Does Crying Really Make Your Lashes Grow Longer?


Science shows us that there are actually multiple benefits of crying, including reducing pain and lubricating your eyes, but sadly, longer lashes isn’t one of them. (I think we’d all be watching The Notebook every night if that were the case.) “It is a myth that if you cry often, your eyelashes will grow longer,” says New York dermatologist Marina Peredo, MD. “When you cry, you are normally stressed and your body releases hormones like cortisol, but that will not cause longer lashes.”

“Wouldn’t it be nice if there was an upside to a broken heart or other sources of tears?” says Beverly Hills, CA dermatologist Ava Shamban, MD. “Sadly there is not in this case—lashes just look longer when they are wet.” Dr. Peredo agrees, saying that lashes may appear darker, glossier and more vibrant after a person cries. “So while crying may not really cause your lashes to grow longer, it can certainly make them appear healthier and more lustrous!” 

“Eyelashes are specialized hairs that are meant to protect our eyes,” says Delray Beach, FL dermatologist Dr. Janet Allenby. “The length, color, density and growth cycle, which are similar to all body hair,  is hormonally and genetically influenced.” Dr. Peredo adds that hormonal shifts, like those that occur as we age and during menopause, can cause eyelashes to shorten due to hormonal imbalances that affect the growth cycle of the hair follicles. “Some medical conditions like thyroid disease can also make someone lose their eyelashes, as well as their eyebrows, and certain nutritional deficiencies—zinc, biotin and iron—can cause loss and thinning of lashes, too.”

To truly achieve longer, fuller lashes, Dr. Shamban says “you have to rely on the tried-and-true topical liquid medications like Latisse—it’s available via prescription—to get them longer and darker, or wear lash extensions.” Dr. Allenby agrees: “The only way I know of that we can modify the lash quality and growth is by using topically applied ‘conditioners’ and medicines that signal the hair follicle to stay longer in the growth phase, which allows them to thicken, darken and lengthen. I’m a huge fan of the OTC conditioners like Grande Cosmetics GrandeLASH-MD, RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner and Obagi Nu-Cil, as well as Latisse.”