I remember when lash extensions were a new trend at the start of the millennia. My girlfriends were hooked and so was my family. I had to get it done too and that’s why I went for a lash treatment session in my nearest town.
While the whole experience was a bit apprehensive (thanks to my anxiety), the only fuss during the whole 2.5 hours of lash extension treatment was my watery eyes. And when it was complete, I felt no less than a princess right outta the fairytales.
I looked gorgeous, thanks to classic lash extensions.
The vivid thing is, I remember asking myself- what sorcery is this. I asked for the home phone number of the lash tech who did my lashes and kept bugging her throughout the week to find out where I could learn it for myself too.
That was almost two decades ago and roughly ten years ago came ‘Russian Volume’ lash extensions. These were even bigger hits than Classics were. I had to get it too. And by then I was an expert lash tech and so I got it done on me first and then learned how to do it from a couple of Russian lash tech girlfriends directly.
The way they transformed eyes was just brilliant to me. While it was obvious those who got the volume set were wearing falsies, it looked more natural than strip lashes or the terrible-cluster-lashes. It even made most of the wearers look like they just stepped off the red carpet.
Today, I can do both volume and classics in a little over two hours. Classics are a hit with the older generation and volume with the young’uns.
Whether you’re a new lash tech or an expert, getting down to deets about both is essential to answer those twisted questions asked by your clientele. That’s why this post.
Rest assured and read on to find out all about classic vs volume lashes including their types, pros, cons, and important pointers today. The last section will also teach you how to pick the right treatment based on your client’s eye shape, eyelash characteristics, and preferences too.
Scroll away to get started!
As a lash tech, this is oftentimes the first technique you’re taught no matter which academy you study at. Also referred to as the ‘natural’ eyelash extensions technique, classic lashing is a technique where one eyelash extension is attached to a single isolated natural lash.
This way, you don’t have to worry about the weight on natural lashes because you aren’t adding a bunch of lash extensions to a single lash of the client. That’s also the same reason why ‘Classic lash extensions’ make the client look ‘bright and healthy’ rather than ‘made-up’ or ‘gaudy’. Moreover, most people won’t even notice that a person has a ‘classic’ style of lash extensions. Remarkable right?
While inexperienced lash artists may add thicker individual lashes, most experienced lash techs go for thin lashes chosen based on the natural lash for this technique. It’s perfect for clients with several lashes, especially if they’re long too. If your client has very few natural lashes, the ‘classic’ style might not look great on them as the techs might’ve to add several strands per lash to fill any gaps. And, that’s called adding fans, not clusters.
The classic style of lash extension treatment doesn’t look over the top or out of place. That being said, the thickness of the extension (in millimeters), it is material (silk, mink, or synthetic), type of curl (C, D, J, L, U), and arrangement can vary based on how you want to apply it. Typically, these things are picked by analyzing the texture, and length of the client’s natural lashes. When it comes to curling, client preferences are weighed in.
Lash techs create a classic eyelash extension style by focusing on the length of the lash over volume. That’s why they don’t look fuller or extra-fluffy.
Here’s a good tutorial video on how to do a Classic Full Set from LBK.
When you’re deciding on which classic eyelash extension set to offer your clients, you have a myriad of options to choose from. All of them depend on the number of lash extensions, it’s length, and curl.
Based on the total eyelash extensions you will add to an eye, it can be divided into full, medium, or light classic eyelash extensions treatment.
As every person has 90 to 150 lashes per eye, 90 to 150 lash extensions are added for a full set of classic extensions.
When it comes to the medium setting, this goes down approximately 25%, i.e, 70 to 115 per eye.
Finally, if the client wants a ‘light’ set of classic lash extensions, you only add 60% to 50% of lash extensions per eye. This means, for a light set classic style, you’ll add 55 to 90 eyelash extensions per eye.
Some people also refer to a different classic lash extension type called the ‘glam’ type for the medium set of classic lashes. Typical diameters of lashes used for ‘classic lash extensions’ range from .10 to .25 besides .12, .15, .18, and .20 in-between.
Keep in mind that there isn’t any hard and fast rule when it comes to different types of classic eyelash extensions. In fact, what looks lesser on one of your client’s lashes won’t look light on you or someone else.
Hence, it’s important to determine the right number of lash extensions per eye based on the style they choose according to the situation rather than a hard-and-cold number you read above. The trick is to adapt the rulebook to the situation. Ready for it?
Pros of Classic Lash Extensions
Cons of Classic Lash Extensions
When you’re quite experienced with doing lash extensions, the next step after classic lashes is training yourself in volume lashes. It’s quite different and requires expert hands. That’s why no lash tech gets started with volume lashes, but classic lashes.
Popular as the Russian Volume lash extension treatment, it was first created by Russian lash artists Olga Debronravova and Irina Levchuck. It became popular in Russia before entering the Hollywood market.
Today you can see celebrities from Jennifer Lopez to Kylie Jenner wearing lash extensions with pride. What’s more, volume lashes are the biggest trend in the industry too. In fact, Katy Perry always goes for thick volume lashes in the C curl category.
So what are volume lashes?
Instead of adding one eyelash per natural lash as you saw in the case of classic lashes, in volume lashes, artists add three or more lash extensions per natural lash. While it starts from three, it can go up to 4 to 6 and even 7 in some cases. Volume lashes translate to several fake lashes per natural strand of eyelash extensions to create what is called a fan.
Referred to as 3D lashes for ‘D’ dimension. It creates a dramatic look with a high number of lashes per strand and these are typically 1 to 2 mm longer than natural lashes. That being said, you should never go above 12 mm in length in total for eyelash extensions. And what about the weight of volume lashes?
When you’re adding numerous lash extensions per eye, you have a high chance of damaging natural lashes unless you go down on the individual and total weight of lash extensions. Typically, you should choose lash extensions with the diameter of .07, .06, .05, and .03 for clients with healthy natural lashes.
Just as we said for classic lash extensions, always trust your gut instead of the rulebook to decide if a type of lash extension is good enough for a client’s natural lashes.
Tune into The Lash Fairy teaching how to do a Full Volume Eyelash Extension next.
Are there different volume lash extensions available today? Yes, there are different volume eyelash extensions just as classic eyelash extensions. The choice of the type of volume lashes is primarily the job of the client, but they’ll always depend on you to guide them into making the best decision.
As such, there are three types of volume lash extension treatments. The first type is natural volume lashes where three to four lash extensions are added per natural lash. Typically, natural volume fans are light in weight with a diameter of 0.05 or 0.06 mm.
The second type of volume eyelash extension type is the medium volume with four to six lash extensions per natural lash. Here, the diameter can be either 0.06 or 0.07 mm. As this consists of several more lash extensions per eyelash, it has to be lighter in weight.
The last category of volume lash treatment is called ‘mega volume lashes’. Here, the fans are created using six to 16 lash extensions. As it comprises a high number of false lash extensions, you need to stick with the lightest weighing fibers. Lash techs generally use extensions in varying diameters of 0.05mm to 0.07mm.
All that being said, it’s not easy to do a volume lash treatment as opposed to the classic lash setup. You have to consider the different stages of growth of the natural lashes that range from mature to baby lashes for doing so.
While doing a full set might look good for a week or three on clients, it mightn’t look good once different eyelashes grow in full. It will look haphazard and criss-cross. Check this picture shared by Divine Lashes (a high-rated Canadian Eyelash Extension Salon) to have a clear idea of how it would look. That’s why unless you’ve enough practice and experience, it’s easy to screw up a mega volume set!
Volume lashes are Level_II on the eyelash extension courses around the world for a reason. They’re tough to learn and even-more tough to do on a client. That’s why you should educate every client who comes for such treatment about the fine print of this treatment before you get started on it.
The following list of advantages and disadvantages of volume lash extensions will help you out.
Pros of Volume Eyelash Extensions
Cons of Volume Eyelash Extensions
Choosing classic or volume lash extension depends on your client, mostly. The second best rulebook is their face. How do their eyes look? What’s the shape of their eye? How long are their lashes? What’s the texture of their lashes? How’s the curl of their natural lashes?
Let’s find out the trick to help your customers pick the right lash below.
What are hybrid lash extensions? That’s for another day. For now, why don’t you check out the stories of Top 10 Eyelash Artists around the world? It’s very inspiring for up and coming artists like you.
Whether you’re doing volume or classic sets, there are few things to remember, the biggest thing being the use of lash adhesives.
Here’s another tutorial video from LBK explaining all you need to train yourself with.
We learned the core differences between classic and volume lashes today. Classic lashes add one eyelash extension per natural lash and volume does three to sixteen depending on the type. Before you start with either, ensure you’ve got the client to select which type they want first. Next, do lash mapping and finally proceed to apply for the lash extensions after priming their natural lashes off debris or grime.
When it comes to classic lashes, it’s not a good idea for those with short or sparse lashes but is best for clients with long lashes. It gives a realistic and natural look.
On the other hand, volume lashes are excellent for clients with thick or sparse lashes, but the weight of the extensions has to be chosen wisely to ensure their natural lashes don’t break off. This is because volume lash treatment utilizes multiple lashes per natural lash. However, inexperienced lash artists often end up creating more problems than normal when doing volume lashes than classic lashes.
Based on the list of pointers above, it’s easy to choose the right lash extension for your client.
One piece of advice to all you lash artists who’re waiting to take a deep dive into volume lashes: don’t use preset fans. Make them by hand after conversing with the client instead. While it might seem cheaper and easier to make it and store it for later, every client’s eye is different and unique. Fitting extensions to save your bucks isn’t good in the long run if you wanna build a good business.
Apart from that, practice, practice, and more practice is necessary to make you do a good mega volume treatment. It ain’t easy and it’s even called the toughest course in lash extensions for a reason.
Check out how to start a successful eyelash business next.
Got any doubts? All you gotta do is leave us a comment and Cherie will get back to you within a few hours. So, fire away!