Definitions: What Do 100% Remy & 100% Human Mean?

Whether you’re in a hair salon, browsing on Amazon or Google, or just taking a look at the wide variety of hair extension types available, you’ve probably heard some of these industry buzzwords:

  • 100% Remy
  • Virgin Hair
  • Human Hair
  • Cuticle Intact

If you’re not a stylist, it’s possible that you don’t know the actual distinction between these terms, and even if you are, it’s equally likely that it’s just as difficult to tell what these terms actually mean when you’re trying to find a quality hair extension product. Let’s dive in a little bit.

 

It’s All About Quality

Put simply, all of these terms are meant to indicate a certain level of quality in the hair being sold. Consumers want to know that the hair they’re buying is going to be long-lasting, great looking, and vibrantly natural.

After all, hair extensions are often quite the investment for both stylists and salon customers. All of these terms are pieces to the same puzzle of quality, but understanding what they mean and how to tell is very, very important.

color ring with different colored hair extension strands

Aren’t All Extensions Human Hair?

In a word, no. There are a few important distinctions with this definition. First and foremost, there are a lot of synthetic hair extensions on the market. That’s ok, and there’s a reason for it. We even carry a small variety of synthetic clip-ins at Donna Bella, but it’s important to know the difference. Even so, not all human hair extensions are created equal.

Virgin Hair is Key

When we talk about hair quality, we first have to talk about the source of the hair. Donna Bella’s human extensions are sourced from India, where women cultivate long, beautiful, chemically untouched locks and donate them to local temples as a religious and social service.

Untreated or “virgin” hair is key, as it ensures that the base hair extension material is of the highest quality possible.

 

Humane Sourcing Practices

Even if you are getting virgin human hair, it may not have been humanely sourced. Not all hair extensions are acquired in a dignified, or even consensual, way.

There have been instances of women being forced to sell their hair for money due to economic hardship, women being coerced into selling their hair or giving it away, and even women being assaulted for their hair. No product is worth victimizing other people, and no company should profit from the hardship of others.

That’s why we purchase Indian hair from temples (what some people call temple hair). These temples operate by accepting hair as a religious donation, then selling it to various companies. They use the money generated from these transactions to fund the temple and support the community that houses it.

So What is 100% Remy?

Remy is the highest grade of quality for hair extensions because it’s the easiest to work with, the most durable, and the kind of hair that looks the most natural. Hair identified as remy, or remi, gets its name from having been cut in a special way to reduce tangling and matting.

Technique Matters

It’s worth noting that even the highest quality hair sourced through the most reliable methods may not ultimately become remy hair. The thing to keep in mind is that hair has a natural direction to it; there’s a root side and an end side, or a natural top and bottom, and the cuticle layer on the outside always faces downward.

Remy hair takes this direction into account, meaning the hair is properly aligned with the root side at the top, the end side at the bottom, and the cuticle layer facing downward. Non-remy hair is mixed, with some hair oriented in the right direction, and some hair oriented in the wrong direction. This is why non-remy hair is more likely to get frizzy and damaged; when you brush it, you’re brushing against the cuticle layer of the upside-down hairs, making them more likely to break or tangle.

stylist holding 100% remy human hair

When collecting donated hair, monks may either shave the head or bind and cut the hair so that the strands stay together. Shaved hair ends up scattered on the floor to be collected later, whereas bound and cut hair stays together in proper alignment. Human remy hair derives from the latter method.

100% Is Uncommon

There are many companies that sell hair that is not 100% remy. Perhaps the majority of the hair in the extension meets the “remy” criteria, but not every single strand. This is because remy hair is more expensive than other hair on the market, and some businesses are tempted to cut corners by pairing remy hair with synthetic or non-remy strands to bulk up the extension.

We do not subscribe to this practice. Rather, we pride ourselves on the unparalleled quality of our products, and choose to operate our business with integrity.

What Does ‘Cuticle Intact’ Mean?

Unbroken, natural cuticles aren’t necessarily a guarantee with hair extensions. Taking care to make sure hair cuticles remain intact during production helps deliver a higher quality product to the consumer. Cuticles help to protect hair, but also provide a more natural texture and feel to hair as well.

Some companies will actually strip the hair of its cuticles to make it appear 100% remy, when in reality it is not.

Cuticle intact hair is more likely to give you a long-lasting, natural-looking hair extension than other types of hair.

Still have questions? Hit us up on social media! Want to explore Donna Bella’s 100% remy human hair extensions? You can start browsing here!