Analyzing Remy Hair Extensions
Remy hair extensions has become a common phrase to use as a mark of quality for selling hair extensions that often has nothing to do with reality and more to do with marketing. At Hair & Compounds, we have a research lab that we often use to help us determine if a particular hair processing method or product used upon the hair extensions is actually beneficial or not. We also on occasion will help businesses in the industry determine the claims and authenticity of the human hair they purchase. Just about every distributor and manufacturer out there claims they have Remy hair extensions, but very few actually do. A good example is another internet distributor called Doll Hair Galore that made the news with their poorly made hair extensions that was more than likely produced with low-grade heavily processed hair. Unfortunately, there is no regulation to make hair extension suppliers tell the truth.
Recently, a new customer requested we analyze some Remy hair extensions she purchased from another company (not the above mentioned hair extension supplier) that claimed the hair was 100% Remy virgin unprocessed human hair. She had spent a lot of time and money with the company and was frustrated with the complaints she was receiving from her customers. She had read our research article on the origin of human hair with information on Remy hair extensions and hoped we could help clear the confusion. We took her into the lab so she could see us preparing the strands for microscopic analysis and see the evidence for herself. To set a baseline, we asked her to pull a strand of her own hair out of her scalp to examine.
What Remy hair extensions should look like:
The first step in determining if Remy hair extensions are truly Remy, with cuticles and prepared root to tip, is to examine the roots, mid-shaft and ends of the hair fiber. It is fairly normal for cuticles to be missing or worn down near the ends of the hair strands, but thick and healthy near the roots. We captured an image of the hair fiber about mid-shaft with 3500 high magnification and as you can see in the image below, there are cuticles scales in normal condition. The fractured edges are a result of brushing, combing and other mechanical forces. The spots and globs upon the cuticles are hair care treatment residues. In some areas it appears the layers of cuticles are nearly welded together which is common with either conditioner build-up and/or hair sprays. Other than some cosmetic and basic weathering, this is very normal cuticle hair that is often styled.
Example of what is NOT Remy hair extensions:
Using the same magnification, we examined a sample of medium brown hair extensions (supposedly Remy hair extensions) also about mid-shaft of the hair strand. The absence of cuticles was glaringly obvious. Sometimes when examining processed hair we will usually find some layers of cuticles left. This hair strand was so thoroughly stripped that we could see deep cuts into the endocuticle. At the top of the photo the light is reflecting off the coating that is sporadically covering the hair. This type of coating mimics shine and smoothness and when washed away you are left with the true face of the hair. This strand is a prime example of the Non Remy hair extensions commonly sold through many brand names. Even though the cuticles have been chemically stripped from the hair strand, it will still tangle due to the roughened fractured state of the strands. Without any cuticles to give protection this hair will quickly become dull, dry and break with every brushing.
Although this customer already suspected she was being cheated, having the evidence in front of your eyes helped her understand that labels can lie. What was comforting to know is the bad hair extensions was not the result of her work. We also showed her our Remy hair extensions and she asked to see the strands for herself under the microscope. We happily obliged as this is truly the only full proof method to back up your word. If you are a stylist that wonders if the hair you are buying is truly Remy hair extensions, or if you have a hair treatment product that you would like to test on the hair extensions, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org with your request and we will provide you with the details.