Human vs Synthetic Hair Extensions

human hair extensions

We’re going to start this by saying that neither synthetic nor human hair extensions are better than the other. Both have merits and disadvantages and it’s down to your judgement to decide which is best for you. We have weighed up the pros and cons for you though which will help guide your decision. If you still have any questions at all, feel free to book in a consultation with us! Tasha is an experienced hair extension technician and will be happy to help you!

Synthetic Hair Extensions

Synthetic hair is going to be the best option if you’re on a budget or a saving queen. Synthetic hair extensions can be a lot cheaper than human hair and can last longer. This is not taking into account how you have them installed though. 

Synthetic hair is so much cheaper because it is made from artificial fibers. It used to be quite expensive to get synthetic hair that looked good enough to pass as real hair, but due to improvements in manufacturing, it’s a lot cheaper now. 

A huge advantage to synthetic hair is that it’s not as vulnerable to the elements. No matter how humid, dry or wet the environment is, your synthetic hair extensions will stay looking the same. Synthetic hair is also very low maintenance. You won’t need to do much upkeep to it to keep it looking the same. 


The biggest downside to synthetic hair is the lack of customization. Synthetic hair cannot take the heat of dryers/straighteners/curlers etc. It also cannot be dyed or bleached. Basically, with synthetic hair, what you see is what you get. This can be a huge advantage to people whose hair rarely changes, but if you like switching your hair up, you’ll be buying a lot of different synthetic extensions. 

Synthetic hair can also not look as natural as human hair extensions. They may move differently to your natural hair or have an unnatural shine to them. You can usually put some talcum powder on them to tone down the shine, but it may also slightly dull the colour if not brushed out correctly. 

Another downside to synthetic hair is that it can be damaged by washing. Because the fibers are made from plastics, harsh shampoos and hair treatments can damage them. Synthetic hair can be more likely to frizz and tangle so you need to make sure that you’re using gentle shampoo when washing. You can check out our guide for how to properly care for your extensions here.

You should avoid scrubbing your hair and should only gently massage shampoo and conditioner into your hair using a downward motion. 

Human Hair Extensions

One of the larger draws of human hair is the ability to customise the colour, shape and length. With synthetic hair, you can’t change it without risking ruining the extensions. But human hair extensions can be bleached, curled or straightened and dyed to match your natural hair. 

Human hair extensions can also look and feel more natural than synthetic hair. It’s great for people looking for an exact match to their colour and/or texture.

Human hair extensions can also last upwards of a year if properly looked after whereas synthetic extensions may only last a few months. 

Another benefit to human hair extensions is that you can wash them without damaging them as much as synthetic hair. While it can be more high maintenance, if you’re planning on having the extensions in for quite a while, you won’t need to worry about damaging them too much. You should still check out the above guide for properly caring for your extensions though. 


Because the hair is human, it will need the same upkeep as your natural hair. This means using high quality, sulphate and alcohol free products, limiting heat exposure and requiring serums to keep healthy. 

Human hair is also a lot more expensive than synthetic hair, sometimes running at over double the cost of synthetic. This is because the process of procuring human hair can be time consuming as you need to wait for it to grow. There is also a bit of an issue with women being exploited for their long hair, so make sure your hair extensions come from ethical providers. 


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