The Choice Between Human Hair Wig Vs Synthetic

Image of assorted wigs of different styles and colors included dyed, curly and natural hair styles and hairdresser tools

Choosing between a human hair wig and a synthetic wig may often be compartmentalized into cost and natural look comparisons. While indeed the cost difference between the two is significant, there are several other factors that come into play when looking at the key differences between them. 

Understanding these key differences will help you choose based on your preference and more importantly, your lifestyle. 

Natural Vs Synthetic: Aesthetic

When synthetic wigs first came out, it was easy to distinguish the difference between the two with just a simple look. Human hair wigs will naturally (no pun intended) win in the looks department. Synthetic wigs tend to look shinier and “fake” to the general public. However, with modern technology we now have synthetic wigs that are as close to the “real thing”. You also now have ways to make a wig look less shiny so that it mimics that natural look. 

If You’re Into Styling…

Considering the material of synthetic wigs, they are not as tolerant to heat compared to human hair wigs which are made of keratin. Using high-heat styling tools will damage synthetic wigs. There are ways to style synthetic wigs but you will have to go through the extra steps to make sure you don’t end up damaging them. 

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Human Hair Needs More Care

As with all things natural, there is more maintenance needed to make sure those strands don’t end up in a bad shape. Like ordinary hair, you will need to wash, condition, and styled regularly to keep it in a good state. Synthetic wigs hold their style longer and may not need as much maintenance although this does not mean they are totally free of maintenance needs. You will still need to maintain your synthetic wigs but they are generally able to last longer without much care compared to natural human hair wigs. 

Human Hair Wigs Last Longer

This is a generally accepted idea, that quality natural human hair wigs last longer. However, I think there should be an emphasis on the word “quality”. If the wig shows a good wig cap construction as well as meticulously arranged hair strands, then you know it will definitely last a lengthy lifespan. Cheaper synthetic wigs last shorter but there are now modern variations that are pricier but definitely lasting almost as long as human hair wigs.

Humidity and Hair

We mentioned earlier that it’s not just about personal preference but also about lifestyle. If you live somewhere humid, you will want to consider a synthetic hair wig because it handles the humid climate better. Natural human hair will frizz up or lose shape the same way ordinary hair does. Synthetic wigs will maintain shape even with the hotter climate.

Here’s a quick table to help you visualize those differences mentioned above:

FactorHuman Hair WigSynthetic Wig
Natural Look & FeelMore natural appearance and textureLess natural, varies with fiber quality
Styling VersatilityCan be styled with heat toolsLimited styling, heat resistance varies
MaintenanceRequires more care, like natural hairLow maintenance, holds style longer
Durability & LifespanLonger-lasting with proper careShorter lifespan, depending on quality
CostGenerally more expensiveMore budget-friendly
ClimateReacts to humidity like ordinary hairholds style in humid environments
Color OptionsCan be dyed to match desired colorWide range, but cannot be altered easily
Weight & ComfortHeavier, may be less comfortableLighter, more comfortable for daily

Why Not Both

Even if you are comparing the two for what you will end up buying, you will find that a lot of wig-wearing women will actually have both types of wigs in their collection. For example, some women will be wearing their human hair wig throughout most of the year but switch up to synthetic wigs during the hotter days of the year. Some may even have multiple synthetic wig collections which they wear most of the time and natural human hair wig for special occasions. This is where preference and lifestyle once again fits into your decision making. You will want to find a wig that you know you can handle in terms of maintenance as well as use on a daily basis. Right now, synthetic wigs are starting to become closer and closer to natural hair wigs in terms of features. However, the closer you are to the real deal, the higher the price goes. Ultimately, there is no wrong choice as long as it fits your personal needs. 

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