Hair Extensions Q&A's

WHERE DOES HUMAN HAIR COME FROM? Human hair is mainly sourced from India and China though it is also increasingly sourced in Mongolia, Russia and South America due to demand for different textures and qualities. The collection processes vary globally; Indian hair is often donated while Chinese hair is sourced by travelling vendors who visit remote and outlying villages, where the hair is harvested and bought as a mass. South American and Malaysian hair is valued for its strength and is sourced for its quality among populations pinpointed by vendors. The process is very much a transaction, with the people who supply their hair receiving payment for their services. In poorer parts of the world, the ability to make money from the sale of their hair can be a valuable opportunity for the people involved. Russian hair is among the highest-sought and is therefore the most lucrative for those who donate it. In much the same way as the hair is sold to consumers around the world, prices paid to those who donate it will reflect length, colour, quality and availability with the best quality hair becoming the highest commodity. WHAT IS SYNTHETIC HAIR? Synthetic hair can comprise of various fibres with different properties for various requirements. The processes used to manufacture the fibres from plastics allow for an almost limitless range of colours and qualities for use in the commercial hair market. Products labelled 'synthetic fibre' ore ‘Toyokalon’ are poly-propylene in origin and are generally unable to be heat styled or sealed. Products labelled 'Kanekalon' or 'futura' fibre can be heat-styled and sealed up to a limited temperature, which will be stipulated on the product description. Synthetic hair can be made into wigs, pony pieces, weft, braiding hair and dreadlocks. WHAT IS YAKI HAIR? Yaki hair is hair which has been treated to match the texture of pressed out afro hair. It is available in various colours and lengths and is suitable for full or part weaves, bonds, braids and clip in extensions. Yaki hair is most often sold to customers with afro-texture hair but can also be a good match for people with coarse hair or curly hair which has been straightened. Yaki hair can be bought in as many quality variations as silky hair, from standard grade which is relatively inexpensive to higher grade and remi. WHAT IS REMI HAIR? Remi or remy is a description of the hair shaft itself and the way that it is secured for use as hair extension, either on a weft (strip of sewn together hair), pre-bonded (either keratin-tipped or stick-tipped for use as individual extensions) or bulk (loose hair without a bond or weft which is used for individual braids or self-tipping). Every shaft of hair comprises of cuticles, invisible to the naked eye, which overlap and interlock like scales and run the length of the hair. Cuticles can be damaged by processes, including heat-styling, colouring and texturising procedures. Remi hair means that the hair has retained its cuticle and that all the hair used has been kept the right way up during the treatment it has received before sale. This is known within the industry as ‘cuticle aligned correct’ and means that the hair supplied is guaranteed to run from root to tip. This means the hair tangles less, lasts longer and responds better to products used. Remy hair will always be marked as such; standard quality hair is not remy. WHAT IS VIRGIN HAIR? Virgin hair is hair which has been untouched by processes such as colouring and perming but which will have been cleaned and checked by the manufacturer prior to sale. The most readily available virgin hair tends to be generally dark hair, such as Indian or Brazilian, which is sought after for its texture. Only genuine virgin hair is suitable for colouring and texture processes, as non-virgin hair has already undergone significant processing and further chemicals can compromise the quality and longevity. Increasingly, ‘virgin’ is used to describe hair which was untreated on receipt by the manufacturers but may have been treated by them prior to being distributed to suppliers such as ourselves. For specific information regarding the product you have bought or are interested in, please refer to the manufacturers’ own website. WHAT IS RUSSIAN HAIR AND WHY IS STOCK NOT HELD IN STORE? Russian hair is the smoothest hair that is made into hair extensions. It is donated and collected at source for the finest quality and texture match for European hair available on the market. Russian hair is available in a wide range of colours, significantly reducing the chemical processes associated with the marketing of human hair products. Russian hair is highly valued and sought after and wefts are usually hand sewn and hand tied, to make a smoother finishing touch. Our Russian hair is colour-matched and crafted to order, ensuring the very highest quality and the finest product for our customers. These are the main reasons why Russian hair is more expensive than any other type of hair. HOW DOES THE COMPANY SUPPLY HAIR AND IS IT ETHICAL? Hair is usually treated and processed within the country in which it was harvested, before being passed along the chain of suppliers to become the product you buy from Paul’s Hair World. There are many points of contact along the chain and we do our best to ensure quality and good ethical policy before we stock and supply it to our customers. With increasing demand within the industry and more widespread supply to consumers, it is common for manufacturers to have several factories across more than one country to cater for its supply chain. Here at Paul’s Hair World we are always mindful, especially when dealing with human hair products, of the value of those people at the very beginning of the chain, and hope that our customers have the same high ideals. HOW DO I CHOOSE THE CORRECT COLOUR FOR MY HAIR EXTENSIONS? A good colour-match is essential for a successful hair extension and here at Paul’s Hair World, we supply a wide range of colours in varying qualities and lengths in order to help you achieve the natural-looking extensions you are searching for. We pride ourselves on our matching service and a visit to one of our stores will include our personal matching techniques. We look closely at your hair and combine your answers to our questions on colours and processes used with our wide-reaching stock and product knowledge to supply the finest and most suitable products for you. Our colour-matching service is unrivalled and paramount to our good reputation and a part of our business we take great pride in. If you are not lucky enough to be able to come by us in person, we recommend that you match the colour to the very ends of your hair, as this where a mismatch will show. We like your ends to disappear completely among the hair extension because, if it is obvious where your hair ends, it is also obvious where your extension starts. We recommend that a new colour be allowed to settle and fade up before matching. We do not recommend that you choose extensions prior to colouring your hair, as the result can often be markedly different to expectations. HOW DO I CHOOSE THE CORRECT LENGTH AND WEIGHT FOR MY HAIR EXTENSIONS? Choosing what length you want is an important part of achieving the look you want. There is no definite answer to this question but there are points you may like to consider. The most popular length in our stores is 18 inches, which will usually fall to around the middle of most peoples’ back when worn straight. If you want to wear your extensions curled, you will need to account for the loss of length which results from curling. Roughly four inches of the straight length will be lost through curling, meaning that the hair will sit higher once curled. If you are choosing extensions for a specific style, you should consider what it needs to do to create the look you want. If a professional is creating the style for you, the stylist’s advice should be sought as to which length you will need to buy. Not everybody requires the same amount of extension for a full head. It is a rough guide, but we like to feel the thickness of a customer’s hair to gage how much they need to buy. The natural hair in a hand should feel about the same as the extension to go into the hair. Fine hair generally needs less hair than usual, while thicker hair usually requires more. This rule will be affected by personal choice and preference. When choosing weights and lengths it is important to be aware that all packs of hair within a product range will weigh the same. For instance, a product which is marketed at 120g will weigh 120g, whether the hair is 14 inches long or 24 inches. This is true of all extension ranges; the longer the hair itself is, the shorter the width of the weft. Some people will require more hair to counteract this and therefore one pack may not be enough. WHAT QUALITY OF HAIR DO I NEED TO BUY? This very much depends on your requirements and will be affected by your budget. If you are having the hair installed into your hair using any weaving technique, bonding or individual bonds of any description, we recommend you buy remy if you are able to afford it. Remy will last longer and require less maintenance day-to-day, thus prolonging the success of your extension. If you put your hair onto extension clips to be worn every day, you may also like to consider buying remy as it will certainly last you longer than the standard quality. If you are clipping in your extensions for occasional use, you probably don’t need anything more than standard quality hair, which can be styled and worn in the same way as a higher grade of hair but will not cost you as much to buy. If you are buying hair for one-off or experimental use, you may prefer to buy synthetic hair which is inexpensive and versatile. However, it is important to note that even the best quality synthetic hair reflects light in a manner that is not true of natural hair. If the hair is for use in photographs or you any situation where flash photography may be used, you may like to consider whether synthetic hair is suitable. HOW DO I TAKE CARE OF MY HAIR EXTENSIONS? Your own hair receives natural oils and vitamins from your scalp which keeps it moisturised and healthy. Extensions require extra moisture to be put into them to avoid them drying out and to prolong their condition. We recommend using a leave in conditioner or serum to keep the hair conditioned. To wash them, use a sulphate free shampoo and conditioner preferably, with the emphasis on moisturising the hair. Condition on the ends of the hair only if they are attached semi permanently (e.g micro rings, weave, LA weave, bonds), not near the method of attachment, as this can be harder to rinse out and residue can build up and become uncomfortable, while compromising the longevity of the extension. You should only wash the extension when it is absolutely necessary and be sure to replenish the moisture whenever you do. Clip in extensions only need to be washed once every couple of months. We do not suggest over-processing them or dying them as this can damage the condition of the hair. Please use a heat protector when using appliances.                      
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