8 Things to Look Out for When getting Your Raw Hair
So, you are probably here because you have heard so many good things about the quality of raw hair and you’re eager to try it. Well, you are definitely on the right path because, Sis- Once you go Raw, there’s no going back!
I mean think- a hair extension that can hold a curl for at least 4 weeks and also stays bone straight when you want it to!
For starters, you need to know the difference between raw hair and virgin hair before I move on to tell you the 8 things to look out for. The simple difference between raw hair and virgin hair is that Virgin Hair is steamed processed to achieve different textures, such as, deep wave, body wave, loose wave, water wave, kinky curly, pixie curl, funmi curl etc but raw hair on the other hand has not been processed AT ALL so its common 3 textures are straight, wavy and curly just as it has been cut off from the donor. There are however other differences which you can find here
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Now what should you look out for?
1. The Origin of The Hair
Knowing where your raw hair is from is major key and you should ask your vendor. Although, most hair donors are from India, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Burma; some so called raw hair are mixed with synthetic fibres from China. If your raw hair vendor is in from China, chances are that it is not raw hair. Knowing the source and origin of your hair is as important as the investment of the hair itself, so don’t be in a hurry to make that purchase. Find out the origin of your hair before you begin to slay.
2. The Amount of Donors
Each bundle of Raw hair is collected from a SINGLE donor as seen in the picture below. Some vendors mix the hair- this is not to say the hair becomes bad. But then, all the strands of the hair will be different. As you can see in the photo, the ages and the hair types of these women differ, therefore the hair won’t be uniform once they have been mixed. Make sure to confirm from your vendor that your raw hair is collected from a single donor and not multiple donors.
3. The Colour of The Hair
Another thing to look out for when getting your raw hair, is the genuine natural colour of the raw hair. All of the strands should have a natural colour. Most donors hair come in milder shades of black and not deep jet black. This is what vendors call a natural colour – which is colour 1b or off black. A softer shade of black however, is called colour 2.
However, if and when you decide to switch things up a bit, you can always customize your hair to the colour of your choice as seen here and here. One major advantage of raw hair is that you are able to lighten, bleach or colour it without damaging it. The important thing however is to make sure you are using high quality products when doing this.
4. The Hair Smell
Raw hair is from another human being like you, so it should have a clean natural smell when you receive it and not the machine-made synthetic smell that most hairs on the market smell like. This is one very important thing to look out for. If it smells funny, you should definitely double check. Your hair should smell clean, not weird, so look out for that!
5. The Texture of the Hair
Texture is one thing you should not overlook when setting out to get your hair. Raw hair has a more coarse texture than most others on the market. If your hair is too silky, too shiny or too polished then chances are that it is not raw. Have you ever wondered why the curls you add to your virgin hair does not last more than a day or two? Well, this point answers the question. The more coarse the hair is, the longer it will hold a curl. Below is a photo showing Dellahs Raw Hair after 4 weeks of curling with a curling wand.
Dellahs Raw Hair after 4 weeks of curling
6. The Hair Should be Double Drawn
You want to make sure that the Raw Hair you’re about to purchase is Double Drawn. This means that the hair has undergone an additional process during sorting, where shorter hairs are removed by hand and not by a machine. Therefore, the hair is full and thick from top to bottom. The appearance is more natural and it comes with a fuller volume. Although more pricy than the single drawn extensions, you can be sure of a hair that has a high level of durability and a quality that will serve you for a long time.
7. Weft Construction
This question will determine if you are about having a shedding problem in the future with your hair. Most times, double wefts are highly recommended to avoid shedding problems – which may occur as a result of low quality workmanship during the wefting process or handling the hair poorly especially when brushing. Gentleness is key when combing/brushing your raw hair, so you want to handle with care. See this post for more on shedding. When looking to get your raw hair, always ensure that it is properly blended and doesn’t have gaps.
Good quality raw hair should be double wefted to secure the strands in place especially during brushing and washing. There should be no strands sticking out at the top and at the edges of the weft. Which is why at Dellahs Raw Hair, we have a 3-step quality control policy where we take extra steps to make sure that we deliver on the tested quality of our raw hair with no compromise whatsoever.
One thing is certain in all of these, and it’s that single wefted strands don’t last as long as double wefted strands, and that’s on period!
8. Healthy Cuticles
The cuticle is the outer layer of the hair – but remember we are not just talking about the cuticle now, our focus is on a healthy cuticle.
Different types of cuticles under the microscope Image Source: Google
In their article ‘The Anatomy and Structure of The Hair’, the American shea butter institute wrote that a healthy cuticle is more than just a protective layer, it is what gives the hair that natural shiny appearance. In other words, when the cuticle is damaged, the hair is damaged.
Raw hair cuticles are supposed to be intact and naturally aligned in the same direction, which reduces the risk of matting and tangling. These are some of the features of a good quality raw hair. When raw hair is gotten from a donor, it is cut from the ponytail to ensure that the cuticles are intact – and this helps to eliminate any issues surrounding hair shedding The cuticle goes a long way to affect how the hair looks and feels, and this is why emphasis is placed on why it needs to be healthy. Processed hair however, may have fewer and possibly damaged cuticles. When you get your raw hair, be sure to run your fingers through very gently from top to bottom as seen here and vice-versa to check if the cuticles are intact.
Let us know in the comment section below if this was helpful.
Happy shopping dolls xx