Natural hair vs. Synthetic hair extension – basic differences you need to know

Have you ever considered putting on extensions? Do you know the basic differences, and is it better to install natural or synthetic hair? In fact, this has become some sort of controversy, and many people have difficulty deciding between human and synthetic extensions. 

If you want to play with extensions and explore different options, we will let you in on the secrets of each and discuss the pros and cons. So, let’s see what features make them so specific!

What are real human hair extensions? 

Human hair is collected from a human donor, which means that the outer layer of the cuticle has been kept intact. This process ensures strands remain smooth, shiny, healthy, and tangle-free throughout their lifetime. 

Human hair allows you to accomplish a natural look, and while it can be a more expensive pick, it can last you up to three years with proper care. Several types of human hair like Indian, European, Indonesian, and Chinese are used to make extensions. 

However, the origin of hair doesn’t play the most crucial role. In fact, the processing technique is directly linked to the quality and strength of the product. 

You may find the term Remy hair as well. While this is also a type of natural hair, it’s not the same. Remy hair is premium, high-end hair collected directly from a donor or cut from a ponytail.

On the other hand, natural hair is also collected from a donor but may include pieces that have fallen onto the floor or taken from brushes. Basically, it’s not 100% pure like Remy. 

What are synthetic extensions? 

As the name implies, synthetic extensions are made of artificial materials and don’t contain human hair. They can be made from polyester, nylon, or acrylic, which are heated and then sent through microtubes to mimic the natural strands. 

Since it’s made of plastic, artificial hair will never look like the real one. It will be stiff and move differently, have a strange shine, and be noticeable as a hair piece. 

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The differences between natural hair extensions and synthetic ones

Durability 

This is one of the first questions people may ask. With proper care, real human hair might last you up to three years, while, on the other hand, the synthetic extension will last a couple of months. 

Maintenance 

Knowing how long the extensions will last, people also wonder which of them is easier to take care of. So far, synthetic hair is definitely the easier type to maintain since it doesn’t require frequent washing, and when you do wash the strands, they just need a little wash and dry, and you are good to go. 

Heat 

If you are used to styling your hair, keep in mind that synthetic extensions offer fewer styling options than a human hair. In fact, most synthetic strands will melt when they get in touch with heat. 

On the other hand, human hair can be styled with heat because it functions like natural hair. However, you can still find heat-friendly synthetic hair, but keep in mind that many of them are better to style without heat. 

However, synthetic strands behave very well in humidity and rain, and it’s definitely one of the biggest advantages, mainly when you just styled your extensions and need to go out while it’s raining. 

Feel and quality 

Another difference is in feel and quality. You will notice that human hair has a great feel and texture. Since it looks natural, hardly anyone can tell you have extensions. Also, you can find human strands in different shades and textures. 

Don’t get us wrong; we aren’t saying that synthetic extensions look fake. With the proper installation and the right shade, these strands can blend seamlessly as well. They simply have a different feel, and it’s known to have more shine. 

Shade 

Human extensions are great because they provide natural shades. On top of everything, you can find them in ashy tones, which isn’t the case with a synthetic one. You can dye and tone human hair to match your one. 

When it comes to synthetic hair, it’s usually flat, single-toned, and doesn’t look natural, so you can hardly match it with your natural strands. Also, you can’t dye or tone it. 

The cost 

Last but not least, price plays a significant role. Before buying extensions, you are probably wondering how much they will cost you. It all depends on a brand and a kit. For instance, human extensions cost between $70 and $400, while synthetic strands cost $50 and $85. 

The quality and longevity justify the price difference. But, if you don’t have money to splurge, synthetic hair will work just fine. 

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Facts to know about real raw temple hair

This is a lucrative industry 

You would be surprised to know that this is a multibillion-dollar market. In fact, hair is so valuable that, in some cases, gangs steal and cut hair from women’s heads. Natural strands are used to make fake eyelashes, wigs, and extensions. 

Most of the hair comes from India and China

In India, there is a particular practice where people make pilgrimages to temples, shave their heads, and donate their hair. 

The temple uses strands, but only those that can go up to 30 inches long and sell on auctions. Indian hair is one of the best products you can get for extensions and wigs and will last you for ages due to its high quality. 

It’s expensive 

When purchasing temple hair, be prepared to pay some money. You can get it straight from the temple for $700 a pound. But, if you decide to buy it in an auction, no one can guarantee you will receive quality. You might end up with hair that is full of lice, blood, or sweat. 

It takes a lot of time to make wigs

This is one of the reasons why human extensions and wigs are that expensive. Basically, it takes days to make them. People involved in this process need to untangle the strands, pick out the lice if there are any, wash, dry, and eventually dye the hair. After that, it’s ready for extensions and wigs. 

The hair business is linked to the economy

Unfortunately, we can’t separate this industry from the national economy. Historically looking, strands have always gone from poor to wealthy. Even now, hair comes from rural parts of India and China, and it’s primarily sold in Europe, America, and Africa. 

You can get a lot of money for your hair

Let’s say you have long, natural, healthy, blond hair. Did you know you can get up to $1500 for it? But, let’s not forget about short hair as well because it also gets collected and sold. It might not be as pricey as longer strands, but it has its purpose in other industries. 

People aren’t concerned about how hair is collected

There is a bit of controversy here, especially about how hair is collected and where it comes from. While we know Indian temple hair is picked directly from a donor, in temples, where the rest comes from, we don’t have an idea. 

Synthetic hair is getting better

Indian and Chinese economies are much stronger than they were ten years ago, which means that their citizens are wealthier, and there aren’t as many hair donors as there used to be. Companies that make synthetic extensions and wigs have improved their manufacturing processes and now produce high-quality strands. 

How to choose the best option for you? 

When deciding to buy synthetic or real human extensions, it’s essential to consider several factors. Start with your budget and how much money you can splurge on extensions. We already mentioned their price previously. 

Next, think about why you need extensions. Maybe it’s for medical reasons, or you want to improve your appearance, or perhaps you want to try the latest natural hair ponytail extension. 

And lastly, would you wear extensions regularly, or will it depend on the situation? If you would like to wear extensions on a regular basis, then we suggest getting real human hair simply because it allows you multiple styling options. 

Conclusion 

Now that you know everything about extensions, you can easily decide which one to get. We covered all the basics and included as many details as necessary. We hope you will find your match and choose extensions according to your needs. 

Since there are a lot of options to consider, we suggest starting from those that will cost you least money. And, as you become more informed about extensions, you can think about investing more in wigs and premium strands. 

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