Have you noticed your arches getting sparser and your lash lines getting thinner during the winter months? You’re not the only one! The cold outdoor air (and artificial indoor heating) sucks all the moisture out of hair follicles. What this means for your lashes and brows: more hair fall and breakage.
And while winter temps are enough to bring about lash and brow thinning/breakage, many other factors can make it worse. Keep reading for all the reasons for winter lash & brow loss (and how to combat them!)
REASON # 1: DRYING & GROWTH-INHIBITING INGREDIENTS IN MASCARA AND BROW PRODUCTS
Many conventional mascaras and brow products contain drying and moisture-stripping ingredients that exacerbate already dry winter conditions. Without moisture, your lashes and brows become weak, brittle, and more prone to breakage. Some of the top drying/growth-inhibiting ingredients to avoid:
Polyacrylamide creates a thin coating over hair, nails, or skin. In a mascara or brow product, it would help hairs stay in position by preventing hairs from absorbing moisture. The problem is, hair needs moisture in order to grow.
2. Isoparaffin, Paraffin Wax, Liquid Paraffin
Paraffins acts as a sort of plastic wrap – impeding the skin’s ability to release toxins. This can inhibit lash and brow growth as the follicles become blocked.
Photo by Velizar Ivanov
3. POLYVINYLPYRROLIDONE (PVP)
PVP forms a thin coating over the skin, nails, or hair and is used to hold hairs in place by preventing hairs from absorbing moisture. Again, loss of moisture = loss of hair growth.
Not all alcohols are bad, but versions with low molecular weights can be very drying to skin and hair. The alcohols to watch out for in your lash and brow products: ethyl alcohol, benzyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, methanol, SD alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol.
5. METHICONE, DIMETHICONE
A silicone-based polymer, methicone creates a barrier for makeup to stick to. This barrier stops oils and sweat from entering/leaving the skin. The concern for lash and brow loss: a blocked hair follicle cannot function properly (not to mention toxins cannot be released properly).
THE FIX: Use hydrating mascara and brow products that do not interfere with/block normal follicular function. Cream-based brow products are generally more hydrating than powder options, however, your best bet is to read the ingredient list and avoid the above ingredients!
Our Nourish & Define Brow Pencil and Nourish & Define Brow Pomade are not only infused with ultra-hydrating natural ingredients like Shea Butter, Vitamin E, and Olive Oil, they’re packed with growth-activated ingredients that will take your brows from brittle to ultra-bold.
And stay tuned for our growth-activated mascara coming in the not-so-distant future!
REASON #2: STRESS
With all the traveling, gift buying, wrapping, entertaining, cooking, and family visits during Christmas, Hannukah, and New Year’s, winter can be a very stressful time. Why this matters for lashes and brows (and your hair too!):
In your normal hair growth cycle, each hair goes through three phases:
- Growth (anagen)
- Transition (catagen)
- Falling out (telogen)
Stress disrupts this process by prematurely kicking hairs out of the growth phase. Instead of leaving the growth phase at their own rate, the hairs rush to the resting phase together and fall out in bigger numbers – sometimes at 10x their usual rate!
THE FIX: Meditation! We know, it sounds pretty woo-woo and improbable, but we swear it’s real! Studies show that regular practice of mindfulness meditation can reduce cortisol levels (the stress hormone & culprit of hair loss) by up to 50%.
Also, consider using our Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum which elongates the growth phase of your lash and brow cycle while shortening the falling-out phase.
REASON #3: INDOOR AIR & NOT ENOUGH SWEAT
Recycled artificial indoor air can quickly strip skin and hair of moisture. And winter means more time huddling up on the couch with wine and Netflix, so more exposure to indoor air. Also, cold weather can make us less motivated to visit the gym, which means we miss out on the magical effects of sweat.
THE FIX: Sweat and more time outside! When we sweat, toxins and waste substances are flushed out from the hair follicle, allowing the space for hairs to grow. This can mean a hot yoga session, a trip to the sauna, or a good old fashioned gym sesh. Exercise also works for the other culprit of lash and brow loss: stress. Exercise increases serotonin levels in the body, helping to reduce stress and get your follicles out of their funk.
Also, try to brave the outdoors and experience the fun winter can offer: tobogganing, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating! Less time in recycled indoor air can really help lashes and brows thrive.
REASON #4: USING A DAMAGING LASH CURLER
Many lash curlers aren’t designed with lash health in mind and can cause breakage. While we’re all about the magic of lash curlers, it’s essential to use a thoughtfully designed curler that won’t damage your extra-fragile winter lashes.
THE FIX: Our Curl & Lift Lash Curler is specifically designed to gently curl lashes without weakening or breaking lashes.
REASON #5: NOT REMOVING MAKEUP NIGHTLY
The skin goes through intense regeneration at night, shedding toxins and dead skin cells. Makeup gets in the way of this process, clogging pores and not allowing skin and hair follicles to breathe. Also, makeup attracts aging free-radicals throughout the day, and while it doesn’t necessarily relate to hair growth, no one wants premature aging taking place while they sleep!
Makeup removal is especially important if your makeup contains drying, pore-clogging, or toxic ingredients – your skin works overtime at night and will absorb any products left on the surface of the skin.
THE FIX: Make makeup removal a non-negotiable in your nightly routine. Your lashes, brows (and skin!) will thank you!
REASON #6: HARSH MAKEUP REMOVAL
Just like lash and brow makeup, many makeup removers/makeup wipes contain harsh, drying ingredients that can irritate hair follicles and strip essential moisture. Also, harsh rubbing during removal can cause fragile lashes and brows to break and/or fall out.
THE FIX: Use a gentle, hydrating, non-toxic makeup remover (coconut oil is a great option) and press down gently to remove makeup rather than rubbing aggressively.
OTHER TIPS TO MAXIMIZE LASHES AND BROWS DURING WINTER (AND ALL YEAR LONG)
NOURISH YOUR LASH AND BROW FOLLICLES
Try our ultra-hydrating, 100% natural Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum for longer, thicker, blacker lashes and denser, darker brows. Lashes and brows will respond all-year-round, but especially in the winter, you’ll see a massive difference in the strength, length, and density of your favourite features.
If you’re not onboard for an extra step in your beauty routine, try our Nourish & Define Brow Pencil or Nourish & Define Brow Pomade instead. They’re both infused with growth-actives to encourage thicker, bolder brows over time. These options take a little longer to see effects than the serum, but it means growth while wearing products you already use daily.
For maximum brow-growth effects, brush your brows daily with a spoolie brush. The bristles will gently exfoliate and help stimulate follicles for greater growth potential.
Thanks for tuning into our blog, Pluminati! May your hearts be warm, your lashes be long, and your brows be bodaciously bold.
- The Plume Team <3
Can you recommend hydrating mascaras? I assume those without harsh chemicals would not be tested on animals and be vegan in composition.