Is your weave faux real? Bargain weaves may be a hair don't - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Is your weave faux real? Bargain weaves may be a hair don't

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Wigs and weaves can cost women a fortune, but bargain hunting for a hair-do can quickly become a hair don't. Wigs and weaves can cost women a fortune, but bargain hunting for a hair-do can quickly become a hair don't.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC) - Did your mother ever say, "You get what you pay for"? When it comes to hair extensions, she is right.

Wigs and weaves can cost women a fortune, but bargain hunting for a hair-do can quickly become a hair don't.

"It makes you feel beautiful," said the certified cosmetologist and self-proclaimed Queen of All Weaves, Brandi Covington-Windom. "If you're on a budget, you want to make sure you're purchasing the right hair."

In this case, the right hair is human hair.

Most human hair extensions fall into two categories: virgin hair, which is completely unprocessed, and Remy hair, which is processed with the cuticles intact.

Remy extensions are considered the gold standard and prices start at more than $100 a pack. A WMC Action News 5 producer tipped us to Instagram ads offering Remy hair extensions for less than half the price, we took our weave queen on a shopping spree.

Armed with a hidden camera, the WMC Action News 5 Investigators visited several beauty and wig stores to see if Remy hair extensions could really be purchased for a fraction of the cost.

In one store, a package that was labeled "Remy-quality, 100% human hair" was found for less than $20. When asked, the clerk admitted to us it was not human hair. The clerk said anything under $20 is anything but Remy. The clerk said the package was actually a blend. He also said customers can become confused.

The clerk said it could not be human hair despite what the packaging said on a Wink weave purchased from the Vivica A. Fox hair collection.

When it was put up against a curling iron...

"It's not 100 percent human hair. The hair has melted," said Covington-Windom.

In an email to the WMC Action News 5 investigators, a spokesperson with the Vivica A. Fox Hair Collection wrote:

"Vivica's Wink is a blend. Meaning that it is not 100% all human hair. It is mixed with 100% human hair and protein hair. To avoid confusion, we changed the packaging a year ago to reflect that more clearly. We do consider Vivica's Wink to be ‘Remi Quality' regarding the texture. Also, Vivica's Wink can be curled upwards of 365 degrees. If the hair burned while you were curling it, it means that the heat was too high."

According to the FDA, the agency does not have the resources or authority under the law to approve product labeling before it hits store shelves. It is the manufacturer's and/or distributor's responsibility to ensure that products are labeled properly. Failure to comply with labeling requirements may result in a misbranded product.

"They're misleading women and even little girls who are interested in getting hair extensions," said Covington-Windom.

The FDA can bring regulatory action against a manufacturer if the label is false or misleading.

The lesson here: if the price is too good to be true, it probably is.

"It's not going to be presentable so, pretty much you've wasted your hard-earned money," said Covington-Windom.

Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance says if you purchased a product you do not believe lives up to the standards stipulated on the package, file a complaint.

Experts say if a weave appears to be too shiny or plastic looking, stay way.  They also say you can spot a fake by the smell.  They say synthetic hair smells plastic.  Touch and smell the weave if you can.

Also, they say poor weaves can mat up after two days.  You can also spot quality because 100 percent human hair does not melt.

Experts also say anything $20 or less is usually a blend.  True Remy weaves can go for more than $100.  Anything $10 or less is typically not human hair.

Do you think you can tell the real weave from the faux weave? Click here to take our quiz and test your skills: www.wmcactionnews5.com/category/282915/faux-hair-quiz?clienttype=generic&mobilecgbypass

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