5th Jan 2021



Reading Time: 6 mins

There are so many hair extensions you can use to bring new life into your look, and choosing the right one for your day’s outfit can be a little overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the world of hair extensions. Beyond the different types of hair extensions, you also have to consider the look, feel, colouring, styling and maintenance needed for each extension.

The hair extensions industry is continuously growing, and the materials and styles used for these luxurious hair accessories vary. In the early 2000s, even famous pop icons can’t get away with fake pieces you can spot from a mile away. But fast forward to today, and you’ll find it difficult to determine whether or not a woman is wearing extensions – that is, if she’s wearing natural hair extensions made from 100% human hair.

Now, here’s a question you will want to know the answer to: Is human hair extensions really better than synthetic ones? What makes them different?

Human hair vs synthetic hair extensions

You can finally say goodbye to thin, limp hair once you invest in quality hair extensions. Regardless of your chosen style, these hair accessories can add drama and beauty to your everyday look. But before buying them, it’s important to know that they are made from various types of human hair.

There are also different grades of human hair, and they all depend on how these locks have been collected, treated, and sorted. The two most common are synthetic and real human hair, also known as Remy. Use this article as your guide to learn more about their differences and determine which one is better.

Human hair and synthetic hair extensions

Extensions can be made from either human hair or synthetic hair. The advantage of human hair is that all the cuticles are intact, which means that each strand runs in the same direction at the time of collection. Human hair ponytail extensions are generally smoother, silkier, easier to manage and more durable.

On the other hand, synthetic hair is made out of various blended plastic fibres manufactured to mimic the look and feel of real human hair. The quality of synthetic hair can vary widely, but they are known to move a little differently from human hair, making it difficult to blend in with the rest of your hair.

What Are Natural Hair Extensions?

Natural hair extensions, or Remy hair, are made from hair with intact hair cuticles. Unlike the synthetic type, they are made of keratin, the same material as human hair. Therefore, you can expect them to look and feel smooth, shiny, and relatively tangle-free.

What Makes Natural Hair Extensions Worth My Money?

Human hair extensions are more expensive than synthetic ones, but you are assured they are worth your money. They are longer-lasting, and you can style them any way you want. You can use a curling iron, straightener, hot rollers, and even hair dyes to achieve your desired look.

They Look Seamless with Your Own Hair

Even the sharpest eyes won’t be able to tell that you’re wearing extensions if you choose human hair extensions in the same shade as your hair. On the other hand, even kids can spot extensions that are made of artificial hair. No matter how you try to blend it with your own hair, synthetic hair strands have a different texture and stand out in a not-so-good way.

They Can Be Heat-Styled

If you’re fond of styling your hair for special occasions and you’re getting extensions to try more hairstyles, then the only option to consider is human hair extensions. When clip-ins or ponytails are made of 100% human hair, you can style them just like you would your own natural hair. You can blow-dry, straighten, or perm as you wish, which is something that you cannot do with synthetic extensions.

Also, you can apply hair products to human hair extensions. In fact, you won’t have to deal with product buildup because they can be washed. This is yet another thing that you cannot do with synthetic extensions!

They Can Be Dyed, Toned and Cut

Because they are made of human hair, they can also be dyed, toned, and even trimmed to your liking–something that, again, cannot be done with synthetic hair extensions. This means that if you’re opting for synthetics, you really should find one that matches your own hair a hundred per cent; otherwise, it would stick out and look tacky.

They Don’t Tangle or Break Easily

Synthetic hair extensions are weak, and they tend to get tangled easily because of their texture. They are also prone to breaking. In contrast, authentic human hair extensions do not get tangled that much; if they do, they can be detangled easily without breakage.

They Last Significantly Longer

On average, synthetic hair extensions last between one and three months. On the other hand, human hair extensions can last for years, especially when you take care of them properly!

What Is Synthetic Hair?

Synthetic hair extensions mimic the look and feel of real hair strands. They are made from artificial materials, such as nylon, polyesters, or acrylic. When shopping, you can identify that the hair extensions are synthetic when they are labelled as vegan synthetic fibre from Japan, 100 per cent high-heat synthetic fibres, and NextGen faux fibres.

How Long Do Synthetic Hair Extensions Last?

Synthetic hair extensions usually last for one to three months. Their lifespan mainly depends on how you use them and take care of them. If you opt for longer-lasting hair extensions, opt for one made from human hair. They can last up to a year or longer.

Can I Use Styling Products on Synthetic Hair Extensions?

Some synthetic hair extensions come pre-styled with waves or curls, which can be convenient if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of using styling products yourself. But note that they cannot withstand higher temperatures and easily melt when you style them with heat. Even those labelled as heat-resistant can get damaged quickly, so make sure to read and follow the instructions before use.

Synthetic hair extensions cannot be styled and chemically treated because product buildup can cause them to tangle and matte. In other words, using styling products or tools on this type of hair extension will damage them.

Do Synthetic Hair Extensions Look Natural?

Technology has come a long way, but synthetic hair extensions still look and feel different from your natural hair. They also start to wear out after several wears, making them appear more noticeably fake.

Colouring and styling the two types of extensions

Since human hair extensions are made of the same material as your own hair, you have more freedom to style it as you please. However, this is not the case with synthetic hair extensions. It can be incredibly risky to colour synthetic extensions because most dyes contain ammonia or bleach, which are damaging to synthetic hair.

People should also avoid using straighteners, curling irons and blow dryers on synthetic hair extensions because the heat can melt or deform the hair.

Beyond styling, other factors like sun, friction or intensive hair products can damage synthetic fibres, especially in longer ones, such as 20-inch hair extensions.

Comparing the cost-effectiveness of human hair and synthetic extensions

While synthetic hair is more affordable than real hair, this comes with marked trade-offs. As discussed earlier, there are a lot of limitations on what you can do with synthetic hair. They do not last as long, cannot be styled extensively and are more vulnerable to heat and pollution.

Synthetic hair extensions are a good option for people who do not want to commit to maintaining extensions in the long term. If they are only needed for a few events or you are just interested in trying them on, then synthetic is the way to go.

Human hair extensions are the ideal investment for long-term enthusiasts of hair extensions. They blend in seamlessly with natural hair, can be styled accordingly and can last for years.


Hair extensions can make or break a look. They add volume to natural hair and can accentuate one’s features. Knowing the differences between human hair and synthetic extensions can go a long way in helping secure a natural look. This is also the first step to purchasing the right product and learning how to maintain it.

If there is one advantage of synthetic extensions over human hair ponytail extensions or clip-ins is their price. Synthetics are significantly cheaper. That said, if you consider it carefully, they may be priced lower, but because of their limitations and disadvantages, you’re not going to be saving anything when you choose them. In fact, you could be wasting your money!

You’ll get better value for your money if you choose 100% human hair extensions that can deliver everything you want from extensions and enjoy them for a long time.

Foxy Locks sells thick clip-in hair extensions in the UK. We have a wide variety of products that you can choose from to help you upgrade or revamp your look. Browse through our catalogue today to find the best extensions for you!

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