Human versus Synthetic Hair
There are pros and cons for both human hair and synthetic hair. The bottom line in both cases is that you get what you pay for.
Advantages of Human Hair
- More realistic appearance.
- Greater durability.
- Same styling and maintenance requirements as natural hair. Human hair can be custom coloured and permed to suit the client, and it tolerates heat from a blow dryer, curling iron, or hot rollers
Disadvantages of Human Hair
- Human hair reacts to the climate the way that natural hair does. Depending on what type of hair it is, it may frizz or lose its curl in humid weather.
- After shampooing, the hair needs to be reset. This can be a challenge for the client who intends to maintain the hair at home.
- The color will oxidize, meaning that it will fade with exposure to light.
- The hair will break and split if mistreated by harsh brushing, backcombing, or excessive use of heat.
Advantages of Synthetic Hair
- Synthetic hair is a great value. Not only is it very realistic, but it is less expensive than human hair. Both style and texture are set into the hair so all that is required is some detailing.
- Ready-to-wear synthetic hair is very easy for the client to maintain at home. Shampooing in cold water will not change the style, nor will exposure to extreme humidity.
- The colours are limitless, ranging from natural to wild fantasy shades. Synthetic colours will not fade or oxidize, even when exposed to long periods in the sun.
Disadvantages of Synthetic Hair
- Synthetic hair cannot be exposed to extreme heat (curling irons, hot rollers, or the high heat of blow dryers). However, some synthetic hair is coated with a protein base and can tolerate low heat (lower than 390 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius). Always check with the manufacturer and perform a test strand on a small section of the actual synthetic piece.
- Colouring synthetic fibers is not recommended because traditional hair colour will not work on them.
- Sometimes synthetic hair is so shiny that it may not look natural. Also, if the hair is thick, it will look unnatural on a fine-haired client.
- Price often has a lot to do with how natural synthetic hair looks. In other words, the most natural-looking synthetic pieces can be expensive