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What Is Virgin Hair?

April 24, 2020

If you’re a fan of hair color trends and color-treated strands, you may have heard this term before: virgin hair. But what is virgin hair? Here’s a hint: We’re all born with it! Whether you still have your natural hair, sans any color or chemical treatments, or you’re interested in virgin hair extensions, we have all the details on this hair type, including how you should take care of it. That’s right, hair care isn’t just for damaged tresses—even if you still have your natural, virgin strands, it’s still important to take care of them with a proper hair care routine. Keep reading to learn more.


Simply put, virgin hair is untouched hair, like what we start out on this world with. It refers to strands that have never been color-treated or chemically processed in any way. To get more specific, it’s hair that is completely and totally free from perms, bleaches, color treatments, and dyes—and yes, highlights and ombré hair also count. 

Once you have processed or color-treated hair, it can never go back to being virgin. That’s right, once you’ve dyed your hair, even just once, you lose your virgin strands forever. Virgin hair is a hair colorist’s dream because it’s also much easier to color hair that doesn’t already have dye on it. Colorists also get excited over virgin hair because of its strength, which is due to the fact that it’s never been damaged by chemicals. This is also the reason that many high-end hair extensions are made from virgin hair.


You may have heard the term virgin hair used in reference to hair extensions and weaves, and we’re here to clarify a few questions you may have.

1. What is considered virgin hair? When it comes to extensions, the definition of virgin hair is the same as we listed above—hair that hasn’t been color-treated or chemically processed! That said, most extensions and weaves don’t fall under this category. Speaking of…

2. Is virgin hair good for hair extensions and weaves? Yes and no. While virgin hair will generally last longer, as it’s in a healthier state thanks to never having been colored in any way, it likely won’t match your hair color as well as non-virgin hair options. That said, those with natural hair should seek out virgin hair extension and weave options, as these will be in better condition and be ideal for matching the texture of your curly mane.

3. What is the difference between virgin and human hair? Like we mentioned, virgin hair is hair that hasn’t been chemically treated. With this in mind, virgin hair extensions will always be human hair, but not all human hair extensions and weaves are made with virgin hair. You can have human hair extensions and weaves that have been previously colored and processed.

4. How long does virgin hair last? Like we mentioned, virgin hair tends to last longer than chemically processed extensions and weaves. Of course, the specifics are dependent on how well you care for them. Keep in mind that how you care for wigs and extensions is slightly different than how you would care for the virgin hair on your own head.


There are endless hair color trends and techniques, as well as chemical treatments such as keratin treatments, that tempt us these days. However, if you still have your natural virgin strands—and want to keep them—good for you! We bet your hair is super healthy and gorgeous, as long as you’re keeping up with a consistent hair care routine. Need help whipping your routine into shape? Here’s a simple, four-step routine to try.


The first step in any hair care routine is, of course, to shampoo and condition your strands regularly. If you have virgin hair, look for a shampoo and conditioner system that’s formulated to be gentle on your strands and address any hair concerns you naturally face. If frizzy hair is your primary concern, reach for the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Frizz-Defy Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Frizz-Defy Conditioner. If your strands are feeling lackluster and dry, find a system that’s formulated to replenish moisture, like the L’Oréal Paris EverCreme Deep Nourish Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverCreme Deep Nourish Conditioner.


Regardless of your hair type or whether you have colored or virgin hair, you can benefit from exfoliating your scalp. Whether or not you realize it, your scalp is an extension of your complexion, and it needs to be healthy and properly cleansed in order to produce healthy strands. Over time, things like excess oil, dead skin cells, and leftover hair care product can build up on your scalp. Slough these things away a few times each month with the L’Oréal Paris Everfresh Micro-Exfoliating Scrub.


We often tout the importance of using a weekly or bi-weekly deep conditioning treatment when you have colored strands, but they can be equally beneficial for virgin hair. A couple of times a week, swap out your regular conditioner for the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil Rapid Reviver Deep Conditioner. It’s easier and quicker to use than you might think—just leave the conditioner on for one minute, rinse out, and go about the rest of your hair routine as usual.


After you step out of the shower, apply a nourishing hair treatment or serum to your damp strands. Doing so after every wash can help keep your virgin hair looking healthy and hydrated. Simply apply a dime-sized amount of the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Oil-In-Cream onto the lengths and ends of your hair, then style however you please. You can also use a bit of the same product on dry hair as a finishing touch to help tame flyaways and smooth frizz.


Even though your strands haven’t been touched by any chemicals or dyes, you can still go beyond the basics to keep your hair looking its healthiest.


A steaming hot shower may feel good, but it doesn’t do your hair any favors. Turn the dial down just a tad (lukewarm water is best) when you’re washing your hair in order to prevent its natural oils from being stripped away.


This is an unspoken shower rule, and it’s important! After you apply your conditioner, let it sit on your hair for a minute or two before washing out. This way, the product has more time to do its thing on your strands. We recommend doing something else while you’re waiting, like washing your face or shaving your legs, then coming back to your conditioner.

Next: What Is Hair Porosity and How Should It Impact Your Hair Routine?

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