Today’s trends dictate that it’s all about looking beautiful without a face caked in makeup. Microblading, permanent makeup, and “no-makeup” makeup looks are all in vogue.
But the king of consistent, natural-looking beauty is the eyelash extension. Lash extensions add color, volume, and length to the lashes so you look put-together even when you’re not wearing any makeup at all. Regardless of whether you’re fast asleep in bed, sitting poolside, or anywhere in between – you’ll feel beautiful all the time with eyelash extensions.
But once you decide a big YES to eyelash extensions, the decision-making isn’t over. You can choose from classic, hybrid, or volume lashes. But what’s the difference?
- Classic lash extensions are the most natural-looking and take the least amount of time to apply.
- Volume lash extensions are dramatic, full, and glamorous. They take the most time to apply and therefore cost the most.
- Hybrid lash extensions are a combination of classic and volume extensions for a little volume boost. Costs and application times fall somewhere in the middle.
Let’s compare and contrast classic vs. hybrid vs. volume lash extensions further.
Classic Eyelash Extensions
Classic eyelash extensions are meant to look the most natural. They give you just a little length and color without being too dramatic, thick, or full. Think: Your lashes with several coats of the best mascara.
When it comes to lash extensions, a 1:1 ratio means that on each natural lash you have, ONE false lash is applied. This 1:1 ratio is what makes classic lash extensions look so natural.
Keep in mind that you probably have somewhere between 90 and 150 natural lashes. Your stylist can add extensions to more or fewer of your natural lashes based on how thick or lush you want the final result to be.
0.10-0.20 mm Thickness
Since only one classic extension is applied to each lash, each classic lash extension is actually thicker than each volume lash extension. Classic extensions can range from 0.10 mm to 0.20 mm, but every provider is different. Ask your stylist about what they offer and what they recommend for you.
Their recommendation will depend on your goals and your natural lashes. If you naturally have thick lashes, they may recommend thicker extensions.
Pros and Cons of Classic Eyelash Extensions
- Deliver beautiful yet natural-looking length
- Open up the eye
- More affordable than other lashes
- Perfect for beginners
- Ideal for individuals who have a lot of natural lashes
- Not too noticeable or fancy
- Fastest to apply
- Most accessible (most lash techs offer classic lash extensions)
- Ideal for daily wear
- Won’t add much volume
- Not ideal for someone with a low number of natural lashes, as the result will look sparse
- Not particularly full or fluffy
- Very popular and therefore common
Price of Classic Eyelash Extensions
The price of your extensions will depend on your lash stylist, location, and type of extensions. However, classic lashes cost just over $160 on average. You can expect to pay anywhere between $80 and $375 for a full set of classic lashes. To get them refilled, you’ll pay between $30 and $160.
How long do classic lash extensions take to apply?
Classic lash extensions are the fastest to apply since there is only one per lash. Expect the process to take 1.5-2 hours.
Is it hard to maintain classic lash extensions?
You’ll need to refill (AKA touch up) your classic lash extensions about once every 3 weeks. In order to make your lashes last longer, do not expose them to water for the first 24-36 hours. You can still shower, of course, but don’t put your face in the water. Even more importantly, avoid rubbing your eyes at all costs to make your lashes last longer!
Why choose classic lashes?
Pick classic lashes if you want a realistic, everyday look. Choose them if you want lashes that feel light to wear. Pick them if you want to spend the least time possible in the salon or if you are on a tight budget.
Hybrid Eyelash Extensions
Hybrid eyelash extensions are a combination of both classic and volume lash techniques (30% classic and 70% volume). They offer the best of both worlds because they create the length of classic lashes and a subtle boost of volume. Hybrid extensions are denser-looking but still somewhat natural. These lashes are also great for those with weak or sparse lashes.
The ratio of hybrid lash extensions is 1:2, so 2 extensions are glued to each natural lash.
0.03-0.10 mm Thickness
Most techs use lashes that are 0.05 and 0.07 mm for hybrid lashes.
Pros and Cons of Hybrid Eyelash Extensions
- Variety of customized textures for an interesting look
- More volume without looking unnatural
- Still maintains the length of classic lashes
- Good for those with healthy or weak lashes
- Transformative for people with sparse lashes
- Not as widely available (you’ll need a more experienced lash tech)
- Cost more than the classic lashes
- Take longer to apply than classic lashes
Cost of Hybrid Lashes
Hybrid lashes cost around $200. A full set of hybrid lashes will cost you somewhere between $100 and $345, depending on your location and stylist. Refills cost between $50 and $220.
How long do hybrid lashes take to apply?
Hybrid lashes take longer to apply than classic lashes because the tech must create fans of 2 lashes per natural lash. You can expect to be in the salon for 120-150 for your first full set of hybrid lashes.
Is it hard to maintain hybrid lash extensions?
It’s not difficult to maintain hybrid lashes, but follow these rules:
- Do not get your lashes wet for the first 24 hours after application
- Avoid the sauna or hot tub for at least 48 hours to avoid melting the glue while it is still setting (that includes showers that are too steamy!)
- Never rub your eyes
Why choose hybrid lash extensions?
People who want a more unique, texturized, or voluminous look than classic lashes should upgrade to hybrid extensions. For a little excitement without fully committing to volume lashes, select hybrid extensions. Individuals who have sparse or weak lashes should also consider hybrid extensions.
Volume Eyelash Extensions
Volume lash extensions give you that full and glamorous lash look. They are transformative for people with sparse lashes. They are lush and dramatic. Your stylist can give you anywhere from a 2D to a 6D look with volume lashes, so ask for their recommendation. If you want the thickest, darkest lashes, go for volume lash extensions.
The volume lash ratio starts at 3:1 and can go up to 16:1 for a mega volume look! Your lash expert will create a fanning effect with 3-16 extensions on each natural lash to get the most volume possible.
0.03-0.07 mm Thickness
The diameter of volume lashes is smaller than classic lashes because more will be placed. Techs achieve thickness with multiple lashes rather than thicker lashes because thicker lashes would make the lashes too heavy.
Pros and Cons of Volume Lash Extensions
- Transformative for special events
- Great for those who prefer a glamorous day-to-day look
- Better for those who like to use false strip lashes
- Best for those who have thin, weak, or sparse lashes
- Require a higher level of skill and therefore cost more
- Require a greater time investment in-salon
- Not always ideal for a natural daily look
- Harder to find a qualified artist
Price of Volume Lash Extensions
Volume lash extensions are the priciest because they take the most time and the most lashes. It’s also a specialized technique that only the best specialists provide. You can expect to pay around $230 for a full set of volume extensions. They range between around $110 and $400, and refills range from $40 to $275.
How long do volume lashes take to apply?
Expect your volume lash appointment to take 2-4 hours. If your lash tech makes the fans beforehand, your visit will probably be 3 hours or less. The fan prep takes a lot of time.
Is it hard to maintain volume lash extensions?
It isn’t any more difficult to maintain volume extensions than the other types of lash extensions. Try not to touch them for the first 24 hours, and keep them as dry as possible for 36 hours. After this point, your lashes should be waterproof. Use oil-free products around your eyes, and follow your tech’s instructions for cleaning and brushing your lashes.
Why pick volume lashes?
If you’re going for a dramatic, glamorous, or special-event look, volume lashes are a perfect choice. If you like a little more oomph than mascara provides, or you have naturally sparse or thin lashes, volume extensions will give you an ideal result.
Can I Apply Eyelash Extensions at Home?
The main benefit to doing your lash extensions yourself is MONEY! You’ll save yourself hundreds by doing DIY extensions instead of seeing a professional. Your DIY materials will only cost you around $20.
However, DIY lash extensions are a little too good to be true. There is a significant learning curve to the process. Your lash tech already has countless hours of experience as well as high-quality materials. Some of the potential drawbacks to DIY extensions include:
- Less dramatic results
- Clumpy lashes
- Difficulty getting lashes to stick
- Eye pain, irritation, or allergic reaction
Think about it… when the pros apply your lashes, your eyes are closed, and the side effects from the glue are milder. Poking your own eye with the tweezers is also a strong possibility. For your safety, you’re better off seeing somebody with experience.
How to Apply Eyelash Extensions at Home
That being said, some people simply don’t have the cash to hire a professional lash tech and are confident they can learn the skill. If that’s the case, here’s what you need to apply eyelash extensions at home.
- Permanent eyelash glue (adhesive)
- Adhesive remover
- Individual eyelashes
Choose a reputable brand for all your materials, like Ardell or Lashify. Here’s how you can apply your own eyelash extensions at home:
- Get your supplies ready, then pour a few drops of glue onto a piece of foil.
- Dip one of your individual lashes into the glue.
- Apply the lash on top of one of your individual natural lashes. Do NOT apply it to the eyelid. Note: Apply the shorter lashes towards the inner part of the eye, and use longer and longer lashes as you move towards the outer eye.
- Repeat steps 1-3 until your look is complete.
If you’re more of a visual learner, check out this video tutorial on how to apply your DIY eyelash extensions.
When it comes time to remove your lash extensions, use your special adhesive remover – or else risk losing some of your natural lashes in the process.
Do eyelash extensions damage your natural lashes?
When applied by an experienced pro, lash extensions should not damage your natural lashes. That being said, if you pull on your extensions by rubbing your eyes, you may pull your lashes out with the extensions.
If the extensions are properly cared for, they will stay on the lash until the lash naturally falls from the eye in consequence of your normal lash fall cycle.
Remember, it’s important not to go too heavy with your lash extensions because they can weigh down the natural lashes and cause significant damage.
How long do eyelash extensions last?
The lifespan of lash extensions varies from person to person. It all depends on your natural lash cycle (how long it takes for your lashes to shed and regrow). Most people will start looking a little sparse and will need a refill every 3 weeks. Keep in mind that volume lashes may appearto last longer just because they hide the natural lash line a little better.
The Secret to Consistent Beauty
Eyelash extensions are the best way to look amazing without any makeup. But should you go for DIY or professional lashes, and will you select classic, hybrid, or volume extensions?
When considering DIY vs. professional lashes, keep in mind that DIY lash kits could be a miracle when well-applied, but are more likely to be a nightmare. Applying lashes is challenging because it is difficult to see your own lash line. The glue may not hold as well and your results may not last, or you may have difficulty applying in the first place. You are more likely to experience eye irritation and potentially glue allergy.
When it comes to classic vs. hybrid vs. volume extensions, you know yourself the best! While budget and time expenditure are definitely factors to consider, you should choose your lashes based on what look you’re going for. For the most natural and everyday look, choose classic lashes. For a high-glam, dolled-up aesthetic, go for volume. If you want something in-between, try out hybrid lashes.
Best of luck to you, and enjoy looking beautiful the moment you roll out of bed!