We meet women everyday that have a vision of what they want their Hair Extensions to look like. Not all of them look the same. Luckily, there are so many hair extensions available to consumers that almost anything you can imagine will come to life IF you meet the right stylist who knows the difference between grades.
Hair Extensions can be graded differently based on the manufacturer. Believe it or not, Hair Extensions are not regulated by the FDA .Which means a package can state they are “Remy” even if only half the contents of the package are in fact Remy Hair.
We’ve created a cheat sheet to help you identify the real deal regarding Hair Extensions. First and foremost, not all hair extensions are created equal. Hair Extensions have become a household name, and if you aren’t careful, you may be buying scrap hair that will melt upon the sight of a curling iron.
Remy hair means that the cuticle of the hair is facing in the same direction. What is cuticle? Your hair has a protective shell casing. Under a microscope this casing AKA cuticle appears to resemble snake skin. Your cuticle grows in a downward pattern naturally. SO of course hair manufacturers want to sell you REMY hair, right?
Wrong. The least expensive way to make hair extensions is to actually shave the cuticle off the hair, and coat the hair in silicone to make it appear luscious and healthy.
Why is REMY so important? If you buy hair extensions where the cuticle has been shaved down, the silicone will eventually wear off, leaving the hair extensions dry and susceptible to breakage very easily. Not to mention silicone cased extensions can feel extremely heavy and unnatural. Often times appearing shinier than natural hair.
If you buy REMY hair extensions, all of the hair’s cuticles will be in tact, facing in the same direction. This leaves the hair to feel and look just like the hair growing on your head. They will last longer, appear and feel healthier, and will withstand the normal wear and tear of extensions.
STEAM VS CHEMICAL PRE-TREATMENTS
So you buy your perfectly toned blonde hair extensions, and the package says “RAW HUMAN HAIR
EXTENSIONS”. Reference back to the first paragraph when i told you hair extensions are not regulated, which means the package can say whatever it wants to say.
The truth is, Virgin or RAW hair means just that. It is untouched in texture or color. In most cases, Indian hair can come RAW, which provides rich natural tones and texture (or a combination of). Most consumers prefer colored extensions that have a specific texture or color. How that happens may make a difference in the hair extension.
STEAM STRAIGHTENED- filtered water is used to create steam and heat to open the cuticle and make the hair more impressionable and easier to style. The hair is set, steamed and comes out with a perfect texture. This process also KILLS any fungus and bacteria, which is an important step when packaging hair for sale- Quoted from Royal Silk Extensions.
CHEMICALLY STRAIGHTENED- Some hair is changed permanently with chemicals, this hair is often referred to as being ‘Steam Permed’. This process is much different from simple steam processing. To ‘Steam Perm’ hair, you must apply a chemical, to the hair to soften the chemical structure of the hair. In most cases, if hair has been chemically straightened or permed, you can smell it either when washing or blowdrying your hair extensions.
The truth about hair extensions is that unless the manufacturer tells you specifically where the hair came from, and how the hair has gotten its texture or color, you probably wont know.
GRADE- Maybe the most important thing to know
The word “grade” is thrown around very loosely. Again, it is not a regulated term, so here is how you can really tell how to “grade hair”.
The term grade can have many meanings on the internet. One of the manufacturers we work with has said it perfectly. Grade is a term to define how much of the hair is the listed length.
So you buy 18″ extensions, and the grade is listed as 7star. This usually means 70% of that bundle is the listed the listed length. The rest of that bundle can be as short as 6″, giving the hair a tapered appearance.
This isnt necessarily a good or bad thing. Many guests cant naturally handle 100% of the hair to be the listed length. It can feel dense, and weigh too much for a healthy fit. What is important is to KNOW what you are buying.
An easy test to this is to wrap the hair extension around your finger from the base and slowly pull the hair. Notice where you start to see the hair length pull out. This will tell you how much of the extension is tapered.
In a nutshell, its important that you buy the right extension for YOUR hair. If your hair has seen better days, if you have rough ends or dry hair, you may want to consider something that matches your texture.
The goal to beautiful extensions is for them to appear natural.