Synthetic vs. Human Hair: Which Is Best?


Although I have a fabulous curly natural coif, I love to experiment with weaves, wigs and extensions. Until recently, however, my weave world was limited to human hair.

All that changed last Saturday. As I was thumbing through magazines looking for inspiration, I stumbled upon a picture of a lush curly hairstyle that was created using synthetic hair. My immediate reaction was shock because it seems like now-a-days everyone uses Remy hair and 100% human hair imported from India, Malaysia and Italy.

Needless to say, my curiosity was piqued so I sent a text to one of my weave-connoisseur friends posing the question: “How do you feel about using synthetic hair?”

“Ew! Don’t use that,” she responded. “I have used synthetic hair in the past, but I prefer human hair because it looks and feels more natural.”

While that opinion is shared by many, I believe a large part of the hair experience is how you take care of your weave and wigs, not necessarily whether they are made of synthetic or human hair.

Team Human Hair

Celebrity hairstylist Amoy Pitters shared similar sentiments with my friend on synthetic hair being an “absolute no-no,” and she says she only uses imported human hair on her clients.

Imported human hair can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars and with proper care (cleansing, wearing heat protectant when using heat and nurturing the hair like it’s your own), this hair could last for up to a year. But for some of the more frugal beauties, human hair from a local beauty supply store is the next-best-thing.

There are many shoppers who stray from using synthetic hair because they want the luxury of hair that looks and feels more natural to them. However, anti-synthetic hair weave wearers should know there are loopholes in how human hair labeled.

“People get confused and think that as long as a brand of hair has some type of human hair in it, they can say on the package 100% human hair,” Amoy says. “You should do your research because they could mix that hair with a synthetic blend.” This was especially fascinating to me because some of my friends who swear off synthetic hair, wear it without even knowing it.

Tags: Beauty, hair