Finding out where hair comes from has always been a bit hazy. More people are starting to wonder where their hair purchases are coming from, especially remy hair.
What is Remy Hair?
Remy hair is human hair that has been processed. The word “remy” simply means the direction of the cuticle of the hair. It is hair with strands that are aligned from root to tip in the same direction.
Remy hair can be used from virgin hair or non-virgin hair and is then taken through a series of processing. Remy hair is usually dyed to make the hair strands appear healthier because the hair is not as healthy as virgin hair.
Remy hair is also chemically processed to make the hair softer and sleeker. The hair is also made with the strands going all the same downward direction. Due to the hair flowing in one direction, the hair is less likely to tangle than the other hair choices.
Remy hair is sourced by one or multiple donors and is not stripped – leaving the cuticles intact. It is processed to be smooth and sleeker than non-remy hair and is less likely to knot and tangle. Due to the hair being so processed and unhealthy, remy hair lasts for a shorter amount of time than virgin hair.
Remy hair tends to dry out faster than virgin hair, especially if heat and dyes are applied. At some point it may be hard to impart moisture back into the hair, and it will stay stiff and brittle.
Remy hair is less expensive than virgin hair because it is taken from multiple donors and the hair is of less quality than virgin hair.
Read more: Remy vs Virgin Hair
Where Does Remy Hair Come From?
A donor is a person whose head the hair comes from. Remy hair is sourced by multiple donors. So one bundle of hair can come from two or more people. Many times a woman will sell their hair for extra income.
It is not uncommon that a woman will not get a fair price for the hair – usually about $1-$2 U.S. dollars. However, most women who sell come from impoverished countries and take whatever they can get for their hair.
The most exclusive and expensive hair is European hair because this hair comes in lighter colors (blonde, red, light brown) and finer textures. The harder it is to find donors for a specific hair type, the more expensive it is.
The main source of hair in India is from Hindu temples. Millions of people travel to these temples to shave their hair as an offering to their gods. Temple authorities collect this hair and sell it to buyers, using the money for temple resources.
This hair is considered high quality because it comes straight from the scalp and is usually very healthy. The temples in India have a constant supply of hair, and is where most Indian-remy hair comes from.
Remy hair is supposed to be high quality hair, but sometimes a vendor will try and pass very low quality hair as remy by using fallen hair. Fallen hair is hair that is collected from places where hair has fallen from the scalp – such as combs, floors, sinks, bathtubs, etc.
This hair is usually collected by women over a period of years and then sold to vendors. The hair usually comes as a matted ball which needs to go through a process in order to look like acceptable hair.
In order to make fallen hair look like remy, the hair is detangled, processed with chemicals to make it softer, and coated with silicone to make it darker and shinier. At first glance, after fallen hair is processed it looks almost identical to healthy remy hair, however, its actual quality starts to become noticeable shortly after usage.
Unfortunately, while people usually give their hair away willingly, there have been reports of thefts by gangs and cartels that steal women’s hair against their will. Some thefts will include – stealing women’s hair while they sleep and cutting a woman’s hair off while they are walking. There have even been reports of cutting hair from dead corpses.
The hair business is a multi-million dollar operation, and has attracted criminal activity for those who have tried to take advantage of it. Due to the sourcing of hair being so shady, it is hard to tell exactly where the hair comes from and how it was sourced – which is why it is important to do significant research on where the hair comes from.
There are some companies that are working to ethically source hair to combat the problem of exploitation. An ethical supplier will pay their donors a fair wage and reveal where their hair is coming from. Stll, only a fraction of hair comes from temples and known donors, most hair origins on the market are largely unknown.
How Long Does Remy Hair Last?
Remy hair can usually last between 4-6 months with proper care. It can last for a shorter amount of time if the hair is actually very unhealthy.
Ways that you can preserve the lifespan of Remy hair include:
- Avoiding the application of heat
- Co-washing the hair as much as possible instead of constantly shampooing
- Avoiding chemical treatments such as bleaching and relaxing
- Combing hair with a detangling brush
Is Remy hair the Highest Quality?
No. Remy hair is the third highest quality hair, mostly due to the number of donors and uncertainty of its origins. Virgin hair is the second highest quality hair. It is not chemically processed or dyed, but it is steamed to make the hair pattern uniformed. Virgin hair is healthier than remy hair and lasts longer.
Raw hair is the highest quality of hair. It is not processed at all, and cut from one donor. Raw hair is the healthiest hair on the market, and lasts the longest. It is also the hardest to style because it usually has never been treated with any heat or chemicals by the owner.
The Final Word
Though it may be hard to tell at first where your hair was sourced, it is worth looking into. Knowing the hair’s origins can help you determine its quality, ethics, and value.