Raw hair vs Virgin hair

Raw hair vs Virgin hair

What is Raw Hair?

Raw hair is exactly as the name applies; Raw, unprocessed, 100% human hair. When you think about unprocessed this means it has not undergone ANY chemical, heat or steam processing.

Raw hair is the most purest and natural form of hair available on the market. Raw hair is great in the aspect of quality being top notch and can literally last you years.

The downside to raw hair is the availability of variety (patterns/textures). When it comes to raw hair manufacturers are sourcing the hair directly from SINGLE DONORS and then the hair undergoes a rigorous sanitizing process.

Most donors origins are from India, Cambodia, Vietnam and Burma. Hair patterns from these donors don’t vary all that much so you won’t get those hot trendy styles like tight curly or body wave easily, if at all.

Raw hair is usually available in 3 styles – Straight and natural curly or wavy. Raw hair is usually less silky and slightly closer to coarser textures when compared to virgin hair. Raw hair can also be available in curly hair patterns as well. 

The pros of Raw hair is the Quality & Longevity that it sustains. The downside is that no two bundles are the same. They won’t be very different from each other but they will never be identical and that’s because the hair is not steamed to create uniformed patterns.  

The definition of raw hair is used to imply that the hair was not chemically or heat processed but also comes from a single donor.

Single donor hair is a bundle of hair that is cut only from one donor. With the increase of demand for raw hair it’s become increasing difficult for larger hair companies to provide a full bundle of single donor hair consistently.

So, raw hair can also mean multiple donors as long as the hair is not processed in any way.


The true definition of Virgin Hair is 100% Natural Human Hair that has never been manipulated or processed in any way. However, in the world of human hair extensions, Virgin Hair is human hair that has been chemically altered or mechanically manipulated to achieve desired textures and/or colors and is usually sourced from multiple donors. This means that most “Virgin Hair”sold today has actually adopted former ‘Remy Hair’ characteristics. Oh what is Remy Hair you might ask?! Remy Hair Extensions is typically the hair “left over” from 100% RAW Hair donors and processed to market which lowers the quality. But now, we are seeing this trend into our virgin hair market, lowering industry standard on what used to be known as the Gold Standard.


You will see on the market today that some hair extensions are “graded” for quality; however, this should raise a red flag because it implies that hair has been mixed, may have fillers, and/or is processed which alters the integrity of the hair.  Hair grades are a false way to categorize Human Hair Extensions developed by Chinese Manufacturers years ago. The hair grading system is not regulated and grading was developed as a way to market product to consumers.

The grading system first started off as 1A-3A and gradually progressed to 10A in today’s market. Grades are used to determine the percentage of human hair in a bundle as well as the integrity of its cuticles. If you see hair that is ‘graded’... run! You will be wasting your money.

 100% Raw or Virgin Hair extensions should not be graded as their cuticles remain intact and there should not be mixed with fillers.


 Raw hair texture is naturally derived whereas Virgin hair has been processed to achieve the texture pattern in efforts to mimic a particular hair style or pattern.  Virgin hair on the market is typically silky, medium to high luster, and sourced from multiple donors. Raw hair varies in pattern, tone, and is typically lower to medium luster due to the fact that it is not processed and cut from same donors.

Hint: this is why Raw Hair Extensions are typically harder to maintain than Virgin Hair Extensions. Raw hair will respond to elements, manipulation, and care just like your own hair would!

What’s great about virgin hair is that the hair bundles look identical to one another which makes for an effortless sew-in weave or wig.

Also, with a manufacture or trusted hair company that has perfected their steaming process your hair can last you a very long time while preserving the style and pattern you purchased it in.

What are some kinds of virgin hair that exist on the market?

The most popular kinds of virgin hair are:

  • Peruvian – coarser, thicker, durable
  • Brazilian – light, shiny, silky
  • Malaysian – heavier, softer, silkier

Please be aware that hair does not originate from the countries and areas they are named after.

These are more so industry created names that help to market hair and sometimes reference a type of quality for that particular company. 

Genuine raw hair, on the other hand, originates from its source. So Raw Indian hair comes from India and Vietnamese hair from Vietnam and so on and so forth!


  • Purest form of Virgin Hair on Today’s Market
  • Rare (this is why we sell out fast).
  • Every bundle has a unique appearance
  • Full cuticle hair
  • Mainly sourced from one donor.
  • Available hair textures are limited to natural hair patterns (I.e. natural wave, curly, straight)
  • Lasts longer (5+ years) because it gets better with every wash.
  • Typically more maintenance
  • Available only in natural blacks, browns, grays, reds (rare), and blondes (rare)


  • Quality varies depending on distributor; more margin for false advertising
  • Every bundle is uniform due to hair being processed
  • Available hair textures are “endless”
  • Lasts up to one year with exceptional care
  • Cuticles may not always be in tact.
  • Hair feels good at first glance and may feel hard after 4th to 5th wash. Mostly the case when poor quality hair is used to produce hair.
  • Available in array of colors

Should I buy Raw Hair or Virgin Hair? Which one is better?


OK so before we jump into the answer for that here’s a little cheat sheet that will help summarize this article and may help you choosing.


1. Raw hair is significantly different from virgin hair. Both are human hair extensions; however, raw hair has not been altered. Virgin hair has been steamed processed to give it texture (examples: deep wave, loose wave etc).

Raw hair has not been steamed processed or chemically altered in any way and will behave just like human hair growing out of your scalp. This is why Raw Hair requires more love, care and attention. 

2. Since raw hair hasn’t been chemically altered or steam-processed, it usually only comes in three textures. Raw hair primarily comes in straight, natural wave and in curly, which is rare. Styles such as a deep wave, kinky curly, body wave, etc. are typically non existent when dealing with raw hair. To achieve those patterns, mass production & professional steaming of the raw hair would need to take place.

3. Raw hair does require different maintenance from virgin hair. As unusual as it may seem, raw hair needs a lot of moisturizing and conditioning. I highly recommend using quality products,only. Of course, you can use TresEmme and Pantene, but I guarantee you, that if you use a brand like Paul Mitchell and Nexxus instead, you will notice a big difference.

Please Note: the products used on virgin hair won't alter the actual pattern in any way.

4. Raw hair is usually better quality but in keep in mind it will be more expensive. Unlike virgin hair, raw hair can last up to 4 years or more. Prices can start at $180 for one bundle in a shorter length and will continue to rise, depending on the seller. Quality virgin hair can be pricey too but typically with raw hair, you will pay more.

5. Raw hair can be limited, while virgin hair is always in excess. Many sellers will run out of the hair and will have to wait a month or so for their next shipment to come in. So, keep that in mind when you’re planning your hairstyle. Prior to COVID-19, virgin hair would come in three business days. Expect delays of two weeks or more.

6. Virgin hair comes in a variety of origins and textures. Unlike raw hair, which only comes in three textures and usually one to three origins, like Cambodian, Indian, and Vietnamese. Virgin hair textures and patterns have names that range from Brazilian, Malaysian, Peruvian, Mongolian, etc. (keeping in mind these names dont have anything to do with their true origin but are more so intended to describe the quality of the hair. Virgin hair extensions also have a variety of textures like kinky curly, body wave, deep curly, afro kinky, loose curl, deep curl etc.

While raw hair is more expensive, the investment and maintenance is worth it. It can last up to four years and you can always make a wig or clip-ins out of it. But, if you are looking for more textures like kinky curly or even a deep wave, virgin hair is for you.

This is what you really need to know when it come to Raw Hair Vs. Virgin Hair: it’s a matter of preference!

Ask yourself do you like the slightly coarser more natural advantage that raw hair provides or do you want the trendy styles, textures and patterns that virgin hair provides?!

There’s pros and cons to each and in both types you’re going to have a great hair that will give you the Quality & Longevity you’re looking for especially if you purchase your hair through a hair company such as ours.

Good hair is great hair whether its raw or virgin!

We hope this helped with answering any questions you might of had about Raw Hair Vs Virgin Hair, knowing the difference and choosing whats best for you!

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