What are Your Eyebrows and Eyelashes Really For?

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Eyebrows and Eyelashes Both Have Practical Purposes

As humans have evolved, the hair on our bodies has continually decreased over time. Only select areas on our bodies continue to have thick layers of hair. Eyebrows and eyelashes are two areas of hair that have remained integral to our overall look as humans.

Many people see eyebrows and eyelashes as a part of our features that are used purely for aesthetic purposes. However, they actually do serve a biological purpose. As we have evolved, the hair on our face has also evolved with the goal of protecting our eyes.

Purposes of Eyebrows 

Let’s start with the most noticeable of the two, your eyebrows. Their purpose is fairly obvious, yet people don’t realize why we have them.

  • To Keep Liquid Out of Our Eyes: The main purpose of eyebrows is to keep liquid such as rain or sweat from running in our eyes, obstructing our view. Your eyebrows grow in an arch shape while the hairs all grow in a direction to redirect liquid around the eye. Not to mention, they also help collect dust and dirt and block light.
  • To Communicate: Another important role our eyebrows play is helping humans communicate with one another. A study done by MIT found that our eyebrows may actually be more recognizable than our eyes themselves. They help express emotions and tell others information without needing to speak.

Purpose of Eyelashes

Eyelashes are made up of very different hair as opposed to anywhere else on your body. They are a group of hair that grows out of the edge of your eyelid. When they are healthy, they are said to never go gray. They are some of the shortest hairs found on your body, but they also have the longest life span. They also:

  • Protect Your Eyes: The function of eyelashes is very similar to that of eyebrows. Eyelashes can be thought of as the last line of defense for your eyes. Whatever your eyebrows don’t keep out of your eyes, your eyelashes can stop. They do their best to direct liquid away from your eyes while also keeping dirt, debris, and other small particles away from your eye.
  • Act as Sensors: A good comparison for your eyelashes would be cat whiskers. They act as sensors, reacting to any objects that come too close to your eyes and triggering a blink. They are the perfect length to protect your eyes while also keeping the moisture in them.

Unfortunately, eyelashes can cause some eye conditions such as trichiasis, distichiasis, and styes.

Many people tend to focus on the aesthetic purposes of eyebrows and eyelashes. While that is fine, they do serve more practical purposes. They are there to protect your eyes. Even though your eyebrows and eyelashes are there, you should still take the necessary steps to safeguard your eye health. Give the eye care specialists at First Eye Care North Arlington a call to learn about the ways you can help your eyes.

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