5+ Differences Between Synthetic vs. Human Hair Extensions (2022)

What's the Difference Between Real Human Hair and Synthetic Fibers?


Are you shopping for hair extensions? Having already decided the right extension type, there comes the decision of chose between synthetic and human hair.

Many shoppers, especially beginners, are still quite confused about the difference between the two and which one is the best. This is made more difficult because many sellers mislabel hair extensions and are not truthful or transparent. They try to mislead you. That’s why we must inform you about both hair types, the characteristics and normal price ranges of each one.

Quick Access

The Difference Between Synthetic and Human Hair Extensions
Manufacturing: Synthetic vs. Real Hair Extensions
Price: Synthetic vs. Real Hair Extensions
Lifespan: Synthetic vs. Human Hair Extensions
Styling: Synthetic vs. Human Hair Extensions
A Word of Warning

AiryHair takes this issue very seriously and makes it clear and easy to understand what you are buying. You can be assured that all the labels in our store are 100% correct and are not there to confuse you. That’s why we want to talk about the differences between human and synthetic hair. With this knowledge, you will not only be able to make an informed decision about what kind of extensions to buy but also be able to recognize false labeling.

As for choosing between various hair types, we have some recommendations. Although the final decision is completely up to you.

5+ Differences Between Synthetic vs. Human Hair Extensions (2019)

About Synthetic Strands

It is important to note that there is synthetic hair of different quality available on the market today. There has been a lot of improvement when it comes to the production of synthetic strands. As of 2022, the technologies of producing synthetic hair have very well surpassed those used in the late 00s.

For example, you can treat the more expensive synthetic hair with low to medium heat. This is something that you could not do before. So, synthetic extensions have been getting better and high-quality ones look pretty decent, whether they have reached the quality of real human hair is questionable.

About Real Hair

Let’s move on to human hair. Genuine hair will last longer, you can dye it, bleach, tone, curl, or treat using any reasonable temperature. In addition to that, real hair will always blend better with your own. The simple fact that it’s real makes all the difference in the world. No one will ever suspect that you’re wearing extensions if they’re Remy. Synthetic hair on the other hand is fake and that’s why it’s also much harder to blend.

Like synthetic locks, different types of human hair are different in quality. Standard human strands are of medium quality and look good. However, factories will treat them with special chemicals to remove cuticles. Afterward, workers will coat the damage with a silicone base.

That does reduce tangling, but not in the long run! Those extensions will be prone to tangling and quick damage the moment silicone coating disappears. A handful of washes and it’s done. We call high-quality human hair Remy. For strands to be called Remy, cuticles should stay intact. Factories must also align hair in the same direction to reduce tangling, but that’s something only a few will ever do. To create genuine Remy extensions, factories must only use the best hairs. Essentially, it is a staple of quality in the world of extensions.


The main differences between the two hair types are price and quality. The look and feel of the strands, as well as the ability to dye, style, blend, and change the texture is also determined by the hair type. So, if you are on the edge on whether you should go with synthetic or real Remy human hair extensions, then look at the characteristics of both. This should help you to lean towards one or another side.

Manufacturing: Synthetic vs. Real Hair Extensions

How is the Synthetic Hair Made?

The goal of synthetic fibers is to resemble real hair. Synthetic hair ingredients include around 10-15 different chemicals (depending on the color and manufacturer) as well as “flexible” plastics. A special machine then blends and processes ingredients, molding them into a hair-like shape.

Factories use a couple of different fibers and materials, it’s often poly filament, low-grade acrylic, and polyester. Before reaching the product stage, these fibers then go through a lot of chemical and mechanical processing. Low-quality synthetic fibers will look very plastic and waxy! On the other hand, higher quality ones will resemble real human hair more, have some luster and texture to them.

Synthetic Clip-Ins or Tape-Ins?

If you want to buy synthetic extensions, it is better to go with the clip in method. The reason for that is the longevity of the hair, which is pretty short, so it’s wiser to go with a method that is not permanent like tape-in is.

Also, synthetic hair could irritate your scalp if you go with a more permanent method.

How is the Human Hair Collected?

The highest-quality extensions are made from 100% real human hair that hasn’t been chemically or mechanically processed. Manufacturers will sometimes even manually check each batch to see if cuticles align.

The hair strands that factories collect from donors can be made into any extension type. There are usually regions that specialize in hair selling with multiple women selling their hair for a small price. Workers then wash, treat, and sew-in hairpieces. Because of this meticulous process, human hair extensions are more expensive, but you get quality and longevity.

Price: Synthetic vs. Real Hair Extensions

Synthetic Hair Extensions Cost

One of the main reasons why women choose synthetic hair over Remy is the price. You can buy bundles of synthetic hair for as low as a couple of bucks on eBay. However, just imagine how low-quality this hair must be to be sold for such a low price.

Surely, synthetic extensions that are a bit pricier must mean the quality is a lot better, right? Maybe you’re getting something close to human hair even? Sadly, you would be wrong. Synthetic hair can cost as much like real hair unless you buy from “premium” brands that hike up the price.

Price Range: $2 to $45+

Remy Human Extensions Cost

Remy extensions are usually a bit pricier than others, but that is due to the complicated manufacturing process that ensures the highest quality. As with all other products, high-quality and high prices go hand in hand. But if you consider how long Remy extensions last, the price ends up being affordable.

For example, AiryHair’s extensions (that are made of 100% real Remy human hair) start only at around $20. Why so cheap? These are manufacturer prices, with special subsidies from the government and without any third-party profits. So, the main advantage that synthetic hair has had is price, which is no longer the case.

Price Range: $20 to $1,000+

Price Summary

The average price of synthetic hair extensions is $25 for a 20-inch weft while Remy hair extensions will net you around $50 to $75 for the same weight.

Lifespan: Synthetic vs. Real Hair Extensions

Although synthetic strands might be cheaper, you would have to buy new ones more frequently. In the end, you will pay a lot of money for extensions that are of far inferior quality. That’s why we always recommend that you invest in Remy’s hair, it pays off in the long run.

How Long Do Synthetic Hair Extensions Last?

The life expectancy of synthetic hair is not so promising. Consider yourself very lucky if you’re able to wear synthetic extensions for more than two months. This type of hair is never made to last long. The artificial fibers cannot cope with daily use. Such hair extensions will tangle a lot and eventually turn into a huge mass-like bundle. That’s not something you can wear. There is no way to revive hair either. So, once you notice that the synthetic extensions are getting harder to detangle and start to get messy, you’re approaching doomsday. Soon, the hair will go from your head to the trash. If you want longevity, stay away from synthetic strands.

Hair Lifespan: 2 – 3 Months

How Long Do Real Hair Extensions Last?

Remy extensions are very durable which makes them the perfect option for someone who wants hair that lasts for a considerably long amount of time. Regardless of which extension type you choose, you can expect to wear it for at least three months for the low-quality hair. If you take extra good care of the extensions, the life span can be significantly extended. This is a huge advantage of Remy’s hair.

Hair Lifespan: 3 – 24 Months

Lifespan Summary

The average lifespan of synthetic hair extensions is 2 to 3 months. Real hair extensions last from 3 to 24 months on average, depending on quality.

Styling: Synthetic vs. Human Hair Extensions

Can You Curl or Style Fake Hair?

Although some newer, higher quality synthetic extensions are somewhat heat resistant which enables you to change their texture, most of them cannot be curled or straightened. Synthetic fibers are plastic, so imagine what happens when you add heat to that! The fibers simply melt away and turn into a huge mess. Not only does that completely ruin the extensions, but it’s also quite dangerous.

However! if the price is not a real advantage, are there any advantages of synthetic extensions? Since synthetic fibers are artificial, factories can process and manufacture them in any way! Meaning that they hold a certain texture and style.

For example, if you buy curly synthetic extensions or a wig, the curls will stay the same even after washing so there’s no need for styling. That’s great when you don’t have a lot of time or money to spend on new hairstyles each day. Another advantage is that there will be no split ends since the strands are not real.

Can You Curl or Style Human Hair Extensions?

Extensions made of real human hair can be straightened, curled, or made wavy. There are no limitations when it comes to textures. So, if straight or curly extensions bore you, simply grab your hot tool and transform it. If you want to take extra good care of the hair, don’t go overboard with the use of heat. Otherwise, you might shorten hair lifespan.

Can You Straighten Synthetic Hair Extensions?

Most synthetic extensions are bought straight, so you don’t need to straighten them. But if you curled them before and want them straight again, you should wash them first with a gentle shampoo and lukewarm water.

Let them dry naturally and they should go back to normal. If you bought curly extensions, you probably won’t be able to straighten them. You could try to use a heat-resistant spray and a flat iron, but that’s also not very good for the extensions.

Can You Tone or Dye Fake Hair?

If you think about regular hair dyes to change the color of synthetic extensions, know right away that it will not work at all. This will just ruin hair extensions. Basically, synthetic strands are not suitable for coloring and the only way to do it is by using acrylic ink.

This is a DIY method that involves acrylic, alcohol, and probably making a mess in your home. You should know that the results are not so great. Also, there is no way to go from darker to lighter colors. So, if you have black or brown extensions, forget about dyeing hair altogether.

Can You Tone or Dye Remy Extensions?

Although Remy extension come in a variety of different shades, and even custom colors, some women decide to change it. That’s possible with human hair and it is a great way to spice up your old extensions.

However, a professional should do it! A lot of things could go wrong, from dry hair to split ends. A hair professional will know exactly what to do and change the color of your extensions in a safe and nonintrusive way. Alternatively, just get colorful Ombre hair extensions and let hair seller handle the rest.

AiryHair Tape-in Hair Extensions

Not only are synthetic extensions worse than human hair ones when it comes to quality, longevity, and appearance, they can also be quite dangerous to wear.

This hair type has to resistant to heat so blow dryers, flat irons, and curlers should be avoided. Those who do make the mistake of using hot tools on cheap synthetic strands can not only destroy the extensions but their real tresses as well. So is the risk of your hair catching fire worth the cheap price? If the synthetic extensions melt or burn, which is highly possible, you can end up with severe burns on your scalp, as well as burned hair

Another thing that can happen is itchy scalp or even fungus breeding there. Synthetic extensions don’t allow your scalp to breathe properly and that can lead to discomfort as well as a lot of moisture and sweat buildup. If you consider synthetic hair, please do not wear it for extended periods.


Now that you got an in-depth look at both synthetic and human hair, you can have a better understanding of the two and see what’s best for you. Our advice is to go for real human hair. Many women want to save money, so they buy synthetic extensions. Sooner than later they become disappointed because the hair looks bad and doesn’t last long.

Synthetic hair is a good replacement for human extensions if you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to spend a lot of money. It is very cheap and it’s great for special occasions or parties, but for day-to-day use, they are not that good. If you need a cool wig or colorful extensions for a party and don’t plan on wearing it all the time, then synthetic hair will do.

Still, they don’t last nearly as long as real hair, so if you want to wear them all the time, you will need to buy new synthetic hair all the time!

We at AiryHair have worked hard in order to provide our customers with very affordable Remy extensions that are of top quality. There is no reason to sacrifice the appearance and quality of the extensions for the price.

The final decision is completely up to you. Having said that, we assure you that once you try Remy extensions, you will never want to go back to synthetic hair ever again!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here