What is Remy Hair?

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Human hair extensions have been around for some time but have been made popular by celebrities sporting wigs and weaves of their various music videos and TV appearances in recent times. Due to the Internet, curious fans (and non fans alike) can Google what form of hair extensions a celebrity is wearing, or debate whether the said celebrity is wearing extensions, a wig or if it is their real hair.

Human hair extensions were an accessory only available to rich celebrities and Hollywood actors until recently where there was an explosion within the number of outlets selling variations of the term “Remy Indian hair”, “100% Remy Human hair” etc. Again because of the Internet, every retailer selling hair extensions wants to make sure they’re using the proper “buzz” words to attract customers to their sites or salons to purchase what’s on offer. But what do these buzz words actually mean and is there really any solution to verify the claims the retailer is making?

The word Remy has morphed right into a synonymous term for high quality human hair. It originates from Indian temples where women, whose beauty is judged by the length of their hair, give their hair to the temple as an offering in thanks for something their deity has done for them. They “remit” their hair to the temple, which sells it on and uses the proceeds for charity – feeding the hungry and homeless who take refuge in their shelters.

These women present themselves on the temple where the hair is tied in a ponytail and cut off, making sure all of the hairs are lying in the same direction to avoid tangling. Virgin hair is considered the most effective grade of hair extensions because it hasn’t been subjected to any harsh chemical processes and has it’s cuticle intact. This is what the term “cuticle correct” means. Bleached, dyed or permed hair is no longer considered to be virgin or cuticle correct. Other important terms to pay attention to are “single drawn” and “double drawn”.

Single drawn means the weft, or bulk hair (ponytail) is from just one donor. Double drawn then again should mean two donors, but I believe it just means multiple donors. Double drawn hair has the next tendency to tangle than single drawn hair because the cuticles from the multiple donors run in numerous directions. Single drawn hair is the costlier of the two. Virgin single drawn extensions are the highest quality of human hair available on the market. Non-virgin hair can be single drawn or double drawn.

There are other non-Remy Indian hair extensions available. These are of a much lower grade than Remy hair because they are usually made out of discarded hair from hair brushes, or rubbish bins. They’re washed, sorted and coated in silicon to make them shine before being sold on.

Chinese, Brazilian, and Peruvian hair can’t be called Remy because they are not sourced from temples. The term seems to be used interchangeably with human hair by individuals who do not really know what it is, further adding to the confusion over its meaning. If the hair isn’t from an Indian temple, it’s not Remy Hair .This isn’t to say the hair can’t be good quality cuticle correct hair.

Most human hair extensions often end up in wefts used for hair weaves and clip on extensions. Excessive wear of both wefts and bulk hair may end up in a form of hair loss often known as traction alopecia because of the weight of the extensions on the wearer’s hair follicles and method of attachment. However it isn’t the standard of the extension – Remy or not, that causes the hair to fall out but the regularity with which the extensions are worn.

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