Your Guide To All Types of Lash Extensions
Posted on Jul 13, 2023
Before booking an appointment with your lash technician, why not brush up on the different types of lash extensions available? That way, you’ll know exactly what to ask for.
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What Are Eyelash Extensions?
Eyelash extensions have been around since way before the false lashes of the 1980’s- even the ancient Egyptians loved fluttery lashes as much as we do, and they brushed their eyelashes with a special ointment for a dramatic look.
Nowadays, we visit the lash stylist to get envious lashes, and we can choose from a ton of different types of lash extension styles, colors, materials and techniques.
Modern eyelash extensions are installed by a lash stylist who uses semi-permanent adhesive bonds to stick each cluster or individual extension to your natural lashes.
There are various extension lengths and materials (both natural and synthetic lashes) available. Because they’re so customizable, it’s easy to find the best lash extensions for your eye shape and achieve the exact lash look you want.
A Note About Curls
When choosing eyelash extensions, you’ll need to think about curls. A J curl is the shape of most natural lashes, while a C curl or D curl are more dramatic, for a doll eye look.
Like natural lashes, some eyelash extension types (like fur and silk) will need to be curled or permed regularly to keep their shape. Synthetics usually have a permanent curl.
What About Dimensions?
You may have heard of this before, but not known what the ratios meant. The most basic one is a 1D: that’s where one extension is attached to one natural lash.
This ratio goes up from there, from 3D to 9D for volume lashes, 10D to 14D for larger fans, and even as high as 20D “mega” extensions (very dramatic, but not advisable for long-term wear or first-timers).
Thickness and Length
The thickness of your average extension ranges from 0.03mm to 0.3mm. The thicker they are, the heavier and more visible these extensions will be. Also, it’s often easier to attach thinner ones into fans for volume or stick them to thinner natural eyelashes.
As for length, most beauty salons will offer eyelashes anywhere from 9mm to 20mm. Remember that it’s common to use a combination of different lengths, dimensions and thicknesses to achieve the best look (your own eyelashes aren’t all the same, after all).
What Are The Types of Eyelash Extensions?
Basically, eyelash extensions can be divided into two groups: natural eyelashes and synthetic ones, but there are multiple options in each category. Let’s take a look at each different type of lash extensions in more detail.
Classic Lash Extensions
The term “Classic eyelash extensions” had more to do with the technique than the material- a lash tech can use synthetic or natural lashes for this. These are individual lash extensions, where one single extension is attached to each natural lash.
A volume lash is a variation on classic lashes. To get volume lashes, a lash artist can attach multiple extensions to one natural lash in a fan shape.
Mink Lash Extensions
Mink eyelash extensions are made from actual fur: the tails of Siberian or Chinese minks. These feel light and soft, with a slight shine like natural eyelashes.
Because of their high quality, mink lashes are expensive. If you’re allergic to fur or have ethical concerns about animal products, you may want to skip these.
Do not miss our post on Types Of Hair Extensions.
Hybrid Lash Extensions
Many women like a combination of classic and volume lashes for a dramatic look that flatters your eye shape by adding more volume just where you need it. These are called hybrid eyelash extensions.
Your lash artist will add volume lashes or “fans” in some places, then taper the eyelash extensions down into classic lashes.
Natural Lash Extensions
Different eyelash extensions can be used for a natural look, but classic or hybrid extensions usually work best for this.
Depending on your eye shape, the lash tech can simply lengthen your natural lashes, or add a few fans to one natural lash for more volume.
Man-Made Lash Extensions
If you’re looking for a C curl or a dramatic D curl without the work of perming them regularly, then man-made eyelash extensions might be for you. They’re already set into a curl and require much less upkeep.
Synthetic Lash Extensions
These are the most eye-catching kind of eyelash extension out there: they’re shiny, thick and heavy. They don’t look like a natural eyelash, but they’re great for instagrammable photos on those big nights when you want something special.
Fox Lash Extensions
Fox fur is relatively new to the eyelash extension industry, so it’s not available at every salon. These eyelashes are light, soft and shiny like natural lashes. They can be dyed or permed into a curl.
These are one of the more high-maintenance eyelashes, since these lashes require some upkeep to maintain their shape.
Faux-Mink and Faux-Fox Lash Extensions
One eyelash extension option that’s a good choice on a budget is faux-fur. These synthetic furs have a lot of the same qualities of the real thing but without the high cost. Faux mink lashes are probably the most common ones available.
Wispy Lash Extensions
This is actually a style of eyelash extension that can be created using different materials- it’s all about the installation technique.
To get a wispy look, your lash artist will attach small fans (bundles of multiple eyelash extensions) and spikes (one extension that’s a bit longer) to your natural lashes for a wet or “wispy” look.
You can also combine classic extensions with longer ones for a subtle wispy look.
Sable Lash Extensions
Sable is the lightest eyelash extension material on the market. It’s usually recommended for clients with light, fluffy lashes. Sable looks and feels like your natural lashes, but it’s a bit expensive and harder to find than mink.
Silk Lash Extensions
Silk eyelash extensions aren’t made out of the same stuff as your favorite silk dress or scarf- the material used for these lashes is a bit heavier (it’s actually a kind of synthetic silk designed for this purpose).
They’re great for getting dramatic, fluttering lashes, but too heavy to wear every day.
DIY Lash Extensions
These are low-cost eyelash extensions that you can install at home. This usually comes as a small kit with the lashes, adhesive and remover.
Keep in mind that putting on your own eyelash extensions can be time-consuming, and it’s tricky to get it right, so you should be prepared to practice. Also, be careful not to get any glue in your eyes.
How Do You Choose The Right Eyelash Extensions?
The easiest way to figure out what type of lash extensions are best for you is to ask the lash experts at your local salon- of course, you should decide some things in advance and have questions ready.
You’ll want to consider:
- Your desired look: If you’re going for a cat eye or a doll eye, you’ll want lighter extensions with more length to get the right shape. If you’re hoping for more volume with a natural look, then hybrid extensions might work best.
- Your eye shape: The extensions that look great on someone with hooded eyes might not work as well on someone with rounded eyes, so make sure to look at images with similar eye shapes for inspiration.
- Color goals: Do you want something dramatic and dark, or subtle and closer to your natural color? There are a ton of colored eyelash extensions out there.
- Ideal length and thickness: Longer or thicker extensions will be heavier, no matter what materials you use, so keep weight and comfort in mind.
- Purpose: Are these lashes for a special event or longer-term wear? This will affect what’s possible or recommended.
- Allergies/ Sensitivities: If you’ve had any allergic reactions, or have sensitive eyes or skin, let the lash team know- they’ll help you choose something safe.
How To Look After Your Eyelash Extensions?
Different types of eyelash extensions require a bit more care and maintenance than others, but there are some things you can do to keep all lash extensions looking their best.
Avoid wearing eye makeup for a few days after getting extensions, to let the glue set. You’ll also want to avoid swimming and hot tubs for this time.
Avoid rubbing your lash line or the inner corners of your eyes, and be gentle with the area as you get used to the new lashes.
Keep your lashes clean and tangle-free using a spoolie brush, and stay away from waterproof mascara which can weaken the glue. If you’re using eye makeup removers, be sure to ask for something oil-free that’s safe for extensions.
What Are Lash Extension Alternatives?
What type of eyelash extensions are best?
The best way to answer this is to consult with your lash expert about the look that you want and what you’re comfortable with.Most eyelash extensions last for six to eight weeks, but some like silk extensions are only designed for short-term wear. You’ll want to choose something that fits with your timeline. Also different styles of eyelash extensions cost more or less, depending on the material used and the amount of time and skill it takes to install them. Longer extensions made from natural materials will be less budget-friendly than shorter extensions made from synthetics, so that’s something to keep in mind.
What style of lash extensions last the longest?
Generally, hybrid and classic eyelash extensions last the longest, since they don’t put a lot of additional weight on the lashes. That said, it really depends on your own lashes’ growth cycle and how well your care for the extensions.
How to remove lash extensions?
Normally, each extension will fall off naturally as you shed the eyelashes it’s attached to.You can remove eyelash extensions from your natural lashes at home, but we wouldn’t recommend it unless you have the proper adhesive remover. Your lash tech can remove the glue during a quick visit. In an emergency, you can use vitamin E oil or castor oil on a cotton pad to dissolve the adhesive, but remember to take your time and be gentle. Even if your extensions are uncomfortable, avoid rubbing or pulling at the lash line- you don’t want to irritate or damage your lashes.