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How Do I Prevent My Eyelashes From Being White?

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
Q: I have seen many times that girls in their short ages have white eyelashes and me too. I know it’s because I wear mascara in early age but I want to know how I can get them back. Or can I even do this? I don’t know?
Expert Answer

This may seem like a very rare and peculiar occurrence. Since we all know lashes are generally dark in nature, well it depends on your hair anyway and white lashes may come as a shock. However it is not as really as odd as most people would think. White lashes can be caused by different reasons such as albinism, vitiligo, blepharitis and of course, the usual suspect, aging. In this article we will discuss all of this.

But before we jump on to the possible culprits of white eyelashes it is best to discuss melanin first since it plays a big role in giving your lashes its pretty and lush dark color. Cells that are called melanocytes create melanin and these cells can be found in the hair follicle. When these melanocytes malfunction that is when the hair starts to become grey or white.

Albinism

People with albinism are not really that hard to spot. They are most commonly called albinos. They are born with a congenital disorder which causes a lack of or poor melanin production in their system. Albinism is characterized mainly by white skin as well as light hair, eyebrows and of course eyelashes. With albinism it is hard to get your lashes to become dark again mainly because it is your body that refuses your ability to produce* melanin.

Vitiligio

Unlike albinism, vitiligio slowly develops in people between the ages of ten to thirty. It is characterized mainly by loss of pigment which translates to white patches on the skin usually in those areas that are most exposed to the sun. A side effect of vitiligo is the early whitening or graying of the hair on your body such as those on your scalp, eyebrows and eyelashes. The retina may also become lighter when one is diagnosed with vitiligio.

Aging

The most common reason for white eyelashes is actually plain old aging. No surprise here folks. As people get older, melanin production weakens and hence grey hair can be found in people in their seventies and sometimes when you’re unlucky in your fifties or sixties. Although white eyelashes are more common in men than in women, it is still a pretty normal occurrence that is no cause for alarm. However certain factors such as excessive smoking or malnutrition can speed up the aging process which also translates to a higher risk of having white eyelashes.

Treatment

For those that are suffering from greying eyelashes because of age, you still have a couple of options for treatment. Listed below are a couple of options you can look into.

  • Some people have found success in semi-permanent dyes. The great thing about these is the fact that you can buy these at any local drug store. It is however better* to have an esthetician perform this on you. However, as eyelashes do tend to grow back, you will have to reapply this regularly.
  • Eyelash enhancers have also been found to be successful with older people that are suffering from greying lashes. You can also buy these anywhere. You only need to apply these twice a day and results have been said to show in two to four months’ time.
  • You must remember though that when speaking of lighter lashes by reason of age they are usually grey by nature, lashes that are white are usually telling of a medical disorder.