Why do eyelashes turn white?

Written by stephaniep
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Why do eyelashes turn white?
White eyelashes may require medical investigation. (auge image by Franz Metelec from Fotolia.com)

Eyelashes may turn white for many reasons---some natural, some the result of medical conditions or genetic disorders. It is important to make sure no health problem is causing your eyelashes to turn white. You may need an eye and skin exam, detailed family history, hearing test or lab work.

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Hair and its Color

Hair gets its colour from the pigment melanin, which is made in our hair follicles. Hair turns white when the melanin has been depleted. According to the website Disabled World, when these cells stop producing the pigment the result is a "transparent hair." The transparent hair looks grey or white against darker hair.


The website Wrong Diagnosis states that vitiligo could be one reason for eyelashes turning white. Vitiligo is a pigmentation disorder in which white patches of skin appear on different body parts and the hair growing on those areas can turn white. The website All About Vision reports that Blepharitis, a common eyelid inflammation that infests the eyelashes, can in severe cases also cause pigment loss, turning lashes white or grey.


Ageing is the No. 1 reason hair turns grey or white, and the change is one of the most obvious signs of ageing, according to the website MedlinePlus. Greying can begin at any age, but it is most prominent in people beyond their 40s. Hair becomes progressively lighter, eventually turning white. All body hair can turn grey and/or white. It is unusual, however, for eyelashes to turn pure white.


Because eyelashes may turn white due to medical conditions or disorders, it's best to see a health care provider for a proper check up before considering solutions or remedies.

Possible Solutions

The website Eye Make up Tips says that eye lashes can be dyed. Permanent eyelash dyeing can be done at a salon or you can buy a lash tint and do it yourself. You can use a semipermanent tint, or you can buy a product that will give a tint only until you wash it off. There are many different products, including vegetable eyelash dye or plain mascara. If mascara isn't an option, eyes can be accented using a dark eyeliner and lashes can be enhanced with an eyelash curler.


According to the website Beyondjane, even when performed by a professional, dyeing eyelashes can carry significant health risks and should generally be avoided.

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