Readers Respond: Why Do Eyebrow and Eyelash Hair Stop Growing? | life and style

Why do eyebrows and eyelashes stop growing at a certain point, when it seems like other hairs would grow and grow if you let them? Thomas Carnegy, Angus

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Readers Respond

Anything else would be mind-blowing. Anthony Walter

Because at the time, the mat caused by eyebrow and eyelash hair eventually got tangled or kept your eyes open all night – leading to exhaustion and an inability to run fast, leading to be eaten by a saber-tooth tiger – or made impossible to see at all – which led to being eaten by saber-tooth tiger cubs looking for an easy meal. Thus, these people were quickly removed from the genetic tree. Evolution at work! Thomas1178

Hair has a period of active growth and then a transition phase before reaching the fall phase. Since we never have to trim our eyebrows, I guess their growth period is short. DianaB

We never have to trim our eyebrows? Speak for yourself: those of us around 56 have to do this to stop looking like Denis Healey. (Ask your grandfather.) PhilippePigott

I inherited a number of traits from my dad, including Healey-esque eyebrows, which I’ve needed to trim regularly since at least my 30s. I’m a woman. EBGB

They keep growing, if you are female they just migrate to other areas. Chin, upper lip, nipples. DoraMarr

If you are a man, the hair can migrate from the top of the head to everywhere other. Indebted Youth

As men of a certain age will testify, eyebrow hair can certainly grow and regrow, as well as nose hair, ear hair, etc. As for eyelashes, they fall out over time and then grow back. There is an optimal length beyond which they are more likely to fall out, especially when the eyes are rubbed. Stone, Bristol

More interesting is why my ear hair started growing and now has to be trimmed every time I get my hair cut. What possible evolutionary advantage can be derived from this? Sandancer56

When I was younger, I had beautiful, long, curly eyelashes, which I passed on to my sons and my grandson. (No female descent to benefit.) Now my eyelashes seem to have stopped growing and are short. I am over 70, so is this old age? LucyAnnie

The only body hair that won’t stop growing is the stuff on your head, and the beards, I guess. Everything else grows to a certain length and then falls off/is replaced, which is just as well. It wouldn’t be very convenient if the leg/body/pubic/armpit/eyelash/eyebrow hair grows continuously.

I don’t know why human hair grows so long – there are no other animals in which this happens. Can anyone answer that one? Honeycomb_Mk2

When I got pregnant, I had terrible nausea. From about 4 p.m. every day, I had my head in the toilet. I was terrified of taking medicine or medicine in case my long awaited pregnancy was lost. On the third month, the good nails started to grow and to my amazement, my eyelashes started growing scarily. Each hair had a different length. One grew to just under 5 inches (13 cm). Everything was curled up on the edge. I started thinking about contacting Guinness World Records. As they fell, I kept them in a plastic drawer in which I kept odds. I wonder where that went. WishfulStinker

Unlike all the gentlemen who have insanely luxurious eyebrows (including my husband), mine are almost gone, along with my lashes. I have never waxed and I had a nice well defined forehead. Now in their 60s, they are rare and prefer to curl up like Fu Manchu. I also lost almost all the hair on my arms and legs (except my knees – why?). Getting older is weird in many ways. Chooks59

I’m afraid I don’t know the answer but I would just like to say that in a time when the Guardian is often lazily charged below the dumbing line it’s a great comfort to know that you can always count on Notes and Queries to firmly refute this assertion by maintaining a high intellectual tone and daring to confront the most researched, the most abstruse and even the most controversial subjects. A case in point is this week’s question – which once again demonstrates that no question is too finicky to raise. There is no owl

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