September 04, 2021 5 min read

Classic vs Volume Lashes

Whether you’re a seasoned lash guru or just starting out, it’s never a bad idea to take it back to basics and refresh your knowledge. 

When we think of the various types of eyelash extensions, the terms most likely to pop into your head are classic lashes, volume lashes and hybrid lashes. 

These are three of the most popular lash styles, so we thought it would be a good idea to have a recap of classic vs volume lashes - after all, these are likely to be your most in-demand lash sets! 

What are classic eyelash extensions?

Classic lashes are achieved when one single extension is applied to one natural lash, typically providing an overall more natural look for the client. This is the most basic lash technique but has remained one of the most popular for a number of reasons - one of which being that they are ideal for clients who wish to add a little length to their own lashes whilst maintaining the most natural looking finish.  

As a lash technician you can, however, achieve different finishes with classic lashes, depending on what your client is looking for. If your client wants to achieve the ‘mascara effect’, lash artists can use 0.15 lash extensions. Whereas if your client wants their lashes to look subtly enhanced, 0.12 lash extensions can be used. Both lash thicknesses will result in a beautiful, natural appearance, it’s just worth noting that you’re not limited to only one thickness! 

When it comes to the length of the extensions, as a general rule of thumb, they should be a maximum of 3mm longer than the client’s natural lashes, but if you’re going for density you can even opt for lengths shorter than the natural lashes! Remember, classic lashes are for those who want a subtle enhancement of their own lashes - you don’t want to add too much length. 

classic vs volume lashes, classic eyelash extensions

What are volume lashes?

Volume lashes are achieved when multiple individual lash extensions are fanned out and applied to individual natural lashes. This method is commonly known as the Russian volume technique and is more advanced and technical than the classic lash technique. The extensions used in a volume lash set are much thinner than those used in a classic lash set (typically 0.07), in order to ensure the fan of extensions doesn’t weigh too heavily on the client’s natural lashes. 

The number of extensions used to create a fan and to be applied to an individual lash is crucial in determining the overall appearance of volume lashes. If two lashes are used within the fan (and therefore two extensions are applied to one single natural lash), this is known as 2D. If three extensions are applied to the individual natural lash, this would be 3D, and so on. The majority of volume courses will cover 2D-6D. Anything above 6D would typically be considered a mega volume lash set and would be covered in a mega volume course instead. 

classic vs volume lash extensions, volume lashes

Volume lashes provide a bolder appearance in comparison to classic lashes, and are great for creating a more dramatic look. While you have some creative freedom with classic lashes, there is a lot more you can do with volume lashes as they give a more dense finish! 

Crucially, volume lashes and cluster lashes arenotthe same. Cluster lashes are heavy, non-customizable, are applied to the base of the lash line of multiple lashes rather than to an individual lash, and can be very damaging to the natural lashes. Volume lashes, on the other hand, are very light and are applied carefully so that no damage at all is caused to the natural lashes.

Classic vs Volume lashes

When it comes to weighing up the differences between classic and volume lashes, they can be summarised quite simply: 

  • Classic lashes provide a more subtle, natural lash look, whereas volume lashes provide a fuller, fluffier appearance
  • Volume lashes consist of thinner extensions than classic lashes made into fans
  • Classic lashes consist of just one single extension being applied to the natural lash, while volume lashes require more than one extension to be applied to each individual natural lash
  • Volume lashes can be created using both pre-made fans and handmade fans

It is important to note that not every classic lash set will be the same and neither will every volume lash set. In fact, you should always actively tailor your lash sets to your client’s natural lashes, as well as their overall wishes. The more you can customize your lash sets, the more likely clients are to return, as not every lash curl will suit every eye shape. It’s important to be able to identify when you should use a specific lash curl, length and thickness depending on the client. 

Both classic lashes and volume lashes can consist of various different lash curls and lengths. It’s by no means a one-size-fits-all situation! 

Should I get classic or volume lashes?

Lash technicians are extremely familiar with the ‘classic vs volume lashes’ question and there’s no one right answer. It all depends on: 

  • The look your client wishes to achieve (natural, dramatic?)
  • Their eye shape and the condition of their natural lashes (for example, for those with naturally sparse lashes who want a fuller lash look, volume lashes would likely be the better option)
  • Their budget (the volume lash technique is far more advanced and time consuming than the classic lash technique, therefore it will inevitably be more expensive)

For those clients who really can’t decide which look they’d like to go for, you can use the following as a quick guide to help give your recommendation: 

Your client should opt for classic lashes if… 

  • They want a natural, ‘mascara’ effect finish
  • They have naturally thick lashes and simply want to add some length
  • They have a lot of natural lashes
  • They’re on a tight budget 

Your client should opt for volume lashes if…

  • They want a bolder, fuller appearance
  • They have sparse natural lashes (or already have thick natural lashes but want an even fuller finish)
  • They want less infills 
  • They’re willing to spend more on this advanced technique 

There is of course the option to create a hybrid effect - a collaboration of both techniques - which we will take a look at in more detail in another post. But hopefully this in-depth guide to classic and volume lashes will help both you and your clients to figure out which technique is most suitable for them!