For women with short lashes, it might seem like you are cursed to wearing mascara or fake eyelashes just to get your eyelashes noticed. But mascara and fake eyelashes both contain chemicals and adhesives that might damage the natural eyelashes or cause irritation over time. There is a possible natural way to get naturally long lashes: coconut oil.
Who is it that is so NUTS for CocoNUTS?
In 2004, Bruce Fife wrote The Coconut Oil Miracle, which argues that coconut oil can cure all manner of ailments, from heart disease to obesity to problems with skin and hair care. According to The Coconut Oil Miracle, using coconut oil on hair results in “soft and shimmering” hair. While this book does not discuss eyelashes, its claims have led to a series of other people looking for uses for coconut oil.
Many credible sources claim that coconut oil is an all natural way to grow longer lashes. For example, Good Health Academy argues that the natural fatty acids in coconut oil will cause fewer eyelashes to fall out, as well as thickening and lengthening all the lashes. The benefits they list are numerous: fighting dandruff, fighting fungal infections, moisturizing and softening your eyelashes, and not damaging the eye the way chemical lengtheners do.
According to Bustle, coconut oil “is perfect for strengthening and hydrating your lashes.” The online women’s magazine promises that, over time, coconut oil will give you natural, fluffy lashes – no “falsies” required.
The Health Extremist agrees with Bustle’s claim, although this article emphasizes the impact of lavender. She cites this study, which showed that 44% of participants had more hair growth than the control group when they were applying essential lavender oils. Her DIY “Eyelash growth boosting recipe” receives many positive comments, and she claims that there will be growth.
To see an example of how to apply an eyelash growth recipe, look here:
Is it the coconut oil that helps, or the massage?
However, one other method for longer eyelashes recommended by the Health Extremist is to simply massage the eyelids. This increases blood flow, which stimulates hair growth.
On a similar note, Natural Beauty Tips claim that massaging the eyelids increases blood flow, so more nutrients reach the lashes. Specifically, they claim this “prevents thinning and breakage of your lashes.” So it is possible that coconut oil by itself isn’t the cure all some people claim it is, but the action of rubbing it on your eyelashes causes an inadvertent massage. Natural Beauty Tips recommends using coconut oil in your massage – perhaps this combination of methods is what will work best.
The Doctor’s give a more mixed review
Doctors seem more skeptical on the benefits of coconut oil. While Dr. Susan F. Lin, MD, writes “It certainly would not hurt to use coconut oil or castor oil to help condition your lashes. Daily stimulation may increase circulation and improve the appearance,” plastic surgeon Martin Jugenburg, MD has something more to say. He argues for Latisse, saying “Latisse helps to gorw lashes better than any other treatment known at this time.”
Amaliebeauty offers a look at the chemical makeup of coconuts, and what specifically could help hair growth. She writes that although coconuts contain three essential fatty acids (Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9), the don’t contain a high enough percentage to truly help stimulate growth. Coconut oil is only about 8% Oleic Acid, so you would need a lot of oil to truly help your lashes grow
Dr. Mercola, a New York Times best selling author, argues that eyelashes shouldn’t be touched at all. He points out that eyelashes are there to protect your eyes, and they naturally grow to a good length to do just that. Researcher Guillermo Amador, a PhD candidate at the Georgia Institue of Technology, argues that “long, elegant, fake eyelashes … may look good, but they’re not the best thing for the health of your eyes.”
However, Dr. Mercola does recommend applying coconut oil! He writes that its natural properties can help give eyelashes strength and thickness, and that they are much better than toxic, manmade mascaras.
Other doctors argue that slightly longer lashes are good for the health of your eyes. Dr. Hu, the senior author of a scientific paper on eyelashes, explains that longer lashes reduce air flow, which keeps the eye moist and keeps particles away from the eye more effectively.
So is this all a yes, or a no?
Basically, there is no harm in using coconut oil on your lashes, and many people have success stories from applying coconut oil every night. Applying coconut oil should help keep your lashes moist and strong, and if nothing else, massaging the oil into the skin around the lashes should provide some tangible benefits. Longer lashes are possible with perfectly natural remedies, so try some coconut oil or a massage before you go for the chemicals.