Let’s distinguish lash fill vs full set lash application

Hey there, fellow lash techs! Today, we’re diving into the world of lash extensions to clear up any confusion between two common procedures: lash fill vs full set lash applications. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, knowing the distinction between these two services is key to providing top-notch results for your clients. So, grab your tweezers and let’s get started!

Let’s distinguish lash fill vs full set

For beginner lash users, lash fill vs full set application can be a challenging and debated topic. Lash fill in, in particular, presents a unique set of difficulties for those starting out in the field.

What are full-set eyelashes?

A full set of lash extensions serves as your initial or beginner’s set. It is recommended for individuals who are new to lash extensions.

When you opt for a full set, our skilled technicians will thoroughly cover and customize your lash line with extensions, tailored to your chosen application style. Whether you prefer classic or volume lashes, our stylists will carefully apply between 60 and 120 extensions to each eye, seamlessly blending them with your natural lashes.

Typically, the application process for a full set of eyelash extensions takes approximately 2 to 3 hours. However, the duration may vary slightly based on factors such as the number of your natural lashes, the chosen application method, and the specific lash look you desire.

What is a Lash Fill?

lash fill vs full set
A fill-in adds new extensions to fill the gaps and maintain the desired look.

On the other hand, a lash fill is a maintenance appointment designed to refresh and replenish the client’s existing extensions. Over time, natural lashes shed, causing gaps and inconsistencies in the lash line. A fill-in addresses these issues by adding new extensions to fill the gaps and maintain the desired look.

What to expect:

  • Targeted Application: Unlike a full set, where every lash is extended, a fill-in focuses on adding extensions to the natural lashes that have shed since the previous appointment.
  • Shorter Appointment: Since the focus is on replenishing rather than starting from scratch, fill-in appointments are typically shorter, ranging from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.
  • Preservation of the Look: Fill-ins help maintain the integrity of the lash extensions, ensuring a seamless and continuous appearance.

>> Top Lash Retention Tips for Long-Lasting Lash Extensions

Why should we need a lash fill periodically?

When your lash extensions start to grow out, the bond between the extension and your natural lashes becomes weaker. To prevent any potential damage, it is highly recommended to remove the extensions once they have grown out too far and replace them with a new set to protect your natural lashes.

Refills are intended to address any noticeable spaces that occur as lash extensions naturally shed. Over time, the bond between your natural lashes and the eyelash extensions weakens due to factors like oil or impurities. Around the three-week mark, this bond becomes less stable and is prone to detachment. Consequently, we recommend getting refills after the three-week period, as a significant number of extensions are likely to fall out within the following week.

In addition, after week 3, it is advisable for salons to charge clients for a full set of eyelashes. 

Therefore, lashing in about 3 weeks will save you quite a bit of money compared to a full set eyelashes.

lash fill vs full set
Eyelashes after performing lash fill-in are still as beautiful and impressive as the first time done with a full-set extension.

Lash fill vs full set: Key Differences

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s highlight some key lash fill vs full set differences:


A lash fill, also known as a lash refill or touch-up, is typically done to maintain the appearance of eyelash extensions. It involves adding new extensions to fill in any gaps caused by natural shedding or loss of extensions over time. A full set refers to the initial application of eyelash extensions. It is done to create a completely new look by attaching extensions to all or most of the natural lashes.

Time and Cost:

Lash fills generally take less time and cost less than a full set because they involve adding extensions to existing lashes rather than starting from scratch. A full set requires more time and is usually more expensive because it involves attaching extensions to all lashes, including those that may have shed since the last application.

Extent of Application:

During a lash fill, the technician focuses on adding extensions to the lashes that have grown out or shed since the previous appointment. They may also remove any extensions that have become loose or out of place. With a full set, the technician applies extensions to all or most of the natural lashes, creating a fuller and more dramatic look. This process covers all lashes, regardless of whether they have shed or grown out.

Client Expectations:

Clients undergoing a full-set lash application can expect a dramatic transformation, whereas those coming in for a fill-in anticipate a subtle refresh.

Full set eyelash extensions can be applied to most clients, but lash fill in is not:

As professionals in the eyelash industry, we advise against lash filling in when your client has fewer than 40% of their previous lash extensions remaining. The reason behind this is that performing an eyelash extension fill would require a similar amount of time as completing a full set. The process involves removing any sticky residue, preparing the lashes, and ensuring they are thoroughly cleaned before applying new extensions.

Lash fill vs full set
Lash fill vs full set

In cases where clients have a significant number of sticky residues on their lashes, it becomes necessary to meticulously remove them one by one using the banana peel method. This process can be time-consuming, and if there is a substantial amount of stickies present, it may be more convenient to remove the entire set of extensions and begin afresh.

If a client requests a different lash mapping or style, it is not recommended to proceed with lash fill in. For instance, if a client arrives with a previous full set of volume lashes but desires a wispy look, it is advisable to communicate with the client and suggest removing the existing full set of eyelashes. Starting afresh and creating a new set of perfectly tailored, wispy volume lashes would be a more suitable approach in this scenario.

lash fill vs full set
This is a picture of a customer using volume mink fans to refill. You can see that the lashes are still beautiful and full


In conclusion, distinguishing lash fill vs full set lash application is crucial for every lash tech. By understanding the differences and mastering both techniques, you can elevate your skills and deliver outstanding results to your clients. Whether you’re creating a bold and glamorous look with a full set or refreshing existing extensions with a fill-in, your expertise and attention to detail will shine through, leaving your clients feeling confident and beautiful. So, keep learning, practicing, and innovating; the world of lashes awaits!

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