The Ultimate Lash Extensions Throwdown | Volume Eyelash Extensions vs Hybrid Lash Extensions vs Classic Lashes – What’s the Difference?

There are three main types of eyelash extensions treatments that we can offer our clients, and within each of these a whole range of looks we can achieve! What's the difference, then, between classic, hybrid and volume lash extensions?

Introduction to Classic Lash Extensions

Classic Lashes are where it all began, and to this day remain super popular with clients of all walks of life!  In case you don’t know, classic lash extensions are also known as single eyelash extensions and involve putting one eyelash extension on each individual natural lash, and can range from a nude look all the way to a dense lash look that could well be volume to the untrained eye, and are the starting point for almost every Lash Technician on the planet! To find out more about Classic Lash Extensions, check out this article where we went into a bit more detail about the kinds of looks you can achieve with classic lashes, as well as the different thicknesses available.

a close up of a set of classic lash extensions

Introduction to Volume Lash Extensions

Volume lashes are a type of eyelash extension treatment where you create a little fan with very fine individual lashes. These fans can range from 2D up to 35D, depending on the thickness of the lashes used – the thinner the lash extensions, the larger the fan you can create.

Despite them largely being thought of as dramatic or a much darker look than classic lash extensions of hybrid lash sets, volume lash extensions can actually create super versatile looks too, from the very light, to the dramatically dense. Check out this blog post for 4 different looks you can achieve with volume lash extensions, or to find out more about which lashes you should choose for your volume lash extensions, check out this blog post.

a close up photo of a set of volume lash extensions using premade lash fans

Introduction to Hybrid Lash Extensions

Hybrid lash extensions are a mixture of classic and volume lashes, and can range from very light and wispy lashes all the way up to super dense, dramatic and textured lashes. Again, we have a blog post where we’ve gone into a bit more detail about hybrid lash extensions and the kinds of looks you can create with them, so be sure to check that out if you haven’t already!

a set of natural hybrid lash extensions

Classic vs Volume Lashes 

As we know, classic lash extensions are individual lashes applied one by one to each of the natural lashes, and volume lashes can range from 2D up to 35D, depending on the thickness you’re using. To that end, you can create a huge spectrum of looks to suit absolutely any client’s tastes and needs.


With the application of classic lashes, you can apply the lash extensions to the top, bottom or side of the natural lashes (if you’re using flat lashes, due to their shape you’ll only be able to apply them to the top or bottom of the natural lash) depending on the direction of growth, how the lash is growing or even if you’re looking to hide the natural lashes behind some colored lash extensions so that you get a seamless application. With Volume fans, it will depend how you’ve created your fan as to where you’ll be able to place it.

a picture of an eyelash extension being applied to a natural lash | London Lash Canada

When you make your fan on the strip using the lonely fan or wiggle method, you’ll end up with a flatter base, which means that you can only really apply your fan to the top or bottom of the natural lash for best results. If you use the pinching method or the rainbow method, however, you’ll end up with a slimmer, pinched base which can be applied on the sides of the natural lashes too, thanks to the rounder formation of lashes in the fan base


Classic lash extensions don’t take as long to apply as volume lashes for the simple reason that you just pick them off the strip, dip them in your lash glue and place them on your isolated natural lash. Volume fans take longer to create (unless you’re using premade lash fans, of course) so no matter how skilled and speedy you become through years of practice, your volume lash sets will always take longer than your classic sets. 


Do volume lash extensions last longer than classic lashes? Well, that depends on a couple of factors. On the one hand, it’s easier to spot a gap in a classic lash set because with volume, you have other fans around the lost one to cover the gap but on the other, consider that if your client has quite sparse lashes, it might be more obvious when they lose a fan as there will be more of a gap between one fan and the next, whereas the classic lashes can be applied to blend into their natural lashes a little bit more.

Consider as well that sometimes an extension will fall off without a natural lash. While it’s less likely to happen if you follow all the suggested pre-treatment steps, you’ve only got to have some fluctuations in your temperature or humidity levels while you’re lashing, and you might see lashes coming off alone. This is a little bit more likely with classic lash extensions than it is with volume, and that’s not to say that retention with classic eyelash extensions is bad, it’s just that volume lash fans are able to wrap around the natural lashes whereas classic lashes just sit against them, so if something interrupts that bond, it does it more effectively.

a digitally drawn graphic depicting different types of eyelash extensions fan bases, one is flat with the lashes in a line and the other shows the lashes more stacked together | London Lash Canada

Hybrid Lashes vs Volume Lashes & Classic Lashes

Full volume isn’t for everyone, so having hybrid lashes on the menu as a happy medium between classics and volume is sure to help you suit even more clients than just having the two. 

If you’ve read out article about hybrid lashes, you’ll know that there are so many different looks you can create with them, so it really depends on your ratio of classic lashes to volume lashes as to how much time you add or save compared to a full look using one or the other, and to what it means for your retention. Let’s assume you went for an even 50/50 split – generally speaking, a hybrid look will seem to last a little bit longer than a classic set, and will already be lighter than full volume when lashes start to fall out. 

A final note on lash shedding: each natural lash is on its own individual growth cycle, which is why we need regular eyelash extension fills to keep our sets looking fresh. When eyelash extensions fall out, it should be because the natural lash it was attached to has reached the end of its life and has fallen out to make way for a new baby lash. Sometimes our growth cycle may speed up or slow down. This could be seasonal, changes in hormone levels or even new medication. It’s good practice to explain this to clients in one way or another to help manage their expectations.