How Human Hair Wigs Are Made
How Human Hair Wigs Are Made:
Q & A With a Human Hair Wig Manufacturer
For many women who suffer from alopecia areata, wigs are certainly something to think about. Choosing to wear a wig can do wonders for your self-esteem and your confidence in yourself. When many women look in the mirror, seeing the hair makes them feel complete and how they want to look.
Whether you have been wearing a wig for years or are beginning to research to find the right wig for you, we know you will have many questions.
What regions and countries (exactly) is hair sourced from? Is that different from 5 or 10 years ago?
In general, the 5 main sources for hair are Asia (China and Mongolia), Pakistan, India, Eastern Europe (Russia and Ukraine) and South America. Five or ten years ago, the highest-end human hair wigs and wigs were made exclusively from Eastern European hair and the most budget-friendly options were made mainly with Pakistani hair. The landscape has changed since then and South American hair now has a prominent role in the high-end market, while Asian hair has made great strides at the lower end of the spectrum.
The change to South American hair is mainly due to the increase in the price and reduced availability of hair from Eastern Europe. Prices have risen due to the higher demand for hair extensions sold with a higher profit margin than hair pieces and their production costs less. Even when money is not an object, Eastern European hair is harder to come by. Due to the increase in the influx of local populations, fewer women are willing to cut their hair completely.
The confluence of the increased demand created by the hair extension market and the decrease in the overall supply has caused a shift towards South American hair, which is much more readily available.
The reason for the shift towards Asian sources for human hair is very different. The availability and cost of Asian and Pakistani hair are very similar.
Jewish law forbids the benefit of idol worship. Since many Jewish authorities forbade wearing wigs made with Pakistani hair, many Jewish manufacturers no longer use Pakistani hair. Fortune Wigs does not wear Pakistani hair for this reason. In fact, our company has a rabbinical “kosher” certification that guarantees that our wigs will not have Pakistani hair for those who are worried.
When the manufacturer gets the hair, what is the process used to sort? What exactly does Virgin Hair go through before it reaches the customer?
Natural hair grows in different lengths. Wigs are often created from full length hair. Even when more than one length is used, the wig maker will still use only one hair length at a time, since it “layers” the wig, so the first step is to classify the hair by length. During this process, we will also take advantage of the opportunity to eliminate any hair that is damaged or not the standard. The hair is placed in separate packages per length which are then tied into a larger package that includes the entire ponytail with all lengths, so you end up with lots of smaller packages inside a larger hair bundle.
For virgin hair that is not processed by color, the “processing” stops right there and the hair is sewn into a wig or piece of hair.
How do you color the hair to make it all uniform, say, 27 or 30?
For hair that will be processed by color, it first strips off all pigmentation and becomes translucent. Only after removing all color, the hair is dyed with our predefined color ring colors.
We will dye the wigs with basic colors like 2 or 4, which are only one. We can also make percentages (that is, 40% # 2, 50% # 6 and 10% # 10). Or we make highlighted colors that will consist mainly of a color as “base color” and then highlights will be added on top. Most of our stock colors are individual colors or highlighted colors. Mixed colors are usually special orders and take approximately 6 weeks to arrive.
Of course, the precise combination of colors is not a simple task with virgin hair that does not stain to obtain uniform colors, since natural hair grows in an endless number of colors and colors.
What chemicals are used to color hair? Rumor is some factories use fabric dye which is impossible to color over.
For our darker colors, we use hair dyes (no fabric dyes). The lighter colors are achieved with bleaching. I cannot speak for other manufacturers that use fabric dyes. I know that we regularly dye our wigs successfully for clients (if the client decides to change color or if the hair has rusted due to sun exposure).
I will mention that dyeing or adding reflections to lighter colors is risky, since they have been discolored and the color may not be taken or may be taken in a very unpleasant way. For that reason, we do not recommend coloring our lighter Asian hair wigs. If you do, be sure to try it first on some lines.
Why do wig manufacturers coat hair with silicone? Does that mean the wearer needs to take extra precautions in taking care of it especially during the first year?
This is usually done with dyed hair. It gives an extra shine to the hair and makes it feel silky. Eventually, it will disappear. The extra care would be less washed. Do not wash it more often than necessary (unless you do not like silicone).
Thanks to Fortune Wigs for answering our questions! We have more answers from them, as well as from other manufacturers, that we will publish in future blog updates. Be sure to register below so you do not miss any of these series!