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Cuticle Hair (aka Remy Hair, Virgin Hair)

Cuticle hair can refer to all hair, no matter the origin. It defines the state of the fiber and quality. The cuticle layers have not been chemically altered and care must be taken to keep roots and tips from running opposite directions.

Advantages: High Quality. Hair with cuticles usually has the feel and look of natural hair. It retains dye colors and perms better than processed hair and lasts longer through normal wear and tear because the cuticles act as a protective layer for the rest of the fiber.

Disadvantages: High Cost and Tangles. Cuticle hair is considered a higher grade of hair and the time and care during production make it a more expensive hair. If not properly handled or cared for before and during the life of the hair replacement or extension, it is prone to tangle. (Although it costs the manufacturer more to process hair to non-cuticle, many have the opinion that cuticle hair is more expensive. They are confusing the cost of ventilating cuticle hair with the hair process cost. Non-cuticle hair is a more expensive hair but easier to ventilate. Cuticle hair is a less expensive hair but requires greater skill to ventilate.)

Non-Cuticle Hair (aka Processed Hair)

 This hair type can also refer to all hair no matter the origin, including European. The cuticles have been chemically processed to remove the first few layers and fuse the remaining layers. The roots and tips can be mixed in opposite directions.

Advantages: Low Hairpiece Manufacturing Cost and No Tangles. Less labor time when making hairpieces or wigs and less hair required per unit. If cuticle process is done correctly, this is a permanent process and used to prevent tangles even if the roots and tips are mixed in opposite directions.

Disadvantages: High Hair Manufacturing Cost and Poor Quality. Unfortunately, this type of hair is usually mass-produced in large factories using harsh chemicals that greatly degrade the hair. Also the hair purchased for non-cuticle hair is usually non-remy hair. When the chemical process is applied poorly and the hair starts to tangle, it tangles severely. Dye colors and perms do not last and the overall damage to the hair creates a very short life for this type of hair.

Processed Hair (aka Non-Cuticle Hair, Non-Remy Hair, Asian Hair)

All hair types can be chemically processed (cuticles, color, texture). Usually the term processed refers to non-cuticle hair and its most common form is non-remy hair. If handled well by the hair manufacturer, processed hair can retain much of its original quality properties.

Advantages: Variety. The hair manufacturer is able to chemically alter the cuticles, color and texture of the hair to simulate European grade hair and offer multiple color and textures to the customer.

Disadvantages: High Manufacturing Costs and Low Quality. The hair manufacturer must apply multiple chemical processes to the hair. Each process lowers the quality of the hair and shortens the life of the finished piece.

Common Use: All types of wigs, hairpieces and extensions.

Single Drawn Hair (aka Cuticle Hair, Virgin Hair, Remy Hair)

A bundle of hair, no matter its origin or grade that appears like a ponytail because all the short lengths of regrowth hair are kept in the bundle. Many a novice buyer thinks the shorter lengths are split ends. Different manufacturers sell bundles of hair in single drawn form, but sometimes split the percentage of short hair and sell at a higher rate. They may decide to take out perhaps 50% of the shortest lengths and leave the rest in the bundle.

Advantages: High Availability, High Quality and Low Manufacturing Cost. Single Drawn Remy hair is much easier to process the cuticles than Double Drawn Non-Remy hair because it requires less chemicals and processing time. This leads to a higher quality type of hair. The shorter lengths make the bundles appear tapered, therefore more natural. (Many prefer this type of hair. For example, one famous actress insisted that her wig be made with single drawn hair because the shorter lengths give it the perfect look.)

Disadvantages: High Manufacturing Cost.The ratio of short hairs to longer hair within a bundle is usually greater, which causes a high amount of loss and waste. The manufacturer must purchase higher quantities to account for the wastage.

Double Drawn Hair (aka Non-Cuticle Hair, Processed Hair, Non-Remy Hair)

A bundle of hair, no matter its origin or grade that is all one length. There are no shorter lengths of hair present, which creates a very smooth and polished look. Due to expense and availability with Remy hair, Non-Remy Processed hair is usually sold double drawn. The term refers to a mechanical process that draws out all the shorter lengths from a bundle, and then draws again to realign the top of the bundle.

Advantages: High Quality for Remy Hair, Low Cost and High Availability for Non-Remy Hair. One length creates a seamless silky curtain of hair that looks picture perfect. It gives the illusion of very healthy hair that has never suffered normal wear and tear.

Disadvantages: High Cost and Low Availability for Remy Hair.Hair grows and breaks and regrows so that a natural head of hair contains several different lengths of hair. When a ponytail of hair is donated or sold, the bundle tapers down to a point. If the bundle is 18” in length and you draw out only the strands that are 18”, you are left with only a few strands of hair that represent maybe 10-15% of the bundle. The rest of the bundle contains the shorter regrowth hair. It would take 10 kilos of single drawn 18” hair to make 1 kilo of double drawn 18” hair. This makes it very expensive and undesirable for the manufacturer who is now left with 9 kilos of shorter hair. It is much more cost effective to offer double drawn non-remy hair, but the blunt one length look makes the hair appear synthetic.

Remy Hair (aka Cuticle Hair)

Hair that was carefully bundled at the roots from the moment it is cut from donor and maintained throughout production – the cuticles run in same direction. This hair is usually processed to non-cuticle, but the root direction is maintained.

Advantages: Low Hair Manufacturing Cost, High Quality. The cuticles are not always removed for remy hair, therefore lowering productions costs and time. If the cuticles are processed, it is much easier than non-remy hair due to less chemicals and processing time. The reduced chemical processing reduces the level of damage that leads to a relatively higher percentage of moisture, as opposed to other types of chemically treated hair. This prevents the straw-like appearance that happens with processed non-remy hair within the first few months.

Disadvantages: High Cost, Low Availability and High Hair Manufacturing Costs. For unknown reasons, the temples that collect the hair do not take care to keep the roots and ends sorted correctly; therefore the resource of non-remy is much more than remy hair. Remy hair with cuticles require smaller batches and careful processing during production to avoid matting and tangling the hair during bath circulations.

Non-Remy Hair (aka Non-Cuticle Hair, Processed Hair, Asian Hair)

Hair that was cut and collected from the floor so that roots and ends are mixed. To solve the inevitable tangling, the cuticles must be chemically removed. Non-Remy hair is sold in Double Drawn form.

Advantages: Low Cost. The reasons factories in the Orient prefer to buy this type of hair are for two reasons: 1) It is much cheaper than Remy hair, 2) you can bleach and dye several kilos of hair in one batch without worrying about matting during circulation, thereby lowering the manufacturing costs significantly.

Disadvantages: Low Quality. The hair must undergo heavy chemical processes to remove cuticles. As a result the hair becomes very dry over a short period of time. The proceeding bleaching and dyeing reduces the diameter of the hair, creates dry course hair that eventually splits and cracks along the fiber. The tips are already vulnerable naturally due to years of growth and weathering. In Non-Remy hair the tips are running both directions so the entire bundle suffers split ends and breakage. There is also uneven distribution of fiber thickness since some roots are at the top and some at the bottom of the bundle, which makes it resistant to combing.