Deciphering UHAIR : Understanding Remy and Virgin Human Hair Wigs
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By UHAIR | 05 May 2018 | 0 Comments

Deciphering UHAIR : Understanding Remy and Virgin Human Hair Wigs

Hey friends,

Today I want to talk with you about human hair short bob wigs. You know, the wig journey can be very challenging. Synthetic wigs have their own challenges, and I've covered a lot on synthetic wigs. But today, I'd like to talk about human hair. Some of the terms that you may hear thrown around in regard to human hair wigs, such as Remy hair or Virgin Hair. Let's define some of those terms, and then I'd like to share with you some of my thoughts on why purchasing human hair is so challenging and why it's not always the best solution to go straight to a vendor to save money versus purchasing from a retailer who's already done all the hard work in finding a trustworthy vendor. There's just a lot to know. I'm just going to scratch the surface, but I do think this information is going to be helpful and is very important if you are looking to get the best bang for your buck when it comes to human hair. If you want to know more about this topic, then stick around. 

My name is Denise. I'm also known as UHAIR on Instagram and Facebook. I suffer from hair loss, and I have for over 20 years. I've been wearing wigs for five years now and have learned a lot. I do a lot of videos on this topic, and if you're new here, I'm so glad that you're here. I hope you find this information useful. 

So, like I said in the intro, I'm really only going to be able to scratch the surface. There is so much to know about this wig-wearing journey when it comes to human hair black wigs that look real.And to be honest with you, there's a lot of conflicting information. So, unfortunately, it's really hard to get correct information when it comes to this topic because you'll find a whole bunch of people saying a whole bunch of things, and they don't always match up. And you don't always know who to believe. I've done a lot of research on this topic, and I've asked a lot of human hair retailers and learned from them as well—retailers that I trust that I believe know their stuff.

So let's start with defining some terms. What is Remy hair? I get asked a lot, do I recommend Remy Hair or should I buy Remy hair or Brazilian hair? I get a lot of really interesting questions when it comes to the wig journey, which is why I'm making this video. So, Remy Hair just means that all of the cuticles on the hair shaft are intact and aligned. It has nothing to do with the type of hair; any type of hair, any hair origin can be Remy. So, it doesn't tell you anything about the quality of hair or the hair origin. All it means when you see something saying UHAIR, hair is that the hair is aligned, the cuticles are aligned. So when your hair grows out of your scalp, your cuticles are all going in the same direction. All the hair strands have a cuticle, and they're all going in the same direction.

When hair is collected for  brazilian hair wigs, I'm sure most of you have seen pictures or videos of women donating their hair, and you'll notice that what happens is they'll take their blended human hair wigs, and they'll put it in little ponytails all throughout the head. Sometimes you'll see one big ponytail, but sometimes you'll see little ponytails all over. And then what they do is they cut the hair off right above that ponytail holder. One of the reasons, aside from just making the hair easier to collect, is when it's all gathered in that way and secured, all of the cuticles will remain going in the same direction.

Why is this important? Well, first of all, the cuticle of the hair, let me put up a picture I found a few pictures online, so I'll stick a few pictures up here. The cuticle is the hair shaft. It's kind of a rough shaft; it's not one smooth item; it's got some roughness to it. And when the cuticle is not aligned, you can find problems with matting and tangling because the hair will start to rub up on other strands of hair. And when they do that, but they're going in different directions, you can see the rougher pieces rub into the smoother pieces and can cause a lot of problems. So that is one reason why having human hair wigs is really going to give you the most longevity in general.

But I have some caveats of the piece that you're buying. When the hair is not Remy, you run into more, you can run into more. So any type of hair texture, whether it be Brazilian, European, Slavic, or Mongolian, you'll see all of these different terms, and I'll cover that in a future video. They can all be Remy because it only refers to the cuticles being aligned. Now, my bio hair tangled when I had longer bio hair and still wore my bio hair without buzzing it. So just tangling doesn't mean that the hair is not UHAIR. But it's really important that you trust the retailer that you're purchasing from, that they've done their due diligence because I have seen wigs that I am very doubtful are Remy labeled as UHAIR.

In addition, another thing that makes this really challenging, the quality of the hair and how much it's been processed will also impact the health of the hair, the quality of the hair, and whether or not it dries smooth, doesn't tangle, all of those things. We all have different physical conditions; our health is all different, our diets are all different, you know, everything that we do to our bodies impacts the health of everything in our body, including our hair. So, the donor's hair might have been damaged or in poor condition, and while it's technically Remy, it isn't as healthy as another Remy wig that came from a healthier head of hair. So again, it's really tricky. Remy hair is important, but it isn't the only factor in whether or not you're getting a good quality wig that's going to last a long time.

Another term you might see is Virgin Hair. So this one's even harder to define because there's a lot of variation in what people will say is considered Virgin Hair. What I believe and what I think is the most accurate is Virgin Hair is hair that has never been chemically processed. Or I have seen people refer to chemically processed hair as Virgin Hair. Here's the thing: when hair is collected, however it's collected, and it makes it to the wig vendors, which I will tell you guys are mainly in China—there are some in other countries, but almost everything goes through China at this point—somehow they have just a significant corner on the wig market. When it reaches the vendor, it typically goes through chemical processing, whether or not that chemical processing involves color. It goes through some sort of chemical processing to seal the cuticle, to sterilize and disinfect the hair, whatever it might be. It's going through some type of chemical processing, usually. So I think it's really hard to find perfectly Virgin Hair in today's world.

It should be the color that it grew out of the donor's head. Typically, that's going to be a darker color. It's much more rare to find blonde donor hair and red donor hair. I'm going to talk about the challenges with those colors in a moment. But if it says virgin, then you should expect that it is in its natural color and can be lightened and colored. That's key. If you purchase a virgin wig and you can't lighten it or color it, then it's not virgin, and that's a concern. So keep that in mind as well. I'm not trying to confuse you, but there's just so much to know.

So let's talk about hair color because this is also an important aspect of the Remy virgin debate. When you purchase wigs, they have often gone through a lot of chemical processing. Blonde wigs, in particular, have gone through a lot of chemical processing. Usually, what happens when donor hair that's dark, like this, goes to the vendors if they are going to be making some blonde hair, they take all of that hair, and they dye it to a 613 blonde. You'll see that 613 color a lot; that's basically like they've stripped all the color out of the hair. The problem when they do this is it does strip the cuticle. So I will see blonde wigs labeled as Remy, and while the hair cuticles are aligned and probably were intact in the beginning, I'd be just a little bit concerned about how much those cuticles are intact after going through the bleach bath that dyes it to lighten it to a 613.

Now, I am not an expert on this, and I'm sure there are ways to do this that protect the integrity of the cuticle. But that's something that you would really want to learn more about from your retailer, especially if you're a blonde, and you buy BL. This is a real broad brush that I'm painting this whole topic with; there are definitely exceptions. But in general, these are just things to think about and definitely ask your retailer if you're looking to purchase a wig to understand the history and origin of the hair. But not only that, here's why this is also super important: if you want to color that wig in the future, it's really important to understand what's been done to that wig and what you can do. For example, if a wig is a 613 blonde, and they've colored it darker, it is very unlikely that you're going to be able to lighten that wig. If this wig here had started as a 613 and got darkened to this dark brown, I wouldn't be able to lighten it, and that could be a deal-breaker for you if you're looking to customize a piece in the future. So asking your retailer whether or not the wig can be lightened, whether or not the knots can be bleached, will help you make an informed decision when you're making a purchase. If they tell you that it can't be, and you know that there's a chance that you're going to want to customize that, then you might want to hold off for another piece that you can lighten and you can customize. That's why this information is so important. If you're never going to do anything to the wig, if you're going to buy it, wear it, never mess with it, it might not be as big of a deal as if you think at some point you might need to do something to that wig to make it more your own.

So let's summarize. There are a lot of terms when it comes to human hair wigs. I've only covered a few of them. I'll make a video in the future talking about factory hair color and all the things involved with that. But Remy hair, non-Remy hair, that's sort of the first thing to think about when you're looking at a human hair wig. Remy is generally better because it's the cuticle aligned means there's going to be less tangling, less matting. But that isn't a foolproof way either. If the hair quality is poor, you may still have a lot of problems with that wig. Virgin hair should be referring to hair that has never been chemically processed. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. I think the number one thing you can do for yourself, aside from educating yourself on the terminology, is finding yourself a few retailers that are two things: super honest with you and have done the work to get really trustworthy vendors. Because the retailer can be honest with you, but if the vendor wasn't honest with them, they're passing on a lie, and they don't even know it. So finding a retailer who has done that work is going to be really critical. I've got retailers listed on my website. I don't necessarily vouch for every one of them, but if I have worked with them in the past, I've purchased from them, whatever it may be, I have noted that on the list. So that's linked below.

I know this is a lot. Let me know what other questions you have. Help me to know what videos to make on this topic. Like I said, I'll cover factory hair color in a future video. But what else do you need to know on this topic? All right, let's talk about caring for these human hair wigs. So whether you get a Remy hair or a non-Remy hair or you don't have any idea what you have, you still need to do your part in keeping that hair as healthy as you possibly can. When you have a human hair wig, it is not getting the benefit of the oils from your scalp and trying to keep the hair healthy and moisturized.

So the first thing that you want to do is you want to make sure that you are purchasing a high-quality, salon-quality, sulfate and paraben-free moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. I have been using this Biosilk Silk Therapy for the past two years, and I'm so far really happy with it. There are tons of great products out there on the market. I get a lot of recommendations for Moroccan oil products. I just think if you get a salon-quality, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, that's a great place to start. Maybe a color-protective shampoo if your piece has been colored, in addition to a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. I think it's important that you do some sort of a hydrating mask every three to four weeks. The older the wig gets, the more you're going to want to do these things. I had someone recommend this Moroccan oil hydrating mask to me, so I purchased it, and I have this one. I've used it a few times; I think it's fine. Again, my problem with making product recommendations, especially when it comes to washing wigs, I own a lot of wigs. I'm so blessed and I feel so grateful, but I don't have to wash them that much because I own a lot of them, and I rotate them. So I don't get an opportunity to try a ton of products.

I'm sure if you are in any Facebook groups, I would ask other people what they use just to be sure. In addition, I think you should have a leave-in conditioner. I also have the Biosilk Hydrating Therapy leave-in conditioner, and I like these because they're all made in the USA. So this is something; it's almost gone. I'm going to need to get some more. I spray my wigs down periodically in between washing. It really depends on how often I'm wearing them, how dry they are. You also want some sort of a hair oil. I've seen some mixed feelings on oils and whether or not your hair will absorb the oil. I think if you've put in a leave-in conditioner, if you've just washed and conditioned it, then you should be putting an oil in, at least then. So you want to seal in any of the moisture that you just gave. I've purchased many hair oils; every time I see somebody recommend one, I get a new one. I started off with this Olaplex Bonding Oil; it's very, very expensive, though. I then tried this Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Oil. I actually think I like this one a little bit better than this one, but it's personal preference. Then I found this stuff by Garnier Fructis. I buy a lot of their stuff, actually. I like it; it seems to do a great job for my wigs, and it's like six bucks or less, so it's not expensive. If you're a stylist, if you are somebody who is so committed to certain products, just go ahead and leave your comments; let us know what you like to use. I think any of these are going to be fine. I'm sure there are a bunch of detractors around these cheap drugstore-type things, but it has worked okay for me. So that's what I recommend. I think you need a great moisturizing, conditioning shampoo and conditioner, a leave-in conditioner, and an oil. And then periodically doing a hydrating mask if you're not caring for your wig, then you can't expect it to last. So make sure you've got the right products to care for your wig, and personally, I don't do as much as I should, but I personally like to just periodically take some oil. I took a bit more oil than I should have, and I just like to run it through the ends of my wig just like this, just to make sure that I'm constantly protecting that hair from the elements, from all the dryness that can happen. So that's your responsibility. Manufacturers, the retailers have a responsibility to be truthful, but then we have a responsibility to care for these pieces. That's it. Let me know if you have questions. I hope this helped at least break down the mystery between Remy hair and non-Remy hair. Thanks for watching. 


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