Eyelash Growth Cycle

Lashing at every stage and addressing client concerns


The natural lash growth cycle is an often overlooked phenomenon in the industry. As a lash artist, it’s imperative to understand how natural lashes grow and shed since lashes require different care during each stage of growth. Understanding how the cycle works and how to adjust your lash technique accordingly ensures you won’t compromise the health of your clients’ natural lashes.

Let’s review the stages of growth, how to account for each stage when lashing, and how to speak with your clients regarding growth and shedding concerns.


Most people have between 100-150 natural lashes on their upper lids. Every natural lash is in one of three stages:

The more you know about the lash cycle, the more comfortably you can address client concerns.

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Anagen: The lash is actively growing. For most, the lash grows for about one month, though some lucky clients may experience a longer growth period. The longer the natural lash remains in the anagen phase, the longer it will grow.

Catagen: Once the lash reaches a full length, it will stop growing and begin to transition. As the hair follicle stops producing pigment and the bulb degenerates, the lash will move toward the skin’s surface. This phase typically lasts up to three weeks.

If a lash is pulled out during the catagen phase, the follicle will remain empty until the anagen phase is ready to begin again. This explains why some clients who regularly use lash curlers or strip lashes that pull out natural lashes may experience gaps along their lash lines.

Telogen: This is the shedding phase, in which the fully grown lash rests while a new lash forms underneath, eventually pushing the old lash out and ending the cycle. This type of shedding is perfectly natural. The telogen phase typically lasts several months before a new anagen lash grows. Most people shed between 2-5 natural lashes per eye each day.

The exact length of each phase varies from person to person. As clients age, the cycle slows down, and lashes take longer to regenerate. How natural lashes grow and shed can be heavily impacted by lash care and other outside factors, making it imperative to understand how you can adjust your lash work accordingly.


When you look closely at your client’s eyes, you’ll find lashes at each stage of growth along the lash line. To promote long-term lash health, always avoid overweighting the natural lash. One size does not fit all when it comes to lashing safely, so this means you’ll need to adjust your extension selection according to where each natural lash is in the growth cycle.

Fully grown lashes in the catagen and telogen phases can handle extensions with a maximum diameter equal to their diameter and up to 30% longer. Brand new “baby” lashes in the anagen phase should be left unlashed – it is best to let them grow without an extension applied, as too much weight can cause premature shedding and long-lasting gaps.

Safely build density by carefully extending the natural lashes between these two phases (sometimes called “teenage” lashes); reduce diameter and/or length to ease the strain of these extensions.

Aside from tiny anagen lashes and telogen lashes on the brink of shedding, it can be challenging to determine exactly how old a natural lash is. We recommend erring on the side of caution when selecting the size of extension to apply (if any at all!).


The more you know about the lash cycle, the more comfortably you can address client concerns. New clients may comment that their lashes are falling out more than they did before. Reassure them that you take care to apply extensions appropriate for each natural lash and that it is natural (and expected!) for them to lose several lashes each day. They are likely noticing the shedding at this point simply because there is now something attached to the natural lash, making it easier to see and feel.

You will also likely encounter clients concerned about extensions pulling out their natural lashes prematurely, causing long-term damage. Again, reassure your client of your dedication to maintaining healthy lashes through proper extension selection. You might even find that some clients improve their lash health with extensions because they are no longer rubbing their eyes, curling their lashes, or applying and removing coats of mascara or strip lashes!

Trust is an essential contributor to long-lasting client relationships. Clients want to feel that you genuinely care about them and the health of their natural lashes, so don’t be afraid to educate them on the growth cycle and your dedication to ensuring a damage-free experience. What better way to build rapport than to share your expertise to help them maximize their knowledge and enjoy healthy lashes for years to come?