Why do hair extensions cost so much?
Hair extensions are not created equal. There are several different kinds and methods of hair extensions, each with different materials, differing times to install, and different hair extensions artists that all factor in on the reason why the cost can vary for hair extensions.
The cost of hair extension hair.
The first thing that factors into hair extensions is the kind of hair that is used. Here is where a huge difference in price can become very apparrent.
A high grade hair would be double drawn, virgin, Russian hair with all the cuticle going in the same direction can cost as much as $469.00 for only 35grams, but you will need at least three of those bundles for a full set. And that is untipped. Tipped will be a lot more. That is well over $1000.00 just for the price of hair. Some salons may still mark that up, plus the cost of installation.
Why such a huge difference in the price of hair extensions?
Asian and Indian hair and darker hair is the most common and most abundant hair in the world. Russian and European hair and naturally lighter hair is not as common to find. Much of the hair from India comes from Indian Temples, where people will have their hair tontured in a religious ceremony of prayer, as a gift to the Gods. The temples then auctions the hair to hair manufacturers. The temples are required by law to spend a significant amount of that back on the community. In Russia, the woman sell their hair. Asian hair is usually the thickest in diameter. Russian hair is usually much finer in diameter.
Manufacturing differences in hair extensions:
What is remy hair?
Remy, remi, or remis. It generally means that the direnction of the hair cuticle are all in the same direction. The cuticle layer is like fish scales. From the root to the end, it goes down. If hair gets turned upside down and you comb the cuticle the opposite way, it is like petting a cat backwards. The cuticle raises and sticks out and catches and tangles. A lot of inexpensive hair is this because it has not been kept straight the whole time from when it was cut from it's source. To combat this, hair is put through a chemical process that strops the cuticle so that it will not tangle as much.
What is double drawn hair vs. single drawn hair?
Single drawn hair has many lengths, like a cut ponytail might have. It tapers thinner towards the bottom. It may be advertized as "naturally layered." This hair could be virgin, colored, remy, or non remy, with chemical process or not, or combinations of these things.
Double drawn hair is hair that is all the same length with all the shorter pieces removed. It is thick to the ends. Double drawn hair is hair that goes through a very detailed process that separates all the differring lengths of a single drawn hair. It may take 5 to 10 ponytails of single drawn hair to extract enough double drawn hair of a specific length. This is where a heavy cost in double drawn hair will come from.
In my opinion, what is the best hair to use?
The best hair is remy and double drawn, with virgin cuticle. Whether it is Indian, Asian, or Russian. It will depend on the client and the texture of their hair. Asian hair is thicker, Indian and European hair is medium, and Russian hair is finer and the softest. I use what matches the hair of my client the best. I only care to do the best and my clientele in completely high end. I refuse to do cheap hair. One reason is because using cheap hair gets complaints. I simply don't want to deal with cheap complainers.
Why does cheap hair sell so well worldwide?
Not everyone can spend a couple thousand dollars on their hair every three months. The other hair is not completely impossible. With extra care, it can be passible. It may be harder to comb out, not shine as well, not have the best color match, not be as soft. There is compromise.
Different methods or hair extensions
There are many different companies out there that do similar things. There is fusion, created with different hair and differing types of bonding material. There are wefts that sew in, either hand wefted or machine wefted. There are taped method where strips are taped into the hair. The fusion will last the longest. Weaves that are sewn onto cornrow braids may last longer on ethnic hair with more natural texture. Tapes will last a few weeks or longer. Then there are clip ins that you put in yourself every day. Each method has it's pros and cons.
Fusion last the longest but takes the longest to put in and is the most expensive. This is my choice because it is the best overall. It is the most comfortable, lasts the longest, and the matching of hair style, color, and texture is the best.
Other methods don't last as long, but are easier to install, and less expensive. This may be the only option for specific budgets.
The salon or hair extensions artist that you go to may also be a factor in the cost.
The operating cost of the salon may play a factor. The experience of a hair extension artist may be another reason for differing prices. A person who is very good and experienced is worth more. They will charge more. Is that fair? Yes, it is plenty fair. If a stylist is new, they may charge less to get established. A stylist who has done thousands of sets will rise the bar. It's all up to you and what you are willing to pay for the quality that you desire.