I finally did it! I ordered a small weft sample of virgin Malaysian hair from Manedepot online and I bleached it. It took less than 10 minutes and remained very soft and healthy. I have light blonde hair and as some experienced hair extensions wearers might know…there are not many high quality blonde products on the market. Hey…if I’m wrong, please tell me. I would love any recommendations. If they last more than two or three installs without getting ratty I consider them high quality.

Lately, I’ve been researching the subject of virgin hair as they pertain to extensions (wefts, fusion, wigs, etc). Virgin hair is unprocessed and so it behaves naturally and lasts longer than chemically altered hair extensions. Manufacturers often use an acid bath or coloring process to change virgin hair textures for resale and this damages the natural cuticle that ensures hair lays smooth and feels soft. Asian hair is often acid bathed to strip the cuticles making the strands less coarse and more suitable for Caucasian use. A silicone coating is applied after the acid bath thus giving it a soft feel and shiny appearance; problem is, once the silicone wears off the hair starts to tangle and mat. If you decide to purchase virgin hair, make sure buy from a reputable retailer; you don’t want nits, lice or gray hairs in your weft. You also do not want animal hair interspersed with human hair, synthetic hair interspersed with human hair, or different batches of hair mixed into the same weft resulting non-aligned cuticles. It is best to purchase single or double drawn unprocessed hair that came from one donor. The main drawback in all of this for myself of course is that virgin hair is almost always dark hair since the majority of donors are of Indian, Hispanic, or Asian decent. The only exception to most dark virgin hair is that which comes from a more Northern Slavic origin or European virgin hair – and that stuff is very expensive and rare!

I suppose what I am really getting at is that I am tired of not being able to use my blonde hair extensions for more than a couple of installs. So after researching and determining the many benefits of virgin hair I decided I had to try it; the main problem is I would need to bleach it in order to color it to my shade of blonde. If all goes well I will get to reap all the benefits of wearing beautiful virgin hair (technically its no longer virgin after you bleach it but you know what I mean). and hopefully it will last a year or more if I take good care of it. Some wearers have reported that their virgin hair actually got nicer and softer the longer they wore it. It seems virgin hair is more expensive than other types of extensions but considering I have been buying one 4 four ounce weft at $130 a pop every few months or so I think the higher initial cost is worth it. If they last as long as people say I will actually save money in the long run.

I came across a detailed article describing the bleaching process so armed with this new knowledge I purchased the supplies from Sally’s Beauty Supply. Here is a list of what I purchased: 1 tub of bleach powder, 40 volume lightening solution and some toner (takes out the brass) and some good aragan oil. That’s it folks…those 4 ingredients. I mixed the powder and 40 volume in equal parts (added a bit of toner and aragan oil), smeared it on the sample and (here’s the secret) I put it in aluminum foil and in the oven on the warm setting for 7 minutes. Unbelievably easy yo! My sample weft lifted to a medium golden blonde color that quickly. I rinsed it, added some apple cider vinegar to neutralize any leftover lightener and deep conditioned it with aragan oil. It’s really beautiful, very soft and ready to color to the shade of blonde I choose. I know if I would have left it in for another 2 or 3 minutes and it would have been a very light blonde. I decided I will purchase the full 4 ounce weft from Perfect Locks since the place I bought the sample is a bit pricey – even though they look to have good products. I usually install less than the entire 4 oz so this is fine for me. People with thicker hair would need two 4 oz wefts to get a fuller look. They have some really nice curly virgin Indian hair in 16 inches for about $150 (customer reviews rave about the quality).