Purchasing Hair Extensions – Don’t be Fooled

Just about every distributor and manufacturer out there claims they have Remy hair extensions, but very few actually do… Unfortunately, there is no regulation to make hair extension suppliers tell the truth.

Remy refers to the hair chosen from a single donor after first taking into consideration its root end. The cuticles remain intact with each strand of hair facing the same direction. Frequently, Remy hair is also known by the name “cuticle hair”. To put it in simple terms, virgin hair is the hair that is not subjected to any kind of processing or treatment. This means that the hair has not been treated with chemicals including perm, relaxer, silicons and dyes as well as colours. Thus, the purest form of hair available is Virgin Remy and the unprocessed hair has its cuticles intact.

We hear it all of the time from clients. They were duped into purchasing bad hair extensions – not knowing any better – or even worse, being misled – being under the impression they were getting one thing, when in fact they were getting an entirely different product. Here are some tips you can try before purchasing hair extensions, to make sure they are of a quality you are expecting them to be.

  • Know your own hair
  • Brush your clean hair it so that it is a smooth even consistency (no knots)
  • Separate a few strands – between 5 to 10
  • Run your fingers down the hair, in the direction of its cuticle, towards the tip
  • Run your fingers up the hair, going against the cuticle, towards the root
  • The point of this little test is to see how 100% cuticle intact Remy hair should feel – your fingers will slide down effortlessly, but you will notice a bit of resistance when you are going against the grain. You may even hear a little squeaky sound. Now when you go to purchase hair extensions repeat the same steps as you have just done with your natural hair on the extensions. There should be very little difference. If there is, you know something isn’t quite as advertised and you may want to look elsewhere.

To explain further, we thought we’d share an excerpt of a blog post we found titled Analyzing Remy Hair Extensions:

[A supplier] claimed the hair [they were selling] was 100% Remy virgin unprocessed human hair. She had spent a lot of time and money with the company and was frustrated with the complaints she was receiving from her customers. They took her into the lab so she could see them preparing the strands for microscopic analysis and see the evidence for herself…

What Remy hair extensions should look like:

The first step in determining if Remy hair extensions are truly Remy, with cuticles and prepared root to tip, is to examine the roots, mid-shaft and ends of the hair fiber. It is fairly normal for cuticles to be missing or worn down near the ends of the hair strands, but thick and healthy near the roots. We captured an image of the hair fiber about mid-shaft with 3500 high magnification and as you can see in the image below, there are cuticle scales in normal condition. The fractured edges are a result of brushing, combing and other mechanical forces. The spots and globs upon the cuticles are hair care treatment residues. In some areas it appears the layers of cuticles are nearly welded together which is common with either conditioner build-up and/or hair sprays. Other than some cosmetic and basic weathering, this is very normal cuticle of hair that is often styled.

Example of what is NOT Remy hair extensions:

Using the same magnification, we examined a sample of medium brown hair extension (supposedly Remy hair extensions) also about mid-shaft of the hair strand. The absence of cuticles was glaringly obvious. Sometimes when examining processed hair we will usually find some layers of cuticles left. This hair strand was so thoroughly stripped that we could see deep cuts into the endocuticle. At the top of the photo the light is reflecting off the coating that is sporadically covering the hair. This type of coating mimics shine and smoothness, and when washed away you are left with the true beast of the hair. This is a prime example of the non-Remy hair extensions commonly sold by many brand names. When the cuticles are chemically stripped from the hair strand, it will still tangle due to the roughened fractured state of the strands. Without any cuticles to give protection this hair will quickly become dull, dry and break with every brushing.

(From: http://vanityhairextensions.blogspot.ca/2012/10/analyzing-remy-hair-extensions.html)

Learn more about why hair quality is so important.

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