Real Human Hair vs. Synthetic Hair Extensions
Hair extensions and wigs have been around for thousands of years. For almost all of recorded history they have been typically derived from human hair. Only in the last few decades did technology progress to the stage where synthetic extensions were invented and then popularized and mass-produced. In many ways, synthetic hair is similar to fake leather (or as some high-end car brands like to call it these days “leatherette”), in that it’s essentially a form of petroleum-based product made to the same shape as human hair. Be forewarned however before you consider buying synthetic extensions that there are several reasons why real human hair extensions are to be preferred. The first is durability. Human hair is much more durable than synthetic hair and will typically last almost twice as long as synthetic locks. The second reason relates to styling. Typically, synthetic hair comes already styled, be it straight, wavy or curly, whereas human hair, whatever its origin, is still capable (with the proper styling tools and styling products) of being styled in just about any style imaginable. Because synthetic hair is made of oil, almost all forms of it will melt on contact with heat styling tools set at high temperature levels. Human hair can burn as well, but when dry it’s typically able to handle heat styling tools at very high temperatures. Thirdly, for obvious reasons, real human hair extensions just tend to blend much better with natural hair. The only real advantage to synthetic over real human hair is in the price, but when you consider all of the obvious disadvantages to the synthetic version, it’s clear that the extra few dollars spent on real human hair is more than worth the difference.
Non-Remy Human Hair Extensions vs. Remy Real Human Hair Extensions
So much has been written about remy real human hair extensions, but comparatively little has been written about non-remy human hair extensions. Whereas remy real human hair extensions are manufactured with human hair whose cuticles have been completely preserved, and which have been aligned in a unidirectional manner so as to minimize (but by no means eliminate) tangling, non-remy extensions are somewhat more processed, which has implications for their wearable lifespan. In order to properly describe the difference between the two we first need to explain the makeup of human scalp hair. Human scalp hair is largely composed of various proteins (in particular keratin), in three layers: The innermost layer is called the “Medulla” which is the softest, least durable part of the hair shaft. The thickest layer of the hair is called the cortex, which is the part of your hair that determines your hair’s texture and (because it’s the part of your hair containing melanin) its color. The outermost layer of the hair is composed of the cuticles which are laid out over the cortex in a shingle type manner. Human hair destined for hair extensions factories is collected from all sorts of different places, with the consequence being that when the hair arrives at the factory, most of it isn’t remy in origin, in packages having been cut from the head of single donors. As a result, and depending on its length and quality, this hair will either be sorted into remy, or it will be chemically processed so as to reduce its propensity to tangle. This chemical process essentially consists of soaking of the hair in a bath of hydrochloric acid so as to melt off 30%-80% of the hair cuticles, and to smooth them out. The hair is then covered in special silicone and oils so as to provide it with a protective coating that will prolong its lifespan.
Non-remy human hair often gets a bad rap, but it’s not necessarily the case. Every factory does things differently, and the quality of the hair used in making non-remy contributes greatly to the ultimate quality and durability of the non-remy extensions produced. For example, East Asian hair has approximately twice the number of cuticle layers as compared to Caucasian hair. South Asian (aka “Indian”) hair, which is sometimes touted as the highest quality hair due to the fact that its properties (how it takes bleach, how it takes a curl, etc.) are extremely similar to Caucasian hair, likewise has approximately the same number of cuticle layers as Caucasian hair. Therefore, when Indian hair or Caucasian hair is subjected to the harshness of the acid bath, often times a great deal of the cuticle is lost to the point where there is very little protective coating left to shield the cortex from the environment. In the case of East Asian (usually Chinese) hair, the loss of 30% of the cuticles leaves you with a strand of hair that is still more than viable and that can often produce extensions of equal durability to some extensions made with real remy hair. It really depends on the quality of the processes used at each factory, combined with the type of hair they are using. This is why there is such tremendous variability in quality and durability across hair extension brands and manufacturers.
Remy Real Human Hair vs. Virgin Hair Extensions
Virgin hair often gets a lot of attention, largely because it’s perceived to be the finest quality human hair on the planet for the purpose of hair extensions or wigs. A lot of this however is marketing however. To begin with, let’s explain exactly what virgin hair actually is. Virgin hair is human hair that has never been chemically processed or treated. No bleach, so relaxers, so perms, no coloring, no nothing. For obvious reasons, the vast majority of this hair is black to very dark brown, except for the extremely rare European virgin hair. Virgin hair is never used in clip in hair extensions as the clip in extensions industry is based on the production of standardized finished products with standardized colors that a woman need only clip into her own hair. The virgin hair market therefore is really focused on the very expensive, quasi-bespoke permanent hair extension market catering largely to those women (often African American) who purchase raw hair to be installed semi-permanently, often in the form of hair weaves.
Is virgin hair really better than remy human hair? That’s a real question? If the virgin hair is not processed by the wearer then yes, it will likely last longer than any other type of human hair, remy included. But if a woman is going to color her virgin hair (which will almost always involve bleaching it first because almost all of the world’s virgin hair is black in color), then there is really no point in paying anything extra for virgin hair since that’s the only real difference between it and remy human hair.
For those women looking for hair extensions, there really is only one good game in town, and that’s real human hair extensions. Between remy hair and non-remy human hair, real remy hair extensions will tend to be more durable and longer lasting. That said, even real remy hair extensions can be ruined quickly through misuse, neglect and maltreatment, and if not treated well even remy hair will matte up and become tangled and ultimately ratchet in appearance. The same goes for virgin hair, notwithstanding the premium price that will be charged for hair that has never undergone any chemical processes.
Kylisstof hair extensions are 100% real remy human hair. We pride ourselves on manufacturing the finest quality clip in real remy hair extensions on the market, in an innovative all seamless design, and invite you to give us a try. We promise you won’t be disappointed!