Human Hair and Synthetic Hair

June 09, 2022

Determining what kind of wig to purchase can be a daunting choice. There is a lot of terminology that can be confusing, especially for first time wig wearers. One of the first factors in the decision making process, is to determine if human hair or synthetic hair is best for the individual. It is a common misconception that human hair is ‘the best’ and will look more natural than synthetic. Let’s break down the primary differences between the two.

Synthetic wigs are designed by the manufacturer to look a certain way. The synthetic hair, or fibers, are shaped and sewn into the wig cap to represent a specific hair style. The hair style of synthetics is not meant to be changed. Synthetic wigs should not have heat applied to them, as they will melt! (There are synthetic wigs that can tolerate heat and be styled. Read more about heat friendly synthetic wigs here.) Since synthetic fibers do not respond the same way that human hair does when cut, cutting them can result in loss of style. Therefore, someone wanting a consistent hair style would find a synthetic wig convenient, as the hair style is built into the wig; making the hair style low maintenance. It is possible to tweak synthetic styles without ruining their look. For instance, bangs can be trimmed and necklines can be evened up. For best results, a synthetic style should be taken to a professional who is familiar with them.  Synthetic wigs are also more budget friendly than human hair alternatives. A synthetic shoulder length or shorter would be expected to last a year with regular wearing, where longer synthetics don’t last quite as long. Caring for a synthetic style does require special shampoo and conditioner, but washing them is a simple process. After washing, the wig should be put on a wig stand to air dry over night. Once dry, the style may need a little shake or comb, but is ready to be worn again!

Human hair wigs are not as low maintenance as synthetic options. They do not have any style built into them and are best to be thought of as a blank slate. After washing, human hair wigs need to be combed, blown dry, have product added to them, and heat styled. The style possibilities are endless with human hair, the individual just needs to be comfortable and dedicated to styling hair. Human hair wigs are usually more expensive than synthetic ones because the manufacturer has to sort and process the donated hair before making it into a wig. A human hair wig of any length would be expected to last about two years, if taken care of appropriately.



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