If lashing is an art, then applying volume lash extensions is like mastering sculpture. Unlike classic lashing where the application is one-to-one, volume lash application is a delicate dance performed between multiple lashes and involves weight, diameter, and length—not to mention creating a perfect fan that must be carefully wrapped around the natural lash.
Creating a symmetrical fan can be tricky and takes a great deal of practice and skill. And as is often true with more complicated techniques, there are many companies offering volume lash extension supplies that bypass the practice time altogether.
Enter the great debate—are handmade or pre-made volume fans better?
What's the Difference Between Handmade and Pre-made Volume Fans?
Handmade or pro-made volume lash extension fans are crafted by an individual artist, without the use of machinery, and are typically created during the appointment. The lashes are pulled off the strip in groups of two to up to 10 lashes, carefully separated and arranged, dipped into adhesive, and then wrapped to the client’s natural lash. It’s important to note handmade/ pro-made fans can be created in advance and are often stored in a pill-box-like container. Artists will either dip the pro-made lash into a tiny bit of adhesive or return to the strip in order to maintain the fan long-term.
Pre-made fans, just as the name implies, are built by a lash extension supplier in advance 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 in that a person is involved but assisted by a machine. Pre-made lash fans are then either heat-bonded or connected via a small amount of adhesive. The finished product is shipped out on a tray, similar to strips of lashes.
What are the Pros & Cons?
Like fingerprints, no set of natural lashes are the same. It’s incredibly important that lash diameter, length, and weight are precisely balanced to protect a client’s natural lash while also achieving the ideal look. Handmaking fans—while more complicated—customizes the extension to the client’s natural lash.
Pre-made fans, on the other hand, don’t provide as much flexibility to adapt to different lash textures, lengths, or strengths. Additionally, the artist doesn’t have control over the amount of adhesive already on the fan, meaning there may be added weight due to having to dip the volume fan a second time. Without careful calibration on the part of the artist, the result could be a higher likelihood of lashes falling out due to a weak bond.
Ultimately, it comes down to the preference of the artist and what works best for you and your skill level.
As we’ve mentioned, handmaking fans is time-consuming. Purchasing pre-made lashes can save you time and energy, which you can spend booking more clients or growing your business. Handmade or pro-made fans, on the other hand, allow you more control of the lashing process from start to finish and ensure a custom fit to your client’s natural lash.
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.
We’re happy to help you master the complex precision volume lashing demands through our Volume Lash Certification. 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 as you practice so you'll have a good grasp of what you need to work on post-course.