When I moved from Brazil to South Africa, a lot of people were asking me about Brazilian hair and if it was cheaper to buy it there. But the truth is, I have never heard about Brazilian hair before.
Before launching LolaSilk, I spent 2 years researching and studying this category to understand the different types of hair, why one type of hair is more or less expensive than others, how to judge the quality of hair and so on. I spoke with many suppliers, stores, hair dressers, consumers but I always feel that I am learning something new every day.
It is such a fascinating market and because you are also passionate about hair as I am, I would like to share with you the 10 most important things that (I think) you should know about Brazilian hair. Are you ready? Let’s get started:
1- It does not mean that it comes from Brazil.
I was born and raised in Brazil and I can guarantee you that it is not part of Brazilian women’s culture to sell or donate their hair. Even when we look into the numbers of this market, Brazil human hair exports represents only 0,74% of the market. It is literally impossible to say that the Brazilian hair sold around the word is actually coming from the head of Brazilian girls. And the same happens to Peruvian hair, Malaysian hair and all the others.So, now you are probably asking yourself…where does the hair comes from? From Asia. This is the continent that has incorporated as part of their culture and/ or business practice to donate or to sell hair.
2- Brazilian hair is just a “category name”
The first hair sold in bundles was Indian hair and everyone was selling this hair. But then, someday, someone had the brilliant idea to call it Brazilian hair to maybe try to create a differentiation from everyone else who was selling Indian hair. And guess what? It worked. All the ladies wanted to try the Brazilian hair. Because of this huge success, soon after came the Peruvian hair, Malaysian hair, Vietnamese hair and so on.
I spent 2 years trying to understand what these different types of hair names mean for all the consumers and my conclusion was that they are just “categories” inside this huge hair market. Brazilian hair is perceived to be a little bit thicker, more flexible and therefore able to offer a variety of styles. Peruvian hair is usually described as sleeker than Brazilian hair and most of the time more expensive. Malaysian hair is associated with curls. The names Brazilian, Peruvian, Malaysian are not associated with the origin of the hair, they are just names that whenever people hear them, they immediately associate with an specific “look & feel”.
3- There are many different qualities of Brazilian hair
Brazilian hair is a huge category and does not represent one single type of quality. That is why there is a huge variation in price inside this category, as much there is in any other category (Peruvian, Malaysian, etc).
The human hair extensions that have all hair cuticles aligned in the same direction as if the hair is growing from your own scalp will be always more expensive and last longer than others (this is the case for our Professional Line). This type of hair, will look sleeker because of this alignment and that is why most of the time it is classified as Peruvian hair.
One other aspect that influence the quality of the hair is the bulkiness at the top of the bundle. If the hair is very bulky at the top, it is because the supplier used a lot of short strands of hair to make the bundle cheaper. The bundles that are not so bulky at the top will present a more natural percentage of short vs. medium vs. long strands and therefore will give the client a more natural look, but they will also be more expensive. Here at LolaSilk we only sell hair extensions that will look natural on you and won’t make your head look bulky or bigger.
4- The hair grades were not created to differentiate quality
The majority of people that I spoke to during my years of research normally associate higher grades with better quality. Actually, this grading system was originally developed to explain the thickness at the bottom of a bundle and not to determine the quality of the hair. Nowadays the grades are being so misused that each year there is a new number. Last year the maximum grade that you would see being advertised was 10A, this year there are lots 11A, next year I believe it will be the 12A turn.
You will find some mentions about grades on our online store and they were added just as an important reassurance for some consumers that they are getting an amazing quality of hair.
5- If the hair that you are buying is very cheap, it is probably not 100% human hair
Th truth is: the price of real human hair all over the world is going up. It takes many years for a human hair to grow long, so specially the long strands are getting very expensive year after year. Because of that, there are many sellers that, in order to maintain the prices, start mixing human hair with synthetic hair or making the bundles with even shorter lengths of strands (aggravating that bulky effect that we discussed earlier on). If you find a new “hot bargain”, please be aware that it might be a scam and you might end up losing all the money that you invested.
6- Some level of split ends or even grey hair doesn’t mean lack of quality
It is actually a good sign to find some split ends or even grey hair inside your bundles. It is a sign that it is real, that it was not over processed and that the hair is more likely to be a virgin hair.
7- You should be able to dye any Brazilian hair
Every human hair can be dyed, independently if it is Brazilian hair, Peruvian hair or Malaysian hair. All Brazilian hair that don’t have all the cuticles aligned in the same direction would have a perfect dyeing result up to medium bright colours and the ones that have the strands alignment would be perfect for super light colours, like platinum blond.
8- It should last at least a year
I totally agree that it is very hard to tell upfront how long your bundles are going to last, and this makes it harder for you to consider a different supplier of hair, right? All Brazilian hair, if they are pure human hair, should last at least a year. The ones that have the strands alignment should last even longer. The best way to choose your hair is to ask for recommendations, specially from your hair salon. They have tested many different types of hair and could assist you in getting the best cost x benefit. Also, try to look for brands that seem professional, that are truly interested in building their name in the market and that have a clear return policy. From my personal experience, I believe they wouldn’t invest a lot of money into something that lacks quality.
9- Brazilian hair is not the same as “100% human hair”
When I started researching this market it was very difficult to understand why people want a Brazilian hair that is not “100% human hair”. Later I understood that the “100% human hair” is another category. Of course Brazilian hair is made purely out of human hair, but the “100% human hair” category is considered to be the lowest level of quality in this market. It is generally sold in packs (not bundles) and at a lower price point. Although this type of hair is claimed to be human, it is a ultra-processed hair that won’t last very long and it is seen closer to the synthetic category than to the bundles of Brazilian hair.
10 – No Brazilian hair is completely shedding or tangling-free
No hair, not even your own natural hair, will be completely shedding-free every day. On a normal day, every person, independently of her type of hair will lose between 50 to 100 strands of hair (https://www.aad.org/hair-shedding). It is a normal and natural process. If the shedding is on this range or below it shouldn’t be seen as a problem.
Also, during a normal day, all hair tend to tangle. What you need to evaluate is how easy it is to untangle it. You want to be able to comb your hair with your fingers and notice that you can untangle it and not have to spend too much time trying to comb and separate all the strands.
What we always need to remember is that Brazilian hair is human hair, so it should present itself with the same strengths and weaknesses as any normal and healthy hair. No hair is perfect, but there are definitely differences in quality that it is important to know before you buy.
Please reach out to us if you have any doubts about Brazilian hair or would like us to help you find the best hair for you!
Happy hair days!