Fall Lash Shed

The first day of fall is in just two short day! This means it’s time to bust out those scarves and boots, indulge in your PSL guilty pleasure, and light all those fall scented candles. Unfortunately, it also means time for a phase of poor lash extension retention. This is what we in the biz refer to as the fall lash shed. I’m going to drop some knowledge on you here about what the fall lash shed is, why it happens, and what that means for you and your extensions during the seasonal transition.

Fall Lash Shed
To understand why this happens, we have to consider the biological function of our hair. And yes, eyelashes are hair. During the summer, the sun is shining, the weather is warm, and our hair follicles experience a surge in growth. We’re getting more Vitamin D and our blood circulation is at its best, so hair is able to grow faster and for a longer amount of time before shedding. Our hair grows in three stages: anagen, catogen and telogen. The telogen stage is the resting state, where our hairs are their longest right before they naturally shed. Studies have shown that during the summer months, we have the highest percentage of hairs in the telogen stage and that they have an increased average resting state of 100 days prior to shedding. The evolutionary theory behind this is that our bodies hold onto the hair follicles longer to help protect our skin (and in the case of our lashes, protect our eyes) from harsh UV rays. Beyond this, less vitamin D leads to a dip in the strength of the immune system. This results in our bodies prioritizing blood flow to go to our major organs to help keep us healthy instead of sending it to help grow hair, which we no longer need as protection. Makes sense, right? Then swoops in that lovely, crisp Autumn breeze and all the gears shift. Our bodies are basically like, “Hmm less sun exposure, huh? Guess we don’t need all this extra hair. Better get rid of it.” If you’re skeptical, pay attention to how much hair you’re finding in the shower drain or your hairbrush this time of year. While we in San Diego do not experience this as dramatically as residents of areas with more pronounced seasons, there’s still some extra shedding going on. The good news is that it tends to last for just a few weeks in areas with moderate climates like this one.
*Spoiler alert: this happens again in the Spring when our bodies are ready to shed the extra hair they grow to help keep up warm in the winter.
Hair Growth Phases

So what does this mean for you? Well, after you come in to get your lash extensions, your natural lashes are going to shed at a more rapid rate than usual and you’re going to need a fill sooner. What it means on my end as the lash artist is that I will be suggesting we temporarily switch to lash extensions with a lighter weight and possibly shorter length to accommodate all of these shorter baby lashes that will be coming in after the shed. I also always add an extra 15 minutes to fill appointments this time of year in anticipation of less retention. Different people experience this shed differently, so there’s always a chance your change will be so subtle that you won’t even notice. Here’s hoping! The best thing to do as a client to help combat the effects of the fall lash shed is really to be extra diligent with your aftercare. Keep those lashes squeaky clean, brush them often, keep oily products away from them, and DON’T TOUCH YOUR LASH EXTENSIONS.

The good news is that this is typically a short-lived nuisance, and you should be back to your normal retention after just a few appointments. While the fall lash shed is for sure an annoyance, all of the other fun cliche things this season has to offer definitely outweighs it in my humble opinion. Bring on the comfort food and dark lipstick.

Thanks lovie!



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