Diane Shawe Author of “How Hair Extensions are Sourced, Treated and Graded” states that the first question all new customers ask is “where did the hair come from”?
They want to know about the geography and even history of the hair and so should you. In her book she covers this question by explaining the characteristics of each variety and summarises the pros and cons.
For instance dealing with the different hair origins.
· Origin: China, Eastern Europe, Russia and India
· Grade: Virgin, Cuticle, Non-Cuticle, Processed, Single Drawn, Double Drawn, Remy and Non-Remy
· Type: Caucasian, Asian
Diane’s book goes on to explain in some detail the differences, here we summarise the pros and cons from different regions.
Chinese Hair (Aka Asian Hair): A thick fibre that is naturally straight and dark brown to black in colour.
Advantages: High Quantity, Durability and Low Cost. It is the strongest human hair and is able to withstand multiple chemical and mechanical processes.
Disadvantages: Chinese hair requires extensive chemical processing to output hair that simulates European texture, colour and body. The majority of the hair is collected and processed as double drawn.
Indian Hair (aka Asian Hair, Italian Hair): A variety of fibre types from fine and straight, medium thick with body wave and curly to thick coarse hair. “Italian hair” is actually Indian hair that has been processed in Italy or Spain and then sold at premium prices.
Advantages: High Quantity, Good Quality, Variety and Low Manufacturing Cost. Indian hair is popular to use for custom made hairpieces because it can be made to resemble European hair. When not cuticle correct (non-remy) hair requires heavy-duty chemicals to remove cuticle layers. It is still at a high risk for severe tangling problems.
Disadvantages: Low Quality and Higher Retail Cost. Indian hair still requires quite a lot of chemical processing to make it appear as European hair. To reduce time and materials, many manufacturers choose to work with non-remy Indian hair that results in a poorer quality and most exporters handle the hair badly.
(Aka Russian Hair, Caucasian Hair): A fine to medium density fibre that is naturally straight to slight wave and available in a variety of natural colours, most commonly dark blonds to medium browns. The Virgin colours will often be streaked with lighter shades or the ends will be much lighter than the roots due to weathering.
Advantages: High Quality. True Caucasian hair, whether originating from Russia, Eastern Europe or even the United States, is the best quality for the European and American market.
Disadvantages: Low Quantity and quantity and High Cost. It has always been an availability problem and is becoming more difficult to source lengths longer than 15 inches and of a good quality.
For more information about Diane’s extensive work on hair loss and consultancy, please see her website
For a copy of her book you can visit Amazon and download the full version or a sample “How Hair Extensions are Sourced, Treated and Graded”