Volume Lashes vs. Cluster…What’s the Difference?

When it comes to eyelash extensions, everyone has a different preference. Surprisingly, most people don’t know the difference between cluster and volume lashes. Both types are “individual” eyelash extensions and have multiple lashes in a fan, but there’s a big difference when it comes to the look and health of your eyes.

Cluster Eyelashes

Cluster Eyelashes

Cluster eyelashes are premade fans with multiple eyelashes on them, as you can see in the picture above. The problem with most cluster eyelash extensions is that they are applied to multiple eyelashes at once and the bases are usually bulky from the adhesive that holds them together, which causes follicle tension. Because lashes grow at different stages, the tension from the cluster can cause premature lash loss. This can lead to a type of permanent hair loss called Traction Alopecia if done repeatedly.

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As you can see in this picture, the natural lashes are all clumped together in one massive glue pile…ouch!

When you use a premade fan you are also using double the adhesive that is needed, making the bases more clumpy and weighted. Excessive glue not only leads to irritation and allergies, but gives the eyelashes a clumped and heavy look. Because cluster lashes are so wide, they often cover free eyelashes so instead, they are glued to the eyelid. This is extremely dangerous for the eye and skin.

Any certified lash technician, especially a Bella Lash technician, should know the side effects and dangers of cluster lashes. Make sure you are only using reputable services.

Volume Eyelashes

Volume, like cluster lashes, are multiple eyelashes attached to one eyelash. However, volume lashes are much safer than cluster lashes as they are applied to individual and isolated eyelashes. There are usually 2-6 false eyelashes placed on every natural lash for volume sets, depending on the desired look. These lashes are very light, and don’t weigh down or damage the natural lash. Look at the picture below to see a perfect example of volume lashes!

Volume lashes

Volume lashes give a much fuller and cleaner look than cluster eyelashes. Just look at the stark difference between this photo and the outgrown clusters above!

Volume lashes also have longer bond times than cluster lashing because each volume lash creates multiple pockets of adhesive that form beam like shapes along the lashes. Also, volume lashes provide a much higher surface bonding area. There are multiple surfaces surrounding the natural lash and extensions with adhesive.

But, beware of premade volume fans that are glued together before application. Even if they are hand-made they will be dipped in glue twice – once on the fan and once to attach. This can create a bulky and unhealthy look. Also, premade fans don’t wrap around your lashes like regular volume lashes do because they have already been glued together. When you make the fans on command they wrap around the natural lash when you apply them. Attaching a premade fan keeps the extensions sitting on top of the lash, and it doesn’t wrap around the lash to give a natural look.


What have your experiences been with cluster vs. volume? Have any of you lash technicians had to remove bulky cluster lashes? Let us know in the comments below!

XOXO, Bella

8 thoughts on “Volume Lashes vs. Cluster…What’s the Difference?

  1. Nhi says:


    Are W lashes the same as cluster? I read some comments saying that they are safe for extension on a single lash and some that say that aren’t. Can you please help clear the confusion!


    1. Jessi Losee says:

      A W lash is a pre-made fan, and some may consider it a cluster. We don’t sell them here at Bella, just because with pre-made fans, they already have adhesive when forming them which would make them very heavy for the natural lash. We recommend using volume lashes, and creating fans during application. Hope that helps! 🙂

  2. Jas says:

    You’re obviously biased towards Volume Lashes as the photo you’ve chosen to depict the Custer lashes is very poor indeed!! Properly done Cluster Lashes look nothing like what you have shown in that awful picture. Hardly a fair comparison, don’t you think.

  3. Bella says:

    Wow, like the picture of the bad eyelash extensions. Then you can see what the problems with a bad treatment are. Think you should never trust the first or very cheap offer. Better to go to a salon with good professionals or let it doing by someone who has experiance with it. Unfortunately I can’t do it on my own. My hands are not calm enough for this and I don’t wanna ask my friends all the time. If someone has the same problem I can really recommend Stylish Brows near Miami. They are doing great!

  4. susan says:

    What is the difference between Russian lashes and volume lashes?

  5. Sneha says:

    Hi so how long these last? And what glue would you recommend with these?

  6. Stephanie says:

    How about heat bonded pre made volume fans? They said it doesn’t have glue on them. Is it still considered cluster?

  7. Gloria says:

    There is a company that sells premade fans that are not dipped in adhesive. They are a picked prepared fan on a strip. I would love to see Bella start selling them.


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