Is Your Russian Hair Really Russian? Must Read!
One of the most common questions from customers who have "bought" Russian hair extensions is:
"How do I know that the salon is selling me real Russian hair?
The sad reality is that most salons in the United States and UK claim to sell Russian hair, AREN'T. They use Chinese and Indian hair and pass it off as Russian to unsuspecting customers, and most of them work.
The problem for customers is that unless a DNA test is done to determine the origin of the hair, there is no way for a customer to be 100% sure.
Clients who are new to the world of hair extensions have nothing to compare it to and probably haven't had time to have consultations in different salons, while the more experienced hair extension user is not aware that they don't have real remy Russian hair and that there is something better.
But do not despair, because if you know what to look for there are some clues that can help you identify all the salons that have Chinese and Indian hair disguised as Russians.
How do you identify real Russian hair?
The Hair Price
Chinese and Indian hair is cheap because it is easily available in large quantities. While China and India represent 38% of the world's population, Russia represents only 1.89%. In the last 4 years the demand for Russian hair has skyrocketed and the supply, due to the time needed for hair growth, has not been able to be maintained.
The impact is that the price per USD-denominated KG has increased by 35% and the purchasing power of the GBP (due to Brexit) has dropped by 20%, making Russian royal hair for US salons more expensive than ever before in history.
Salons that offer "competitive" prices because they buy their hair wholesale or retail are a big red flag. The concept of buying Russian hair at wholesale or retail prices simply does not exist.
You can't buy Russian hair wholesale or retail any more than someone can buy gold or silver wholesale.
Russian hair, like precious metals, is a commodity. It is a rare product that gets rarer every day. The hair salesman knows this.
If you don't buy it at its price, someone else will.
So why should I sell it at a lower price?
Then it's not like the hair has a past expiration date. Another clue is the difference in price between the shortest and longest length. If the hairdresser's price ratio is linear (an equal amount between the different lengths), then this may be a clue that this is not real Russian hair, because longer lengths cost much more than shorter ones.
Finally, be careful if a salon says that they only offer 100% Russian virgin hair with 4WD and offers it at a discount, citing one or more of these as a reason for the competitive price. It is also important to know that Russian virgin hair is not naturally available in light blondes and to get these blondes the hair must be dyed, so not "virgin".
In addition, double-pattern hair is the most expensive for two reasons. It is very laborious to comb the short hair and more importantly to get the long hair you have to use more hair.
So if a salon shows you blonde hair and tells you that it is 100% blonde and that they are 100% Russian virgins, this should be proof that you need to go somewhere else.
Mass Market Product Lines
Salons and online suppliers offering Russian virgin hair extension products, ribbons, clips and wefts, in a myriad of colors and lengths, ready for next day delivery do not sell real Russian hair. This is impossible for three reasons.
One, there is actually not enough stock of Russian hair to supply all of these vendors who claim to use Russian hair.
Two, there is no factory in Russia that makes these products with real Russian hair because they cannot effectively compete with the Chinese factories.
Finally, the amount of money that a salon or supplier would have to tie up in stock makes this not only an unprofitable business, but would be prohibitively expensive from a cash flow standpoint for all but the largest hair extension companies. Many salons claim to use the same hair in the salon as in their products, and if they offer a line of Russian hair products for the mass market, it might be wise to suspect that the hair is anything but Russian.
While all the above clues can be used before setting foot in a salon, it is also helpful to know what to look for when handling Russian hair. Russian hair is soft and fine to the touch, while Asian hair is thicker and heavier.
Hair should not be unnaturally shiny. While shiny hair compared to normal scalp hair can give a feeling of quality and be interpreted to Russian hair, it should not be interpreted. Shiny hair simply means that the hair has been covered with a layer of silicone.
This gives it a healthy and simulated look and while at first the hair looks shiny and beautiful, after a few washes the silicone layer starts to disappear and the colour fades leaving the hair looking matte.
Where does real Russian hair come from?
The last thing to understand is that geography and diet define what Russian hair is. While Russian hair provides an excellent combination in terms of thickness and texture for Western women, it is considered the best because of the Russian diet.
Hair diets greatly influence both hair growth and hair quality. The Russian diet is high in nutrients and vitamins and low in sugar, salt and processed animal fat, which promotes luxurious and voluminous hair growth.