What are Brazilian Hair Extensions?

Your hair is rebelling and crying out for help. Ok, maybe this isn’t you, but you have over-permed and under-maintained your hair, to the point the tell-tale signs are showing – dullness, lackluster, brittle texture, and tangled, split ends. It might also just be that it’s time for change but you’re not ready yet for anything radical.

Your best friend suggested you try a Brazilian hair weave. Girlfriend did her best to try to explain, but not a whole lot made sense.

So, here’s what it’s about. Hair extensions are artificial hair integrations that add length and fullness to human hair using different methods: tape in, clip in/on, fusion, weaving.

Virgin Brazilian hair is free from perms, dyes, bleaching and coloring and has all the cuticles intact. It’s the best type of hair to use for weave extensions because of its:

Versatility – can be styled in different ways. It’s thickness fuses seamlessly with your natural hair.

Volume – Brazilian hair has a natural bounce and fullness; makes your hair extensions look and feel like your natural hair.

Durability – When cared for properly, Brazilian human hair can last up to six months. It’s naturally strong and damage-resistant because it’s free of harsh chemicals.

Versatile, voluminous, durable – Brazilian hair bundles are the extensions of choice for most women

There are historians on every topic. Hair is no exception. The first hair weave was a combination of human hair mixed with dyed wool. The Egyptians in those days installed the extensions using beeswax, resin, and braids.

We learned from hair historians Lori L. Tharps and Ayana D. Byrd that the weave was invented and patented in the 1950s by an African-American hairdresser named Cristina Jenkins.

In 1980, Cristina Jenkins made a significant change to her weaving technique by creating hair with more “flow” – a major improvement on the stiff, static hair used in her initial technique.

Hair varieties abound, so it’s important to know the kind of Brazilian human hair that you’re buying.

Brazilian straight hair – gives a sleek, luxurious look that requires minimum effort.

Brazilian body wave hair – very soft and luscious; able to go from straight to wavy and back again, with chameleon ease.

Brazilian loose wave hair – gives beautiful curls; the perfect back-drop for that carefree and flirty, girly-girl, notice-me look.

Brazilian deep wave hair – extremely versatile; soft and spiraling hair that’s visually attractive; full of body and bounce that’s unique to Brazilian hair.

Brazilian curly hair – Kinky, coily, tight curls that produce a lot of volume; matches your desired look to help your personality shine through.

Mink Brazilian hair is all the rage now. The French call it la nouvelle tendance – definitely trending.

To help you take more informed decisions, it makes sense to know how the Brazilian hair extension is applied and removed. There are several DIY extension styles that you can install and remove at home by yourself:

  • Clip-In Hair Extensions
  • Tape-In Hair Extensions
  • Pre-bonded Extensions
  • Micro-Link Extensions

Common FAQs about Brazilian hair extensions

Q: With so many kinds of hair extensions available, how do I know which is good and which isn’t?
A: If the weft is very thick or very thin, that’s usually a sign that it’s not good quality hair. If you purchase 14 inches of hair, then when you stretch it out, it should be 14 inches not 12, and no jagged, ragged ends. Also, read the reviews. Quality hair speaks for itself. The reviews will definitely point you in the right direction on choosing hair extensions.

Q: What exactly is virgin hair?
A: Virgin Hair is the natural state of hair; free from chemical changes and applied color.

Q: Can I straighten or curl virgin hair extensions?
A:Yes. Treat you virgin hair extensions like your own hair. You can use thermal tools to straighten, crimp, and curl.

Q: What’s a weft?
A: A single weft is when only one line of hair is sewn to one mesh. A double weft is when two single wefts are sewn together on one mesh of hair.

Q: What’s the right way to measure Brazilian hair extensions?
A: Each texture needs to be measured differently. Measure each according to how the hair falls. Starting from 0 at the weft, measure all the way to the ends of the bundle. For the Brazilian Wavy and Brazilian Curly hair extensions, measure by pulling the hair straight.

Q: Can I color my hair?
A: Yes, but preferably by a professional. But if the hair is chemically altered, it’s easier for the cuticle to become damaged and overexposed, leading to breakage, tangling, dryness and fraying.

Q: What’s co-washing?
A: Using conditioner as a wash instead of shampoo, to keep extensions healthy and durable.

Lessons Learned – What I did wrong

Bought the wrong texture: my hair looked so fake. It was embarrassing.
I should have: chosen a texture that blended well with my natural hair.

Dyed my Brazilian hair myself: with one of those drugstore dyes, but it didn’t match my hair color.
I should have: gone to a professional to do it. Pennywise and pound foolish? Absolutely.

Neglected my natural hair when I first started wearing extensions. My hairline became extremely thin.
I should have: taken better care of my natural hair.

To get the best from your Brazilian hair extensions:


  • feel free to be creative – curl, tong, and straighten.
  • co-wash your hair extensions.
  • try a dye if it catches your fancy, but seek a professional.


  • use products that contain alcohol. They dry out hair extensions.
  • sleep with hair extensions wet. This will promote tangling and matting,
  • buy any hair extension just because your friend said so.

If you’re considering hair extensions, invest in good quality hair like virgin Brazilian hair extensions. Black Hairspot has tons of resources to help you. Understanding your hair and Elements of any good weave, are good starting points. Thoughts, comments? Your opinion is important. Voice it.

Elements of any good weave: Hair Weave Types

With my grade nine grad around the corner, I remember begging my mother for long lush locks. My first weave was long, thick and strawberry blonde. I absolutely loved it, back then anyways. I look at the pictures of that day now and all I think is I wish I knew then what I now know about hair. At the time my knowledge about the vast variety of hair was minimal, maybe non-existent.

When I walked into Images and Shades for the first time I was slightly overwhelmed by all the hair options in front of me. I remember the teller asking me what I was looking for. My reply was long hair, blonde in colour. She continued with her questions: how many inches long are you looking for? Would you rather #22, #24, #27…? I was completely confused. She spent some time explaining the various hair lengths and guiding me through a hair colour chart. She then explained what I now believe to be the most important aspect of any good weave, the type of hair. By type I’m referring to synthetic, human or remy hair. The reality of how clueless I was set it. She quickly pointed out and explained the differences between synthetic and human hair. I opted for the synthetic only because I was on a strict budget and I wasn’t planning on doing much to my weave as far as styling was concerned. Although my weave didn’t turn out badly, it could have been better by simply improving the quality of hair.

Ladies if you’re looking to avoid a bad weave situation, you need to have a good idea of what you want to do with your weave where styling and maintenance are concerned. How good your weave looks is absolutely determined by the quality of the hair installed. As I mentioned earlier there are three basic types of hair, synthetic, human and remy. But what exactly is the difference between them? That’s what I aim to explain with this next part.

Here’s a brief description of each type and what I suggest would work best for certain looks/styles. This also applies to wigs; the hair used to make wigs is the same, they’re just an alternative installation method.

Synthetic Hair

Synthetic hair is a great choice if you’re looking for a new look to last you a short time. Synthetic hair costs anywhere between $15.00- $90.00 depending on the brand and style. Synthetic hair is the most affordable type of hair on the market — ideal for anyone who wants a change without having to break the bank. This type of hair is usually already styled at the time of purchase which eliminates the styling process, saving you money as well as time.

With that said, although synthetic hair is convenient and cost effective, it does have its limits when it comes to being versatile. Synthetic hair is made to look like human hair constructed from thin manufactured hair fibers; therefore, it is not heat resistant to the extent that human hair is. You will not have the ability to curl or straighten this type of hair nor will you be able to dye the hair. There is synthetic hair available that you can apply very minimal heat to but you still won’t get the styling results that you would with other hair types. I personally wouldn’t apply any heat to synthetic hair because of the fear I would have of burning or damaging it.

If you’re considering getting a weave for first time synthetic might be the way to go. You can figure out what you like and decide if you even like having a weave installed, before you fork out the cash for hair of a higher quality.

Human Hair

100% human hair has an elevated natural appearance to it in comparison to synthetic hair. Human hair is great because it replicates natural hair almost perfectly and can last you a few months (approx 6-8 months) with multiple installs, depending on how well you care for it. It will also offer you the versatility that synthetic hair lacks. Human hair gives you the free range to style your weave exactly the way you want. Whether it’s curled or straightened it will withstand the heat applied to it and just like natural hair you have the ability to dye it if you choose to.

However, like anything else, human hair does have its pitfalls. It is a bit more expensive than synthetic hair, running anywhere from approx $50.00-$150.00, again depending on the brand and length. But remember that you are getting higher quality hair. Human hair also has a tendency to tangle and shed; this is because the cuticles are not all facing the same way. Also, human hair is often put through some processing to improve its appearance.

Remy Hair

The hair of all hair types, remy is nothing less than amazing! Sharing similar qualities to that of human hair, remy hair is versatile and natural and undergoes minimal processing. If cared for properly remy hair will maintain its natural movement and appearance from 6 months to over a year. It is also heat resident so applying various styles and dyes will not be an issue. Remy hair comes in various styles such as straight, curly and wavy; it will also return to its natural state after having been styled and washed. You will notice that with remy hair there is virtually no tangling or shedding because the cuticles are kept intact and all face the same direction. When it comes to blending your natural hair, this process is made simpler with remy hair because there are various textures you can purchase. I won’t go into too much detail about them individually but this is where Indian, Brazilian, Malaysian and Chinese remy hair would come into play. That’s another topic for another article.

Some of you may be wondering what the difference is between remy and virgin hair is. Although they are almost identical the biggest difference is that virgin hair is completely 100% natural and unprocessed. Virgin hair has not been processed or dyed and is only available in its natural colour. Virgin hair is always remy hair; however, remy hair may not always be virgin hair.


So what’s the down fall to remy hair? All this hair goodness comes with a hefty price. Remy can start from about $150.00 per bundle to over $500.00 or more. Again this is dependent on length, brand and if its virgin hair or virgin remy hair. At times, especially if you’ve never purchased hair in the past, the task of choosing the right type of hair may seem challenging. I look at it similar to a trial and error method. It’s about progression; start with the simple and cheapest. Allow yourself time to familiarize yourself with what works and doesn’t work for you and your hair.