Synthetic vs. Human Hair Extensions

Synthetic vs. Human Hair Extensions

When shopping for hair extensions, after you decide what method and extension type is the right fit for you, there comes the decision of choosing between synthetic and human hair. Many shoppers, especially beginners, are still quite confused about what’s the difference between the two and which one is the best. This is certainly made more difficult because many sellers are not truthful and transparent when it comes to labeling extensions and try to mislead you. That’s why it’s crucial to be informed about both hair types, know the characteristics and normal price ranges of each one. We at AiryHair take this issue very seriously and make it absolutely clear and easy to understand what you are buying. You can be assured that all of the labels in our store are 100% correct and are not there to confuse you. That is why we want to offer you this important information 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 when it comes to other stores. Although we have some recommendations when it comes to choosing between the hair types, the final decision is completely up to you.

What is the Difference Between Synthetic and Human Hair Extensions?

Before we get into detail, the two 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 or not you should go with synthetic or real Remy human hair extensions, then take a look at the characteristics of both and that should help you to lean towards one or another side.

Synthetic Hair

It is important to note that there is synthetic hair of different quality available on the market today and that there has been a lot of improvement when it comes to production of synthetic strands. As of 2018, the technologies of producing synthetic hair have very well surpassed those used in the late 00s. For example, the more expensive synthetic hair can now be treated using a low to medium heat, something that was never heard of before. So synthetic extensions have definitely been getting better and high-quality ones look pretty decent, whether they have reached the quality of real human hair is still questionable.

How is the Synthetic Hair Made?

Synthetic fibers are produced so that they resemble real hair. Synthetic hair ingredients include around 10-15 different chemicals (depending on the color and manufacturer) as well as “flexible” plastics, that are then blended together and processed through a special machine, which molds them into a hair like shape. A couple of different fibers and materials are usually used, often including polyfilament, low grade acrylic, and polyester. These fibers also go through a lot of chemical and mechanical processing before the final product is made. Low quality synthetic fibers will look very plastic and waxy, while higher quality ones will resemble real human hair more and have some luster and texture to it.

What Is The Price of Synthetic Hair Extensions?

One of the main reasons why women choose synthetic hair over Remy is the price. Bundles of synthetic hair can be bought for as low as a couple of bucks on eBay, but if you look at it rationally, just imagine how low-quality this hair must be in order to be sold for such a low price. So you might think if you find synthetic extensions that are a bit pricier that surely must mean the quality is a lot better and you’re getting something really close to human hair, but you would unfortunately be wrong. Here is a shocker for you: synthetic hair can cost as much as real hair (unless you buy from “premium” brands that hike up the price). For example, AiryHair’s extensions (that are always made of 100% real Remy human hair) start only at around $26. 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.

Synthetic vs. Human Hair Extensions

Synthetic vs. Human Hair Extensions

Advantages of Synthetic Hair

You’re probably wondering, if the price is anot real advantage, are there any other advantages of synthetic extensions? Well, there a few. Because synthetic fibers are artificial, they can be processed and manufactured in a way so 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 that you can spend on styling the strands each day. Another advantage is that there will be no split ends, since the strands are not real. However, assuming you go with AiryHair, there is little to no reason to wear plastic on your head.

Can Synthetic Hair Be Curled Or Straightened?

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 because it wouldn’t be safe to do so. If you think logically about it, synthetic fibers are basically 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.

Can You Dye Synthetic Strands?

If you’re thinking about using regular hair dyes to change the color of synthetic extensions, you should know right away that it will not work at all. The only result will be ruined extensions. So synthetic strands are not really 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 and this method was conceived out of desperation because there’s no other way to change the color of synthetic strands. Also, there is no way to go from darker to lighter, so if you have black or brown extensions, forget about dyeing altogether.

What Is the Typical Lifespan of Synthetic Extensions

Life expectancy of synthetic hair is not so promising. Consider yourself very happy if you’re able to wear synthetic extensions for more than a month or two. This type of hair is just not made to last very long and the artificial fibers cannot cope with daily use. What usually happens is that the extensions get so tangled up or damaged that they simply become unwearable and there is no way to revive them. So once you notice that the synthetic extensions are getting harder to detangle and look messier, you’re approaching the doomsday and soon the hair will go from your head to the trash. So if you want longevity, stay away from synthetic strands.

Is There Any Danger In Wearing Synthetic Extensions?

Not only are synthetic extensions far superior to human hair ones when it comes to quality, longevity, and appearance, they can also be quite dangerous to wear. This hair type has to resistance 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 completely destroy the extensions, but their real tresses as well. 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. So is the risk of your hair catching fire really worth the cheap price? 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.

Human Hair Extensions

Human Hair Extensions

Now that we have covered synthetic hair in depth, let’s move onto human hair. As far as advantages go: real hair tends to last longer, can be dyed, bleached, curled, and treated using any reasonable temperature. In addition to that, real hair will always blend better with your own and won’t look like a bad quality wig. 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, while synthetic hair is pretty obviously fake and that’s why it’s also much harder to blend. When you touch Remy hair, you’ll notice how incredibly soft and silky it is, even more than natural strands.

Different Types of Human Hair

Like with synthetic locks, there are different types of human hair that are different in quality. Standard human strands are of medium quality and look pretty good, but they’re often treated in order to remove the cuticles which are then replaced with silicone. That does reduce tangling, but in the long run, those extensions tend to get damaged more easily because the silicone coating eventually disappears and you’re left with hairs with no cuticles. High-quality human hair is called Remy. In order for the strands to be called Remy, the cuticles must not be removed and aligned in the same direction to reduce tangling. Only the best hairs are used to make Remy extensions and it is a staple of quality in the world of extensions.

How Are Human Hair Extensions Made

Highest quality extensions are made from 100% real human hair that has been collected from one donor, hasn’t been chemically or mechanically processed, and are manually checked so that the cuticles align. This is also known as Remy hair. The strands are then collected in bundles and can then be made into any extension type. For example, clip-in extensions are made from strands that are sewn together to create wefts, tape-in extensions consist of tape added to the strands and so on. Because of this meticulous process, human hair extensions are more expensive, but you get quality and longevity.

Are Remy Extensions Affordable?

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 price go hand in hand. But if you consider how long Remy extensions last, the price ends up being really affordable. Although synthetic strands might be cheaper, you would have to buy new ones every month so in the end, you end up paying a lot of money for extensions that are of far inferior quality. That’s why we always recommend that you invest in Remy hair, it definitely pays off in the long run.

How Long Can Remy Hair 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 six months. Isn’t that incredible? Also, if you take extra good care of the extensions, the life span can be significantly extended. So this is a huge advantage of Remy hair.

Can You Change the Texture of Human Hair Extensions?

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

Can Human Hair be Dyed?

Although Remy extension come in a variety of different shades, and even custom colors, some women decide to change it. This is absolutely possible with human hair and it is a great way to spice up your old extensions. However, we do recommend that you have this done professionally because if you’re not skilled in coloring extensions, a lot of things could go wrong. A hair professional will know exactly what to do and change the color of your extensions in a safe and nonintrusive way.


So 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, but are then very disappointed because they look so bad and don’t last long. We at AiryHair have worked hard in order to provide our customers with very affordable Remy extensions that are of top quality. So there is no reason to sacrifice the appearance and quality of the extensions for the price. The final decision is completely up to you, but we assure you that once you try Remy extensions, you will never want to go back to synthetic hair ever again.

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Synthetic vs. Human Hair Extensions

by Sam Fisher time to read: 9 min