Types of Hair Weaves: Overview, Definition and Identification

Published By: Dasia

Fact Checked By: Janine Griffiths

Last Updated: November 8, 2022

What kinds of hair types are the best when working with hair weaves? There are various types of weaves and virgin hair is known to be the most premium due to its unprocessed nature. 

The most common hair textures are Brazilian, Peruvian, Malaysian, and Indian. Due to the abundance of choices, you may want to try a few before you find out what you like best. 

In this article, we will discuss hair types a little more to find out the best hair weave for you.

What Types of Hair Weaves Are Available?

Hair weaves are characterized, first, by the type of hair then further broken down into different textures and wave patterns or styles. These three categories are something you will need to get familiar with as they will be talked about every time you look for weave.

  • Human hair – As the name suggests, human hair comes from a human donor. You treat this type of hair just like normal hair, meaning that you can wash, condition, and detangle it as you would do with your own hair. Human hair is normally more expensive, but due to the fact that it’s so similar to your natural hair, it’s worth it.
  • Virgin – virgin human hair is an off-branch of human hair but even more premium. This hair isn’t chemically processed in any way and comes straight from the donor’s scalp. This type of hair is durable, long-lasting, and can be used with heat to alter the style.
  • Remy – Another type of human hair is Remy hair. All of the hair cuticles remain intact leading to less shedding and detangling. If maintained properly, this high-quality hair can last up to a year.
  • Synthetic hair – This hair is made of microfibers making it the cheapest option. It is important to note that synthetic hair can not handle heat well, but besides that, you can’t even tell the difference between synthetic and real hair.

What Type of Hair Texture Is Common?

The texture is important when blending with your natural hair.

  • Brazilian – The most popular hair on the market is Brazilian hair which can be found almost anywhere weaves are sold. It’s versatile and can hold almost any style. It has a natural shiny luster, is frizz resistant, and is not prone to matting. 
  • Peruvian – Most known for the multipurpose texture that allows it to be blended with all types of hair. You can have up to 5 Peruvian hair bundles installed and it will still feel lightweight. Although lightweight, it still has a thick and coarse texture.
  • Indian – Is known for being of very high quality. Indian hair is 100% unprocessed resulting in thick full hair. It never sheds and is tangle-free allowing it to blend with all types of natural hair. The benefits of Indian hair are that it is very versatile, lightweight, and easy to style. 
  • Malaysian – Has a soft and silky texture. It is important to note that Malaysian hair can be high luster but after a couple of washes it returns to a normal sheen. Due to its sleekness, it rarely gets frizzy, even in humid climates. It holds styles well and blends best with naturally fine or silky hair.

Where Do Hair Extensions Really Come From?

Although many weave textures are named after the country they come from, surprisingly, they are not always from that specific country. 

Brazilian, Peruvian, and Malaysian hair are all examples of this. These countries do not have a hair-collecting culture and only work in manufacturing. [1]

Indian hair on the other hand does come from India. Many Indians cut their hair for religious purposes and donate to their gods. Due to this tradition, the hair is kept in its virgin form and is not chemically altered. India is known to have the best hair on the market. [2]

Both India and China are the largest exporters of human hair used for making wigs in the world. India makes up about 50% of the global market. China, including Hong Kong, made up about 24% of the global market share. [3]

Over the years, women have become less and less willing to part with their hair. Due to the decrease in supply, harvesters have been forced to move somewhere else. Countries like Myanmar, Laos, Mongolia, and Indonesia are just some of the South Eastern Asian countries that have become search areas.

View: “The Truth About Where Hair Extensions Come From”

What Are the Different Types of Weave Styles?

  • Natural wave – this is the perfect style for someone who wants a more subtle hairstyle. It allows you to combine multiple different hairstyles in one.
  • Loose wave – this is a loose spiral pattern, indicated by the name. You can easily switch between straight or curly depending on how you manipulate the hair. It is similar to the body wave, but a loose wave curl is more defined.
  • Body wave – this is similar to a naturally wavy hair texture or a wand curl. Voluminous yet subtle, molding into an S shape, making them easy to manage. It is tangle resistant and has a shiny appearance. 
  • Curly wave – this hair bounces back when wet making it easy to maintain. There is not much to style due to the fact that it has a permanent curl, great for all types of weather. It is also known to give a youthful look.
  • Straight wave – works best for those who have naturally straight hair. The cuticle remains intact making it lay flat and smooth.

What Weave Is Best for Blending Into Natural Hair That Is Not Relaxed?

Blending can be a difficult process, even for experienced stylists. This is where the texture and style come into play. 

Peruvian hair blends well due to its natural coarse texture. Brazilian hair is also best known for its seamless blend into your natural hair.

Pairing these hair types with a natural style like some sort of wave or curl also allows for a  perfect blend.

If you decide to not relax your hair, blending is still possible but it will just require more upkeep.

Installation Techniques for Hair Weaving

There are more ways to install your weave than the typical glue and sew-in. There are tons of methods, some are so easy you can do them yourself.

  • Sew-in weave – best for women who want low-maintenance hair and are physically active. The weave is sewn into your natural hair.
  • Drawstring weave – ideal for those who have damaged hair. It is commonly sold as some type of updo like a ponytail or bun that is easily attached to your natural locks.
  • Lace Front weave – best for anyone who wants a natural look. Although they can be expensive, the lace blends into your natural hair seamlessly.
  • Fusion weave – for those who like to switch up their hairstyles often. Extensions are attached to a small section of hair and can be treated like your natural hair.
  • Glue in weave – short term, anyone who desires a quick fix to their hair. Can easily DIY the styles and install them in a little over an hour. Hair is usually attached to another foundation first.
  • Interlocking weave – long-lasting and low maintenance. There is no need for glue or braids, you just interlock the weave into the hair by locking it with a needle and thread.

What Type of Weave Lasts the Longest?

All factors come into play when deciding which hair lasts the longest. These include the type, texture, style, and installation method. Generally speaking, the type of hair and the installation method has the biggest impact on the longevity of your weave.

The best type of hair to pick is virgin hair because it’s the most durable. Virgin bundles can last for up to 2 years if taken care of properly while installed and in between installations. 

For installation, sew-in weaves or fusions are known to last the longest. Sew-ins typically last around 6 weeks and the longest installation can be around 8 weeks. 

Fusion weaves can last around 3 months, depending on how fast it takes your hair to grow. Since they are bonded to the strand, they need to be continually moved up as your hair grows, making the length differ for everyone.

Common Mistakes With Picking a Weave Type

The most common mistake is not consulting a professional on which hair would work best for you. Cosmetologists have studied hair and know which is best for your hair, application, and texture-wise.

Buying the wrong texture for your hair is also very common. The hairs are meant to blend in with your natural hair to ensure a seamless installation.  

Many people, especially when first starting out with weaves, try to save money by investing in synthetic hair. Although buying synthetic hair is great for beginners, in the long run, weaves made from human hair are a way better investment. 

Helpful Tips and Tricks 

Start with a texture that mimics your natural hair. When first starting out with weaves it’s beneficial to pick something similar to your natural hair because it will look more natural.

When detangling, start from the bottom of the hair and work your way up. This does less damage to your hair and allows for tangles to be slowly removed from the hair strand. [4]

Wash your extensions as if they were your natural hair. This allows for your extensions to be kept clean and help the luster/shine of the hair.

Wrap your hair at night with a silk scarf or satin bonnet. This helps protect your hair, regardless of the type of hair you have installed.

The Bottom Line

Decide what type of hair will work best for your lifestyle and remember you may have to pay a good amount of money upfront. Next, decide on a texture that will blend with your natural hair and be easy to upkeep. Lastly, pick a style that is closest to your desired style.

Consult with a licensed cosmetologist if you are unsure about what would be the best hair type for you. They can talk you through different installation techniques and specifics.

Remember to take good care of whatever type of hair you decide to invest in. Have fun with the ability to change up your style so easily!


A lover of all things beauty related whose been in the industry for about 5 years. While I'd love to say I'm a self-taught prodigy, I'm actually a licensed cosmetologist who has spent countless hours studying hair. I quickly learned sharing valuable information with like-minded individuals allows everyone to make the right choices when dealing with their hair. As a curly girl myself I love to experiment with different styles on a regular basis. While I do have a busy schedule between work, freelancing, and school; I always seem to find time for my hair.

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