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Chinese, Indian, and Cambodian Hair: What's the Difference?

Ever gone to the wig or weave shop and got confused about what hair to buy? Curly, straight, kinky,

so many curl patterns and textures to choose from. What's the right choice to make?

Before you snag that wig or weave, there are a few things to look out for. One of them is the origin of the hair. In this blog post, we discuss three different hairs — Cambodian, Chinese, and Indian hairs — and major on their differences and how to make better bundle or wig choices.


First up, we have:

Chinese Hair

Most of the hair that you see labeled as "Virgin," "Remy," "Brazilian hair," "Malaysian hair," "Russian hair," "Chinese hair," "Peruvian hair," or "Euroasian hair" is hardly genuine Raw Indian or Remy hair. Almost 90% of available human hair extensions are processed hair from China imported from India as fallen raw hair. Known in the Local Indian language as GOLI and Thuppa, fallen hair comes from Indian ladies every morning after combing their natural hair, also referred to as non-Remy hair from India. Fallen hair is dead hair that is collected from hair salons and hairbrushes.


Some of this hair could even be mixed with animal or synthetic fibers. Most suppliers use non-Remy hair instead of single-drawn hair from one donor.

What does this mean? It means they chemically strip the cuticle by soaking the hair in acid, process it for texture, and color it with dyes. Chinese hair is laden with chemicals and preservatives to aid bulk production and fast shipping.

They also coat the hair with silicone, which makes it temporarily tangle-free and lustrous. This silicone washes off quickly, and the hair soon becomes dry, stiff, and matted, so you could love the hair once you buy it and hate it right after the first wash or treatment.

Over time, the hair becomes damaged and too weak to handle heat-styling or color applications; they are left looking unnatural and undesirable.

Chinese hair may cause severe skin irritation and scalp allergies. It is often identified by its smell of corn chips; some even say stinky feet or just a pungent chemical smell. No surprise here.

When shopping for extensions, watch out for Chinese hair masquerading. Each month, one Chinese company imports 10-12 tons of fallen hair, which costs them as low as $50 per kg. After processing them, they sell anywhere between $20-$40 for long hair. Remember to perform a sniff test before your purchase. Strong chemical smell equals processed hair,

and neat, natural scent equals raw or virgin hair.

Click the link below to see the exact process:


Next up is:

Indian Hair

As you probably already know, Indian hair is the cheapest hair source. Why? Indian women go to pagodas and temples to shave their heads to pray for luck, success, and happy and peaceful homes.

Afterward, the owners of these pagodas and temples collect all the hairs together and sell them to factories in bulk. Indian hair offers a variety of options: from straight to kinky to wavy, but there are a few downsides you probably need to take note of.

First, this hair's origin is from a little over a hundred to thousands of women. Sometimes, the hair is mixed and comes from different people, the cuticles are not aligned.

The workers at the hair factory then stretch the hair out into longer strands and begin production. But, due to hand-made workmanship, they are unable to clarify the directions of all the hair.

In the end, the hair gets tangled, mixed, and has a kind of shedding.

Since Indian hair is reasonably priced and easily accessible, hundreds of mixed and synthetic hairs are produced to fool customers. They could even sell a lot of fallen hair (hair from combs and brushes, leftover scraps from the wedding process, etc.) Therefore, it is very important to buy from a trusted professional that has the experience and relationship with India to ensure you are getting top-quality Indian hair. Each bundle should be from one donor with cuticles aligned to prevent matting. Your bundles should last for many years if taken care of properly. At Maete Kenea we have over 24 years of experience and we pride ourselves on selecting top-quality hair.

Each of our bundles is from one donor!!


This can be a downside for some and a plus for others, in hot, humid weather, Indian hair can swell and turn frizzy. To prolong its use, get anti-frizz products and pay more attention to your hair care routine.

Indian hair shares some features with Cambodian hair. It is very soft and coarse but has a higher, shinier luster, instantly making the wearer appear healthy.

One prominent feature of Indian hair is:

Light Texture

Another reason Indian hair has been winning the market space for ages is due to its light, airy, and bouncy texture. It doesn't matter if you buy Indian hair with straight or wavy style; it all looks very natural and blends well with African/Black hair.

Indian hair is every woman's friend. It is versatile, easy to find, and affordable to get in the market.

It's likely to be much coarser in texture than its counterparts, and it's perfect for blending with relaxed African American strands. Little wonder why it's a rising star in the extensions market and ranks high on the list.

Indian hair has a lot of body and bounce, and the amount satisfies almost all customers. One more strength of Indian hair is its low-maintenance option. You don't need to pay more (getting a new extension) to look good when you can keep it for many years with proper care. So, why not?


Indian hair factory


And finally:

Cambodian Hair

This is the hair that went to Oxford. Cambodian hair is coarse in texture and blends well with

African American women's hair.


The thick and rough surface, while being fine in strand, is perfect for styling because it can hold the curls very well and for a very long time. It's no wonder why African American women love it.

Cambodian hair can even withstand a great deal of damage from bleaching and dying as long as you take good care of it, use quality coloring materials, and have the service performed by a professional.

Because of its coarse texture, it can hold curls for about 2 weeks, while other hair types don't stand a chance. It also withstands heat damage more than most hair types on the block.

Cambodian hair has a vast range of patterns, ranging from straight to tightly coiled—another reason Cambodian hair is a super awesome blend for textured hair.

Even with its voluminous texture, it's effortlessly lightweight and comfortable to rock all year round! Cambodian hair is the holy grail of comfort and versatility.

Cambodian hair makes the rounds for its:

Natural color

Cambodian hair tends to be mildly black—an originally natural color. Vendors call this color 1b or off black, and if it's in a softer black, you'll find it as color 2.


Typical smell

Did you know you can tell hairs apart by their smell? Raw/Virgin hair and mixed/synthetic hair have distinct scents, so the typical smell of Virgin Cambodian hair can help distinguish it from its synthetic counterparts. Once you get your order, check for the smell. If you smell a clean and natural scent, you've got raw/virgin hair.

Easy styling

Cambodian hair is a stylist's dream. It cooperates perfectly with coloring, bleaching, and other forms of styling. While Vietnamese hair is known for its softness, Cambodian hair is known for its three textures and smoothness. So, it doesn't get tangled up and drastically reduces combing and detangling time.


Unlike Indian women, Cambodian women don't donate their hair for religious purposes. However, the country is still recovering from the effects of the Vietnam War and mass genocide.

As a result, the country is poor, and the women sell their hair for money. Over at MaeteKenea, we are deeply concerned about their well-being and will be donating 3% of our profits to the fight against poverty and women and sex trafficking.


MaeteKenea uses Cambodian and Indian hair, never hair from China. We only source quality hair from trusted vendors that have a valued relationship with us. Our Kinky curly and curly textures are almost always from Cambodia because they easily blend with African/Black textures of hair.

Indian textures, on the other hand, usually come in straight, wavy, and curly but have more shine and silkiness. They blend well with African/Black textures, especially relaxed hair, but have a higher luster.

Remember, be extremely careful about your source. Stick to trustworthy vendors that sell 100% quality hair. We hope we've been able to help you make a more informed decision. We're always ready to supply you with the best extensions that will adorn and, far more importantly, protect your crown.

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