How is it called Remee Hair?

If you have spent any time on the Internet researching hair and hair products such as extensions, integrations and wigs you will almost certainly have come across the term “remis hair” or at least a permutation in spelling which looks about the same and would sound correct if read aloud. Pronounced “rem ee” and also incorrectly spelt “remy”.

 

As an experienced hair merchant and hair preparer of over 40 years, I despair at what I see and hear and read as an explanation of “remis hair”, that there should be so much ignorance in the trade horrifies me but as we are updating our web site this is the perfect time to get it down 100% correctly for once and for all and by someone who actually knows what he is talking about.

 

First a little bit of history, during the 16th, 17th and 18th Centuries the world centre of wig making was France, that is why there are so many French words in the world of wig making. “Remis” is just one such word, from the French verb remettre it is the past participle and literally translates as “re-put” or “put back”. This broadly describes the process which resulted in the genuine article “remis hair”.

 

 Remee Hair

 

In the past, ladies would take the hair collected in their brushes and keep it all together; because this was essentially Dead hair, that had come to the end of its life cycle, it was discarded by the scalp including the root bulb. If you want to see a root bulb, you can look at one now if you are prepared to pull out a healthy hair to see it. Look at the root end and you should see a small round bulb which is typically colourless.

 

Now there was nothing wrong with this discarded hair, every hair has a finite life and this varies from person to person, that is why some people complain that they can never grow their hair long. It is really the root/follicle which determines when an individual hair’s life is over and which rejects the hair. Biologically similar to finger and toe nails, hair has no nerves or blood supply so it is technically never alive anyway.

 

However we digress. The wigmaker would buy a bag of hair with the root ends and the point (other) end all mixed up. Now if you look at a hair under extreme magnification it looks a little like a snake skin in as much as it has scales running down it from the root ends to the point end. Crucially hair all needs to be aligned in one direction, if the scales are pointing in both directions they will catch on each other and matt up. An attempt to comb through a tangle of root and point hair will result in broken combs and it will just tangle up again. This effect is exacerbated by washing; consequently correct alignment is crucial in any hair replacement or hair extension system.

 

 

Suffice it to say that there is a method of sorting the mixed hair back to all being in the same direction. It involves a lot of time and patience, skill and experience, not to mention large amounts of soap and water. The hair from this source which is reclaimed by this method is correctly called “remis hair” being hair that is put back into the state it started from, that is all roots one end and all points the other. The supply of combings was always very limited and the cost of labour nowadays means that except in very, very rare occurrences “remis hair” just does not exist anymore.

 

So why is it still talked about? Well, in the days when the best hair was reputed to come from Italy and the best of this was “remis hair” this hair sold for a premium. I can actually state categorically that is well over 30 years since I saw a piece of genuine Remis and the meaning has been devalued over the years by people in the trade that know a lot about marketing and selling but little about the hair trade.

 

 

The modern meaning has changed and become any hair that is correctly aligned, root to point. Even hair cut from the head has a root end and a point end, in other words it needs to be properly aligned. Almost all hair used in the trade today is cut hair, i.e. excess length cut from the head and tied before or after it is cut. It takes a certain lack of skill and knowledge of the basics to get this wrong so most all hair should be “remis” in the modern sense of the word. However bad processing can still result in mixing the hair “root and point” and spoiling the perfect raw material. So, sadly unskilled hands and eyes can spoil even hair from this source.

 

So, when you see the description “remis hair” it almost certainly is claiming that the hair is properly aligned root to point and will not matt up in use. That is the modern accepted definition. To us this is a golden rule, the very basis of good hair preparing.

 

Needless to say we don’t claim our hair is “remis”, as it was NEVER misaligned in the first place but we will always say it is correctly aligned because we have the skills and knowledge to ensure that it is.

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