Handmade vs. Pre-made Volume Fans

It’s no secret that lashing is an art form. If we relate the classic lash technique to the volume technique, it’d be like comparing using crayons in a coloring book to painting the ceiling of the sistine chapel. Okay, we’ll admit that may be a bit dramatic. However, anyone who has learned volume lashing can agree that there is much more that goes into it than the classic technique. With Classic lashing, there are a few steps. You first isolate the natural lash, pick up the classic extension, dip it in your adhesive, and place onto the natural lash. It sounds much easier than it actually is- isolating is the trickiest part to learn as a new artist, trust us.

Volume lashing is an entirely different animal. Between choosing the proper diameter and length, the micro-movements the muscles in your hands make to create fans, and the careful wrap on the natural lash once the fan is properly placed- your lashin’ hands are FULL! These are great examples of why we recommend perfecting your classic lash technique for 6 months to really allow yourself to dive in there and be fully aware before moving on to learning volume. 

Creating a symmetrical, beautiful fan takes months (sometimes years) of practice, tons of patience, and skill. Many lash artists have shed tears of frustration when learning volume- and we aren’t kidding! Oftentimes when something is complicated, there will be companies offering a “short cut”- such as a product that bypasses all the hard work and time spent practicing altogether. Cue the ongoing lash artist debate - are handmade or pre-made volume fans better?


Handmade, also known as “pro-made” fans are created by the lash artist without the use of machinery. These are often made in real time during the appointment. Handmade fans are created by removing a few extensions from the strip, they are then fanned using the artist’s preferred method, dipped into the adhesive, and placed on the client’s lash creating a secure bond on the natural lash. To pro-make fans, you repeat the same process, and instead of placing the fan on the natural lash, the adhesive is rapidly cured and stored for later use.

Check out this GIF! Our educator Kristen was kind enough to share her preferred method of storage.

Pre-made fans, just as the name implies, are created by the manufacturer and delivered to the artist ready to be dipped and placed on a client’s lash. The process for creating pre-made fans is similar to that of strip lashes. A person is involved, but they are completely assisted by machines. Pre-made volume fans are then either bonded at the base by a tiny amount of adhesive, or are heat-bonded. The finished product comes inside a tray, on a sticky strip, similar to individual lash extensions. 


Like fingerprints or snowflakes, no two natural lash lines are the same. Some clients have fine lashes so sparse you could count them, while others have lush lash lines that go on forever. Then, you must consider that each client’s individual natural lashes are all at their own stages of growth. With this in mind, you must carefully calculate the extension diameter, length, and weight before applying the fan to each lash. You want full control in creating your fans to balance the weight of the extensions on the natural lash, while still achieving the ideal look of the full set. While it’s not the easy way out, hand making volume fans is the ultimate tool in customizing each set for your clients. 

On the flip side, pre- made fans offer little to no flexibility to allow for customization. They cannot adapt to individual lash textures, lengths, or strengths. Additionally, the artist doesn’t have control over the amount of adhesive already on the fan like they do in creating their own. This means that even more weight will be added once the volume fan is dipped in adhesive a second time. With pre-made fans, it is also impossible to achieve the “wrap” of the adhesive and the bases of each extension around the natural lash. Because of this, retention could be affected and may not be as good as making and placing your fans in real time during the service. 

Purchasing pre-made lashes can save you time and energy, which you can spend booking more clients or growing your business. They may be more costly than making your own, which is something to consider. Whatever you choose, take the time to perfect your craft. Without proper technique and good adhesive control, it won’t matter which method you choose.

All things considered, these choices are yours to make as the artist. We highly recommend learning to make your own fans, at your own pace, and building those volume fan makin’ skills. It’s important to remember that it’s about quality, not quantity. If your hand made fans last longer for your clients than pre-mades, it’s clear that in the long run handmade will be better, even if they take longer to master and make. Handmade or pro-made fans allow more control of the lashing process from start to finish, giving you, the artist, complete customization abilities.

Whether you’re first embarking on the volume journey, or perfecting your craft, we would love to teach you skills of volume lashing in our two day hands on course. When you become Lash Affair Volume Certified, you’ll be backed by a globally recognized brand. In our two-day course, we cover everything from layering and fanning techniques, proper lash pickup, adhesive control, and more. You'll get real-time feedback from an instructor as you practice, so you'll have a good grasp of what you need to work on post-course to slay your new skills. 

Offering your clients handmade volume lashes means you’re offering them the best quality possible. Lash Affair is here to help, even when it’s something challenging. What would it mean for your business to give the best quality and align with a brand that really knows their shit?

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