WHAT IS EUROPEAN HAIR AND WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?

The hair extension industry can, sometimes, be confusing, even for industry professionals.  One of the most confusing terms is “European hair”.  Unlike Russian, Chinese, Indian or Brazilian where the name denotes the hair’s origin, the term European hair, is a misnomer. 

What is European Hair?

European hair does not mean the hair comes from Europe as very few Europeans will actually harvest and sell their own hair.  Rather, the term “European hair” means it comes from a country with Anglo or European descent.  However, because many of the European powers spent a good part of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries colonising there are many countries that have Anglo or European heritage but may not be the source of hair type you would be happiest with. So, let’s start with a quick run through some of the different hair types and terminology.

Hair Types

Virgin hair is hair from any origin that is completely free of any processing. This means it is not coloured or chemically treated in anyway. Virgin hair is extremely expensive, especially in lighter colours and different textures. Beware of cheaply priced virgin hair. Virgin hair only comes in the natural colour of that country’s origin. For example, virgin Brazilian hair will most likely be a dark brown, while virgin Russian hair is most likely to be medium brown to dark blonde.

Brazilian hair is usually thick, heavy yet soft to the touch. Brazilian hair does not frizz as easily as other types because of its heaviness.

Mongolian hair is a cross between Malaysian and Chinese hair. Mongolia is located in east-central Asia and borders Russia and China. Because the countries are so close together, travel has allowed for intermarriage and over the years this type of hair became unique. The hair strands are soft and shiny and come in a variety of colours and textures. Because of its small population this hair is limited in supply and commands a slight premium.

Indian hair is finer and provides a good texture match for a Western women’s hair it is only available naturally in very dark colours. To get the dark hair light the hair has to undergo an aggressive bleaching process with limits the hairs lifespan. This is one of the reasons why Indian hair is often paired with keratin bonds, an attachment technique where the hair cannot be reused and must be replaced every 8-10 weeks, as hair quality becomes less important when it has a shorter lifespan.

Chinese hair is thick and coarse and generally not suitable for Western women’s finer hair.  It is also collected in such large quantities that the hair invariably gets tangled. To fix the problem of tangling the hair is subjected to an aggressive acid treatment to strip the cuticle layer. The hair is then coated with silicone, which gives it an artificial healthy look. In the beginning the hair is shiny and beautiful, but after a month of wear the silicone layer starts to wash away leaving the hair fragile with a dull matt appearance.

Russian hair is hair of European descent. Because of their nutrient-rich diet, Russian hair is the silkiest, thinnest and finest on the market. The colours it generally comes in are light blonde to medium brown. This hair is extremely hard to source, last the longest of all of hair types and is the most expensive and sought after.

Our European Hair

Our European range is of the highest quality (as we only use the best hair) and is sourced from Southern and Eastern parts of Russia. In these regions the hair slightly thicker and comes naturally in darker tones.  As a result, it needs to go through a mild bleaching and toning process in order to achieve the lighter shades.   As this hair is less scarce than Russian hair it costs less so it represents an upfront savings vs Russian hair, but the flipside is that the hair has a shorter life expectancy (10-months) compared to Russian hair (24-months+) for the lighter shades.

If you would like more information on the hair type is best for you please email info@tatianakarelina.co.uk or call 0207 937 1989 to book a free consultation.

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