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Raw Hair Vs Virgin Hair: What Are The Differences

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If you’re new to the hair extensions industry, this article will provide a few fundamentals to understand the differences between raw hair vs virgin hair.


You are probably confusing raw hair and virgin hair are the same thing. However, in essence, these two types have quite a lot of differences. In this article, we will discuss the differences between raw hair vs virgin hair so you have an objective view of what you will invest in.

Raw Vs Virgin Hair What Are The Differences Between Them
Raw Vs Virgin Hair What Are The Differences Between Them

1. Raw hair vs virgin hair: the definition

Begin with the original definition of virgin hair and raw hair to see the difference between them.

1.1. The definition of raw hair

Raw hair is exactly what it is named: unprocessed human hair. Unprocessed means that it has not been subjected to any steam, chemical or processing. In current days, raw hair also refers to high-quality hair collected directly from the donors, washed and conditioned, then sold to the end users in the forms of clip-ins, tips, wefts, etc.

Because raw hair has not been processed, all cuticles are intact and run in the same direction. That’s why raw hair becomes a sought-after option for many hair extension lovers.

Raw hair is exactly what it is named: unprocessed human hair
Raw hair is exactly what it is named: unprocessed human hair

1.2. The definition of virgin hair

Virgin hair is defined as human hair collected from only one donor and has not been chemically processed. It has not been colored, permed, bleached, or washed harshly. The cuticles remain intact and run along in the same direction. However, virgin hair can be heat or steam processed to form the textures like body wave, deep wave, kinky curly, pixie curly and other textures.

Virgin hair is human hair collected from only one donor and has not been chemically processed
Virgin hair is defined as human hair collected from only one donor and has not been chemically processed

2. The differences between raw hair vs virgin hair

What’s the difference between raw and virgin hair? In this part, we will go over the most detailed comparison between virgin hair and raw hair in terms of texture, quality, and pricing,…

2.1. Raw hair vs virgin hair in terms of treatment

The first criteria to compare virgin vs raw hair is the treatment applied to the hair. The treatments determine whether hair cuticles are still intact or not leading to good or bad hair quality. Raw hair vs virgin hair, raw hair is unprocessed while the other is not.

  • Raw hair has not gone through any processing like steam, heat or chemical treatments
  • On the other hand, virgin hair can go through steam or heat processes to form other textures.

However, many hair manufacturers today still treat virgin hair with chemicals to make it shinier. Moreover, wavy, curly textures that are treated with steam or heat alone will not hold their curls for long without the help of chemicals.

Virgin hair can go through steam or heat processes to form other textures
Virgin hair can go through steam or heat processes to form other textures

2.2. The comparison of raw hair vs virgin hair with regard to supply

The second criterion to compare virgin hair vs raw hair is hair supply. From this comparison, customers can determine which hair type is suitable for them if they need bulk order or small order. It can be drawn from the definition in the first part, the difference between raw hair vs virgin hair in terms of supply is:

  • Raw hair can be taken from more than one donor, so the supply is abundant
  • Virgin is taken from a single donor, leading to a limited supply

So if you need large quantities of hair, raw hair will be the better choice. Moreover, with the limited supply of virgin hair, you can face the risk of buying fake virgin hair.

2.3. The difference between raw hair vs virgin hair in terms of textures

Texture is also a factor to help you choose between raw hair and virgin hair. One hair type has the texture you desire while the other does not. When comparing raw hair vs virgin hair in terms of textures, there is something to be noted:

  • Raw hair is more coarse and virgin hair is silkier in texture.
  • Raw hair mainly comes in 3 textures: straight, body wavy and curly (rarely) because it has not been processed in any way to have other textures. These 3 textures are the textures of natural human hair from countries around the world.
  • Virgin hair comes in more different textures besides straight, body wavy and curly, which are: deep wavy, kinky curly, pixie curly,…after being treated with steam or heat.

So if you want silkier texture and numerous choices of textures, especially curly texture, virgin hair is more ideal than raw hair.

Raw hair mainly comes in 3 textures: straight, body wavy and curly (rarely)
Raw hair mainly comes in 3 textures: straight, body wavy and curly (rarely)
Virgin hair can come in many textures
Virgin hair can come in more textures like: deep wavy, kinky curly, pixie curly,…

2.4. Raw hair vs virgin hair in terms of grade

Another difference between raw hair and virgin hair is grade. It is also a factor distinguish the quality of these two hair types and help you choose which one is suitable for your needs.

  • Raw hair, usually, is double drawn. Beside the washing and conditioning process, there is an additional sorting process in which the shorter hair strands will be removed by hands rather than by machine. As a result, the hair is thick and full from top to down.
  • On the other hand, virgin hair is usually single drawn because it comes from a single donor, resulting in lots of shorter hair strands interspersed with long hairs and the hair bundle thinner at the end.

So if you like thick hair, raw hair can be the best choice, or if you prefer thin hair, go for virgin hair. Virgin hair which is super double drawn may not be the real virgin hair.

Raw hair, usually, is double drawn. On the other hand, virgin hair is usually single drawn
Raw hair, usually, is double drawn. On the other hand, virgin hair is usually single drawn

2.5. Raw hair vs virgin hair in terms of smell

When comparing virgin vs raw hair, the smell can make difference. The smell of the hair is based on the hair products used on it like conditioner, glue, and especially chemicals.

  • Because raw hair hasn’t been treated with chemicals, it usually doesn’t have any odor or just has a scent of conditioner.
  • Meanwhile, virgin hair styled with heat or steam will need the help of chemicals to keep curls in place, so it may have a chemical smell, which is quite a strong smell and does not evaporate easily when washed.

If you are too sensitive to scents, virgin hair is not the perfect choice because the chemical smell will make you uncomfortable. Raw hair with a conditioner smell will be more pleasant.

See more related topics:

2.6. Raw hair vs virgin hair: Bleaching and dyeing

One more difference between raw hair and virgin hair is the ability to bleach and dye. If you buy the hair for the purpose of bleaching and dyeing it to your desired color, then you need keep in mind this thing.

  • Raw hair takes quite well to coloring and bleaching due to the cuticles still retained and have not been damaged by heat, steam, or chemical treatment. However, due to being separated from the human body, the hair lacks the necessary nutrients, so raw hair requires higher maintenance than natural human hair.
  • Virgin hair, according to the definition of hair collected from a single donor, also takes to dying or bleaching very well, the color is more uniform than raw hair. Actually, virgin hair could get matted or burned when being colored or bleached. This is mostly due to the fact that in current days, virgin hair can be treated with chemicals so more chemical treatments will damage the hair.

Virgin hair will be suitable for those who need to dye bright colors and do not need to style with heat or chemicals afterwards. Raw hair will suit dark colors and customers who need to style with heat or heat after dying.

Virgin hair and be bleached and dyed well with uniform color
Virgin hair and be bleached and dyed well with uniform color

2.7. Raw hair vs virgin hair in terms of durability

Durability is also a factor to consider when choosing between raw hair vs virgin hair. Customers with tight budget need to choose the one that lasts long to save cost on their hair.

  • Raw hair has a lifespan of at least 5 years, while virgin hair can last about half a year to two years. It is due to the fact that raw hair has not undergone any processing so it has not been damaged.
  • Meanwhile, virgin hair only can last up to 2 years because it has been treated with steam, or heat, or even chemicals with today’s reality, so the cuticles have been damaged.

To be more economical, customers should choose raw hair that has a longer lifespan. But remember that all hair types can last long only when you maintain it properly.

2.8. Pricing of raw hair vs virgin hair

Price is also one of the most vital factors to consider choosing which hair type. When comparing virgin hair and raw hair in terms of price on the hair market today, in general, virgin hair is usually more expensive because the supply of raw hair is abundant while the supply of virgin hair limited. It is due to the fact that virgin hair is taken from one person while raw hair can be taken from multiple donors.

3. Which is better, raw or virgin hair?

In order to be able to say raw vs virgin hair, which is better raw or virgin hair, we summarize the difference between raw and virgin hair in the table below for a comprehensive overview.

raw hairvirgin hair
Unprocessedunprocessed with chemicals, steam and heatunprocessed with chemicals
Supplytaken from multiple donors, abundant supplytaken from single donor, limited supply
Texturesmore coarse straight, body wave, curlysilkier straight, body wave, deep wave, deep curls, kinky curly,…
Single or double drawndouble drawnsingle drawn
Smellno smellcan have chemicals smell
Bleaching and dyingcan be bleached and dyed but in not uniform colorcan be bleached and dyed well with uniform color but the hair is weaker
Lifespanat least 5 years6m – 2 years
Pricelowerhigher

So, it can be seen through the table above that raw hair and virgin hair is suitable for different customer segment in the world hair market:

  • Raw hair is the best for those who are in need of large quantity hair which is unprocessed anyway, has no smell, has long durability and reasonable prices. You can buy it and style it into any texture or pattern you like.
  • However, if you want more textures, such as kinky curly or a deep wave, or the purpose of your hair purchase is for bleaching and dyeing, virgin hair can be the best for you. However, remember to carefully check that the virgin hair has been exposed to chemicals or not through a very strong smell

You should carefully consider your needs including quantity, quality, durability and your budget when choosing between these 2 types: raw hair vs virgin hair.

4. The main sources of raw hair vs virgin hair

Raw hair on the world hair market mostly comes from Vietnam, India, Cambodia, China. Raw hair from each country has different characteristics and of different quality.

  • Raw Vietnamese hair: Raw Vietnamese hair is bomb in their natural straight texture which is great for blending with natural hair. Super smooth and are perfect for those smooth sleek looks. It has superior durability up to 10 years with proper care.
  • Raw Indian hair: Raw Indian hair is also very popular with people who love thick, curly, spongy and coarse texture.
  • Raw Cambodian hair: Raw Cambodian hair is slightly wavy, thick, bouncy and black, can last up to 7 years with proper maintenance.
  • Raw Chinese hair: is not really human Chinese hair but sourced from different countries in South East Asia as well as Asia, so the hair quality is uneven.

Meanwhile wholesale virgin hair vendor mainly comes from Brazil, Peru, and Malaysia. However, virgin hair from these countries nowadays is just a marketing ploy. People from these countries no longer sell their hair today.

  • Peruvian virgin hair is thick and coarse, making it ideal for those with coarse or thick hair. It os strong enough to be bleached and dyed.
  • Brazilian virgin hair is shiny, silky and bouncy. It is the most sought-after hair type in Latin America and Africa. But there are very few raw hair vendors in Brazil that sell high-quality virgin hair so you need to do your research before you buy.
  • Malaysian virgin hair is thick, silky and soft. It is mostly used by people with softer hair.
Raw Vietnamese is bomb in their natural straight texture which is great for blending with natural hair
Raw Vietnamese is bomb in their natural straight texture which is great for blending with natural hair

With the information given below, you can have a comprehensive understanding of raw hair vs virgin hair and make a wise decision about whether to choose between these two hair types.

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