Synthetic hair is a fake hair strand used to create hair extensions, wigs, and hairpieces.
People find the topic of synthetic hair to be challenging. For instance, the advances in synthetic hair vs human hair can make the matter even more complex.
Below is a post to help you understand all there is to know on this subject.
Let’s get started!
What Is Synthetic Hair?
Synthetic hair is produced through the synthesis of artificial materials. They do not occur naturally and thus are often referred to as fake hair. It is a product of artificial fibers such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, or cellulose.
Synthetic fibers undergo various chemical processes. They are then heated and molded into fine strands. The resulting hair varies in length, color and style as human hair.
The best quality of synthetic hair resembles actual human hair, and you can have a challenge telling them apart.
Difference Between Synthetic Hair and Human Hair
Synthetic hair consists of artificial fibers. The styling is present so that it does not change even after washing. You can not style synthetic hair using heat, color-treated or dyed. It lasts anywhere from 3 to 6 months and is more affordable than human hair.
Whereas for human hair, you can collect it from actual human heads. They have a natural look, feel real, and often last between 1 and 3 years. You can also style and dye them. Moreover, human hair is more expensive than synthetic hair.
Learn more about synthetic hair vs. human hair.
The Advantages of Synthetic Hair
There are several benefits to investing in synthetic hair.
The recent advancements in technology make synthetic hair feel and look remarkably realistic. It is nearly impossible to tell apart synthetic hair from human hair unless you check carefully.
Synthetic hair is cheaper than human hair, thus giving you the convenience you need.
You can get high-quality synthetic hair wigs for under $50. While a human hair wig can cost you between $200 and $500, but can go high up to $1000.
Synthetic hair comes in various colors, including highlighted hairpieces and vibrant tones.
Also, the styles are available in a range of lengths and textures. You can choose from wavy, straight, curly hair, depending on the style that works for you.
Many synthetic hairs are pre-styled, and you can wear them right out of the box. The fibers have style retention capability/memory, allowing the hair to bounce back to its original pattern.
Their ability to keep a style makes it easy to wash without drooping or frizzing. Furthermore, you will only need a brush or comb to take care of synthetic hair.
The Disadvantages of Synthetic Hair
There are several good things about synthetic hair, but it also has drawbacks. Here are the cons of synthetic hair.
Hard to Style
Synthetic hair can be so effective at retaining shape. But, altering the shape for restyling can be very difficult. It is best to avoid using heated tools for styling.
Heat-friendly synthetic hair allows you to use heat for restyling, but it can still be hard to style. It would be best to apply low heat when styling since high temperatures can cause burns.
Related article: How To Style Synthetic Wigs?
Low Dye Response
Synthetic hair has limited options for coloring. It does not respond to dying like human hair.
In fact, there are some ways to dye synthetic hair, only that the fibers take time to retain the color.
Despite various advancements, synthetic hair can still appear unnatural. They are not as soft as human hair and will appear shinier under direct light.
These differences are more pronounced for lower-grade synthetic hair than those with high quality.
Related article: 12 Tips To Make Synthetic Wigs Look Real
Synthetic hair lasts a shorter period than human hair.
When worn daily, synthetic hair lasts anywhere from 3 to 6 months. Heat-friendly synthetic hair takes about 2 to 3 months. This is a short time compared to human hair, which often lasts between 1 and 3 years.
Note: Synthetic hair longevity will also depend on your maintenance routine.
Tips on Caring for Synthetic Hair
Maintaining any quality of synthetic hair is pretty easy. Here are ways to care for synthetic hair.
You need to prevent your wig from tangling using a wig brush or comb. The brushes meant for synthetic hair do not stretch, tear, or damage the fibers.
When brushing, work through the strands from the bottom as you go upwards. Also, do not brush the synthetic hair when it is still wet since the hair will frizz.
Wash well with a synthetic hair-friendly shampoo. You need to use cold water, as hot water will damage the synthetic hair fibers.
It is also better to use synthetic hair shampoo and not human hair shampoo. The synthetic hair shampoo is specifically made for synthetic fibers to avoid damage.
Generally, wash after using about 6 to 8 times or every two to three weeks. You should not wash the wig too much to avoid reducing its durability.
Related article: How to Wash Synthetic Wigs – 4 Simple Steps
After washing or wetting synthetic hair, allow it to air dry. Ensure you put it away from direct sunlight. This will prevent the strands from frizzing and make the hair more durable.
Note: Avoid using a heat source to dry the synthetic hair that is not heat-friendly because you can melt the delicate fibers.
Avoid Hot Tools
Applying hot tools to synthetic hair can stretch and melt the fibers. Be careful around heated places like open grills, stoves, and ovens.
If you prefer using hot tools for styling, ensure you choose a heat-friendly synthetic hair. However, you should better limit the heat to under 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Store your wig properly on a wig stand to maintain its shape. Using a stand will also prevent your wig from knotting or tangling, which as a result, can make the wig very frizzy.
Keep the stand under room temperature and away from humid areas to maintain hair longevity.
The cap helps keep your hair in place under the wig when you wear a synthetic wig. Besides, they act as a protective barrier, especially for a sensitive scalp.
Wig caps also keep your wig clean for a longer period. As the dead skin and oil will get into the wig cap, not your cap.
FAQs about Synthetic Hair
What Is the Highest Quality of Synthetic Hair?
Kanekalon is the highest quality of synthetic hair. Kanekalon has heat-tolerant hair fibers that allow you to use hot rollers, blow dryers, curling irons, and even a low heat flat iron. 
Likewise, another quality of synthetic hair is Toyokalon. It resembles and feels more like human hair. Toyokalon has a silky texture with more sheen and can hold curls for long.
How Do You Keep Synthetic Hair From Frizzing?
To avoid frizz on synthetic hair, sprinkle a small amount of detangler and comb through the hair. Use a looped bristle brush or a wide-toothed comb. You can untangle it with your fingers if you don’t have a better option.
Besides, if the synthetic hair can withstand heat, use a low heat flat iron under 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
What Happens if You Are Allergic to Synthetic Hair?
You might experience negative effects such as redness, irritation, and itching when your scalp comes in contact with synthetic hair.
To avoid potential irritation, please wash and cleanse the synthetic hair.
How Can You Tell If the Hair Is Synthetic?
The best way of testing if the hair is synthetic is by using the flame test.
If igniting the hair makes it melt into a ball and smell like a burning plastic, then the hair is synthetic. Natural hair will singe/blaze and burn upwards with a unique burnt hair smell.
How Do You Sleep With Synthetic Hair?
Wrap your head and sleep on a satin or silk or satin pillowcase. This will avoid friction between the hair fibers that could cause frizz and dryness. Also, brush your wig when you get up to prevent your hair from matting. Here are the tips on how to sleep in your wig.