If you are in the market for a non-surgical hair replacement system, then you might have come across the option of selecting either ‘unprocessed hair’ or ‘processed hair’.
While both unprocessed hair and processed hair come from donors, they differ greatly in how they’re made and how they matter to the wearer — i.e. you.
If it’s information on which one best fits with your needs, then you are at the right place!
What is Unprocessed Hair?
‘Unprocessed hair’, also called ‘virgin hair’, is a hair replacement system with its hair cuticles (which is the outer layer of the hair strand) fully intact. In other words, unprocessed hair is as close to natural hair as possible.
What is Processed Hair?
‘Processed hair’ is hair that had been chemically treated in order to appear in a specific way.
The chemical treatment process generally involves soaking the hair in a very acidic ‘bath’ to strip away the hair’s cuticles. This is done so that the hair can be coloured, treated, styled or customized to look as desired by the wearer.
Processed vs. Unprocessed Hair
Neither one is objectively ‘better’ than the other. Ultimately, what you decide on really depends on your needs, which are unique and best understood by you.
But when making that decision, you should look at the following 3 areas and see which of these would fit the best on you (pun not intended).
When comparing the two, you should consider whether you want something that…
- Matches your natural look as closely as possible…
- The flexibility to adjust styles frequently.
See How You Can Select a Hair System That
Brings Out the Best ‘You’
Right off the bat, unprocessed hair comes in its natural colour and tone.
You can, in theory, find a tone that matches your natural hair colour and look exactly.
This could also take a relatively long time for people with certain — i.e. rarer or less common — hair colour or natural styles. If getting a hair replacement system that looks and feel natural, then it’s worth the wait.
One of the benefits of processed hair is that you can customize it at will.
Be it changing the hair colour, style, straightening, or curling, you have maximum flexibility.
You can also get the hair system you want sooner than you could an unprocessed hair system.
While the chemical treatment process takes away some of the natural look and feel of the hair, many hair manufacturers are using silicon treatment to restore some of the natural aspects.
The Lifespan of Unprocessed Hair
Thanks to the hair cuticles being kept intact, unprocessed hair can last for a much, much longer period of time than the processed hair. While expensive, unprocessed hair lives up to the cost.
The Lifespan of Processed Hair
Because of the acidic treatment process (to remove the cuticles), processed hair is inherently much weaker than unprocessed hair. It will not last as long as unprocessed hair.
However, when selecting processing hair, you might not be looking for longevity but for it to be available to you as soon as possible — and at a much lower price.
Unfortunately, with time processed hair will dry-out and feel brittle to the touch. It will begin to look unhealthy and unnatural. To help slow this process, some processed hair manufacturers are beginning to treat the hair with slow bleach methods.
For some people, the final decision between the two hair types could come down to price.
Costs of Unprocessed Hair
It can take a relatively long time for some to get unprocessed hair in their natural colour and/or desired hair type (e.g., straight or curled). The rarity of some shades makes the hair production process more difficult and, as a result, more expensive.
Systems using unprocessed hair could cost several times those with processed hair. However, unprocessed hair systems also last much longer. If you plan on keeping one look for a long time, then investing upfront in an unprocessed hair system could be worth the trade-off.
Costs of Processed Hair
While less costly, relying on processed hair systems could mean replacing those systems more often (or keeping more of those systems on hand). However, if you are short on time or money, then a processed hair system could be the way forward.
Selecting a new hair replacement system can be a life-altering decision. You want to look and feel more than just great, but you want to feel as if everything is as it should be.
Talk to us for a FREE consultation.