By now, you've probably heard of lash extensions (or even tried a few styles, yourself). And while we're always on board for full, long, and voluminous lashes, extensions can be quite a commitment. So it's important to understand the difference between the different styles of extensions so you can pick what's best for you. One such style is hybrid lashes, a relatively new technique that boosts volume and length while maintaining a soft, natural effect. So what exactly are hybrid lashes, and how do they compare to traditional lash extensions?
Ahead, we've tapped celebrity lash expert and Envious Lashes founder Clementina Richardson for everything you need to know about hybrid eyelash extensions—from what to expect at your appointment, to the benefits, cost, and beyond.
What Are Hybrid Lashes?
Hybrid lash extensions use a combination of "classic" and "volume" lashes to create fuller, more voluminous lashes compared to traditional lash extensions (which primarily add length). The hybrid lash extension process involves adding multiple extensions to each individual natural lash.
"Hybrid extensions are when you apply a mix of multiple strands of 'volume' and 'classic' extensions to the natural lashes," says Richardson. To sum it up, it's a process that involves combining a "hybrid" of two techniques (and lash extensions types) to achieve a fuller-looking result compared to using classic lash extensions, alone. Hybrid lashes are unique in the sense that they will give you both length and volume while still maintaining a soft, romantic feel.
If you're someone who is looking for more volume, hybrid lashes are the way to go. ''Hybrid extensions allow you to achieve more volume than using traditional classic lashes," says Richardson, which really is the main benefit of receiving this treatment versus traditional lash extensions.
If you find yourself not ready to commit to a full-volume look just yet, hybrid lashes are also a great way to take a more voluminous look for a test drive. "I find that some clients will try hybrid extensions before upgrading to a full set of volume lashes," Richardson continues. "It’s always great to take baby steps if you are unsure of the look you want to achieve at first."
Hybrid lash extensions can also be quite effective at filling in gaps in the natural lashes, while classic lash extensions can oftentimes exaggerate sparse areas. Because hybrid lashes involve applying multiple extensions to a single lash, they create the illusion of more lashes in that given area, rather than just making your existing lashes look longer and darker.
How to Prepare For Your Hybrid Lash Appointment
The most important thing to note about preparing for your appointment is understanding the time it takes to apply the lashes. This is a meticulous, detail-oriented process that you don't want to rush, so make sure you aren't booking an appointment when you're pressed for time.
Richardson also says it's important to arrive with clean lashes. Make sure you aren't wearing any makeup, and don't use any oils on your face or lashes the day of the appointment (as this can prevent the extensions from properly adhering to your lashes). It can also be helpful to avoid caffeine the day of your appointment to help prevent twitching—and so you can fall asleep while your lash tech applies the lashes.
What to Expect During Your Appointment
So how long will it take? Richardson says to allow at least two hours for the hybrid lash extensions process. The technician will begin the appointment by evaluating your eye shape and testing out various lash lengths on your eyes (and you can ask to see what the different lengths look like, if you so desire). Then you'll close your eyes and your lash tech will apply cooling eye gels or skin-safe tape (it doesn't hurt to be removed) to the bottom lashes to keep them out of the way. They'll then begin meticulously applying the extensions one-by-one with tweezers. Most salons—like Richardson's Envious Lashes—play relaxing music and have you lay on a comfortable padded chaise so customers can nod off during the appointment if they choose. The process isn't painful or uncomfortable in the slightest.
Hybrid Lashes vs. Classic Lash Extensions
The process of applying hybrid lashes is quite straightforward, but what about the difference between classic lash extensions and hybrids? Richardson explains, ''Regular extensions are applied individually to each natural eyelash. These lashes usually measure .15.-.20 mm in width. When applying hybrid volume lashes, multiple extensioins are applied per each natural lash and these strands vary in sizes from .03-.07 mm in width." Typically, anywhere from three to six strands are applied per natural lash to add volume.
Because hybrid lashes involve applying multiple extensions per natural lash, the process tends to take a bit longer than classic extensions (anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour longer). But other than that, the application process, preparation, and aftercare is all the same.
Potential Risks of Hybrid Lashes
Hybrid lashes are safe to use when applied by a professional lash technician, and the risks are very little if none at all. The only thing you might want to consider when getting this treatment is if you have sensitive eyes that might react to any kind of adhesive. As always, it's recommended to ask your lash salon what kind of lashes and adhesive they use in case you have an allergy—then perform a patch test on your hand. With any specific concerns, speak with your physician before booking an appointment.
Depending on where you have your treatment, the cost for a full set of hybrid lashes can start at around $200. Meanwhile, maintenance refill appointments can be anywhere from $50-$90 depending on how many natural lashes you have and how well you have cared for your extensions. Since everyone sheds at a different speed, your lash technician can determine how often you'll need to come in for fill appointments and you can get into a rhythm once you track how long each fill appointment lasts you.
There are a few things to take note of after your appointment, Richardson emphasizes. "It's very important not to get your lashes wet for the first 48 hours.'' This gives the adhesive time to fully dry without any disruption. The last thing you want to do is get your lashes wet after spending a few hours having them applied. After your appointment, you can wash your face to remove makeup before bed, but be extra careful. Apply micellar water to a cotton round to remove makeup before lightly cleansing, and do not splash any water on your face. After 48 hours, you will need to clean your eyelashes with a lash cleanser to keep them free of debris. Hybrid lash extensions will shed just like regular eyelashes do, so prepare to make appointments to refill your lashes in order to maintain them and keep them looking full.
The Final Takeaway
If full, voluminous, yet natural-looking eyelashes are what you're after, hybrid lash extensions might just be the very thing you need to take your lashes to the next level. Give hybrid lashes a try the next time you have a special event to attend, or just want to boost the look of your natural lashes. Compared to classic lash extensions, they'll create a more glam, voluminous look that creates the illusion of soft, fluttery lashes.