Volume Lash Set e=mc2

What makes it a Volume lash set?

How do you classify a volume lash set? Lately I’ve been seeing dozens of posts asking “What mapping do I use for volume?”, or hybrid or mega volume, etc. “What lengths should I buy for volume?” or “This client had so many lashes! Should I charge her for mega volume?”

Every time, it makes me cringe, because to me, this means that

either the artist wasn’t properly trained in volume or just didn’t pay attention while being trained. Either is scary for me, as a lash wearer. Both are heartbreaking to me, as an educator. This basic information should be included in any and every beginner volume class.

A volume set is determined by the size of the majority of fans used in the set. 2D-8D is what I consider regular volume. 9D+ is mega volume. Anything over a single lash extension and under 9D is a regular volume set. If you choose to differentiate pricing between “light” and “regular” volume, that is up to you. I do not, because the only difference in expense is the fractions of pennies per extension in each fan.

So, let’s talk about these three questions.

“My client has a zillion natural lashes, should I charge her for Mega Volume? I used all 5D, but look how thick they came out!”

No! Do you charge a classic price when they have a sparse lash line? If the answer is no, then how do you justify charging mega pricing for a full lash line? That just doesn’t make sense and it’s more than unfair to those with well endowed lash lines.

I have three price points for full sets; Classic, Volume and Mega Volume. I don’t offer hybrid sets. For more info on that you can check out this blog post.

When 90% of the fans you attach are 5D, that is regular volume, to me. If the majority of your fans are 9D and up then that’s mega volume, queen! While there are different schools of thought as to how many extensions constitute a mega fan, in no course or seminar or workshop I’ve attended, has an educator or master artist based the pricing of a set on the number of natural lashes being lashed.

Way back in the long ago, there were artists ( and there still are a few) who charged by the number of extensions they attached. However that brings me back to the sparse vs full lash line. I do not consider it a good business practice for one client to pay $90 and then the bestie they referred is charged $200 for the same service, just because she’s got a thicker natural lash line. Do you?

That being said, I will offer you a bit of advice for fills on clients with a zillion natural lashes.


We’re all creatives and notorious people pleasers. And… lets face it, a little bit OCD! I know that it’s hard for us to accept not getting every lash we can. Always aim for 100% coverage, but be realistic with your capabilities. If you don’t have adequate timing for 100%, don’t delay your next client to reach 100%.

Discuss the condition of their lashes with your clients. If they have a denser than normal lash line, explain that fills will need to be either more frequent or longer sessions…or both!

My super full NL clients are more than willing to pay for my time if it means they get back to full before their holiday pictures.

My Time vs Weeks post on fill pricing will be available soon.

“What length should I be using for hybrid (or volume) sets?”

Exactly like classic lashing, the lengths of extensions used in your volume sets should be determined by the length of the natural lashes you’re working on. No two people have exactly the same lash lines or eye shapes and there is no One Size Fits All solution.

Please remember that phrase!

There IS NO One Size Fits All solution to any lash map or lash set.”

My personal rule of thumb is no more than 3mm longer than the natural lash. And I stick to this for most sets for a couple of reasons.

1. Newbie lash wearers are not used to longer, darker lashes 24/7. They may wear mascara or strip lashes sometimes, even daily, but they don’t ALWAYS wear them and getting used to having lashes ALL the time takes a hot minute.

2. When applying a brand new full set, you’re lashing as many lashes as possible in the time you have available. For most of us, this means doing the NL (natural lashes) that are easiest, first. Most of those easy to isolate and place lashes are the oldest lashes. That means they’re also the most likely to shed between now and the client’s first fill. Using lengths closer to the NL length will make those losses less obvious.

3. Most importantly, of course, is lash health and retention. I’m sure you’ve heard “it’s damaging!” or more specifically “traction alopeia!” mentioned on several groups and forums. You read this a lot because the damage can be real and here’s why.

Just like always wearing your hair in a tight ponytail can cause traction alopecia on the scalp, the longer an extension is, the more tension on the hair follicle as the NL grows out, as more weight is on the tip end of the lash. This is why we start to see drooping lashes faster with longer lengths.

That extra weight can not only cause the NL to shed prematurely, putting additional constant tension on the follicle the NL is attached to can cause changes the direction of the hair’s growth or even damage the follicle to the point of stunting growth completely. This process does not happen overnight. It doesn’t even happen over the course of a few weeks, though it could start by then. It can be months before the damage to the follicle becomes obvious in the directional change or lack of any growth.

If you need help with volume lash calculations, Sinful Lashes has a fabulous app available for iOS and Android.

What mapping should I use for Hybrid/Volume/Mega sets?

Mapping should always be focused on enhancing the shape of the eye. Classic to full mega volume, your styling should compliment the eye and the face. If your classic client who loves her Kitten shape wants to transition to volume, for example, the only thing you’re changing is the density of her lash line.

“Every map available can be done in every density.”

Wispy sets are done 100% classic extensions – 100% volume extensions. The same is true for smooth top line sets or chunky strip lash looks, even the tight eyeliner look can be done with classics though the results won’t be as dramatic.

You can alter any lash map to suit your client’s NL length! The map says 9-16mm but your client’s longest lashes are only 10mm and her inner corners are tiny? No problem! Drop the longest length down to a 13mm, and reduce every other section by the same amount. Now it’s a 6-13mm map. Hooray!

If you’re a Canadian lash artist in need of styling and mapping help, I teach Sinful Lashes – Advanced Styling 101 courses at my Kelowna, BC studio. You’re welcome to check out the course dates.

This post is not to bash how anyone chooses to create their service menu or charge their clients. This post was created to help newer volume artists navigate volume lashing and my opinion on how to determine what a volume set is.

Comments or questions? I’d love to read them below!