Remy, Virgin & Yaki: What's the Difference?

Remy Hair Extensions | KinkyCurlyYaki

4 min read

There are an infinite number of kinky hair extensions on the market.  With so many choices available, it’s easy to get confused about which one is right for you. Before you run out to the nearest beauty supply or online supplier take a few minutes to understand the difference between remy, virgin and yaki hair prior to making your purchases.

About Remy Hair

Remy hair is one of the most overused terms in the hair industry making it hard to understand what it is, or why it’s even important. In general, remy hair can be classified as the highest quality grade of human hair.

Identifying Remy Hair

Authentic remy grade hair pieces share these common features: 

  • have intact cuticles
  • sourced from a single donor
  • each strand is placed in a unidirectional flow

Remy hair extensions and natural hair wigs ensures you achieve the easiest and most natural looking hair style that behaves and flows the same as your natural hair.

It’s important to note that not all remy hair is virgin hair, and not all virgin hair is remy grade. In recent years, manufacturers have added several classes to remy grade hair to allow for various processing methods such as dyed remy hair, relaxed remy hair and double drawn remy hair.

All remy grade hair extension behave similar to the hair that grows on your own head, and as such, it can be dyed, colored, cut and styled the same way. With the proper maintenance, hairpieces made from remy grade hair can last anywhere up to 18 months while still maintaining a pristine look. In general, remy hair extensions are on the higher end of cost, so if you see a price that’s too good to be true, it probably is.

About Yaki Hair

There is a lot of confusion about remy hair and yaki hair. Remy is a grade of hair, while yaki actually refers to the texture.

Yaki hair can be synthetic, non-remy, or remy. Most people who purchase yaki hair are those who want a more natural look as opposed to a sleek uniform appearance in their hair pieces. Those who enjoy wavy or coarse hairpieces and those who prefer the Caribbean or Afro-Caribbean look opt for yaki hair. If you are looking for natural hair extensions to boost your natural hairstyle, yaki most likely fits the bill.

There are four general styles of yaki hair.

1- Straight/Relaxed

2- Texlaxed/Semi-Relaxed

3- Thick Blowdried

4- Untreated curly

It’s important to note that not all yaki hair is remy hair, not all yaki hair is human hair and most yaki hair is not virgin hair. This does not take away from the quality of the hair, but it is important to keep in mind when you are making your purchase because each hair type wears differently.

About Virgin Hair

Virgin hair is a much sought-after grade of hair in the beauty supply industry,  especially for those seeking various types of natural hair extensions. Virgin is a term for hair that has never been processed in any way. That means no perms, color treatments or other chemicals have been used on the hair prior or after donation. Virgin hair also has never been exposed to blow-dryers, or other heating elements usually used in styling.  Virgin hair should always have intact cuticles and each strand should be unidirectional. All the hair should be the same length from root to tip, and in most cases, should always have been  collected from one single donor.

Virgin hair is highly sought after because it’s very healthy, strong and will typically last longer than pieces made with other types of hair. There is very little processing done to the hair after collection, and it’s important to buy from a hair supplier that is open about its collection and processing methods to ensure the highest quality.

Most virgin hair in the world comes from India,  Europe, and Asia, in some cases even Brazil and Russia. The majority of hair donors are young women, and due to their hair not having been processed are able to provide donations that are free from split ends and graying strands. Unless you collect from the source yourself, there is no 100% way to ensure that your hair extensions are 100% virgin, but there are a few things you can do to make sure your purchase is legit.

  • Always ask the supplier for a sample, if they refuse, its best to shop elsewhere.
  • With a single strand of your sample, do a burn test. Virgin hair will ignite with a small flame that produces white smoke and then turns to ash. Synthetic hair will have a large flame and melt into a sticky mess.
  • To test for prior processing, take a few strands of the hair and wash it with a regular neutralizing shampoo. A pink result shows that chemicals have been applied to the hair at some point before it reached your hands.

Your Hair, Your Way

No matter what hair you choose, follow the maintenance instructions that are provided with your unit or kinky hair extensions to ensure that your extensions continue to look fabulous as long as you plan to wear them. Style your remy hair extensions, yaki bundles or virigin hair anyway you'd like. But remember not to neglect your own crown to ensure proper root and scalp health.