A few months ago, something insane happened: While curling my eyelashes, I slipped on a puddle of water under my sink and ripped half of my lashes out. Frankly, the worst part was the noise, which I can only compare to the sound of a chunk of coarse hair being waxed off.
For a few minutes, I stood still and stared at the damage I had done: Not only was half my lash line bald, but my entire eyelid was swollen and painful. Had I always thought eyelash curlers were mean-looking? Yes. Did I ever think they could actually rip your eyelashes out? No, I did not. I frantically Googled “what to do when you pull your eyelashes out with your eyelash curler” to see if I was, as I suspected, the first-ever reported victim of this self-inflicted crime. Turns out this is a relatively common beauty mishap, and the internet is filled with YouTube videos and Reddit threads focusing on how to grow back torn lashes. The advice was relatively confusing: Some said to double down on eyelash growth serums, while some encouraged using simple coconut oil. I didn’t know what to believe, and my eyelid still looked weird.
Thankfully, I know Jasmine Imani, a licensed aesthetician and eyelash specialist who, when I called and told her what had happened, demanded that I stop Googling and wait for her to get to my house (she doesn’t just do this for friends, by the way — this woman does lash-lift and lash-extension house calls, so you don’t have to sit blind in an unfamiliar salon for an hour). I obeyed.
After inspecting my bald lashes, she told me not to panic. Lashes come and go, she said, and even if I did nothing, mine would grow back on their own in 6 to 12 weeks. But if I wanted a speedier recovery, I should apply lash serums and moisturizers to my lid line daily, and clean my remaining lashes with a spooly (a clean mascara wand). All of these tips, she mentioned, would also be helpful for someone trying to grow thicker, longer lashes.
One of the products I used — a lash serum from Rodan + Fields, recommended to me by a friend who claimed it transformed her supethin eyelashes — worked particularly well. In fact, after using it for a couple of weeks, I described my lashes to a friend as “Bambi-like.” I noticed while using it, though, that it caused some irritation around my lid line. After looking it up, I learned that there is an active lawsuit against the company regarding the exact irritation I experienced. I called Jasmine and asked what she thought of the allegations. “Rodan + Fields has a shady feel to it,” she told me. “It seems like they’re more about profit than making good products.” Had I known Jasmine’s take ahead of time, I probably wouldn’t have used it. But I did, and I can’t deny that it had a positive effect on my lashes’ growth and thickness.
It’s been two months since the day I yanked my lashes out, and I’m pleased to say that they have almost completely grown back to their normal length and thickness. Below are the products I used to bring them back from the brink.
If you ask a group of beauty editors what the best eyelash serum is, chances are they’ll recommend GrandeLASH, a nightly product that promises noticeable results in just four weeks. The online reviews are so-so: Some said it changed their lives, other said it did nothing. But Jasmine said it had worked well for her, so I decided to give it a go. About three-and-a-half weeks after the incident, I noticed that my traumatized little lashes were pushing out of their beds. I also applied the serum on the lashes I didn’t tear out, and noticed they got a lot longer, but not a lot thicker. Consistency is key: In order to see results, you must use it every single night.
This lash serum is beloved by Jasmine and many of my other lash-obsessed peers. People say that out of all the lash serums on the market, this is the least irritating on the eyes. People also swear that this makes a noticeable difference on their lashes in just two weeks.
Applying coconut oil daily to your lashes and lash line is a natural way to stimulate growth. Since I was using a lash serum at night, I applied the coconut oil in the morning. I noticed after I started using this product that I was losing far fewer lashes than I typically do. Plus, since lash serums can be intense on the eyes, this was a nice way to give my lashes some TLC after their hard nightly work.
Castor oil is another natural wonder product for hair growth. This has been known to help with any sparse or patchy brows, but it also works wonders on lashes! Mixing the castor oil and coconut oil together and applying them to your lashes will both condition and stimulate hair growth.
Another pro tip from Jasmine: Buy some mascara wands, throw them in your purse (in a plastic bag or container, so they stay sanitary), and brush your lashes with them at least once a day to remove any debris and dead skin cells. This will help create a healthy environment for your lashes to grow and thrive!