Monday, March 10, 2008

Human Hair vs Synthetic Hair

Synthetic Hair
Synthetic weaving hair is made using synthetic fibers, usually Kanekalon® or Toyokalon®. Small companies may use some no name synthetic to keep costs low however synthetic hair, similar to human hair does come on a weft and on folded strands of up to 28 inches or longer for braiding hair. Usually they contain an estimated ~3.0 oz. If not, your using something called P.P. fiber braids which are inferior in quality to the two I've mentioned above. As the price of Human Hair increases synthetic hair has become extremely popular as the "Human Hair alternative". Over the years, synthetic hair has evolved into something called a high temperature synthetic fiber. These synthetics are used for both braiding and weaving, and yes it does curl using an electric curling iron or straightener. It is still recommended not to use stove irons as they can melt the synthetics. As for longevity, it does not last as long as human hair because it tends to easily frizz and tangle uncontrollably in a shorter period of time. Depending on the quality of hair, if well maintained, synthetic hair can give a more natural look and feel than its human hair rivals. Synthetic hair is extremely lower in cost than human hair and since the economy is failing, most consumers choose this option. The costs of synthetic fibers range from $5.00 to $10.00 per package, depending on synthetic fiber, length, and etc.

Technological breakthroughs in synthetics allows for the use of electric curling irons and electric straighteners. Other synthetics such as braiding fibers i.e. Kanekalon® or Toyokalon® should not be used with curling irons or straighteners. Instead dip them in some hot water and watch it curl but thats another post. Anyway, there are newer versions of synthetic hair from some brands that claim to allow styling with lower temperatures of heating appliances.

Synthetic hair still remains the best option used for hair styles involving braided hair.

Human Hair
Hair extensions are great for increasing volume and length
however the hair used to produce hair extenions are coming to a shortfall. The industry is feeling a shortage of Human Hair raw materials thus the reason for prices sky rocketing. Human hair raw materials? I'm talking about the hair that is cut from people wanting to sell their hair. Human hair extensions manufactured for hair weaves or braiding primarily comes from Asia. It is a growing industry now with even more celebrities showing their secrets to long vibrant more volumous hair without having to wait for their real hair to grow.

Low quality or also known as the "common grade human hair" extensions, they are often mixed with animal and synthetic hair to lower the price. As the prices increase for the human hair raw materials "Yaki hair" or Yak hair is substituted for human hair and processed. In processed, I mean curled, permed, straightened, and/or colored depending on the style. Human hair is still the best option for a more vibrant and colorful hairstyle because it can be relaxed, straightened or curled with electric curling irons with less effort. There are a few cases where people were allergic to yak hair so manufacturers began using the low grade human hair to resemble the natural African American texture. It is extremely important for all the weaving human hair to exactly match in texture.

There are 2 different types of textures:

  1. Yaki (coarse, crimped)
  2. Silky (smooth, fine)

There are also different grades of hair that I have mentioned previously. The highest grade also called the "Remi grade", "luxury grade", or "Grade A", is unprocessed. Being unprocessed leaves all cuticles in the same direction keeping hair cuticles in alignment from rubbing against each other in different directions causing tangles or breakage.

Always keep in mind when purchasing High quality 100% genuine human hair, it is more expensive than hair mixed with other materials i.e. synthetics or animal hair. Beware of human hair extensions mixed with synthetic hair as it will be difficult to perm, straighten, and even color. FYI, The higher the cost the longer you will be able to use. (Regular maintenance is required!)

As a guide to whether the amount of money you will be spending on your hair extensions is okay, you should always take into consideration how long and how often you will be using a particular Human Hair Extension.

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