Hair attachments, or hair extensions as they are commonly known, are a popular beauty accessory that can add length, volume, or even a pop of color to your natural hair. But what exactly are they made of and how does the science behind them work?
Human Hair Extensions:
The highest quality hair extensions are made from 100% human hair. This type of hair extension is collected from a single donor to ensure consistency in texture and color. The cuticles of the hair strands are kept intact and aligned in the same direction to prevent tangling, a process known as 'Remy'. This also helps to maintain the hair's natural shine and smoothness.
Synthetic Hair Extensions:
On the other hand, synthetic hair extensions are made from various types of synthetic fibers. These fibers are made from materials such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC), acrylic, or polyester. The fibers are then processed to mimic the look and feel of human hair. Although synthetic hair extensions are less expensive than human hair extensions, they are also less durable and cannot withstand heat styling or coloring.
The Science Behind Hair Extensions:
The science behind hair extensions lies in the molecular structure of the hair or synthetic fibers. The outer layer of a hair strand, known as the cuticle, is made up of overlapping scales. When the scales are aligned in the same direction, the hair is smooth and shiny. However, when the scales are not aligned, the hair can become tangled and dull. This is why Remy human hair extensions, with their aligned cuticles, are considered superior.
On a molecular level, human hair is made of a protein called keratin. The keratin molecules form a helix shape, with bonds between the molecules providing strength and elasticity. This is why human hair can withstand heat and chemical treatments.
Synthetic fibers, on the other hand, are made from polymers. These polymers are long chains of molecules, but they do not have the same structure or bonds as keratin. This means that synthetic hair does not have the same strength or elasticity as human hair, and it cannot withstand heat or chemical treatments.
In conclusion, the science behind hair extensions is complex and fascinating. It involves understanding the molecular structure of hair and synthetic fibers, and how these structures affect the properties of the hair extensions. Whether you choose human hair or synthetic hair extensions, understanding the science behind them can help you make an informed decision.