Raw Hair Vs. Virgin Hair- Whats The Difference Between Raw Hair and Virgin Hair?
As the popularity of hair extensions grow, consumers are becoming more and more educated about options available to them in regards to price, quality and variety.
With so many different types of hair extensions on the market today- from wigs to bundles to raw hair to virgin hair and so much more– it becomes hard to understand the true meaning of what’s really out there in hair extensions.
Listen, whether you’re a newbie or connoisseur of extensions there’s a few fundamentals of what you need to know about human hair weave extensions.
In this blog we will be discussing the difference between raw hair and virgin hair. I know I know as you’re reading this you’re probably thinking to yourself, “wait a minute aren’t they the same thing”? Look if you wanted to be a completely satisfied customer or clientele of any hair company, you’ve got to know what you’re investing you’re hard earn money in. so, lets dive right in.
What is Raw Hair?
Raw hair is exactly as the name applies; Raw, unprocessed, 100% human hair. When you think about unprocessed this means it has not undergone ANY chemical, heat or steam processing.
Raw hair is the most purest and natural form of hair available on the market. Raw hair is great in that the quality is top notch and can literally last you years.
The downside to raw hair is the availability of variety. When it comes to raw hair manufactures are sourcing the hair directly from donors and then the hair undergoes a rigorous sanitizing process.
Most donors are from India, Cambodia, Vietnam and Burma. Hair patterns from these donors don’t vary all that much so you won’t get those hot trendy styles like tight curly or body wave easily, if at all.
Raw hair is usually available in 2 styles – Straight and natural wave or wavy. Raw hair is usually less silky and very slightly closer to coarser textures when compared to virgin hair. Raw hair can also be available in curly hair patterns also.
The beauty and the beast of Raw hair is that no two bundles are the same. They won’t be very different form each other but never identical and that because the hair is not steamed to from uniformed patterns.
The definition of raw hair used to imply that the hair was not only chemically and heat unprocessed but also single donor.
Single donor hair is a bundle of hair that is cut only from one donor. With the demand of raw hair it’s become increasing difficult for larger hair business companies to provide a full bundle of single donor hair consistently.
So, raw hair can also mean multiple donors as long as the hair is not processed in any way.
Most companies will specify whether or not their raw hair bundles are single donor or not. In our opinion the quality is still great with single and multiple donor raw hair as long as hair cuticles are uniformly aligned.
What kind of Raw Hair is there?
Great question! Here are the most popular types of raw hair:
Raw Indian – Highlights: Raw Indian hair is extremely popular and favored by clientele and usually comes in those lighter brown colors- which may be a pro if you need to blend it with lighter colored natural leave outs.
Raw Vietnamese– Highlights: Raw Vietnamese is bomb in their straight texture. Super smooth and are perfect for those smooth sleek looks. The texture is also great for blending with natural hair.
Raw Cambodian – Raw Cambodian hair is very full body and most known to have curlier styles available. Check out our Raw Cambodian Vendor and our full list of the Best Raw and Virgin Hair Vendors in the industry.
What is Virgin Hair?
Ok, phew we’re pretty much summed up raw hair and can now move on to the heavy hitter which is Virgin hair.
Virgin hair is a much more popular term in the world of hair extensions.
Just about every hair company claims to carry virgin hair and if not educated properly you can get scammed and lose out on thousands of dollars and end up with jacked up hair. No girl, we don’t play that! Education is Key!
Virgin hair is a term for hair that has never been chemically processed. Chemically processed hair is hair that has been color treated, permed, relaxed, bleached or dyed.
Why do companies chemically process hair?
The short answer is it looks nice. Remember the golden ages of “pack hair”- hair that was literally sold in a pack at your local beauty supply store?
Remember how beautiful and shiny the hair was? Well that was because the hair was chemically processed.
Chemical processing gives hair extensions a more uniform and beautiful appearance. It coats the hair with silicone’s that make it shinier and more appealing.
The downside of this type of hair was once you washed it the hair was no longer “good”. It would matte, shed, tangle and even change colors.
Why are we bringing up “pack hair”, you may ask when talking about virgin hair. Well here’s the skinny! The truth is many companies are selling you pack hair at bundle prices.
“Virgin hair” that companies are claiming to be virgin but yet has undergone a color treatment, bleaching or other chemical process.
The Types of Processing
So lets recap! We`ve already mentioned a few type of processing that hair can undergo including hair that has been color treated, permed, relaxed, bleached or dyed.
This type of processing all falls under the umbrella of chemical processing.
There is another type of processing that hair extensions undergo called steam processing which is much less harsh on the hair and if done well improves the quality and longevity of the hair. Not to mention it looks beautiful.
Real virgin hair in today’s market is now defined as hair that has only been steamed processed.
Steam processing or steaming allows for the creating of those hot exotic and unique styles like, body wave, deep wave, mink or silky straight, Italian curl or Spanish wave, kinky curl, tight curl, curly wave, loose wave, kinky straight, 4C Afro kinky, natural wave, Bomb Blonde and so much more.
Industry standards for hair extensions is so much different than what it was just a few years ago.
In fact the definition of virgin hair in 2016 would automatically imply the hair you were purchasing was single donor unprocessed hair.
The market has changed rapidly since. The beauty industry is an ever evolving industry and the hair market reflects that.
What’s great about virgin hair is that hair weave bundles look identical to one another which make for an effortless sew-in weave or wig.
Also, with a manufacture or trusted hair company that has perfected their steaming process your hair can last you a very long time while preserving the style and pattern you bought it in.
What are some kinds of virgin hair that exist on the market?
The most popular kinds of virgin hair are:
- Peruvian – coarser, thicker, durable
- Brazilian – light, shiny, silky
- Malaysian – heavier, softer, silkier
Please be aware that hair does not originate from the countries and areas they are named after.
These are more so industry created names that help to market hair and sometimes reference a type of quality for that particular company.
Genuine raw hair, on the other hand, originates from its source. So Raw Indian hair comes from India and Vietnamese hair from Vietnam and so on and so forth!
Please also be aware that if a company sells Indian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Burmese and other hair that is typically categorized as raw hair it is your responsibility to find out if that hair is truly raw.
How Do I Know If Its Real Raw Hair?
The absolute truth is there isn’t a 100% fool proof way to decipher if hair is truly raw (or truly virgin hair) until you try it for yourself.
Here are some ways that will help you in your buying process:
- If you see the word RAW in the product name that should be your indicator. Otherwise it could still end up being virgin hair marketed as Indian or etc because of its name popularity.
- Check for the word RAW or RAW GRADE in the product description and even discussion area of the product.
- Ask the company- a quick email or call is worth it especially if your going to be investing money into it.
- Read reviews. Don`t skip this especially if its your first time buying hair from a company. Reviews give you insight into customer experience and what they really think of the hair. Sometimes reviews will be on a company’s product page and sometimes you will have to dig deeper and do a google search or even a YouTube search.
- Use a trusted company. Companies like ours Bomb Dot Com Hair offer both virgin and raw hair extensions. Our reviews can be found on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Google and in our product pages. Our reviews are also verified when you see the word “verified” next to the review- so you know its legit!
- Lastly, try the hair. The best way to ever know if trying the hair for yourself. As soon as you get it touch it, brush it, comb it examine it etc. while still in its bundle. That way you can return it or exchange it (depending on the company`s policy) if you don`t like it. If you have the luxury of going into a store even better! Please note the real test comes in after a wash and with time.
Should I buy Raw Hair or Virgin Hair? Which one is better?
OK so before we getting into the answer for that her`es a little cheat sheet that helps summarize this article and may help you in your choice.
CHEAT SHEET GUIDE ON CHOOSING BETWEEN RAW AND VIRGIN HAIR
1. Raw hair is significantly different from virgin hair. Both are human hair extensions; however, raw hair not been altered. Virgin hair has been steamed processed to give it texture ie deep wave, loose wave etc. Raw hair has not been steamed processed or chemically altered in any way and will behave just like human hair growing out of your hair. This is why Raw Hair requires more love, care and attention.
2. Since raw hair hasn’t been chemically altered or steamed processed, it usually only comes in three textures. Raw hair primarily comes in straight, natural wave and in curly, which is rare. Styles such as a deep wave, kinky curly, body wave, etc. are typically non existent when dealing with raw hair. To achieve those patterns, mass produce and be marketable raw hair would have to undergo professional steaming manufacturing.
3. Raw hair does require different maintenance from virgin hair. As unusual as it may seem, raw hair needs a lot of moisturizing and conditioning. I highly recommend using quality products,only. Of course, you can use TresEmme and Pantene, but I guarantee you, that if you use a brand like Paul Mitchell and Nexxus instead, you will notice a big difference. Please note the products used on virgin hair won’t alter the actual pattern in any way.
4. Raw hair is usually better quality but in keep in mind it will be more expensive. Unlike virgin hair, raw hair can last up to 4 years or more. Prices can start at $180 for one bundle in a shorter length and will continue to rise, depending on the vendor. Quality virgin hair can be pricey too but typically with raw hair, you will pay more.
5. Raw hair can be limited, while virgin hair is always in excess. Many sellers will run out of the hair and will have to wait a month or so for their next shipment to come in. So, keep that in mind when you’re planning your hairstyle. Prior to COVID-19, virgin hair would come in three business days. Expect delays of two weeks or more.
6. Virgin hair comes in a variety of origins and textures. Unlike raw hair, which only comes in three textures and usually one to three origins, like Cambodian, Indian, and Vietnamese and straight, natural wave, and curly. You have more of a variety with virgin. Virgin hair textures and patterns have names that range from Brazilian, Malaysian, Peruvian, Mongolian, etc. (keeping in mind these naes dont have anything to do with their true origin but are more so intended to describe the quality of the hair. virgin hair extensions also have a variety of textures like kinky curly, body wave, deep curly, afro kinky , loose curl, deep curl etc.
While raw hair is more expensive, the investment and maintenance is worth it. It can last up to four years and you can always make a wig or clip-ins out of it. But, if you are looking for more textures like kinky curly or even a deep wave, virgin hair is for you.
This is what you really need to know when it come to Raw Hair Vs. Virgin Hair: it’s a matter of preference!
Ask yourself do you like the slightly coarser more natural advantage that raw hair provides or do you want the trendy styles, textures and patterns that virgin hair provides.
There’s pros and cons to each and in both types you’re going to have a great hair if you purchase your hair through a great hair company such as ours.
Good hair is great hair whether its raw or virgin!
We hope this helps answers any questions about Raw Hair Vs Virgin Hair, knowing the difference and choosing whats best for you!
… and remember you are a crown of beauty !