In order to understand what it means for hair to qualify as Remy hair, we need to understand a little more about the structure of hair itself.
A strand of human hair consists of three layers:
The inner Medulla – the nearly invisible innermost layer of the hair shaft, soft and fragile, and has little to do with how hair behaves.
A middle layer called the Cortex – this contains all the keratin and proteins that give your hair strength, and is also the place where chemical reactions from dyes and perms take place
An outer Cuticle layer – this is made up of lots of little layers of translucent cells that overlap like scales or shingles on a roof.
Remy human hair wigs pay special attention to the cuticle layer, making sure that all of the scales are facing the same direction. This is important because the cuticle layer protects the inner Cortex from the elements. When all cuticles are facing the same direction, brushing and styling pushes them tight to the Cortex. Closing the cuticle not only protects the hair, it also allows light to cleanly reflect off the strand, giving it a glossy, healthy shine.
A Remy human hair wig is a hairpiece with all the cuticles arranged facing downward. The hair is typically taken directly from the donor’s head and tied together so that it will remain in this natural state. Because of the attention to this detail, Remy wigs are long-lasting with fantastic shine and a natural look and feel.
Though virgin and Remy are terms often used interchangeably, they really mean two completely different things. Virgin hair is always unprocessed and untouched by chemicals. No dyes, perms, bleaches or relaxers have been used to modify the chemical structure in any way. Virgin human hair wigs and half wigs are usually Remy, but while Remy human hair wigs can be virgin, they don’t have to be.
Non-Remy hair is almost always chemically treated. Because the cuticles are facing both up and down and it would take enormous effort to rearrange them, the hair is treated in an acid solution that strips the cuticle layer from the cortex. It’s then coated with a layer of silicone to add back some shine. This process has an advantage—hair with no cuticle is much easier to color—but non-Remy wigs can be prone to damage, don’t hold color as well, and won’t last as long. Kinder to your wallet in the short run, non-Remy wigs are ideal for people who like to change their style often.
SELECTING YOUR HUMAN HAIR WIG
When selecting the human hair wig hat’s right for you, here are some final considerations:
Non-Remy hair wigs are easy to color and come in a variety of shades. They are less expensive than other options and perfect for people who like to try different looks. On the other hand, they don’t last very long, don’t retain as much shine as other wigs, and don’t look as natural.
Remy hair wigs are long-lasting (up to one year!), hold up well to styling, and have great shine. They’re heat-safe and style just like your real hair. They can be more difficult to color than non-Remy wigs and come in a narrower range of shades. Usually pricier, these wigs will be your mainstays.
Virgin hair wigs are unprocessed with a very natural look. Virgin wigs are long-lasting and can be heat-styled. Always in naturally-occurring colors, they are less common and more expensive than chemically treated hair.
Virgin Remy wigs are the gold standard for human hairpieces. From clip-on extensions to half-wigs, they are top-of-the-line quality and you can style them as if they were your real hair! The bigger price tag is worth it if you’re looking for a wig that will last and maintain its quality.