Remy hair - Standards For Hair Extension Suppliers
Article 1: Hair Extensions Maintenance
Article 2: Standards For Hair Extension Suppliers
Article 3: Moisture For Remy Hair Extensions
Article 4: Origin Of 100% Human Hair Extensions
Article 5: : Human Hair Extension Quality
Article 6: Tensile Properties Of Hair Extensions
Article 2: Standards For Hair Extension Suppliers
Hair extensions technical articles series created by me which related to wholesale hair and hair extensions, I was particularly pleased because I believe that many of our biggest challenges today stem from the quality of the hair care products we sell to our customers.
I plan to use this hair extensions technical articles series to give you the information you need to distinguish high quality hair from lesser caliber product. I will also try to tell you how to use this information to solve many of your day-to-day problems. In my articles, I will share some photographs taken through a special microscope that contrast the characteristics of healthy and damaged hair. You will see technical images that you have never seen before. I will also try to give you concrete explanations for many of the frustrating problems you face every day. And I will explain why, by the time an order arrives at your business, the hair extension is often already compromised and your options to repair it are very limited.
In our marketing chain, it is the wholesale hair extension suppliers who call the shots. They sit above the hair production centers and direct their orders to the facility that best meets their needs for prompt and reliable delivery, competitive pricing, courteous service and compliance with their relevant hair products design.
Wholesale hair extension suppliers perform a vital marketing function, but for the most part they do not have hands-on control over the most critical part of the hair production process - hair quality. This is not negligence on their part, or because they don't care. It is due to the fact that in the hair extension and hair replacement market today there is no reference tool to define and measure hair quality. So Wholesale hair suppliers cannot formulate technical specifications for the hair to be used in their designs any more than the manufacturers themselves can define the hair they have in inventory!
Creating a set of rigid international standards (brilliantly suggested by the Journal’s editor, Chris Webb) would help our hair extensions and hair replacement industry deliver a consistently superior hair product (where would McDonalds be without common standards?). The focus would then swing from marketing tactics back to hair product development. For instance, if a batch of finished hair extension tested below accepted values for moisture-content, strength and elasticity, it would fail to meet minimum standards and would not be acceptable for resale.
In order to give you hard data about hair characteristics, I am going to be giving you statistical information from time to time, but I will try to use normal averages. For example, if I tell you that the moisture content of non-cuticle hair is usually around 9.5%-10.0%, it does not mean that you will not be able to find non-cuticle hair with over 10.5% moisture content (a very good figure incidentally, even for normal hair or Remy hair). I just want to keep things simple.
Most of the hair ventilated into custom-made hairpieces or wigs sold in the US is sourced through India. Much of it is collected from monasteries located throughout the country. The largest and most famous monastery is in the south of India. Indian women donate their hair as an offering to their God as a sign of modesty. It is their understanding that it will be sold by the monks for a substantial sum of money that will be used to finance schools, hospitals and other publicly favored facilities. But not all hair that finds its way onto the market is the same - and this is where we encounter our first problem.
During the collecting and sorting of the donated hair it is divided into two groups:
* Remy hair: Hair that has been cut and maintained with the roots aligned and bound together at the top of the bundle. These bundles are carefully preserved throughout the export process and arrive at the factory still intact.
This hair is sold at a much cheaper price than remy hair.
Once the human hair arrives at the factory, it is treated in a hydrochloric acid bath to remove the cuticle. A word of warning - hydrochloric acid is extremely hazardous. Please do not put yourself at risk by experimenting with this chemical! But back to the problem. Coming back to the problem: It's not the remy hair. Remy hair is relatively easy to process and the damage inflicted during de-cuticalization is slight. Non-remy hair is the villain.
Non-remy hair requires a higher concentration of acid since the cuticle runs in both directions. This frequently results in hair extensions with very low moisture content that appears dry and straw-like. Moisture is critical to good-looking hair. Human hair usually contains 10.5% - 11% moisture (measured in a controlled environment of ISO 40% - 63% moisture). Non-remy hair has trouble retaining this vital moisture.
Unfortunately, the problems do not stop here. The de-cuticalization process itself is often conducted inefficiently. Some bundles of hair are only partially processed. Others are over-treated or under-treated, which contributes to tangling problems and limp or lifeless hair. Regrettably, a lot of this lower grade non-remy hair can find its way into "expensive" custom-made hairpieces or wigs. Your vendors or wholesale hair suppliers usually have no way to tell whether the hair in the units they sell is remy, non-remy, or non-remy blended with remy hair. This doesn't make things easy for them.
In future hair extensions research articles, I will suggest some analyses they should be conducting and the measurement tools to use. I will also outline some hair extension and hair replacement quality control standards that could help everyone.
We have to understand that non-cuticle human hair means hair that has been fundamentally damaged. I compare it to my hand losing its protective layer of skin. I know this sounds brutal, but mechanically it's similar. If your hand were damaged in this way, you would run to the hospital where they would apply bandages and oil-based ointments not just to isolate the pain but to prevent chaffing that could cause additional damage. Well, the same logic applies to non-cuticle hair - except it will never heal. Just like the hospital, we try to isolate and protect the hair by applying special oil-based liquids such as hair conditioners that (should be) designed specifically for non-cuticle hair. If you use hair care products made for normal hair, you will be doing your client a major disservice.
Regular conditioners are formulated to condition the cuticle layer, a very durable layer that is over 30% protein. Instead, you should be using a hair conditioner formulated for the under-layer without cuticle. This layer is made up of only 3% protein (10 times less!) and requires a more powerful lubricating system! But it doesn’t stop there.
The lack of a protective cuticle layer has other consequences. It allows everything to be easily absorbed into the hair – and lets vital moisture out again. Non-remy hair dries at a much more rapid rate and quickly loses its luster and body. You would never consider cleaning your favorite fine Italian cotton shirt with same detergent you use to clean your old cast iron pot. And you would not clean your carpet with the same detergent you use to clean your wood table. And yet many people do precisely do this when it comes to human hair extensions. Let me repeat - cuticle and non-cuticle hair are different product types with different maintenance needs. Each one requires its own specialized product.
Where did I gain these insightsgain these insights? The hard way through personal experience and years of technical research in the hair replacement and extension industry. Most of all, I learned through trial and error at my own hair extension manufacturing company in India where we trade in hair. We are actually in the process of building a hair-processing plant in Madras to introduce new controls to overcome the problems I have been describing.
That’s fine, you may be thinking, for someone who has the time and interest, to make hair production their top priority, but what about a regular salon owner or wholesale hair extension supplier who does not have this luxury? That’s a tough question. Unfortunately, at this time, there are few diagnostic resources to turn to. The lack of simple analytical tools is a real handicap. It undermines your professional skills, limits your understanding of hair extension mechanisms and prevents you from sharing constructive information with your clients.
Many times I have heard clients tell me that a vendor or importer has developed a new product for non-cuticle hair. But when they ask for documented proof, they are given the “proprietary information” speech and see nothing. It is disappointing to me that these businesses do not understand that by misleading their clients they hurt the entire industry. If the company had really done the research, they would proudly hand out the test documents. But, my guess is that there wasn’t any research and the last time that they saw a microscope was while watching the Discovery channel. But that is my opinion.
I think it reflects poorly on the hair replacement and hair extensions industry that, to my knowledge, there is only one company that conducts ongoing research and lab work. The more companies that participate in research, the more proficient we will all become. I encourage everyone to ask their hair extension vendors to participate in product research programs.
Let me explain my personal philosophy. After more than five years of intensive research in the hair care industry, using some of the most sophisticated devices available, I came to realize that there are no easy solutions in our industry. Over the years, I have been exposed to many new hair extension ideas and products, and I have met all kinds of people who tried to convince me that they had the ultimate solution - and that it was as easy as 1-2-3. Well, they never worked scientifically! I know. I tested them! Some of these folk went on to market their “ultimate solutions” and knowingly sold them to their customers with promises they could not deliver. But I am no longer talking to them! Technically superior hair care products are important. Our future depends on them. Quality not marketing must always come first. It is not a short-term strategy and it is certainly not the cheapest! But over time, it’s the only one that works.