Hair Extension/Enhancement hair can vary greatly in quality. Understanding what you are buying is extremely important when shopping for prices. It is available in both synthetic fibre and human hair. Good quality human hair can be treated naturally. Low quality human hair dries out more quickly and tangles. High quality fibre hair can withstand some heat, similar to human hair. Low quality fibre can withstand no heat styling. Synthetic hair should ONLY be used for short term or temporary methods.
Hair Extension hair that is not already included as a piece can generally be broken into three categories;
Wefted hair can be machine tied or hand tied. Hand tied wefts are generally less bulky. Their size and color can be custom made to fit a clients head. They usually have a higher cost. They are often made of a higher quality hair. These are used for Wefted methods of application. In some cases a stylist may cut the hair from a weft to use in another form of extension.
Pre-tipped hair can have I-shaped tips or U-shaped tips. Both can be used for various strand-by-strand methods, however, all but the fusion method generally uses an I-tip exclusively. Often, pre-tipped hair tends to shed a great deal less than hair a stylist tips themselves. It also makes application much faster. Often pre-tipped bonding material is of a higher quality than free hand bonding materials. Unless you have a very talented stylist, pre-tipped bonds also tend to be less bulky and more consistent in size and shape. During strand-by-strand methods this leads to better weight distribution.
Loose hair comes in a loose ponytail and is often the preferred source of hair for many braiding methods and for stylists who prefer to create their own bonds. As stated above, unless a stylist is very skilled at rolling bonds, self-bonded hair tends to be less consistent and sheds easily. Self-created bonds are typically created on this hair with the use of a hot glue gun and hair glue sticks, or with the use of a melting pot and a melted down bond.
- Low quality human hair is “Double Drawn” or “Brushed.” When the hair is removed from the head the roots and ends are mixed up, creating cuticles that do not run in the same direction. This causes tangling. Low quality hair has also gone through many more chemical treatments. Because of this, the cuticle of the hair is damaged and does not lay flat. This creates dull, dry hair. To hide this, the hair is covered with a grape seed oil or silicone. This slowly rinses off as the hair is shampooed. This sometimes also causes extension hair to slip and interferes with the bond point. The textures are created with chemical services. Dyes used on low quality hair are often fabric dyes, and because of this, the hair will not react properly if colored later. Extension hair should always be ordered in the color you need, not colored to order unless it is of very high quality. This hair is usually of Asian decent so has a thicker round cuticle. You can find higher quality dark hair of Asian decent than light hair, as it suffers less processing.
- Good quality human hair is referred to as “Remi”, “Remin”, or “Remy.” The cuticle of the hair is facing one direction and should be fairly intact. Cheaper brands of remi hair can have some damage to the cuticle caused by processing. This hair should not be colored and will still dry out faster over time. It has longer wear than low quality hair but still will need to be rotated out on a regular basis. Again, the textures are generally created with chemical services. This hair is sometimes referred to as “European Quality Hair.” This is not actually European hair, but the best grades of Asian, Pakistani and Indian hair. The cuticle is stripped slightly down so that it resembles the feel of a European cuticle strand.
- High quality human hair is referred to as “European Remi” and is actually of European decent. This hair has a healthy cuticle, if not fully intact. The textures of this hair are natural, some hair is straight and some is wavy. High quality hair will wear up to a year if treated properly. Again, natural colors are dark so hair goes through a stripping process to create lighter colors, therefore causing the cuticle to open a little. Try to avoid coloring. This hair is generally from Southern Italy or Spain, where the natural cuticle is thinner.
- Very high quality human hair is Remy as well as “Virgin” or “Raw.” It has never been treated with ANY chemical process, and has usually been grown with the intent of selling. The cuticle is completely intact. Even within this category the hair comes in separate grades, with A being that of a young child’s suffering little environmental damage, and D being that of an older donor with slightly more coarseness to the hair, caused by age and the environment. It can safely be colored or permed, and is extremely expensive and rare. Many companies try to pass their hair off as this fraudulently. This hair can be worn for years with proper care. This hair is grown in areas near the Artic Circle, often by Russian and Polish families for generations to be cut and sold.