Essential Buying Guide to Real Human Hair Wigs and Toppers

Shopping for a wig can be a confusing and frustrating endeavor, especially if it’s your first time. Faced with so many new hair and wig-related terms, some wig seekers simply don’t know where to start. The Wig Company aims to demystify the world of wigs so that you can shop with knowledge and confidence. Whether you’re a wig veteran looking to try something new or you’re deciding if wearing a wig is the right choice for you, read on and learn everything you need to know about real human hair wigs.

Human vs Synthetic vs Natural Hair

When we use the term real human hair it seems pretty straightforward, right? You take hair from a human head and make a wig out of it—simple. Well, not quite. There are actually several different treatments of human hair that change how it looks and feels, how long it lasts, and its optimal care.

Let’s start with the basics. Human hair wigs are completely distinct from synthetic wigs, whose fibers are produced by humans but not found in nature. Real or natural may be used to refer to human hair but know that not all real or natural hair is human; many real hair wigs are sourced from animals such as the yak, which has a hair structure remarkably similar to human hair. In short, when shopping for 100% human hair wigs or real hair toppers check that your wig is clearly described as human hair.

Remy Hair

In order to understand what it means for hair to qualify as Remy hair, we need to understand a little more about the structure of hair itself.

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A strand of human hair consists of three layers:

  • The inner Medulla – the nearly invisible innermost layer of the hair shaft, soft and fragile, and has little to do with how hair behaves.

  • A middle layer called the Cortex – this contains all the keratin and proteins that give your hair strength, and is also the place where chemical reactions from dyes and perms take place

  • An outer Cuticle layer – this is made up of lots of little layers of translucent cells that overlap like scales or shingles on a roof.

Remy human hair wigs and toppers pay special attention to the cuticle layer, making sure that all of the scales are facing the same direction. This is important because the cuticle layer protects the inner Cortex from the elements. When all cuticles are facing the same direction, brushing and styling pushes them tight to the Cortex. Closing the cuticle not only protects the hair, it also allows light to cleanly reflect off the strand, giving it a glossy, healthy shine.

A Remy human hair wig or wiglet is a hairpiece with all the cuticles arranged facing downward. The hair is typically taken directly from the donor’s head and tied together so that it will remain in this natural state. Because of the attention to this detail, Remy wigs are long-lasting with fantastic shine and a natural look and feel.

Virgin Hair

Though virgin and Remy are terms often used interchangeably, they really mean two completely different things. Virgin hair is always unprocessed and untouched by chemicals. No dyes, perms, bleaches or relaxers have been used to modify the chemical structure in any way. Virgin human hair wigs and half wigs are usually Remy, but while Remy human hair wigs can be virgin, they don’t have to be.

Non-Remy Hair

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Non-Remy hair is almost always chemically treated. Because the cuticles are facing both up and down and it would take enormous effort to rearrange them, the hair is treated in an acid solution that strips the cuticle layer from the cortex. It’s then coated with a layer of silicone to add back some shine. This process has an advantage—hair with no cuticle is much easier to color—but non-Remy wigs can be prone to damage, don’t hold color as well, and won’t last as long. Kinder to your wallet in the short run, non-Remy wigs and toppers are ideal for people who like to change their style often.

Selecting Your Human Hair Wig

When selecting the human hair topper, wig or extension that’s right for you, here are some final considerations:

  • Non-Remy hair wigs are easy to color and come in a variety of shades. They are less expensive than other options and perfect for people who like to try different looks. On the other hand, they don’t last very long, don’t retain as much shine as other wigs, and don’t look as natural.

  • Remy hair wigs are long-lasting (up to one year!), hold up well to styling, and have great shine. They’re heat-safe and style just like your real hair. They can be more difficult to color than non-Remy wigs and come in a narrower range of shades. Usually pricier, these wigs and toppers will be your mainstays.

  • Virgin hair wigs are unprocessed with a very natural look. Virgin wigs are long-lasting and can be heat-styled. Always in naturally-occurring colors, they are less common and more expensive than chemically treated hair.

  • Virgin Remy wigs are the gold standard for human hairpieces. From clip-on extensions to half-wigs and toppers, they are top-of-the-line quality and you can style them as if they were your real hair! The bigger price tag is worth it if you’re looking for a wig that will last and maintain its quality.

Explore our wide selection of 100% human hair wigs in styles you’ll love. From quality human hair bobs to gorgeous layered looks, discover the benefits of superbly constructed real human hair wigs from The Wig Company!

Tips/Tricks

  1. Wash or rinse all human hair products and style before wearing. Human hair is not ready to wear out of the box.

  2. Rinsing with hot water will damage the base.

  3. We do not recommend sleeping, showering or swimming during wear.

  4. Store on a hanger to avoid unwanted kinks or crimps

  5. Avoid brushing the hair when wet to prevent damage.

  6. Any cutting or chemical processes, such as perming or coloring, should be done by a professional hair stylist. We do not recommend lifting or bleaching human hair; depositing color provides the best result.

  7. Consult our Guide to Real Human Hair Wigs and Toppers for more information!

The most common question when considering a wig purchase is: Should I choose a real human hair wig or a synthetic wig?  Both types of wigs have their benefits and drawbacks, but with a 100% human hair wig from The Wig Company, you can rediscover the freedom and versatility of creating your very own personal style. Each individually hand-tied strand is guaranteed to be real human hair, thus can handle heat from a variety of styling tools and has the appearance and feel of natural hair. Human hair wigs may be custom cut, styled and colored to your specifications and, because we offer the latest in wig technology, can give the appearance of naturally growing hair. Whether you prefer curly or straight, you'll discover your perfect match in our selection below. With unique styles from Raquel WelchJon Renau and more, choosing just one wig will be the hardest decision you have to make. Consult our Guide to Real Human Hair Wigs and Toppers for more information!

Adding natural looking volume to your hair has never been easier with 100% human hair extensions from The Wig Company. We have a variety of clip-ins and extensions that will bring new style and fullness to thinning hair, or just give a boost to your already amazing existing hairdo. Choose from a wide array of colors and match your existing natural hair or add a new shade to your style. If you are having trouble deciding what color or type of hair to buy, The Wig Company offers a Free Color Matching Service as well as a helpful Guide to Real Human Hair Wigs and Toppers. Let our color experts precisely match your natural hair with the right color for you. Rest assured that you can use the same styling products and tools with 100% real human hair extensions as you use on your own hair. In fact, if you decide to change your hair color, the same dying process can be used on the extensions as your natural hair, too. With human hair clip-in extensions, your styling options are endless!