Starting out as a lash artist can leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed — the vocabulary, tools, and skills can sometimes make you feel like you’re entering a whole new world. And in a sense, you sort of are! So it’s important that you start with the basics and work your way up. One of the most foundational topics is the different types of extensions you can offer your clients.
We’re going to get into the two main types of lashes: classic and volume. We’ll start with the basics of each, move on to their similarities and differences, and then get into how you would decide which is best for each unique client.
What Are Classic Lashes?
Classic lashes are just that — classic! They give your client a subtle, but still defined, look that can be worn for everyday life. The main distinguishing factor of classic lashing is that each individual extension is applied to just one natural lash, think of it as a 1:1 ratio. Since classic lashing tends to be more natural looking, it is important that you apply an extension to every available, healthy natural lash. If not, classic sets can end up looking a bit sparse and like they already need a fill. If your client already has thick, strong lashes and wants more of an understated effect that will give them more length, classic lashing is the way to go.
What Are Volume Lashes?
Volume lashes are formed by combining multiple individual extensions into fans, which are then each applied to just one natural lash. Fans can come in a wide range of dimensions, meaning how many extensions are in them. A larger dimension will create a fuller, fluffier, and heavier fan, so volume lashes tend to use thinner diameters. Fluffy volume fans create a full, voluminous (see where the name comes from?) appearance that is perfect for clients with sparse natural lashes.
What Are The Main Differences Between Classic And Volume Lashes?
Lash Strength, Density, and Length
Every client will have unique lashes that need specific considerations and accommodations from you. And remember, as the lash artist, your main priority is to make sure you maintain the health and safety of the client’s natural lashes. This means that you shouldn’t use any extensions that the client’s lashes cannot handle or support. Let’s say you have a client with naturally sparse, light, delicate lashes who wants a fuller look. Instead of using thicker classic extensions, you might want to veer towards a light volume set, which will increase the density of their lashes without weighing them down too much. On the other hand, clients with naturally thick lashes can usually tolerate larger diameters but might not need especially full fans.
Cost and Time
Lash artists tend to charge more for volume sets than classics. Why? Well, volume lashes generally take longer to apply than classics. You should definitely not feel bad about charging more for a service that is more involved and time-consuming. Also, many lash artists use their own handmade fans, which increases the service time as well.
Retention and Durability
Both classic and volume lashes will fall out at about the same rate, depending on the client’s natural lash growth pattern. However, classic lashes tend to start looking sparse quicker than volume lashes. This is due to how many individual extensions are used throughout the set. Since volume lashes use a lot more extensions, they stay fuller-looking longer than classics.
Are Classic Extensions and Volume Fans Interchangeable?
To make a long story short, no. Classic extensions tend to be thicker than volume fans since only one is applied to each lash. They tend to range from 0.10-0.15mm in diameter, and larger (heavier) extensions are not generally recommended since they can damage natural lashes.
On the other hand, volume fans are usually created with extensions ranging from 0.03-0.07mm in diameter. These are much thinner than classic lashes because you will use multiple at the same time. If they were thicker, you could potentially damage the natural lashes.
Which Is Better For Your Clients?
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer, there are a few things to consider when choosing which style to use on a client. If you are near the beginning of your lashing journey and still building your skillset, classic lashes might be a better option. Since they are less time-consuming and simpler to understand, classic lashes tend to be easier for newer lash artists. However, volume lashes are usually more popular and requested more frequently by clients, so you will want to get comfortable with them as well. As mentioned earlier, you will have to inspect the client’s lashes and determine what weight they can safely hold.
How To Take Care Of Classic and Volume Lashes
Both classic and volume lashes require a similar amount of maintenance and aftercare from the client. Make sure you remind them what they need to do to keep their lashes looking and feeling beautiful. You can even make a cute aftercare card to hand out after the service!
Avoid Water And Moisture (at first)
Your client should avoid swimming or working out for the first 4 hours after the service, and then avoid saunas, steam rooms, excessive sweating, and facials for another 4 hours. That will give the adhesive enough time to fully cure, so after that they should be fine to get wet. Please keep in mind that “do not get your lashes wet for 24 hours” is a very old myth, and your client can most definitely wash them the same day!
Wash Lashes Regularly
Lash extensions should be cleaned every day, if possible, to remove excess oil, dirt, or makeup. Using a soft eyelash brush and sterile, antibacterial cleanser will gently allow your client to keep their lashes healthy.
What About Makeup?
Eye makeup should be avoided, as it can interfere with the retention of the lashes and cause excess product buildup. If your client needs to wear makeup near the eyes, make sure they know to avoid oil-based products.
Avoid Excess Heat
Whenever possible, avoid direct heat on the extensions. For example, when blow drying hair, remind your client to keep the hot air blowing away from their eyes. This can cause the lashes to droop or fall out prematurely.
What Are Flat Lashes?
Here’s a little extra tip for you — try using flat lashes instead of classic extensions for better retention! Flat lashes have more of an oval shape, rather than round, so they can bond better to the natural lash.
Flat lashes are also lighter than classic extensions, so they won’t weigh down the lashes as much. If you have a client with quite short and weak natural lashes, flat lashes might just be the thing to use! However, since flat lashes are usually quite glossy, you will still want to add in some regular classic extensions to keep the set from looking too shiny.
The Bottom Line
Both classic and volume lashes have their special places in the lash industry. Some clients will prefer one over the other; others will have no idea what they want and it’ll be up to you to help them make up their mind. Just remember to keep in mind what is healthy for their lashes and what will give them the look they want.