From a customer email:
I have watched so many of your youtube reviews, I feel like I know you! :) I am new to wig wearing. I have been eyeing some of the non-Remy wigs. Can you give me any feedback on either of these? I like the price point better than some of the other human wigs, but are the pricier human hair wigs a better investment?
Any help is greatly appreciated.
"Remy" means a lot of different things, depending on who you ask. This is because the term originated as a bit of a marketing tactic that has since evolved into a way of breaking wigs into to two distinctive categories:
- Human hair with a mostly intact, natural cuticle, where that cuticle is facing in the same direction with every strand (to prevent tangling)
- Human hair where most or all of that cuticle has been removed during processing; they cannot assure the cuticles of that hair are all facing the same direction, so they just remove all or part of it to eliminate the issue entirely
Here's the scoop: ALL human hair - even "virgin" human hair - has to be processed.
That shouldn't be too much of a revelation, actually, since that hair is no longer attached to the person who grew it.
Cutting it off the person who grew it = processing
Treating it for hygiene concerns (such as de-lousing it, because remember that much of it is coming from less-developed countries) = processing
Sewing it into wefts to be added to a wig = processing
Sewing each individual strand into a hand-tied cap = processing
Cutting and styling that hair once it's on a wig = yep, this is still technically a form of processing!
The Remy vs. non-Remy debate is indicative of a very specific process.
In industry terms, "Remy" generally means that the hair has NOT been treated to an acid bath during processing that will partially remove the outermost layer of the hair fiber (the scaly cuticles).
With Remy hair, particular attention is placed upon the direction each individual strand is pointing to ensure that the cuticles all face the same way at all times. This is to prevent the scales on the cuticle from rubbing up against each other and tangling.
Manufacturers remove the scales on the cuticles of the hair if they cannot verify they are all facing the same direction. Manufacturers replace that lost cuticle with silicone. This works well until the hair is washed, and after that occurs, you will need to replace the silicone to keep the hair in wearable condition.
Remy hair also has silicone on it, but that is generally just to keep the scales on the cuticle shellacked in a downward-facing position so the hair feels smooth and silky to the touch. Remy hair is generally more expensive because it needs to be processed in a way that meticulously ensures that the cuticles are all facing the same direction (since they are at least mostly intact, which is not the case when acid is used to remove the outermost layer in non-Remy human hair).
At then end of the day, both Remy and non-Remy hair can make for a beautiful wig. You just need to know which is which so you know what you are buying. This is also important because each will have slightly different moisturizing and care needs. For example, non-Remy hair tends to hold a curl better than Remy hair, but Remy hair is really what you should strive for any time you order a style that runs below your shoulders. Regardless of the kind of hair you buy, you will want to condition it regularly!
If you still want a non-Remy wig, then definitely invest in some silicone replacement serum to help keep the hair looking nice as long as possible. You’ll also want to be sure to get good human hair care products.
With all human hair - but non-Remy, in particular - the products you use are the key!