What Are Hair Extensions Made Of?

Hair extensions, also called hair weaves, have become increasingly popular over the years because of their realistic appearance. They add length, thickness, and volume to existing hair, helping many women achieve their desired look. Currently, there are two kinds of hair extensions based on the material from which they are made — natural human hair and synthetic materials.

What Are Hair Extensions Made Of?
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The use of natural human hair for hair extensions is the more popular choice because it is considered the “premium” product in the hair market. However, it can be difficult to source. Additionally, there are a lot of fake hair extensions being marketed as natural hair. 

Fortunately, there are a few known legitimate companies such as Perfect Locks that sell ethically sourced materials. Perfect Locks human hair extensions are crafted using the finest, premium-grade 100% real human hair, meticulously selected and processed to ensure quality and versatility.

Natural hair extensions

Premium hair extensions are made of real human hair that has been sourced from a donor. They are softer, stronger, and can be subjected to washing without losing their shine and quality.

Of all the types of authentic human hair, the most sought-after is called the Remy hair. Also called ‘virgin hair’, these are shinier and smoother, with the hair cuticles still intact and going in one direction. The unilateral cuticles give it a smoother texture with less frizz and tangle.

Although pricier, Remy hair lasts longer for up to two years compared to non-Remy hair which only lasts a few months. Remy hair can also be washed, straightened, curled, and colored without losing its fine texture and quality.

Where do hair companies get natural hair? It is typically sourced in countries such as China, Vietnam, Pakistan, and Hong Kong where many people grow their hair long without using any chemical hair products. But the most popular country where there is a constant supply of long and authentic hair is India.

India has long held a tradition of people young and old, men and women, donating hair in the Tirupati Temple as a symbol of worship. They believe that by sacrificing their hair they will be blessed by the Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and good fortune.

Natural hair is cleaned, sorted, and processed manually without using any harmful chemicals that can alter its natural quality. When turned into hair extensions, it will blend naturally into your natural hair and you can style it as you like.

Synthetic hair extensions

Synthetic hair extensions can be made from a variety of materials such as kanekalon, polyester, acrylic, modacrylic, and many other types of materials that can be turned into plastic fibers. They are manufactured to look and feel like human hair, but rarely does it achieve the smoothness and movement of real hair.

Typically, synthetic hair extensions are considered ready-to-wear and come custom-colored and pre-styled. This means they cannot be washed, styled, heated, curled, or treated with chemical hair products. They cost much less compared to natural hair but they will only last several months.

You can often see the difference between synthetic hair extensions and natural ones. Synthetic hair looks stringy and stiffer compared to natural hair that moves and flows along with the original hair. However, synthetic hair extensions have come a long way and with innovations in production, more and more synthetic hair extensions are starting to look like the real thing.

How about animal hair?

Animal hair from horses, yak, goat, and sheep are often used in wigs and hair extensions. However, they are not used alone and are always mixed with human hair. It is a great alternative to synthetic because it looks much more realistic, but it is a bit pricier.

Animal hair looks almost similar to human hair. It has almost the same shine, texture, and smoothness. When you wave it around, it is not stiff and moves almost just like human hair. Moreover, it can be curled, straightened, and colored to your preferred style.

The good news is that when animal hairs are harvested, the animals are not harmed. The harvested hair undergoes a process of cleaning and chemical processing to make it look more similar to human hair.


Natural hair extensions made particularly of virgin Remy are considered the finest materials used in premium quality hair extensions. They are pricier but will help you achieve a more natural look and will last up to 2 years.

If you want a less costly option, you can go for extensions mixed with animal hair or those made of synthetic materials. Synthetic hair extensions give you a wider style and color options to choose from.

Finally, when choosing natural hair extensions, it’s best to support and buy only from companies and brands that offer products that are ethically sourced. There are a lot of controversies surrounding the production of wigs and hair extensions so it’s always best to avoid those who try to exploit the market.

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