One of the most common questions from clients that have been “shopping” around for Russian hair extensions is “How do I know that the salon is selling me real Russian hair”. The problem is that so many salons says they offer Russian hair BUT they don’t and short of doing a DNA test to determine the origin of the hair, there is no way be 100% certain. However, if you know what to look for there are a few clues which can help to identify the Chinese and Indian hair masquerading as Russian.
How to Identify Real Russian Hair?
Real Russian hair is not cheap. Salons who offer “competitive” prices because they buy their hair in wholesale or in bulk are a big red flag. The concept of buying Russian hair in at wholesale prices or in bulk simply does not exist. You cannot buy Russian hair in bulk or wholesale any more than someone can buy gold or silver in bulk. Russian hair, like precious metals, are a commodity. It is a rare commodity which is becoming rarer every day. The hair seller knows it. If you don’t buy it at their price someone else will. So why would he sell it cheaper? After it isn’t like the hair has a past due date. Another tell is the price differential between the shorter and longer lengths. If the salon’s price relationship is linear (equal amounts between different lengths) then this can be a clue that it isn’t real Russian hair as the longer lengths cost much more than shorter lengths. Lastly, beware if a salon says that is only offering 100% double drawn Russian virgin hair and offers it at a discount, citing any one or more of the above as a reason for the competitive price. It is important to know that not only is Russian virgin hair not available in very light blondes but double drawn hair is the most expensive hair for two reasons. One it is very labour intensive to comb out the short hairs and more crucially to get long hair more hair needs to be used. So if a salon is showing you blonde hair and saying it is 100% Double drawn Russian virgin this should be an immediatly red flag.
While the above clues can all be used before you step foot in a salon, it is also helpful to know what to look for when handling Russian hair. Clients often ask why our hair is less shiny than the hair they have seen at other salons. While shiny hair compared to normal scalp hair may impart a feeling of quality and be construed for Russian hair, it shouldn’t. Shiny hair simply means that the hair has been covered with a silicone layer. This gives it a simulated healthy look and while in the beginning the hair seems shiny and beautiful, after a few washes the silicone layer starts to wash away and the colour fades leaving the hair with a dull matt appearance.
Where is Real Russian Hair Sourced?
The last thing to understand is that geography defines what is Russian hair. While Russian hair provides an excellent match in terms of thickness and texture for Western women, it is considered to be the best because of the Russian diet. With 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 fats and this promotes the luxurious and voluminous hair. Hair sourced in countries close to Russia like Uzbekistan or Kazakstan either do not benefit from the same diet or the same texture and thickness and thus cannot be considered Russian hair. Beware of terms like South Russia or Southern Russian. While this hair is still great quality coming from the countries listed above it cannot command the price premium normally reserved for Russian hair.