Many people confuse virgin hair and raw hair, or have heard of virgin hair but not raw hair. At first glance, they can seem the same – but there are a few key differences.
Knowing the differences can really narrow down your search for the hair that will work best for you.
What is Raw Hair and Virgin Hair?
Raw hair is human hair that has not been processed in any way. It is the most natural form of hair on the market and the most expensive. This is the healthiest hair one can buy, and comes from a single donor.
Virgin hair is human hair that has not been processed by chemicals or dying. The strands are healthier than remy and non-remy hair and last longer. Virgin hair is steamed processed, to ensure the hair texture is all the same pattern or to alter the curls.
Differences Between Raw Hair and Virgin Hair
Though they are both made from human hair, there are several ways in which raw and virgin hair differ.
Raw hair is not processed, it is only washed to remove any impurities (dirt, bugs, etc.) Raw hair is cut straight from one donor’s scalp.
The curl patterns on raw hair may not all be the same, because many people have multiple hair types. The look of raw hair is similar to the natural hair you would see on someone’s scalp – frizzy and unpolished.
It definitely will not have the same look as remy hair, because natural hair is much rougher than processed hair. It will, however, be the healthiest hair you can get, and tends to be the thickest.
Also read: Remy vs Virgin Hair
Raw hair is the most expensive out of all the other types of hair you can buy. The price is mainly due to it being so rare, and coming from one donor. Raw hair also usually does not come extremely long because it comes from one donor, and most people don’t grow their hair past 24 in.
The average cost of a raw hair purchase is $300 per kilo.
Duration of Wear
Raw hair lasts the longest, because it is the healthiest. When hair is damaged, that cuts down the time that the hair will last. Raw hair also blends really well with your natural hair, so the hair will not have to be styled too much to get both to look the same.
Raw hair can usually last between 3 and 5 years. If you are looking for something to have long term, this would be a good investment. The hair will last for the longer period, if it remains unprocessed.
Raw hair is just natural hair that was cut. Notice how much work goes into caring for your natural hair – caring for raw hair is very similar. The styling difficulty is greater than the styling difficulty for virgin hair, because the hair is not processed into one pattern.
The hair can also be different densities, which will have to be styled carefully. Much of raw hair has not been heated, dyed, or treated in any way before, which means you would be treating it for the first time. Hair that has been treated for the first time, is much more difficult to style in the way you want it.
The hair might also not respond well to chemicals and dyes. If the hair is curly, the curl might not come back after straightening – everyone’s hair is different. The best way to ensure the best results is to test a small patch before styling all of the hair.
Also read: How to Style 4c Hair
Virgin hair is not chemically processed or dyed, but it is steamed processed – giving its distinction from raw hair.
Steam processing is a way to alter the curl pattern of the hair, in order to make sure that the pattern is the same throughout. Aside from steam processing, there is nothing else done to the hair. The minimal treatment makes the hair healthier, but also it can be harder to manage.
Most people’s hair is frizzy and unruly without products or chemicals applied to it, so virgin hair is also more difficult to style and manage due to its closeness to raw hair.
Virgin hair usually comes from several donors, but can come from one donor on occasion. As a result it is processed and hence makes it less expensive than raw hair.
The average cost of a whole head of virgin hair would be between $300 and $600.
Duration of Wear
Due to the hair being much healthier than remy and non-remy hair, virgin hair can be worn for a longer duration of time. The healthier the hair is, the longer that the hair will go without experiencing damage, such as breakage.
Virgin hair usually lasts for 6-9 months, but with good care, it can last for about a year. The main cause of virgin hair extensions being unusable is the shedding that happens when styling and brushing the hair. The less you wear the hair, the longer it lasts.
Similar to raw hair, virgin hair often has not had much processing even when the donor was caring for it. Due to this, virgin hair is harder to chemically process, or even heat. This is popularly known as the hair not being tamed.
It is much easier to style than styling raw hair, because the steam processing makes it softer and easier to comb, but there are still other factors about it that are unknown.
Not knowing how virgin hair will take to processing, or the difficulty of processing is one of the risks people take when purchasing the hair. Virgin hair is best for people who want to wear it in the style that it came in, without extra processing.
The hair will look great in its natural state, and some prefer their hair to look natural rather than styled.
Also read: How to Stretch Natural 4c Hair
The Final Word
Both virgin hair and raw hair is of the highest quality hair you can buy, so you know that either one you choose will last long. Ultimately, your decision is based on your preferences and what you have time for.