Human Hair vs Synthetic Hair Extensions: Which is Better?

Written by: RiRi Hair Extensions Admin



Time to read 8 min

If you're considering getting hair extensions but not sure what to choose, we've got the answers! Human hair extensions and synthetic hair extensions both have their own benefits, and the best choice comes down to a number of things.

Hair extensions improve more than how you look; they can completely shift how you feel. Whether it is synthetic hair extensions or human hair extensions, they can all improve your image and your self-confidence. 

A good hair day is a good day!

The only question is, what are the differences between synthetic hair extensions and human hair extensions? And which ones are better?

Thankfully, we know all there is about extensions, so we created this guide with the answers. Keep on reading to learn about how to find the best hair extensions for you – whether it be synthetic or real human hair!

What Are Synthetic Hair Extensions Made Of?

Synthetic hair extensions have come a long way since the old days when it was obvious that someone's wig was not real. 

Nowadays, it is very difficult to tell the difference between synthetic hair extensions and real hair – so long as the quality is good!

Synthetic hair, whether that be extensions, wigs or hair pieces, is crafted from man-made fibres, often acrylic and/or nylon. 

The strands are chemically treated to look and feel as close to real hair as possible, just at a fraction of the price.

Price of Synthetic Hair Extensions

Of course, synthetic hair extensions come in at different prices depending on a) the quality and b) where you buy them from.

The higher the quality of synthetic materials used, the more expensive the extensions will be. You're paying more for getting more. The retailer or salon will also play a big part in cost.

If you're purchasing from a high-end boutique, you can expect to pay top dollar, but this doesn't always ring true! 

You can most definitely find great-quality extensions that are affordable – you just have to know where to look (like us here at RiRi).

Benefits of Synthetic Hair Extensions

Perhaps the best benefit of synthetic extensions is that they're much cheaper than human hair options. 

If it's your first time trying hair extensions, and you're not really sure how often you want to wear them or how to choose the best type, then synthetic hair is your best bet.

They're also ideal if you're looking for a short-term hair fix, like for an event. They won't cost you the world, but they'll certainly give you what you're after.

Synthetic extensions also come pre-styled, either straight, curly, or wavy, so there's no need for any heat. 

The waves and curls are designed to stay curly, unlike human hair extensions, which need to be restyled often. This is because the fibres are created with a "memory" like technology that permanently holds the curls.

This is why synthetic extensions are ideal for situations like movie sets where there is bad weather or the chance of the hair getting wet. There is no frizzing, no sloppy drooping, and no need to "touch up" the hair.

Downside of Synthetic Hair Extensions

One downside of synthetic hair extensions is that you have very little versatility to work with. Let's say that you want your hair to be curly one day and then straightened the next, then you would have to purchase two sets of hair extensions.

Using heat is not recommended on synthetic hair, unless otherwise stated so. The acrylic and nylon materials used aren't made to withstand high heat from styling tools; it can cause the outer coating to melt, leaving a frizzy mess.

BUT since synthetics are often fairly cheap, it shouldn't cost you too much to purchase a few different styles.

Additionally, synthetic hair is much more fragile than human hair; therefore, it will not last as long. 

Regular synthetic wigs can last up to five or six months if you are lucky, and heat-stylable ones will only last two to three months. Synthetic extensions will maybe last around the same time if you're wearing them daily.

The better care you take of the hair, the longer it will last.

What Are Human Hair Extensions Made Of?

On the other end of the debate, human hair extensions are the most natural-looking option, so if you want to pretend that the hair is yours, you'll probably prefer these.

For many people, human hair is ideal, even if it has a higher price point.

There are four main types of human hair extensions:

  • Chinese
  • Indian
  • Indonesian
  • Latin
  • European/Caucasian

Most human hair extensions are made from Asian hair, as it has the thickest strands with the most volume. The same goes for wigs, hairpieces, and other options. 

Chinese hair is the hardest to style because of its denseness and is best used with straight hairstyles.

Indian hair is a bit less dense, yet it has a lot of strength with more texture. Indonesian hair is the most affordable type, as it is the most accessible, and has great quality. 

Lastly, European/Caucasian hair is the most expensive because it is much harder to find.

Remy Human Hair

Contrary to popular belief, the origin of the hair is not the most important factor when purchasing extensions. The most important part is what the company does with the hair once it is cut.

While creating human hair extensions, the cuticles must face in the same direction. This prevents damage to the hair and is easier to style.

Remy human hair is the highest quality hair on the market, because of the alignment of hair follicles and the low processing they do to the hair. It creates much more natural-looking extensions and wigs, but the time it takes to source and craft these hair pieces is long - hence the higher price tag.

Benefits of Human Hair Extensions

If it wasn't already evident, human extensions and wigs offer a totally natural option – it makes sense, since they are made with real hair. They'll blend more seamlessly with your natural hair, making it more difficult to tell the difference.

Human hair also lasts much longer than synthetic options, and they're more suited to prolonged and regular wear. They'll last you at least 12 months (if not more with proper care), so you won't have to worry about buying a new piece every few months.

While it's still not recommended to heat style or dye human hair, it's a little more forgiving than synthetic hair. Any process that uses heat or chemicals is obviously not good for any type of hair, but human hair can tolerate a little more.

Only ever use a low heat (nothing above 180 degrees C) and have a professional colour your extensions.

Downsides of Real Human Hair

The only big downside of real human hair is the cost of the hair extensions. They are significantly higher, but the price is justified.

The other downside is that you have to be careful with your choice of styling products that you use. You can only use "extension-safe" products on your hair, otherwise, you risk damaging the hair.

Which is Better: Synthetic or Human Hair Extensions?

The big question from all this is, "Which is better?" and "Which should I choose?". Well, straight off the bat, there's no right answer; it all comes down to your personal preferences and lifestyle.

There are a number of factors you'll want to consider before coming to a conclusion, and we've laid out the main points below...

Differences in Lifestyle

For example, let's say you have a busy life but still want to have your hair looking polished. In this case, synthetic extensions that are already styled will add more convenience to your life, as you do not have to spend time styling your hairJust clip them in and go.

On the contrary, if you're more into experimenting with your look and have the time to maintain it, human hair extensions would be ideal as they give you the freedom to style them however you like.

Length of Wear

Another huge determining factor when deciding between synthetic hair extensions and the human hair option is how much use you will get out of them.

Synthetic extensions only last around three months, while real human hair can last over one year.

Keep in mind that if you are only using them for the odd night out, the synthetic clip-in extensions will last longer than if you are using them every day.

Your Budget

Budget definitely comes into play for a lot of people, and it's understandable. If you have the funds for more expensive extensions, then we definitely recommend human hair. 

You'll get more natural-looking results that last much longer, so it's worth the price tag.

But if you don't have much to spend, synthetic hair extensions are a great alternative.

The Bottom Line

The best type of hair extensions are whichever best suit your needs. If you have a bigger chunk of money to spend on extensions, then we recommend human hair all the way.

But synthetic hair is just as good – especially RiRi's synthetic extensions! They're a cheaper alternative that will give you a quick hair transformation, whatever the occasion.

At RiRi Hair Extensions, we offer both human hair and synthetic hair extensions and wigs, giving you all the options! 

Our human hair is made only from the best Remy hair, ensuring a professional and natural look and our synthetic hair is crafted from quality synthetic fibres that truly do look and feel like the real thing.

With tons of colours and lots of styles to choose from, you'll be spoilt for choice!

Check out our hair extensions today and achieve your #hairgoals with RiRi.

Learn More About Hair Extensions With RiRi

If you want to learn all there is about hair extensions, be sure to head over to our blog. We talk all things extensions and wigs, giving you the lowdown on all there is to know.

Don't forget to follow us on our socials, too! You'll be kept up-to-date with the latest news and offers.


Is Synthetic or Human Hair Extensions Better?

Human hair extensions are made with real hair, so they look more natural and last longer. But they are more expensive. Synthetic extensions are made with fake fibres (usually nylon or acrylic). Although they're not made with real hair, they're specially designed to mimic it. They're also much cheaper than human extensions.

Is Synthetic Hair as Good as Human Hair?

In terms of quality, human hair will always take the top spot. The real hair offers a completely natural look and feel. However, synthetic hair extensions are a really good option if you have a lesser budget. Great-quality synthetics will look and feel as close to human hair as possible – just make sure you're purchasing from a reputable retailer (like RiRi).

Do Synthetic Hair Extensions Look Fake?

Low-quality synthetic extensions will look fake; there's no two ways about it. But high-quality synthetic hair extensions hair will very closely match real hair. RiRi's synthetic hair extensions and wigs are made using great-quality synthetic materials, offering a realistic look and feel.

Is Human Hair More Expensive Than Synthetic?

Generally, yes. The process for collecting the hair and time it takes to create the extensions or wigs is much more complex than creating synthetics – and this is reflected in the price. However, human hair will look much more natural and last longer, so you're paying for what you get!

Nancy Pinder

Nancy is our resident hair and beauty specialist at RiRi Hair Extensions. She advises customers daily in our Lakeside and Bluewater stores, helping them find the perfect look, length, and shade of hair extensions. 

Nancy also presents our TikTok live to thousands of viewers across the world. You can catch her on our TikTok every week!

Find Nancy on TikTok!

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