Extensions have become a firm favourite for women around the world as a quick and convenient way to change their hairstyles and appearance. Loved by celebrities and used as a staple by hair stylists within the TV, movie and fashion industries extensions are now available on most high streets throughout major cities as well as online. However, with the widespread popularity and new lines appearing on the market it is sometimes hard to keep track of prices.
Due to the various qualities and the fact that they are available in different lengths and colours it is very difficult when considering prices to know exactly what you are paying for and how to compare them. Below are some tips to keep in mind when purchasing your weaves and extensions and considering lots of pricing bands either online and on the high-street.
1. Hair extension prices are determined by their quality. As with any product there are various quality levels. Firstly, extensions are either human hair, synthetic hair, or sometimes even a mixture of both and in some circumstances very unscrupulous suppliers will even mix horse hair! Human hair is more expensive then synthetic hair. This is because of the process of collecting the hair, treating it and colouring it. There are a number of brands which produce both natural 100% human hair extensions and synthetic extensions so be careful when making your selection.
In addition, within the human hair band, hair is also catagorised as either Remy hair or non-Remy hair, Virgin Remy hair and non-Virgin Remy hair. Firstly, all Remy hair is cuticle aligned hair, that is all running in the same direction. Because Remy hair is less prone to tangle and matt the end result is a significantly better looking hair wefts. It does however, take longer to source and produce Remy hair wefts, and Virgin-Remy wefts and it they, therefore, cost more to produce. In addition, within the Remy quality there is Virgin Remy and non-Virgin Remy. Virgin Remy hair being hair that has not been tampered with chemically or mechanically, bleached, coloured or texturised in any way.
2. Hair extension prices are determined by the source. In the market any natural product is affected by a number of issues including availability and scarcity. For example, a curly light brown hair (a characteristic of mixed African/European/Indian ethnicity) is quite rare and will therefore command a higher price than dark brown or black straight hair (which is very common in India and Asia). Human hair can be sourced from India (a big producer), Asia (China and Malaysia), Brazil (very very rare) and Europe (Russia). Although the source of the hair might be any of the above the actual production of the hair wefts, tips or clip-ins may actually take place in another place. For example a lot of Indian hair is bought by Chinese companies to produce various types of extensions.
3. Hair extension prices are also determined by the supply chain. As in the example above where Indian hair is bought by Chinese manufacturers developed into wefts and then sold globally, if there is a long supply chain then the goods will tend to be more expensive as they cross various international borders thus incurring additional levies, all of which will be passed onto the end-user.
4. Hair extension prices are determined by their length. It stands to reason that 30″ of human hair is not as easy to grow as 10″. Hair extension prices are therefore also determined by the length of the hair weft. As synthetic hair can be produced to the desired length according to fashion the difference in pricing inch for inch is proportionally less then for 100% human hair extensions and it also does not reflect the scarcity issues of certain types of human hair e.g. Russian or Brazilian.
5. Hair extension prices are determined by their benefits and durability. Another pricing consideration is determined by the benefits and durability of the product. As human hair will last longer (even up to 1 year) if maintained and treated well and is less prone to tangle and matt (if it is a Remy or Virgin Remy quality) this quality product will cost more on the outset but will prove better value for money in the longer term.
6. Hair extension prices are determined by brand marketing budgets. Finally, hair extension prices are determined by the amount of money spent on marketing and promoting a product. In all cases larger brands will spend considerably more on marketing than smaller companies and will invariably want to recoup their spend. Again, in this case the cost will always be passed onto the end user.
To summarise when considering the purchase of hair extensions from various suppliers it is important to be clear on 1. What type of quality hair you want; 2. If your choice is affected by the availability or scarcity; 3. The length of the supply chain; 3. The length of your hair extensions; 4. Whether you want to purchase from a larger supplier and contribute more to its marketing budget (or keep more money in your pocket); and 5. How long you want your extensions to last.
A final point to remember when purchasing your hair extensions is the level of customer service you want from your supplier. As a personal beauty / fashion item hair extensions should come with a high level of customer service from suppliers who truly care about your beauty ideals and needs. Look for suppliers who are willing to take the time to answer your questions and respond to your needs.