How to know if your hair extensions are good quality?

How to know if your hair extensions are good quality?

The human hair extension business is a multi-billion dollar industry, but have you ever seen hair extensions manufactured? Probably not, hair extensions are manufactured overseas, mostly in India and China. So how can we tell if we are getting what we are paying for when purchasing hair extensions? It boils down to 2 factors.


  • Natural hair cuticle intact and aligned.


  • The cuticle may be intact, but the cuticle is not aligned.
  • The cuticle is destroyed through chemical processes, mostly acid baths that strip the hair to create color and texture.


The Cuticle

A hair strand is cylindrical and is covered with a protective layer called the cuticle. Damaged hair will have a damaged hair cuticle, which causes the hair to become dry. Hair extension hair has a hair cuticle, but the cuticle may be destroyed during the color, and texture process. If the natural coating is destroyed, then the hair extension will become matted, dry, and blow up!  

The reason why inferior hair does not immediately tangle is because it is coated with heavy silicone (hence the chemical odor), but once the silicone coating washes away, the hair extensions will immediately tangle.

Proper manufacturing is essential to ensure the cuticles are aligned in one direction. If the hair is sewn onto a weave, bonded with keratin, tape, or other methods improperly, then it does not matter if the cuticle is present.

Hair Collection

Donor hair should be collected carefully to ensure the cuticle is aligned. There are three major categories of hair.

Virgin Hair

Virgin hair is collected from the donor in a ponytail, and it is not processed with any chemicals. If this hair is collected from India, or South Asia it is most likely a dark color. A manufacturer will sell this hair in bulk, sewn onto a track, keratin tipped, or taped.  

You can process this virgin hair in your desired color, and perm to an exact curl pattern.

Virgin (one-donor) hair.

Is collected from one person, but it is carefully processed to create consistent coloration. Most one-donor hair is not permed or waved, and the cuticle is intact. Since it is donated from one person, the hair will feel more natural, and respond like normal hair. 

Remy hair

Is collected from multiple donors, but the collectors are careful to ensure that the cuticle is aligned in one direction. Both virgin and one-donor hair are considered remy.

If hair is collected from floor scraps or brushes, it is considered inferior and may tangle easily.


Life Span

The life span of hair extensions differs by chemical processing, proper application, and at-home care.

1) Virgin/raw hair can last up to 3 years

2) Virgin (one-donor) hair can last up to 1 year or more.

3). Remy hair 8 months to 1 year

4) Non-Remy hair 4 to 6 months.

I do have clients who have had success with non-remy hair, especially if they prefer to purchase new hair more often. There is no guarantee that the hair will not immediately tangle, but some opt to take their chances.

Back to the question, "How to know if your hair extensions are good quality?" The only answer is to view the hair under a high-power microscope to see the hair cuticle. If the hair cuticle is present, you will see it under a microscope.

You can move your hair up the hair extensions (from the bottom up), and attempt to feel resistance from the hair cuticle, but this is not foolproof.

The best way to ensure you are purchasing good quality hair extensions is to buy from a trusted vendor. WIth that being said, there good still be issues related to improper manufacturing, therefore, you will need to trust that your chosen vendor will back their hair.  

Hair Extensions Background

At Noelle Salon, they evaluate your natural hair, and listen to the client's wishes on styling, color match, and look. They use human hair extensions like 100% Remy human hair, or Virgin Hair (unlike Bellami hair). Hair extensions can be used for short hair or 24 inches of a full head of hair, and they have worked with different methods like tape-in extensions, clip-in hair extensions, Keratin and enjoy using the Veila Pull-thru method with the Veila Hair Extensions for ease of hair care. Styling can vary from flat iron, natural curl, or curly hair. Whether you are looking for a change of style or look for a day such as a Clip-in ponytail, having a high-quality ponytail extension can mix it up for you. Your natural hair journey with your hair growth can be enhanced with Hair extensions when protective styling is applied, and regular maintenance is used. You can change your hair in one day - feel free to reach out and explore the possibilities.


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