The Difference Between Human Hair Wigs and Synthetic Wigs


There are many types of realistic wigs on the market these days. With endless colours, brands and styles available, it can be hard to know where to begin!

For a realistic wig, let’s start with the most fundamental wig purchasing choice: human hair or synthetic? It’s important to understand the pros and cons of both options so that you can decide on the perfect wig for you.

Synthetic wigs

Many women are often apprehensive to try a synthetic wig because they believe it will look exactly that – synthetic. However, the wig industry has experienced many technological advances in recent years and synthetic wigs have improved dramatically in quality, feel and appearance. In fact, in some cases, it’s extremely difficult to tell them apart from real human hair wigs!

Let’s go over the pros:

Easy to look after

Synthetic fibres have “memory” for waves, curls and volume. This means that you never have to spend precious time styling your wig each morning. Simply wash, dry and shake out. The wig’s style retention will make it bounce right back into shape. This feature also means that they are not affected by bad weather. Say goodbye to frizzy and limp hair after a rain shower!

Variety of colours

There’s an amazing array of natural colours available for synthetic wigs. Advancements in colour technology mean that unlike human hair, synthetic colours will not fade, no matter how many times you wash it!

More affordable

Synthetic wigs generally have a lower price tag than their human hair counterparts. This makes them affordable for a lot of people. Despite the cheaper cost, synthetic wigs offer a weight and texture that is very similar to human hair.

And now the cons:

Less versatile

Unfortunately, due to the synthetic fibres, these wigs can’t be styled in the same way as human hair. They’re not able to be re-coloured and a ‘heat-friendly’ synthetic wig must be chosen if you intend to heat style.


Synthetic wigs are less durable than human hair. Even with proper maintenance, a synthetic wig will generally always last less than a human hair wig, even a heat-friendly synthetic wig, which shouldn’t be styled every morning. A heat-friendly synthetic wig will definitely outlast a non-heat friendly synthetic wig, which can even be damaged in the sun. To ensure you get the most out of your wig it’s important to follow all care recommendations.

Human hair wigs

Human hair wigs are made from real harvested human hair. There are usually four types available including Chinese, Indonesian, Indian and European/Caucasian, each with different price points. The hair is processed with chemicals to sanitize, strip colour and create different styles.

Human hair wigs, just like synthetic wigs, have their pros and cons.
The pros:

Styling versatility

A synthetic wig cannot be altered and so a new one must be purchased if you want a different look. In comparison, you can colour, cut and style human hair wigs multiple times, offering versatility and more bang for your buck. Human hair wigs do not necessarily require more time and effort to style and certainly offer the widest variety of styling options for a wig.

Natural look and feel

The best thing about human hair wigs is their natural look, feel and texture. A common concern for customers is the fear that a wig will be noticeable yet a quality human hair wig is almost completely undetectable!

Greater durability

Many people select human hair wigs due to their longer life-span. While a synthetic wig may only last for a few months, human hair can last for as long as 5 years! The most important factor in wig longevity is maintenance and care.

So, what are the cons?

Colour fading

Unlike synthetic wigs, human hair wigs experience colour fading over time. They offer fantastic styling versatility but when it comes to colouring it’s important to remember that most have been bleached and re-coloured with special products. They are not suitable to be dyed with supermarket products and a wig dying specialist should be used when changing up the hue.