When it comes to the art of lash extensions, there are two major techniques that all lash techs need to master: hybrid lashes vs volume eyelash extensions.
Not every lash tech will have mastered the art of hybrids and volumes - how full to make your volume fans, how to achieve varying levels of volume within these sets, how to price different sets accordingly. And of course, how to advise your clients on choosing the right style for their needs.
So let's discuss the differences between hybrid and volume lashes, how they're placed, and when you should be using each method on your clients. Ready? Let’s get into it:
What are Hybrid eyelash extensions?
Hybrid eyelash extensions are so named as they are a combination of the 1:1 classic lash extensions and the more advanced volume fanning techniques. This combination creates a lash look that is more dramatic than classics, but appears more natural than full volume. Having the perfect hybrid look is what so many lash lovers can’t get enough of!
As all lash techs know, the classic lash technique uses a 1:1 ratio of extensions to the client’s natural lashes. It’s the first technique that all lash technicians learn. The volume lash technique is where more than one synthetic lash is applied to each of the client’s natural lashes in a volume fan. Whether the client opts for volume or mega volume will determine how many individual eyelash extensions are used to create the volume fan.
For hybrid lashes, lash artists use a combination of both the 1:1 technique and volume fanning techniques to create a textured look across the lash line. This leaves you in a bit of a lash limbo as there's no strict rules on what is the best ratio of volume fans to individual extensions. Well, typically eyelash technicians have found it best to use a ratio of 50-50 or 70% Russian Volume Lashes and 30% Classic lashes to get the best results.
Another key difference between hybrid lashes and volume lashes is that there is a mixture of thicknesses used in the lash sets, as a mix of eyelash extensions are being used throughout the look.
How to apply Hybrid lashes
The more complex nature of hybrid eyelash extensions means that it will require a more advanced lash tech to apply them. To be able to professionally apply hybrid lashes, it is imperative that you have undertaken a Russian Volume training course to ensure you understand the specific requirements of applying volume fans to your client’s natural lashes. Hybrid lash appointments can take around two hours to complete when applying a full set.
Like all eyelash extension sets, hybrids are applied by isolating a single natural lash at a time and then using an adhesive to glue the extensions to the natural lash. Alternate between volume fans and individual classic eyelashes across the lash line to create a hybrid look. There are many different ways you can apply hybrids, so how you choose to alternate between volume fans and classics entirely depends on the look your client wants.
For a wispy hybrid set, for example, you can place long classic lash extensions equally along the lash line and intersperse shorter volume fans between them (we love our Classic Cashmere flat lashes for this as they have a beautiful split tip which adds to the wispy effect).
For an ‘open eye’ or ‘doll eye’ look, you can use hybrids to accentuate the centre of the eye with subtle volume to bring the focus to the irises. Alternatively, for ‘cat eye’ lashes, hybrids can be used to create more volume on the outer corners for the lashes for a more defined, sleek look.
Top tip: using one of our high-quality Hybrid Tweezers can help to effortlessly apply your hybrid lashes with ultimate grip!
Check out our blog: What are the best lash styles for different eye shapes to discover more on how to make your client’s lash extensions work for them.
The benefits of Hybrid lashes
One of the main benefits of hybrid lashes is that they offer the best of both worlds for your clients. They are a great meet-in-the-middle option for the indecisive as they give the appearance of natural (ish) lashes with an extra elevated sense of drama and glamour.
If your clients are a little apprehensive about going straight to the Russian Volume Lashes right away, hybrids are a great starting point. Hybrid lash extensions offer both volume and length in one, and one of the biggest benefits is that these lash extensions can be adjusted depending on the client's wants. Also, inviting your clients to try hybrids enables you to charge more for your treatments.
Who are Hybrid lashes best for?
Hybrid lash extensions are ideal for everyone and anyone as they can be completely customised and versatile to the client’s needs.
For those who have opted for a classic set in the past and want to try something a little more bold, hybrid is your next step! Equally, those looking to transition from mega volume to classics may find hybrids to be a happy middle ground.
These lash extensions are also great for those who have weak, spare or even thick lashes. Where hybrids really shine is for those with gaps in their natural lashes, as they can fill in the gaps well to create a full look compared to other sets such as classic lashes that can sometimes make the gaps more pronounced.
What are volume lashes?
Much like hybrid lashes, volume lashes are exactly what they say on the tin. Offering volume and length to the client’s lashes, volume lashes create an eye-catching, dramatic look that is sure to impress. You will also see volume lashes referred to as Russian volume lashes; these two names are interchangeable as they refer to the same type of lash.
The volume in these lashes come from the ratio of russian lashes to natural lashes. Russian volume extensions are created by combining multiple extensions of the same length together to create a volume fan. Lash technicians can apply several russian volume lashes to one natural lash, with each volume fan typically holding 1 to 16 lashes. The more lashes, the greater the volume. When a volume fan has more than 8 fibres per fan, it is considered a mega volume fan.
In terms of the thickness of each individual lash fibre, Russian Volume extensions are typically thinner than classic lashes due to the amount of volume lashes that are glued together in a fan. If they were as thick, then the fan would become far too thick and heavy, making the lashes look clunky and potentially damaging your client’s natural lashes.
Russian volume fans can be created using lash extensions of any length, but most volume looks will use lashes that are between 10mm and 18mm in length. Do not use volume lash extensions that are longer than 20mm as these can weigh too much and damage your client’s natural lashes.
How are volume lashes applied?
The volume fan is applied in a three step process: construction, isolation and placement.
Volume lash construction
Use an eyelash tweezer with enough grip to select your volume fibres, then, using the pinch method, construct your volume fan by positioning your lash extensions into a perfect fan with a snatched base.
Volume fan isolation
Just like any other lash treatment, accurate isolation is key. Use your angled or straight isolation tweezer to separate the natural lashes and isolate a single lash upon which to place the volume fan.
Volume fan placement
Gently place your volume fan on top of your client’s natural eyelashes, ensuring that it is lined up properly and accurately to adhere to the natural lashes effectively. Use a professional quality eyelash extension adhesive, like our Bulletproof Bond or Bulletproof Max adhesives, to attach the fan securely.
The benefits of Russian Volume lashes
One of the major benefits of Russian Volume lashes is their super glam look. You have the choice between volume fans or mega volume fans, which provides a range of different looks to experiment with.
Another benefit of Russians is that they require less maintenance than classic eyelash extensions, as they look fuller for longer. With a good aftercare routine, your clients can enjoy up to 4 weeks of retention between appointments, meaning their lashes look fuller for longer with volume.
The lightweight design of volume eyelash extensions also means that they cause minimal damage to the natural eyelashes when removed properly. Many clients are apprehensive of this when trying Russians, so try to assuage them of their fears!
Who are Volume lashes best for?
Russian Volume extensions are a great option for clients who want to bring glam into their lives effortlessly. Russian volume lashes mean your clients wake up ready for the day, so they do not have to wear as much make up (or any at all!). Volume lashes are also good for those who have more sparse natural lashes as volume fans will fill out the lashes for a glam look.
Volume eyelash extensions are perfect for those big, glamorous nights where you want to look your best. This can be a night out with the girls, prom, wedding or any occasion where you want to make a statement.
Both lash extensions are stunning in their own right – so which one are you going for?
You know the benefits, you know how they're applied, and you know who and what occasions each type of extension is best for. So, the only question left now is what one sounds best for you and your clients?