What is yaki hair? Long story short - it is a type of extension that mimics the look and feel of chemically-straightened textured hair. Yaki hair offers a different kind of glamour based on emerging trends and the urge to switch things up. Hair extensions have been trending on the style scene for decades. In fact, the global hair extension, wig, and weave market is expected to grow by a significant 8% in the next two to three years. You can also rock the look on natural hair (details below)!
Big, dramatic, luxurious hair is a high-fashion favorite, and a low maintenance, low damage way to change up your look. We love the creativity that wigs, weaves, and extensions allow. You have options of varying lengths to a wild array of colors that won't harm your natural hair through bleaching and processing. However, what we don't love is the lack of inclusion in today's faux hair industry.
Pure REMY hair extensions are by far the most popular variety and tend to look the best when it comes to blending naturally and seamlessly. The problem with these wefts is that they really only work for Type 1 hair, and sometimes Type 2 hair. REMY hair extensions tend to be ultra-straight and sleek. That hair texture doesn't blend well for curly-haired ladies! Unless you're looking to channel the extra apparent clip-in hair extensions of an early 2000's scene kid, REMY hair extensions won't work well for Type 3 and Type 4 hair, regardless of the application method. At RevAir, we believe in hair and beauty inclusivity, and the right for every person to look and feel absolutely stunning.
Enter Yaki hair. We promise you'll be #obsessed.
What is Yaki Hair?
Yaki hair is reinventing the faux hair industry. This gorgeous weave is the best quality hair extension for Type 3 and Type 4 hair. The texture of Yaki hair is designed to look like chemically-relaxed, Caribbean, or Afro-Caribbean hair. Within that framework, Yaki hair has a wide range so each weft is exactly suited to your unique hair type.
Best of all, Yaki hair never comes from a single donor, but multiple sources. Therefore, it's far better quality and more sustainable than other hair extensions. Yaki hair can be purely synthetic or REMY varieties. REMY Yaki hair tends to be of the highest quality and less prone to tangles.
However, all Yaki varieties are great for sculpting, styling, and creating dynamic new looks with minimal impact on your natural hair. This can be a great alternative to protective styles and a way to grow out natural hair without any awkward growth stage.
Haven't heard enough about ethical hair extensions yet? You might be surprised to know that, as the name suggests, Yaki hair comes from wild yak hair, sustainably sourced throughout Asia. Through the artisan processing of the hair, the texture is designed to resemble hair extensions for Type 3 and Type 4 hair.
Think of Yaki hair as referring to the hair's texture, while REMY hair refers to the grade of hair (human-sourced). Yaki also comes in human hair varieties and is often sourced outside of Asia to bring business and revenue to Afro-Caribbean communities.
Yaki hair comes in four main varieties: straight, un-relaxed or pressed straight, more natural (no chemical process), and straight/relaxed.
In essence, Yaki hair is for natural hair lovers who are looking to maintain their natural texture and style, while adding extra length, volume, or fun colors and highlights. This type of weft doesn't look as straight as traditional REMY hair. Yaki hair comes in extensions, weaves, and wigs suited to 4b and 4c hair texture. An expert stylist will be able to match your hair type to the correct weft and blend in new extensions for a natural, seamless look.
Yaki Hair Application
The Yaki hair application process is similar to most hair extensions. Chat with your local stylist about their experience in working with Type 3 and Type 4. Then, get ready for the best hair appointment of your life!
Most stylists prefer hand-tied Yaki hair extensions for a truly natural look. This application method tends to have the best blending. This is also a good alternative to liquid glue often used to secure wefts. If you've found your scalp is more on the sensitive side, consider exploring other application methods that won't leave you itchy and irritated.
Of course, wefts can also be applied as weave by plaiting the hair flat against the scalp. Clip-ins and pre-bonded extensions, along with the magic of double-sided tape, are just a few of the tricks and tips a natural hairstylist uses to achieve a truly Instagram-worthy look. Lastly, wigs are a great all-over coverage option for fabulously natural style while growing out short natural hair or simply when looking to change up your style. These can be sewn in by a professional or designed for more temporary wear.
Be sure to let your stylist know the anticipated life expectancy of your hair extensions (special occasion glam or a new look for the season?) as well as your lifestyle (active or more of a shopaholic kind of beauty guru?). This will help them recommend the best way to rock your locks.
Caring for Yaki Hair
Caring for Yaki hair is fairly low-maintenance and doesn't need to be a lengthy at-home salon process. The best Yaki hair product to have on hand is a high-quality, sulfate-free shampoo to wash your gorgeous locks. Yaki hair should be washed 2-3x per week to maintain that awesome shine. Try a natural hair conditioner you can make at home, like a DIY avocado masque or aloe vera hair scrub.
If the water in your home tends to be more on the mineral side, invest in a water softener or use bottled water to rinse your hair. Remember not to massage your Yaki hair or apply conditioner directly to the application site for beads and tracks. Brush your hair out promptly after rinsing and avoid heat treating your delicate locks.
You can also try a co-wash for curly hair that promotes natural hydration and locks in moisture. Co-washing, or "conditioner washing," involves using a deep conditioning product specifically designed as a co-wash for natural hair in lieu of your usual shampoo routine. Co-washing for textured hair is a great way to avoid stripping away your hair's natural oils from scrubbing, lathering, and rinsing. Instead, co-washing locks in moisture and protects the root and cuticle frizz causing damage. Some natural hair beauties rely on co-washing for every wash day, while others stick to a 1 and 2 routine － that is, washing hair 3x per week, once with regular shampoo, and twice with the co-washing method.
If you’re in need of a quick post-workout spritz, shake a bottle of coconut oil, aloe vera extract, and your favorite essential oil as your very own leave-in conditioner and dry shampoo. Avoid tight hairstyles at the gym and opt for loose buns, low ponytails, or braids to give your Yaki hair some stretch and bounce. It's a good idea to err on the gentle side when brushing out Yaki hair and give each section a quick spritz to detangle before brushing.
To extend the life of your Yaki hair extensions, opt for a heatless styling method like RevAir's fabulous reverse air hairdryer. Create amazing styles, waves, and shine without damaging your beautiful Yaki hair. A gentle reverse air treatment can even be used to create a relaxed or straightened texture without any chemical processing. Go heatless for life with the best hair "dryer" you've ever experienced! Our reverse air hairdryer is great for recovering hair that's been damaged or fried and amazing for promoting long-term hair health for curly hair.
When properly cared for, Yaki hair has a long lifespan (approximately one year or more!) and can be reimagined into effortless styles like buns, half updo's, and loose ponytails. You can even add a pop of faux color for a trendy peek-a-boo effect. This makes Yaki hair a quick, easy style that looks as if you've just spent hours in a salon chair.
How to Rock a Yaki Look on Your Own Hair
The RevAir can be used to play around with all of the different Yaki results depending on the settings used! Particularly for those with type 3-4 curls, there are options to the degree of stretched your end result will be that can be achieved by using different heat and tension settings on the RevAir.
Using the low (I) heat on the Wand and a lower tension setting on the Base unit (2-3), you can dry your hair for a “kinky Yaki” finish.
Using the low (I) heat on the Wand and a bit higher tension setting on the Base unit (4-5), you can dry your hair for a regular “Yaki” or textured and stretched finish.
Using the high (II) heat on the Wand and the highest tension setting on the Base unit (7), you can dry your hair for a straighter, stretched and smoother “Yaki” finish.
Check out this video with RevAir partner Tia Streaty for an example!
With bold, exciting innovations in natural hair care and even bolder natural hair goddesses paving the way for a more dynamic, inclusive hair, health, and beauty world, the time to embrace your inner dazzle and shine is now. Share your favorite Yaki hairstyles with us and let us know your best Yaki hair care secrets!
Got questions on taking care of natural hair, growing long, luxurious curly locks, or simply finding the best styling products for your unique hair type and texture? Ask our experts! The RevAir family is always happy to lend a beauty tip or two and keep you looking stunning.