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Hair Extension 101 Blog

Types of Human Hair Extensions (Virgin vs. Remy vs. Non-Remy)

August 28, 2015
by Alexandra White

Types of Human Hair Extensions

Human hair extensions are worn by women worldwide and are in high demand. This means that the prices for human hair extensions are high and everyone is selling them. Women like wearing human hair extensions because the texture blends well with their own hair and it lasts longer.  However, with the overwhelming amount of online stores selling human hair extensions, you may want to know that there are many types of human hair extension and not all are created equal. When it comes to hair extensions, there is a lot to learn. It is important to know that not all hair extensions are human hair, even when they claim to be.  Some online hair extension companies will mix animal hair or synthetic hair in what they call “human hair extensions” to save on costs, this hair tends to be sold for a cheaper amount and will usually fall apart within weeks of wear. High quality human hair is expensive and tends to last longer with proper care. Be sure to buy your human hair extension from a reputable company that sources hair ethically and has high quality hair. Now, assuming that you are getting human hair extensions, there are three types of human hair extensions to choose from. Each level of hair does provide a different experience when wearing the extensions. There is a lot to learn when it comes to human hair extensions such as, virgin and remy hair are two different types of hair extensions, there is rarely such things as Brazilian and Peruvian hair, these are made up terms. The list goes on and on. Get the facts (and secrets other hair extension companies DON'T want you to know) from one of the worlds largest hair manufacturers. 

human hair extensions

Virgin hair extensions are 100% real human hair that has never been altered by a chemical process. Virgin hair is the highest quality human hair available on the market. This hair is expensive, yet it does last for a longer time than remy hair, making it worth the investment. Virgin human hair extensions means that when the hair is collected, it is collected from virgin hair donors. This means that the hair has never been chemically processed (no perms, hair color etc), never chemically treated, and comes from hair donors with long healthy hair. Virgin hair usually comes from younger women, so there are no grey hairs or split ends. When choosing virgin hair, hair donors must have long full healthy human hair. When collected, it is usually hand selected from thick, full, long ponytails.  Since virgin hair collected from ponytails, of healthy non-processed hair, the hair is already healthy and it does not require any kind of additional chemical processing to make it look beautiful (read: shiny and soft). *Note-hair extension companies must then clean and process the hair to offer a wide range of colors for their clients. Good companies will use gentle processing to keep the virgin quality intact.
Some hair extension wearers think that virgin hair comes straight off the head and can never be colored and that constitutes as “virgin hair”. They believe that if the hair is colored after being collected, that it is no longer considered “virgin hair extensions”. That is simply not true when it comes to hair extensions. Virgin hair (in the hair extension world) means that the hair collected is virgin, healthy, and has no grays, split ends, or chemical processing at the time of collection. Now, what separates the hair extension companies is HOW they process this fresh virgin hair. Virgin hair is fragile and should be processed differently than other hair extensions to keep the hair healthy and soft like it was while being collected.
Glam Seamless uses a 12 step processing system which uses eco-friendly ingredients and a slow color bath to color the hair, ensuring that the quality remains the same after coloring the hair. Processing of the virgin hair is most important, and a lot of companies tend to use harsh processing for faster production which shortens the life span of the hair extensions.  Using harsh ingredients and acid baths to process the virgin hair speeds up manufacturing to produce hair faster, but the quality will get comprised. However, if the hair undergoes an eco-friendly and gentle slow process, the end result is beautiful virgin hair coated in a healthy gloss.  Virgin hair can last 1 to 2 years with proper care. When it comes to virgin hair, be sure to know how the hair is processed to ensure high quality hair. 

Remy hair extensions are the most popular human hair extension on the market due to the quality and price. Remy hair is a high quality hair that lasts up to a year and blends very well with your own hair. What is remy hair means is that all the cuticles are intact, running in the same direction (at time of collection).  When all hair strands follow the same direction there will be almost no tangling and matting (if processed properly). With true high quality remy hair, the hair collected is healthy, the cuticles intact and all cuticles flow in the same direction from root to the tip.

High quality “remy” is collected directly from a woman's head and has been cut while in a ponytail, from a single donor, and is the full length of the strands. This collection process guarantees that the cuticles will stay aligned and the end result will be pure remy hair. As you guessed, there are many qualities of remy hair and what determines your experience with remy hair is how the hair is when manufactured.  Remy hair can be from Asia, India, and Europe - where it comes from really doesn't matter as long as it's ethically sourced. The difference you want to look for in remy hair is that the hair is double drawn (meaning hair is 100% one length) and is it true remy hair processed properly. True remy hair will not tangle often and will blend well with your own hair. As with all hair extensions, there are always different types of production processing which determines the longevity and experience with the extensions.

Note: All remy hair extensions are “remy” at the time of collection, but some hair extension companies use harsh, old fashioned, rushed manufacturing where the cuticles can get ruined while processing. To mask this they then coat the hair in silicone to make it appear soft, only to experience tangling and matting after a few washes when the silicone wears off. At Glam Seamless we process our remy hair gently with an advanced technology (similar processing as cashmere) which ultimately preserves the cuticles even after processing, so they remain intact.

How is Remy Hair Different from Virgin Hair?

Remy hair is chosen from many hair donors and mixed together from many donors. The hair that is collected from remy hair may have been previously processed (color or otherwise). Virgin hair comes from one thick ponytail from a hair donor that has never had any chemical treatment on their hair. 

Non-Remy Hair Extensions

Non-remy hair (sometimes labeled “Remy” but truly is not) is hair that collected from the floor of temples, salons and random suppliers. With this type of collection method, cuticle directions become mixed, causing inevitable shedding, tangling and matting problems. To mask the problems that will arise with non-remy hair, hair suppliers will use harsh chemicals to strip the cuticles completely and then apply a large amount of silicone coating to make the hair appear soft and silky. The hair initially feel silky and soft, however, after few washes the silicone coating wears off and the hair feels very brittle and starts matting and tangling. Problems will arise with non-remy hair after a few washes and will not last beyond a few washes and cannot be reused. Also, since the cuticles are stripped and not intact, the hair extensions are unable to tolerate color treatment or heat. 

The best thing to do when it comes to hair extensions is test the hair yourself and try before you buy! Read reviews, follow up with customers who have worn the hair extensions from the brand you want to buy from and understand the company's processing of the hair extensions before you buy it. True remy and virgin hair are usually more expensive, but will last longer. One last thing to keep in mind is that not all hair labeled remy is true remy hair with cuticle intact, and after 2-3 washes the hair will mat and tangle. Be sure to use Glam Seamless sample wefts, apply one tape bond sandwich and leave it in for weeks. You will see wash after wash, blow dry and styling that the extensions will move and feel just like your own. 

Glam Seamless is a leading supplier in hair extensions: our hair is ethically sourced, processed gently using eco-friendly materials, and is designed to last. 

Tell us, have you had a bad hair extension experience?

Types of Human Hair Extensions (Virgin vs. Remy vs. Non-Remy)


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