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Types of Hair Used to Make Hair Extensions

What Kind of Hair Makes Extensions?

Hair comes in many different qualities and from many different sources. The following will give you the information needed to make informed choices when purchasing hair for extensions.

Remy (remi)

  • Remy hair is the best type of hair to purchase for hair extensions. Unfortunately many companies today are calling their hair remy and it is not really remy. True remy hair has been carefully braided or tied before being cut from the donors head. This keeps all of the cuticles aligned, thus eliminating tangling and matting. The hair needs to be carefully handled through all colouring processes to keep the cuticle aligned. Real remy hair should last 3-6 months if it has been chemically textured or lightened to a level 6 or higher,  and 6 months to 2 years if the colour is level 5 or darker with no chemical texture.

Non-Remy/Fallen or Brushed Hair –

  • This is the cheapest hair available and is not recommended for long-term wear. Non-Remy hair is collected from cutting room floors, hair brushes, and anywhere else long hair can be found. It is then thrown in a vat of acid to wash away as much of the cuticle as possible to try to prevent tangling,(with no cuticle the hair swells terribly with washing and humidity). At this point, colouring will take place. The hair is then put in a silicone bath to make it shiny and feel beautiful. If a texture needs to be permed into the hair more silicone will need to be added.  The trick for them is to get the entire cuticle off without the acid destroying the hair. Any remaining cuticle will cause matting and tangling as soon as the silicone is washed away.

Single Drawn

  • This hair has been placed in a ponytail or braid and then cut from the donor’s head. At this point the very shortest hairs are removed, (the shortest hairs are “drawn” out, hence the name single drawn). This leaves some hairs that are shorter than the full length giving it a slight tapered, layered look. This makes for easy blending and the most natural look. 95% of all true Remy hair is single-drawn. If you want a very thick bottom edge to your client’s hair order the extensions 2”-3” longer than the desired length and trim.


  • This type of hair is all one length. There are no shorter hairs in the extensions like single-drawn hair. All of the short hair has been “drawn” out. 95% of the time double drawn hair is inexpensive Non-Remy hair. Double-drawn Remy hair is very expensive because so much of the hair is discarded, because of this very few companies have Remy double-drawn hair. The advantage is you always get the length you want without it being too thin at the bottom. A disadvantage is unless you are an expert at cutting with a razor the hair can look doll-like and rather fake.

Virgin Hair –

  • There is very little true virgin hair in hair extensions. The term virgin means never coloured or permed. If it has been acid washed it is not virgin.

Synthetic Hair –

  • This type hair is best used for temporary occasions. Synthetic does not move the same as real hair and it can look overly shiny which comes off as fake. It may be a good alternative over very cheap human hair because it will not matt as fast. A heat resistant type that can be curled with a curling iron.

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