That Ain’t No Mongolian Hair, Girl: What’s the Real Deal with Your “Virgin” Hair Extensions?

39 comments
July 23, 2012 ‐ By Jouelzy

Source: Vibe Vixen

“Virgin hair” is a term synonymous with premium weave, and in recent years, the growing trend has been to precede the term with an exotic location. Peruvian virgin hair. Brazilian virgin hair. Mongolian virgin hair. Filipino virgin hair. Cambodian virgin hair. Pick a country and you can find someone peddling hair from that region, giving it the mystique of being the ultimate premium virgin hair that has the perfect texture and luster to match the textured hair of black women. But what does any of this really mean?

Well, to be quite honest with you, there are no hard facts about where any of this hair really comes from. For the most part, you are simply taking the word of the particular vendor you are purchasing your hair from or whatever your favorite YouTube guru has endorsed you to purchase. However, with the abundance of exotic virgin hair (and people saying the following: “ooo im mongolian and i did not ever know we did hair extentions!”) and the latest advent of Russian virgin hair on the market, one does have to scratch their head and wonder if this is simply anything more than a marketing ploy.

First, the term ‘virgin hair’ denotes hair that has not been processed at all aside from washing it and sewing it on to a weft. So that Peruvian loose wave you are thinking about buying, let’s think about that. Is there a tribe in Peru that has loose wavy hair who just happens to be walking into factories to have their hair chopped off? I’m serious. Where in Russia are people trading in their luscious locks for some quick change? And who really ventured out to Mongolia to find some hair?  And though some people unethically sell the hair of women who cut it off for religious purposes, that doesn’t mean that when you get it, it was kept in its virgin form. All it really takes is a quick Google search to identify that most of the countries, the people, generally speaking, do not have natural hair textures that are similar to the weaves we are purchasing. Have you seen a Mongolian woman lately?

The breakout star of the exotic weaves was Brazilian virgin hair, and the majority that people buy has been debunked as being from anywhere but Brazil. While Brazilian hair does exist, it is extremely hard to find and extremely expensive at that. The one reputable vendor I knew of, closed a few years ago because of lack of supply and the costs of acquiring the hair. Brazil has one of the most booming, emerging economies in the world. I promise you there’s not a far off favela where women are desperate to give away their hair for monies. If anything, many are rising out of the favelas to start hair salons that are set to break into the American scene.

Unless you are willing to fly out the country and visit the factory to ensure that the hair is virgin and from that exact location, the best way to go about purchasing ‘virgin hair’ of quality is to let go of the ‘virgin’ title. Most hair has to be processed, either steam-processed or chemically processed, to achieve the wave/curl pattern and luster that will blend with textured hair. The bulk of the hair on the market is coming from India or China, although Southeast Asian countries are emerging on the extension scene. While Indian tends to be the more cultivated premium hair, it’s not so much about where the hair comes from as it’s about how it’s processed and the end results. Look for reputable vendors that have minimal complaints of shedding and bulky wefts. The hair needs to be evenly distributed on the weft for a good install. Take note of luster, as shiny hair is harder to blend, and understand that ‘low luster’ is most definitely processed and it’s not a bad thing. Low luster hair blends better for women with highly textured kinky hair. And lastly, you want hair that feels like real hair and is soft to the touch. These are all things you can find out with a little bit of research. Google is a girl’s best friend.

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  • Jhonnythehomicidalmanic

    So true! Most blacks are so damn ignorant when it comes to marketing! As a black, when I explain this to friends that purchase this hair, they look at me crazy, like you’re tripping.

  • toneada

    Now, I really prefer to buy everything from Thailand now, this is where I buy my stuff, for $20 “Personal Shopper Bangkok” (Google it I don’t have the exact link) will go shopping for you (anything), cheap and good, I would love to find the same cheap service in Paris or New York !!!

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  • Lu

    Wow. I was looking at beautiful pictures of mongol women on google willing to discover more about their beauty and features, when I found that.
    It makes me feel ashamed to be black and when I see so many of us wearing someone else hair, it makes me sick in my stomach.

  • Hermione

    There are not many tribes left in Perú, there are more cities now and factories, and yeah there are many beauty salons over there that any peruvian woman can go and Dell her hair!!!

  • http://twitter.com/alexis_mahnal IG:AlexisMahnal ♡

    i know where some of these companys get there hair aliexpress its all the same chinese hair processed over and over i know because i own a company now i go through collectors i did my research and found collectors through xxxxxxx that arent in china because we all know china is the world of replica and all the virgin hair looks the same no person ponytail should mimmick the nexts no 2 bundles should look the same china uses acid baths on the hair to remove the cuticles and steam process to make all the hair the same wabve or curl depending on how long they leave it in the acid bath depends on how soft or how ruff the hair is thus creating the malaysian hair allusion or the peruvian illusion #SECRETS OUT

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  • http://twitter.com/Hairaisers Hair Extensions

    Brazilian Hair – Mongolian Hair – Russian Hair – These are either terms to describe hair texture or a marketing ploy to fool the poor old consumer. I work for Hairaisers a 40 years old Hair Extensions and Wigs Design and Distribution company. Virgin hair has never been chemically treated. Remy is a term which describes that each strand of hair in the weft should be laying in the same direction root to point. Real Remy and real virigin hair is quite rare in retail shops.

    If you think the virgin remy hair you are buying is cheap – them be sure it is not virgin remy.

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  • informed entrepreneur

    ok dear, pls look at my IP address and tell me what you see. I am writing from a village called ..u….very very very near , outskirts of mongolia. There is a major hair market where girls and young ladies go to sell their hair weekly, and i can authoritatively tell you that there is mongolian hair and it is softer in hand feel than chinese but ofcourse the population of mongolia is vastly smaller than mainland china thereby having a smaller ratio. most times, you get color varieties, these sold as russian hair, because the strands can be really thing especially from young girls. Anyway, mongolian hair does exist in extensions, but ofcourse you find many vendors misleading with an exotic name

  • Vanessa

    Although I agree with most of what you have said, you asked the question ‘have you seen a Mongolian woman lately?’ Well, have you seen a Peruvian woman lately? Having lived in Peru a couple of a years ago, Peruvian women actually have long beautiful hair. I’m not suggesting that this is the hair that is sold by these vendors, I’m just saying that you cannot judge others for using ‘google’ to do their research when you are also doing the same (and in that case doing so unsuccessfully)

    • Dia

      I took it to mean that Mongolian hair doesn’t look like what is commonly being sold and referred to as virgin.

  • exoticchoicehair

    Very good article. Its hard to explain to a customer sometimes that there is really no such things as Mongolian hair or that the curl pattern they want cant be achived without a steam process of somehow on virgin hair. The only thing I do not agree with is the Brazilian hair concept. Having lived in Brazil, the hair industry is actually HUGE out there. You can walk into many shops downtown in Rio, Salvador or Sau Paulo and find HUGE shops with hair for miles. (Ive done it a few times and in 07 I was rocking the newest hair trend there, “knots” done using tiny strands of virgin hair thats attached to your own hair using black string.) It may be hard to find a supplier if you do not live there or have no visited BUT note that Brazilans ARE selling there hair. Its a poor country, they do what they can and just grow more. If you can find a friend in that country..its not hard to negotiate the export of some great quality hair. It may be hard but its not impossible and it DOES happen.:)

    • Tam

      I agree with want you say with one exception. Brazil is not a poor country. Yes it has a large amount of poor people. They have the 8th largest economy in the work. Overtaking many European countries. Not bad

    • http://www.facebook.com/docarmolukaszek Jaciara Do Carmo Lukaszek

      Hi darling, I`m a Swiss-brazilian and I`ve been living in Europa for about 20 years now.Authogh is true that hair and beauty is a massive bussiness in Brazil I can ensure you that the hair you find there does not come from Brazil ,it comes from India!!!Brazilian economy is booming and Brazilian women pay massive money for their hair care, plastic surgery,fashion,shoes and bags…Brazil is not a poor country,it is the 6th largest economy in the world passing many European countries, like England,Spain and Italy.There are still many problems with the infrastruture but things are moven up fast in Brazil.So I`m sorry to disapoint you but there is no way that a Brazilian woman who are known for being very vain and meticulous with the way she looks, will sell her hair for any money but they do buy hair though.This Brazilian hair myth was created not because Brazilian hair are better than other nationalities but because the Brazilian hairdressers are skillful hairdressers who will make your hair look amazing not matter what.Just one more thing…Brazil is as well very expensive!!! I went to Rio de Janeiro last year and I wanted to do my hair but gave up as it was cheaper to do here in Europa

      • Zzpop

        Lol um Brazil is a very poor country… I’m actually surprised that they’re having the next Olympics there.

    • tiff

      girl all the hair that is sold in brazil is from india…trust me

    • tiff

      girl all the hair that is sold in brazil is from india…trust me

    • http://twitter.com/alexis_mahnal IG:AlexisMahnal ♡

      THIS IS SO TRUE

  • Brazillian Hair

    Amazing Blog.

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  • PowerPuffGirl

    What’s really funny to me is that while scrolling down to the comments section to read what everyone else has written, I saw an ad for “Brazilian Virgin Hair”! Hahaha!

  • ekw

    Sound, clear-eyed logic here regarding “virgin hair” from _____(name a country).It’s all a big crap-shoot (can I say that?). People will say pretty much anything to sell a product. No one can prove the hair is not what the seller claims it is, and the seller won’t even try to prove the hair is genuinely what she says it is. Why aren’t they selling virgin hair from more African countries? Or from the Caribbean? Turkey (were my great-grandmother was from)? Arabian or Persian hair? In my youth I had black, curly hair because of my Turkish background (I am white). That may all be great except there is no guarantee the hair is from a certain place. If you like the texture of the hair and you think it works for you, buy it. Just don’t get all exercised over where it was from!

    • Love_Sexy

      Good point…..It was once explained to me that there is only 2 types of hair sold and thats Indian and Chinese….Furthermore they process the hair to be whatever you want such as Brazilian, Monogolian, Peruvian etc….Its all a scam.

  • cosmeticlover

    I bought mine in Thailand and it’s so cheap, try google Personal Shopper Bangkok, they buy anything you need in Thailand at the real price for a small fee..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ashley-Sykes/1065177536 Ashley Sykes

    what about the fact that a huge majority of brazilian women are BLACK and/or have afro textured hair? so why is “brazilian hair” always straight or loose and wavy? hmmm

    • hermosura

      Thank you!

    • Caydence James

      Gurl you ain’t said nothin’ but the truth!! :-)

  • LA2DC777

    As I read this article, there are ads for Brazilian Virgin Hair on the page. Madame Noire can profit from the sell of fake cultural/ ethnic weaves too lol.

    • mdeborah827

      Preach! Noticed this as I was scrolling down to see the comments section.

  • Live_in_LDN

    I watched a doc on the Indian hair market. It’s really corrupt. Many poor Indians ‘donate’ their hair to temples as what they beleive to be a blessing but in actuality it is sold Indian merchants who then sell it to treating and processing plants. These people don’t see a penny of this billion dollar industry.

  • Mila

    Every time I hear women gossiping about ‘ ohhh girl I got that Peruvian hair” I shake my head thinking you cant point out Peru on a map and please don’t be gullible enough to believe your hair is actually Peruvian…

  • Miss D

    Most of the time, “human” hair is really just synthetic hair that is treated with a bunch of stuff and behaves like human hair when it’s manipulated. I’m all for weave, but I can’t imagine putting someone else’s hair on my head :/

    • Dmisses

      Actually, real virgin remy hair isn’t manufactured. It is real human hair and it isn’t sold in bags, it is sold by the bundle and by ounces! The real hair has to often be treated with bleach or other chemicals because sometimes they have lice!

  • Smacks_hoes

    Lol did you really write a whole article on weave?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8210721 Joy Kamille

    All marketing. Similar to the “pure” reference on bottled water when 80% of it is filtered tap water. Weave is not regulated by a federal agency so they can say virtually what they want to get you to buy.

  • Candacey Doris

    Have to agree with this.I went to get some hair to get my braids done and there were all sorts of claims on the hair. But i know for a fact that they wash all hair in chemicals to ward of lice, parasites, etc., steam it to make it softer, and even run it through keratin baths to make sure it stays smooth. If you really want virgin hair, you need to get a knife and go hunting Elmer Fudd style.

  • writingmomma

    I wonder how much of it comes from dead bodies?