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The Differences Between Human Hair & Synthetic Hair

Which is right for you? Maybe both. Human Hair and Synthetic Hair have advantages and limitations which make them the right choice at different times. Both are great choices for you depending on your budget, time, and needs. Optimally, you will choose to have both on hand as they each have their pluses! Here are the facts so you can know what circumstance is most beneficial for each.

Human Hair

Human Hair offers the most natural look and feel.  It is remarkably soft with a shine and movement that is not easily duplicated in synthetic hair.  It is also extremely versatile.  Human Hair can be cut and styled to suit your personal tastes.  And while it can be a more expensive pick, with the proper care, it is also more durable and can last over a year.

There are generally four basic types of human hair used in wigs: Chinese, Indonesian, Indian and European/Caucasian.  The majority of wigs are made from Asian hair.  Chinese hair has a thicker denier (unit of fineness) which results in the hair being extremely straight.  It is a bit more resistant to curl and can therefore be harder to style.  Indonesian hair is found in greater supply and is less costly -- it can often be found in ethnic style wigs.  Indian hair has thinner denier close to that of European hair but with a bit more texture. European hair is the most sought after for its fine denier but due to its increasingly limited supply in the marketplace, it is more expensive. 

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Human Hair is by far the superior choice if quality is the only consideration

The origin of the hair is not the only factor, however.  Processing technique is directly related to the strength and quality of the end-product.  The chemicals needed, to sanitize and strip away the original color to produce different curl patterns and colors, are very strong and can affect the integrity of the hair depending on method used.  When a higher quality of chemicals and a more artful approach to processing is used, the results are higher quality product and thus higher price.

Remy human hair is considered a premium option.  Hair follicles are kept running in the same direction when collecting and crafting the wig or hairpiece.  With cuticles all running in the same direction, tangling is greatly reduced and hair looks and feels silkier.  Beware imposters with suspiciously low-priced product – on Wigs.com you’ll only find high-grade Remy hair.

It is extremely important to use care products specifically formulated for highly processed human hair.  Also keep in mind that wearable hair does not benefit from naturally occurring oils from the scalp.  It is important to hydrate and condition hair daily.

Human hair is by far the superior choice if quality is the only factor.  Other than price, the main drawback to human hair is required maintenance -- as with natural hair, it requires effort.  For many, daily styling is actually preferable as it allows for more control over the appearance as well as a sense of normalcy that can come with the daily hair styling ritual.Keep in mind that human hair does not come out of the box ready to wear.  You may choose to have it customized by a professional stylist to get exactly the look you like. 

It does take a bit of extra effort… but is worth it!

Wigs Remy/Premium Hairpieces Care for Human Hair
Wigs Remy/Premium Hairpieces Care for Human Hair

Styles shown: Bravo by Raquel Welch, Sophia by Jon Renau, easiFringe by easihair

Synthetic Hair

With technological advances, synthetic hair has come a long way in recent years.  In some cases it is difficult to tell the difference -- the denier and texture are such that they feel almost like human hair.  As a matter of fact, with some of the higher quality synthetic pieces, you would never know they were not natural human hair if you didn’t have the human hair right next to it to compare!

The most appealing aspect to synthetic hair is it can often be worn right out of the box with little or no styling.  The fiber used has "memory" for wave, curl and volume which lets hair bounce back into place with minimal effort -- the curl pattern is permanently set.  It can even hold up in bad weather and can guarantee no drooping or frizzing.

However, what synthetic hair offers in ease, it lacks in versatility.  It cannot be styled to look many different ways like its human hair counterparts. Only special Heat Friendly synthetic hair is heat styleable to change the curl pattern. Keep in mind, even the heat friendly fiber can be difficult to style as synthetic fiber is more resistant to change. Synthetic hair is also less durable than human hair. With proper care you can expect synthetic hair wigs and hairpieces to last about 4-6 months – heat friendly synthetic hair 2- 3 months. It is important to follow our care recommendations in order to get the optimal life span from your hair!

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Synthetic hair can often be worn right out of the box with little or no styling

The limited versatility of synthetic hair becomes less of a consideration when you factor in the affordability. You may choose to have a wide variety of styles on hand and ready to wear!

Wigs Heat-Friendly Hairpieces Care for Synthetic Hair
Wigs Heat-Friendly Hairpieces Care for Synthetic Hair

Styles shown: Voltage by Raquel Welch, Chic Layers by Daisy Fuentes WOW, Stylemaker Hair Wrap by PCP