How Do I Choose the Best Synthetic Hair?

Gabriele Sturmer

Synthetic hair is made of various fibers, including nylon and polyester, and is intended to look like human hair strands. It is used for various types of wigs, hair extensions and hair replacement treatments and typically costs much less than real human hair used in similar ways. Types of synthetic hair are not the same; some last longer and can withstand straightening and curling irons. Some types of hair are more realistic, versatile, durable and affordable than others, so you will want to consider each of these factors individually to choose the best type of synthetic hair for your needs.

Synthetic extensions are often bonded to natural hair using heat.
Synthetic extensions are often bonded to natural hair using heat.

It's important to consider how realistic the hair looks and feels when you purchase a synthetic wig or extensions. Some wigs and extensions use a single type of fiber throughout the hair, but others mix types of fibers to make the hair look more realistic. Hair made from polyester often looks shiny and may not be the best choice if you need hair that looks realistic. If you're purchasing extensions, you also will want to pay careful attention to how well the hair blends with your own, because the difference in texture can become very noticeable. To choose the best synthetic hair for extensions, you should go to a physical shop and find hair that matches your own, though some online shops also offer hair samples you can use to find a match.

Some synthetic hair can withstand the heat of a curling iron on a low setting.
Some synthetic hair can withstand the heat of a curling iron on a low setting.

When choosing a synthetic wig or extensions, you should pay careful attention to the hair's texture. Some brands of synthetic hair can tolerate heat appliances to a certain level, but many other brands cannot tolerate any kind of heat at all without melting. If you do need to straighten or curl the hair, you should carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions and apply as little heat as necessary. Hair that can be treated with heat usually also costs more than traditional synthetic hair.

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Wigs may be particularly beneficial to individuals experiencing severe hair loss.
Wigs may be particularly beneficial to individuals experiencing severe hair loss.

Synthetic hair pieces usually don't last as long as human hair pieces, so you should consider the durability of the hair you're purchasing. More expensive fibers usually last longer, but they also cost more than other hair pieces. Most manufacturers recommend that you don't sleep in a synthetic wig or hair extensions, because this can cause the hair to flatten and become matted together. Styling products and heat appliances also can affect how long the hair lasts, so you should consider higher-quality synthetic fibers if you plan to use these items often.

Synthetic hair is used for various types of wigs.
Synthetic hair is used for various types of wigs.
Hair extensions can be sewn or braided into or clipped or bonded to naturally growing hair.
Hair extensions can be sewn or braided into or clipped or bonded to naturally growing hair.

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