Remy and virgin are two terms that are commonly tossed around in the hair extensions market among hair stylists, hair vendors, and hair extension wearers. While both terms are generally viewed as positive, desirable traits in extensions, consumers may easily become confused when attempting to decipher the correct definition of each term.
Considered to be the highest quality among human hair extensions, remy hair is aligned from root to tip in a unidirectional orientation. The hair remains aligned from the time it is cut to the time it reaches the end user. By keeping the hair aligned in the same direction, the cuticles remain in tact, and the hair appears to be soft, shiny, free of tangles, and more natural. Remy hair is obtained by pulling the donor's hair back into a ponytail and cutting it prior to washing, disinfecting, and possibly conditioning the cut ponytail. When packaged for sale, the hair may consist of a mixture that is derived from multiple individuals. Although the quality and condition of the hair is superior, one of the most immediate deterrents for those who choose not to use remy hair extensions is price. However, with proper care, remy hair extensions may last six to nine months and perhaps slightly longer.
The term "virgin" also has a somewhat malleable application that can vary from person to person. However, the true meaning of "virgin" is hair that has come from a person who has never had their hair chemically treated with a perm, relaxer, dye, or other chemical process prior to the hair being removed and packaged for sale. The hair is pulled into a ponytail and cut from one individual. Next, the hair is washed, disinfected, and packaged. Extensions that are made from virgin hair are typically in better condition as a result of the absence of processing. Virgin hair is typically smoother, shinier, and more versatile as the hair can be dyed or otherwise processed as desired by the end user. While many people prefer to use virgin hair extensions, there are some disadvantages. Because virgin hair is completely untreated, it may be necessary to ensure the hair is completely free of lice and insect infestation prior to use. Like remy hair, virgin hair also tends to be more expensive. Because virgin hair is completely unprocessed, it is generally able to last longer than other types of extensions. If cared for as thoroughly as the consumer's natural hair, virgin extensions can last one year or possibly longer.
While remy and virgin hair are both desirable, it is important to know the characteristics that belong to each hair type. Knowing the difference can help customers ensure they are receiving the appropriate product to achieve the look they desire.