Shopping for hair extensions can be confusing. In addition to match colors, textures and find the perfect length, you have to find the best quality for your money. Hair extensions can be a very expensive investment, so you need to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck!
When searching for quality hair extensions it’s important to understand the terms being used most frequently. You will come across terms like 100% Human Hair, Human Hair Blend, 100% Yaky, Remy and Remy Virgin. A lot of people are searching for 100% Remy hair, but they aren’t sure what that is and how to be sure when they’ve found it.
So let’s discuss first what the term Remy means. Remy refers to the characteristics of the hair and the method used to manufacture the hair extensions. On a more basic level, the term “remy” is used to describe hair that has been selected root end first from one single donor. The hair is of “remy” quality when it has been collected directly from a woman's head and has been cut while held in a ponytail, so none of the hair strands fall to the floor. Because of this careful collection process, “Remy” quality hair can guarantee that all cuticles will stay aligned, the hair will be tangle-free hair and in its most natural form. True “remy” hair lasts for a long time, can be reused several times, and can be colored or flat ironed with heat just like one's own natural hair.
Unfortunately many companies claim their extensions are remy when they are in fact not. Many women have been burned (including myself) so I’m giving you three ways to tell if your hair extensions are in fact true “Remy” Remy hair does not directly mean virgin hair. Some people use these two words synonymously when in fact they are two different things. Virgin hair refers to completely unprocessed human hair while Remy hair is virgin hair that is handled and kept
Color - If you are purchasing hair with an exact color designation such as #2 or #1B you are NOT buying true Virgin Remy hair.. Virgin Remy hair has not been chemically treated or colored. It comes in natural black and brown. Color labels are attached to packages of hair because they have been dyed and treated that color. Remy is that of the natural hair color of the donor. While it is true that this can be a range of natural black and browns, it is often a medium brown that is often lighter than the store bought designation #1B. The color will not be uniform throughout an entire bundle. There will be different natural highlights both lighter and darker than that of the primary color. There may even be strands of grey hair throughout the package.
Do a chemical check - Doing a check for leftover chemicals is another way to authenticate your Remy hair Extensions. First, perform a sniff test. If you pick up any chemical odors similar to a relaxer or perm, then the hair may have been chemically processed. Virgin Remy hair should not have any chemical processing, meaning no dyeing, no perming, or relaxers. So anything outside of water and heat processing is considered chemical processing. To tell if your hair has been chemically processed, do this quick test – wet the hair, apply a dime sized amount of neutralizing shampoo and massage into the hair. If the shampoo foam coming out from the bundle turns pink, chemicals have been applied to the hair. This isn't a guarantee but, this a good test to keep in your arsenal. You will be surprised how many vendors do not take the time to thoroughly wash out the bundles they chemically processed.
The Cuticle Check - Virgin hair that is not chemically processed will have the cuticles present on the hair. If you check for cuticles and the cuticles are not present, know that the cuticles have been stripped from the hair usually from an acid bath. Now stripped hair is not necessarily a bad thing because these types of hair can last a considerable amount of time, up to 9 months of use, but it is certainly not virgin hair. Here is a trick many experts use. To feel for hair cuticle, run your fingers up and down the hair shaft. The hair strand should feel smooth going downwards towards the direction of hair growth, however you should feel some resistance as you move your fingers in the opposite direction. The resistance signifies the cuticle is present and has not been stripped.
Searching for high quality Remy hair can be overwhelming but now you’re equipped with knowledge to make the best investment so you can Love your Locs.