The hair extension market is awash with fraudsters and fakes. Good hair isn't cheap hair!
How much do hair extensions cost? The cost of hair extensions varies greatly with the biggest determining factor being the quality of the hair, followed by thickness & length more often determined by weight. The price can range from £25-£4000 Depending of the quality of the hair used, how much hair is fitted and also how honestly the hair has been labelled before it is marketed under the name it is sold. Raw virgin hair is expensive...pound for pound the same as gold and its very easy to sell bad quality hair as good quality hair to individuals who haven't been trained and don't know what to look for.
Virgin Russian Hair Extensions
The Holy grail of hair? Virgin Russian hair extensions, the top end product, with a wear life of up to 4-5 years with the right aftercare. But as with all things, getting the real deal is the rub and girls often end up with cheap hair labelled as virgin Russian that instead of the 5 year wear life lasts merely months. Genuine Russian hair is lush & strong with a breaking strain of copper wire of the same diameter, I have smoothed waves with straighteners in my current hair extensions every other day for 2 years and it’s still utterly gorgeous, healthy and shiny.
The truth is the hair trade's largest exporter is China, Asian hair which is chemically treated to break down the cuticle to make it more like European hair in texture. Then it is lightened from its natural black to achieve lighter browns and blondes and then boiled to seal it and make the uniform curl patterns you see for sale in packets, where you can pick particular curls and waves. Then …it’s basically not even hair anymore. Its cuticle is gone, which is equivalent to the enamel being fried off your teeth. So to make it shine the manufacturers coat it in silicone (it’s in all hair serum, it makes hair slippery and shiny but it seals & plasticises your hair if you use straighteners past its boiling point!…its evil stuff!...see my next article). Once the coating wears off the hair is less than useless and it is very upsetting if this is fitted to your head and you’ve spent a lot of money.
Indian Hair Extensions
Indian Hair is the 2nd largest export, collected from temples in a ceremony called Tonsuring) Hindu men, women & children sacrifice their ego to the gods & symbolise this by shedding their locks. They are more holy folk than I! Personally I love Indian hair because it matches my own light curly wavy texture is dark brown & has a long wear life of 3 years or so. In its raw state it comes in dark browns & black. It can can be slowly & gently lighted by myself with great care and patience which preserves the integrity of the cuticle and means I am able to blend & match my clients tones exactly. This tinting process will decrease its lifespan, decreasing depending on the levels of lightness we need to reach, but because Indian hair is more cost effective than Russian it is a great option for men and women with textured hair.
How To Spot Good Quality Hair Extensions
A trained eye can determine the quality of hair by skilfully testing strands with age old techniques. When I buy hair, I cherry pick quality bundles to ensure my client satisfaction. I have been wearing hair extensions & buying hair for 18 years…I was ripped off so many times…but happily you don’t have to be…so that’s my good hair Karma sorted. If you’ve ever asked yourself why is my hair so dry? Then you might like my next post about the long term effects of silicone in hair serums and conditioners. I LOVED serum and the way the silicone made my hair feel, but it ruined my natural hair. So if you’ve tried every conditioner under the sun & still have dry hair then it could be the culprit…..but help is at hand. Happy Hair Days.