The popularity of Eyelash Extensions has skyrocketed over the last decade. The eyelash extension industry started with classic lashing, where one eyelash extension was attached to a natural lash. As with any industry, increase in demand lead to innovations in services, products, and education. For example, in the early days, there was one kind of adhesive used. As the service became more popular, Fume Free adhesive was developed to meet the needs of clients with eye sensitivities. At present, adhesive providers may carry upwards of 4 different varieties of adhesive with different features. This same growth can be seen in all areas of the lash industry. The development with the biggest impact in the industry was the technique of Volume Eyelash Extensions.
The Bigger the Better! | Volume Eyelash Extensions
Accomplished eyelash artists from Russia and Eastern Europe brought to the US a revolutionary technique called Volume Eyelash Extensions. Volume Lashing is a technique that involves taking multiple very thin and light lashes, creating a fan, and attaching to each natural lash. The goal was to create a dense lash line that curves in a smooth line. The result is a much fuller look compared to classic lashing. Volume Lashing took the industry by storm. Lash Artists everywhere wanted to learn the new technique. Once in America, volume lashing evolved using smaller fans of varying length to give clients a full but natural, wispy look that mimicked the design of natural lashes.
True Volume lashing requires an artist to pick up several, very thin, lightweight lashes and create a fan by hand (or tweezer). The Artist can ensure that the base of every fan is very narrow. When properly dipped into adhesive, a tiny amount of adhesive sticks to the base. The artist then attaches the fan to a natural lash. The result is a seamless attachment that doesn’t require a relash for about 3-4 weeks. It takes a lot of practice and talent to master the creation of the tiny lash fans needed to do Volume Eyelash Extensions. This brings us to the reason for this blog.
Premade Volume Fans
Someone with ingenuity and possibly the inability to make proper lash fans came up a product which in theory sounds great. This product was designed to save time, make it easier to attach multiple lashes, and not require the skill or talent required for true Volume Eyelash Extensions. The Premade Fan was born. Since its popularity has risen, we are finding that the dangers outweigh the benefits.
What are they?
A premade fan is a group of anywhere from 2 to 8 lashes that have been glued or heat bonded together at the base. The idea behind premade fans is that a lash artist can save time by not creating fans by hand and give their clients a fuller look without any further training.
The act of fusing the lashes together adds bulk to the base of the fan. When dipped in adhesive, the base becomes even bulkier. A natural lash can only take so much weight before it experiences trauma. Trauma will cause the lash to break and possibly damage the hair follicle.
Why are they popular?
Premade fans have a wide base. This prevents the adhesive from wrapping around the extensions and the natural lash which creates a secure attachment. Premade fans can only lay on top of the natural lash and will eventually pop off. A client will be lucky to go two weeks without having to get a fill.
Premade fans appeal to inexperienced lash artists or those trying to save time like a lot of lash franchises. Isolation and proper attachment are essential regardless of what extensions are being used so in our experience, a full set would still take about 2+ hours. The important point is that the health of the natural lash and the longevity of the extensions are being jeopardized for the sake of saving time. The appointment may take less time but the quality of work is suffering. When a technician first learns true volume lashing, yes, it will take more time. But after consistent practice, they will be able to complete a volume set in the same amount of time as a classic set.
Artistry & Health
One of the features of true Volume lashing that makes it so beautiful is the artistry. There are a multitude of lengths and curls available in volume eyelash extensions. An experienced artist can look at her client and design a set of lashes that will enhance their eyes beautifully. The selection of premade fans is limited because the fans have a set number of lashes. An inexperienced lash artist may offer her clients a 3D set or a 6D set. One natural lash may be able to support a 6D fan but the lash next to it may not. With true Volume, an artist can pick up as many lashes as she thinks that natural lash can hold maintaining the health of the natural lash.
Here at Occhi Lash & Brow Studio/Occhi Institute, we believe in quality, preserving the health of natural lashes, and raising the standards in the Lash & Brow industry. We will never use premade fans or recommend that other artists use them. As educators, we feel it is our duty to make lash artists and their clients aware of the dangers of premade fans.
At Occhi’ Institute, we teach traditional Volume Eyelash Extensions. We only teach hands-on classes. Volume lashing cannot be learned from online material. Our students are taught to create fans that can be customized to the client’s lash health, eye shape, and desired look. Lash Artists interested in taking a Volume Class must send us pictures of their work so we can be sure they have mastered isolation, attachment, and adhesive usage. We feel that any company teaching premade volume instead of true volume is encouraging poor work and lowering industry standards.
The lash industry has seen its fair share of changes as it continues to grow. The quality of adhesive has certainly changed for the better. Better eye pads, better individual lashes, and better training. However, premade fans are not an advancement that is good for the industry. The Pros of pre-made fans do not make up for the Cons.