Your eyelashes have a relatively short growth cycle, lasting for approximately 30 to 45 days, according to Dr. Beth Ann Ditkoff, author of "Why Don't Your Eyelashes Grow? Curious Questions Kids Ask About the Human Body." Toxins, allergic reactions, eye infections, a thyroid problem, constant eye rubbing, sun radiation, medical conditions and certain medications can contribute to eyelash breakage and prevent eyelash growth. The rate that your eyelashes grow is predetermined by genetics, but certain nutrients might support eyelash growth.
Vitamin B-3, also known as niacin, stimulates eyelash growth, eliminates dry and brittle eyelashes, improves blood flow to your hair follicles, aids in cellular reproduction, prevents your eyelashes from falling out and helps your body metabolize keratin, a protein that supports hair growth, according to Abram Hoffer, author of "Feel Better, Live Longer with Vitamin B-3." Foods rich in vitamin B-3 include beef liver, salmon, tilapia, tuna, sunflower seeds, peanuts, mushrooms and asparagus.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that strengthens your immune system and protects your eyelashes from infections, toxins and diseases that can inhibit hair growth, according to Charles Alan Blake Clemetson, author of "Vitamin C." Clemetson adds that vitamin C hydrates your eyelashes, accelerates the healing process, decreases hair follicle inflammation, repairs hair follicle damage, aids in collagen production and lowers your risk of eyelash breakage. Foods rich in vitamin C include cranberries, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, pineapples, oranges, tomatoes, grapefruits, kale and strawberries.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that improves immune system function and protects your hair follicles from damaging free-radicals that can prevent your eyelashes from growing, according to Steve Blake, author of "Vitamins and Minerals Demystified." Blake adds that vitamin E transports blood and oxygen to your hair follicles, reduces hair follicle inflammation, encourages hair growth, eliminates dry and brittle eyelashes, repairs damaged hair follicles, aids in cellular reproduction and lowers your risk of eyelash breakage. Foods rich in vitamin E include almonds, hazelnuts, kale, spinach, sunflower seeds, safflower oil, blueberries, peanut butter and avocados.
Vitamin H, also known as biotin, encourages eyelash growth, increases blood flow to your hair follicles, thickens your eyelashes, prevents your eyelashes from drying and falling out, improves the condition of your eyes and eyelashes, and helps your body absorb nutrients such as fats, amino acids and carbohydrates, which are needed to stimulate and maintain healthy eyelashes, according to Alan Pressman, author of "Pocket Idiot's Guide to Vitamins." Foods rich in vitamin H include soybeans, bananas, mushrooms, sardines, eggs, walnuts, beans, black-eyed peas and nut butters.
Calcium is a mineral that aids in eyelash growth, helps lengthen your eyelashes, prevents eyelash breakage and lowers your risk of hair loss caused by hypothyroidism, a condition that occurs when your thyroid gland no longer produces enough hormones to regulate your body's metabolic rate and blood calcium levels, according to Dr. Michael Zimmermann, author of "Burgerstein's Handbook of Nutrition: Micronutrients in the Prevention and Therapy of Disease." Foods rich in calcium include yogurt, cheese, milk, almonds, peas, okra, collard greens, salmon, tofu and sardines.
- “Feel Better, Live Longer with Vitamin B-3”; Dr. Abram Hoffer; 2007
- “Why Don’t Your Eyelashes Grow? Curious Questions Kids Ask About the Human Body”; Dr. Beth Ann Ditkoff; 2008
- “Burgerstein's Handbook of Nutrition: Micronutrients in the Prevention and Therapy of Disease”; Dr. Michael Zimmermann; 2001
- “Pocket Idiot's Guide to Vitamins”; Alan H. Pressman; 1999
- “Vitamins and Minerals Demystified”; Steve Blake; 2007
- “Vitamin C”; Dr. Charles Alan Blake Clemetson; 1989