.
So what can you do?
Educate Your Clients
Tell your clients what to expect and explain why this is happening. Let them know ahead of time that they may experience more lash shed than usual during these months, but that they shouldn’t worry. They’re not doing anything wrong and there is no issue with the adhesive or the lashes you’re using.
Check for Stress
This isn’t due to overloading the lashes with weight or stress on the lashes. If you’re losing lashes because of added weight and stress, you’ll notice that your client is missing their Catagen lashes, and only has baby and mature lashes left. This is a sign of improper lashing and is leaving your client with damaged natural lashes.
More frequent shedding means clients need to come in for fills more often in order to keeping their lashes looking full and voluminous. If you notice your clients are shedding more lashes than usual, have them book in for 2 week fills instead of their usual 3-4 week appointments. Remind your clients that this is only temporary, and they can return to their regularly scheduled appointments shortly!
Wait It Out
This lash shed is just temporary. As the weather begins to warm up, your lash growth cycle will return to normal.