The Lash Growth Cycle - Complete Guide | Anagen, Catagen, Telogen

What Is The Lash Growth Cycle? A Complete Guide

How does the lash growth cycle actually work? Is there any way I can make my natural lashes grow faster? If you've ever had these questions or simply want to know how exactly the lash growth cycle works, then this guide is for you!

Getting longer & thicker natural lashes can really enhance one's facial appearance and brighten your eyes. That's why understanding the lash growth cycle is essential for anyone looking to enhance the health and appearance of their eyelashes. This guide will break down each stage of the lash growth cycle and offer tips on how to promote faster and healthier lash growth.

Your Lash Anatomy

Why do some people seem to be blessed with thick & full natural lashes whilst others are stuck with sparse & thinning lashes? The truth is that eyelash length, quality & volume are influenced by genetics, age, hormonal changes and other environmental factors.

The upper eyelid typically has around 100-160 lash hairs whilst the lower eyelid has somewhere closer to 70-80 lash hairs. The average length of eyelashes differs greatly from person to person, with upper eyelashes typically around 7-10mm.

The Composition of Eyelash Follicles

Eyelashes are primarily composed of proteins produced in the cells inside the follicle. The development of the lash shaft begins in the follicle through a process known as keratinization. During this process, the cells mature and produce keratin, a fibrous structural protein. By the time the shaft emerges from the skin, the cells have completely keratinized, meaning they are no longer living.

Key Components:
- Keratin - makes up about 90% of an eyelash. It's a durable and protective protein that provides strength and flexibility.
- Pigment, Water, and Lipids: Constitute the remaining 10% of the lash composition. Pigments (primarily melanin) determine the color of the lashes, while water and lipids contribute to the overall health and appearance.

    What is the Eyelash Growth Cycle?

    The eyelash growth cycle is a continuous process consisting of three main phases: Anagen (active growth), Catagen (transition), and Telogen (resting and shedding). Each phase plays a unique role in the development and renewal of your eyelashes.

    Not all lash follicles are the same! It's important to know that each individual lash follicle grows at it's own pace. One lash follicle could be in the Anagen phase whilst it's neighbor is in the Catagen phase (you'll see why this is important later on!). The percentages of lashes in each phase also differ based on the upper and lower lashes.

    Anagen Phase (Active Growth)

    Anagen Phase | Lash Growth Cycle

    The Anagen phase is where the real growth happens. This phase lasts between 30 to 45 days, during which the lashes are actively growing. Approximately 35-40% of the upper lashes and about 15% of the lower lashes are in this phase at any given time. The lashes are attached to the dermal papilla, which provides nutrients essential for growth. The rate of growth is about 0.12 to 0.14 mm per day. Factors such as genetics, age, and overall health can influence the length and speed of this phase.

    Lash serums like PRIME help to stimulate growth during this phase and allow the lash to grow denser and thicker. Since only about 40% of your lashes are in this phase, consistency is the key when applying lash serums. You'll want to continue active care until all lash follicles have gone through the Anagen phase in order to see proper results!

    Catagen Phase (Transition)

    Catagen Phase | Lash Growth Cycle

    Following the Anagen phase, the Catagen phase is a short transitional period lasting about 2 to 3 weeks. During this stage, the eyelash stops growing, and the hair follicle shrinks. If a lash falls out or is pulled out during this phase, it will not grow back immediately because the follicle needs to complete the Catagen phase before moving on to the next stage. This phase ensures that the lashes maintain their length and integrity until the next growth phase​.

    During this phase, our lash serum also helps to keep lash follicles healthy so they don't fall out easily - leaving you looking bare until they start to grow back again.

    Telogen Phase (Resting & Shedding)

    Telogen Phase | Lash Growth Cycle

    The Telogen phase is the final stage of the lash growth cycle, lasting up to 90 days. In this phase, the lashes are at rest and eventually shed. A new eyelash begins to grow from the follicle to replace the one that has fallen out. Approximately 50% of eyelashes are in this phase at any one time. This natural shedding process is crucial for the renewal of healthy lashes.

    How Lash Serums Can Help to Boost Growth

    Lash serums can significantly enhance the lash growth cycle by providing essential nutrients and promoting longer growth periods.

    These serums are most effective when used during the Anagen phase, extending the duration and improving the health of the lashes. Ingredients such as peptides, biotin, and vitamins help strengthen lashes, reduce breakage, and extend the growth phase. Regular use of lash serums can lead to visibly thicker and longer eyelashes over time.

    If you're looking for a great lash serum to facilitate healthy natural lash growth, check out our PRIME serum which is also included in our Ultimate Lash Routine Starter Kit →