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What is the Difference Between Synthetic Hair and Human Hair?

What is the Difference Between Synthetic Hair and Human Hair?

Choosing the hair type for wigs is one of the most important decisions you make. You’ll have to decide between human vs. synthetic hair. Each hair type comes with its benefits and is ideal for wigs to conceal hair loss. Hairstylists typically choose to stock both options for their clients to give them a variety of choices.

While human hair gives you a seamless and natural finish, synthetic hair is more affordable as an entry-level product in the wig industry. Many clients jump between the two or choose to stick to synthetic or human hair.

Synthetic Hair vs. Human Hair: What Are the Differences?

To the naked eye, it can be difficult to tell the difference between synthetic vs. human hair. Unless you’re a hairstylist or expert, you likely won’t be able to tell the difference unless you’re up close and personal with the hairpiece. 

The difference between synthetic hair and human hair is often why clients end up preferring one type over the other for their toupee. Neither is a bad option, and both have their benefits. We’re rounding up some of the differences between synthetic hair vs. human hair so that you decide which one works best for you or your client.

1.  The price difference between synthetic and human hair

The most obvious difference between synthetic vs. human hair is the price difference. Synthetic hair wigs are at a more attainable price level than their human hair counterparts. The cost of human hair continues to rise as it becomes harder to find untreated human hair. As this is a problem that synthetic hair doesn’t face, it has a more consistent and attainable price point.

If you want a luxury hair system with the most natural finish, a human hair system is the right choice for you. Although synthetic hair sits at a more budget-friendly price point, it can be a better choice for your specific needs to choose a human hair system. 

2. The touch and feel of each hair type

The difference between synthetic and human hair also lies in the touch and feel. Synthetic hair doesn’t have the same softness and smoothness as human hair, and it’s mainly noticeable when brushing. This difference is noticeable even with high-quality synthetic hair.

When you look closely at synthetic hair vs. human hair, you’ll notice the difference in the fibers. The plastic fibers of synthetic hair systems are pulled and stretched through a narrower hole, leaving behind more twists in the hair. By comparison, human hair has a protein structure that is smoother and doesn’t go through as much strain as synthetic hair. 

Overall, human hair wigs are more comfortable to wear. If you’re intending to wear the wig every day, human hair wigs are a better option.

3. How long they can last

Human hair wigs can last a year or even more with good maintenance whereas synthetic hair can last for only 4-6 months with daily wear.

Over time, human hair will start to fade as it loses its natural shine and luster. On the other hand, synthetic fiber won’t fade as it is chemically treated to maintain the same appearance as when you first got it.

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4. What you can do with your human or synthetic hair system

In practical terms, your hair type will determine what you can do with your wig.

With human hair, you have the flexibility to dye or treat the hairpiece. You won’t get this flexibility with a synthetic hair system as it can’t be re-dyed after it is originally dyed to meet the client’s preferences.

However, it’s also harder to style human hair than synthetic hair. With synthetic hair, it’s chemically treated to make it easier to work with when styling. If you’re looking to regularly curl or style the wig, synthetic hair might be the perfect choice for you. Wearing a synthetic hair wig can help protect your natural hair and reduce damage if you regularly use heat products to style your hair.



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