If you take a long look in the mirror and really focus on your eyebrows and eyelashes, these fuzzy features may begin to look strange. Why do we have hair above and around our eyes? Are eyebrows and eyelashes important to our health or are they just aesthetic features that help us look a certain way or express an emotion?
As humans evolved, we lost a lot of excess body and facial hair along the way. But the eyebrows and eyelashes remained a core part of our features. We still have eyebrows and lashes because these assets help to keep our eyes clean and vision clear. Let’s take a closer look at why we need eyebrows and eyelashes below:
Eyebrows Move Moisture Away from the Eyes
Clear vision is important to human survival and eyebrows help preserve vision by protecting against moisture and sweat. The arched shape of eyebrows actually redirects moisture over to the sides of our face, away from the eyes. Many experts believe that if humans did not evolve to have eyebrows, we may have developed extremely pronounced foreheads or really long eyelashes to help keep moisture out.
Eyelashes Prevent Irritation and Infection
Your eyelashes are meant to serve as a protective barrier to seal off your eyes from foreign objects or moisture and prevent irritation or infection. When you close your eyes, the curled lashes connect to form a seal and keep unwanted particles out. If your eyes are open, the curved shape of your lashes will help move water away from the eye. Eyelashes also help us to detect foreign objects that get too close. For example, if a gnat is buzzing by your eyes and your lashes sense that movement they will trigger your eye to blink for protection.
Now that you realize the importance of these furry facial features, keep your eyebrows and eyelashes healthy. Avoid cosmetic hair removal or grooming that may lead to eyelash or brow loss. Got any other weird science questions? Ask them in the comments and we will respond in a blog. If you have any questions about eye irritation or possible infection, consult with your physician today.