The quality of hair that you receive within a set of extensions will play a major part in the difference between a good and a bad set of hair extensions.
We all know just how popular hair extensions have become throughout the world and, with the demand for them getting more and more everyday, the hair extension market is becoming very saturated rapidly.
More and more manufacturers are skimping on quality, as the price of natural human hair rises. With new competitors appearing throughout the market everyday, all retailers are feeling the pressure to perform.
As with anything, the price that you pay for your hair extensions will generally reflect in the quality of product that you receive, however the hair extension market is renowned for being a highly unregulated, so this cannot be taken as gospel hottie hair extensions.
This series of articles is designed to educate you as a consumer, so you can make an informed decision about the type of hair extensions that you will choose to transform your hair.
The grammatical terms used when describing hair can also be very misleading. As with anything, companies and stylists want to sell their product and will make it sound good, even if it isn’t particularly!
So what do we look for to find good quality hair?
Let’s start with cuticles, in fact, to be more detailed; cuticle direction. This is a key factor with how the hair will behave once being worn. Good quality hair must have all the cuticles aligned facing in a downward direction. If the cuticles on the hair are not aligned in the same direction, a kind of Velcro effect within the hair happens. To understand this more lets compare the cuticles on hair, to the bark on two palm trees. If they were facing in opposite directions and you tried to slide them past each other they would get stuck. This is exactly what happens with hair that has un-aligned cuticles. The price of this hair is understandably cheaper to buy than cuticle aligned hair; however its lifespan is very minimal. After the first wash the cuticle will expand creating the Velcro birds nest type of look.
Lower budget Hair Production Companies understand that consumers will not return to buy more hair from them if this happens, so the next cheapest way of producing hair extensions that don’t matt, is to use a chemical process on all the strands of hair that wears down and strips the cuticle. The result; hair extensions that don’t matt and is not as expensive to produce as cuticle aligned hair. Sounds fantastic I know; however there are some major draw backs. The purpose of the cuticle is top protect the hair shaft from all the elements, therefore when it is not there, the hair is much more susceptible to damage from heat, chemicals, dyes etc. Also the chemical process that the hair has to go through to strip the cuticle off is very damaging in itself reducing the lustre of the hair.
The real quality of this hair is not obvious straight out of the packet, as a layer of silicon coating is put over the hair before packaging. This is done because the hair feels so damaged after going through the stripping process. It disguises the damaged hair, therefore the true quality of the hair is not revealed until after the first or second wash, when this layers starts to wear off.
A major proportion of the hair available on the market today is treated like this. The packets will not tell you that the hair is processed; it will simply say ‘100% Human hair’ and not much else.
If you are on a budget and are looking for temporary extensions to last a maximum of two weeks, then by all means consider this hair. Prices range from anything between £10, right the way up to about £70-£80 per packet.
If you are looking for higher quality, longer lasting and more permanent hair extensions always look or ask for cuticle aligned hair. Prices range from £60 upwards but are well worth the investment.
Normally if companies have made the effort to ensure the hair is cuticle aligned, they will make a point of saying it on the packet. Hair that is cuticle aligned costs more as companies have to pay extra to ensure that the hair is carefully collected, packaged and transported, guaranteeing that none of the cuticle directions get mixed up. The softness and shine that you feel upon opening the packet will last throughout the life of the hair extensions.
When looking at the quality of hair that you are going to buy, also bear in mind the way that it is going to be fitted. For example: If you are planning on just gluing in your own wefts, generally these will only last two washes. Therefore it may not be worthwhile investing in expensive hair, as you will be taking out every two weeks and replacing.
You will still have to bear in mind that this hair will be colour treated if you are buying lighter colours; this is separate subject to be looked at in another article.
So, to conclude, the first statement in our Hair Extension Article Series; What Do You Know About Hair Quality? Chapter 1 is; ‘The finest quality hair, regarding cuticles is hair that is cuticle intact and cuticle aligned.’
Please read my other Articles within the Tejune Hair Extension Article Series; What Do You Know About Hair Quality? To start piecing together the whole story about what to look for in Hair Extension Qualities.
Katie Hood is the founder and owner of Tejune Finest Weft Hair Extensions and is the creator of the HABIA CPD Approved ‘Tejune Technique.’
With her passion for creating only the finest hair extensions, Katie has worked for the last 7 years researching Hair attachments and Hair quality to create the Tejune Hair Extension Brand.