If you walk into several hair or beauty stores, you will notice that hair prices range from about $10 up to thousands of dollars. It can be really confusing sorting through all of the brands and textures. Here is the low-down on finding good hair:
Synthetic Hair: This is basically plastic Barbie hair. This hair can be cute for adding one or two streaks of color. It is also useful for braiding techniques typically seen in African American hair. I would never recommend this hair for permanent extension hair that will be applied with fusion, flashpoint or microlink; it is much too artificial and tangles. I cannot even believe the prices that Jessica Simpson and Paris Hilton charge for their extensions...crazy. Check out Jessica's hair on the following web site:
I really like to try everything on the market just to experience it, so I did purchase synthetic hair once and used it in my ponytail. The label claimed that this hair would curl and be long lasting. It did not curl and just looked too plastic for my enjoyment. I threw it in the trash that same day. The up-side of the deal was that it was only 10 bucks and looked pretty in the packaging.
Human Hair: This label means that there might be some traces of human hair in the package. It may be mixed with animal hair, synthetic hair or anything else, scary. Agh, Jessica might have animal fur in her hair....don't buy it!
100% Human Hair: 100% human hair should be all human hair. Much of this hair is taken from scraps off of a floor and pieced together to make enough hair for one head. This hair tangles VERY easily due to the fact that some of the hair in the mix is upside down. This means that the cuticle of the hair runs the wrong way. I can pretty much guarantee that this hair will be matted and a knot within 1 day to a week. It is poor quality hair.
100% Human Remi (Remy) Hair: This is all human hair that has the cuticle running in the correct direction. Most hair companies and extension specialists use this grade of hair. Some of it can be good, but I would never buy hair with just this amount of information. My experience has shown that about 80% of this hair is in huge knots within a few washes.
It IS very important that the cuticle is running in the correct direction to prevent tangles, but that is not all the consumer needs to know. Many distributors slap "Remi" on their hair and then charge very high prices for this hair. There are many other variables with the hair concerning how it was processed, where the hair originated from etc.
The largest hair expeditor of hair in the world is China. Other areas that sell a lot of hair are India, Brazil, Korea and several European countries. It is important that the consumer matches the natural hair to their own as closely as possible. For example, I naturally have wavy, long blond hair so Chinese hair is a horrible choice for me. To get that hair to match my own, the factory must bleach it excessively and then perm it to match my texture. By the time the finished product is done, it is completely fried and will not last. While I was learning about hair I wasted hundreds of dollars on buying hair that was a poor match for me.
100% Human Remi Virgin Hair: Awe....now HERE we go! This hair is awesome. It can last for years because it is literally a long ponytail that was cut off of a young woman. It is so raw that it even comes with scalp oil on it at times..nasty, but at least you know it is legit! I love working with this hair.
With all of the hair, this one also has a down-side; it typically only comes in darker colors and is sold in bulk. Bulk means that it does not come with any of the factory tips added to it...the stylist must make them by hand. This takes hours. The hand made tips work out okay, but they typically will not attach to flashpoint or micro-links as well as uniform factory-processed hair. I am actually in the process of experimenting with some new hand-made tip ideas. I am trying to use unconventional materials to make the hair attach in a more uniform way...I will keep you posted.