Long, lush lashes and fully formed brows — everyone wants them. Unfortunately, growing out your lashes and brows often feels like it takes even longer than growing out your hair. But lashes and brows have different hair growth cycles than the hair on your head. They also don't grow as long as the hair on your head so it's difficult to determine how quickly they grow relative to hair growth.

To find out the truth, VEGAMOUR dug into the research and spoke to an expert who answered the question of whether your hair really grows faster than your eyebrows and eyelashes. Read on to learn more — plus, find out what products you really should be using to encourage thicker, fuller brows and lashes.

The Four Stages of Hair Growth

All hair follicles (including face, head and body hair) have a similar structure and growth phase. There are four phases of hair growth: anagen phase, catagen phase, telogen phase and exogen phase.

Anagen Phase

At any given time, most of the follicles on your head are in the anagen phase. This phase can last anywhere from two to seven years and results in around one centimeter of hair growth every 20 to 30 days. Your lash hairs (and brow hairs) typically spend approximately one to two months in the anagen phase. So, why does the hair on your head have a longer anagen phase than the hair around your eye area?

"There are more hair follicles on the scalp than eyelashes," said Dionne Phillips, a licensed esthetician and eyelash extensions expert.

Shop: GRO Lash and Brow Kit

Catagen Phase

The next stage of hair growth is called the catagen phase, and it's known as the transition phase. In this short phase, the hair on your head stops growing, and the hair follicle shrinks. Only about 1% of your head hair follicles are in this stage at any given time, and it can last anywhere from 10 days to four months. The process is the same for your lash hair and eyebrows, except this phase only lasts two to three weeks. If an eyelash falls out during this stage, it won’t start growing back until this phase is over.

Telogen Phase

Next, your hair follicles enter the telogen phase, also known as the resting phase. It's during this phase that your hair finally gets a break from all that growing and relaxes for a bit before shedding in the final hair growth phase. About 10% of the follicles on your head are in this stage at any given time, and it can last upward of four months.

Unlike your head hair, which spends most of its time in the anagen phase, your lash and brow hair spend most of their time in the telogen phase — around four to nine months.

Exogen Phase

Finally, the hair enters the exogen phase, when the hair follicle detaches from the scalp and eye area. Although you'll normally lose 50 to 100 head hairs per day, you might only lose a few lashes every day out of the 300 or so around your eyes.

During this phase, a new hair begins to grow from the base of the hair shaft, eventually pushing out the old hair. So a certain degree of shedding is completely normal — it's just your body's way of making room for the new hairs!

Do Lashes and Brows Grow Faster Than Hair?

The short answer is no. Phillips confirmed that lashes and brows don't grow faster than the hair on your head.

The difference is that while the hair on your head spends years making its way through the hair growth cycle, your eyebrows and eyelashes are completing the cycle every four to eight weeks.

"It seems like eyelashes are growing slowly; however, they are in constant growth," said Phillips.

Read: Why Your Eyelashes Fall Out, According to A Lash Expert

How to Keep Your Lashes & Brows Healthy

Believe it or not, you can unintentionally make it harder for your lashes and brows to thrive. Keep these tips in mind to help keep your brows and lashes healthy.

  • Be gentle around the eyes. Use a makeup remover on a cotton round to get rid of stubborn makeup residue and avoid excessive rubbing on both your brows and eyelashes. Also, avoid waterproof mascara if possible.
  • Avoid overplucking, overwaxing or overthreading your brows. Too much of any of these can leave you with sparse brows.
  • Carefully consider lash extensions. Adhesives used to add length to natural lashes may also cause an allergic reaction. There are other options for longer eyelashes, which don't involve the use of semi-permanent glue.
  • Maintain a healthy diet. Make sure you're eating well-balanced meals with plenty of protein, which will provide the amino acids essential for growing hair.
  • Consider adding a supplement to your routine. Healthy hair begins from the inside out. And VEGAMOUR’s GRO Biotin Gummies deliver targeted nutrients to your hair to enhance hair wellness.
  • Keep your skin moisturized. Keeping the brow skin clean and moisturized is best for healthy hair follicles.
  • Talk to a doctor. If your eyebrows and eyelashes are experiencing hair loss that seems out of the ordinary, talk to your doctor. The cause could be hormonal, in which case your doctor would put you on medications or a wellness routine that can help get your hormones in check.

Related: How Long Does It Take for Eyelashes to Grow Back?

    How to Encourage Fuller, Thicker Lashes and Brows

    If you suffer from sparse brows or lashes or simply want to amp up the lashes and brows you already have, here's how to encourage longer lashes and thicker eyebrows.

    VEGAMOUR's all-natural lash and brow serums feature plant-based actives, including mung bean and red clover, which have been clinically shown to promote fuller, denser, thicker-looking lashes and brows. In some subjects, there was a 94% greater increase in both brow and lash volume after four months of consistent use.

    GRO Lash & Brow Serum Kit - Before & After

    Want to treat your brows and lashes to even more nutritious plant actives? Try GRO+ Advanced Lash & Brow Serums with full-spectrum hemp that works in tandem with the formula's plant-based actives to encourage longer, thicker lashes and brows.

    Set the Stage for Fuller, Thicker Lashes and Brows

    Overall, you shouldn't be too concerned about the rate your eyelashes and eyebrows grow. Hair cycles are natural, and so is occasional daily shedding.

    Plus, hair wellness is a journey — a journey that takes time. If you're looking for longer, fuller lashes and thicker brows, aim for a holistic approach. Give your body all the nutrients it needs, get plenty of sleep, manage stress and use natural hair wellness products to encourage fuller lashes and brows. Additionally, work to sustain the health of your natural lashes by treating them gently.

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    Photo credit: Jimmy Fermin/Unsplash

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      Disclaimer: Information in this article is intended for general informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician.