Natural human hair wig comparison to synthetic wig

Synthetic vs human hair wigs: what’s the difference?

4 min read

The main thing to consider when purchasing a wig is what you’re looking to get from it. Human hair and synthetic hair wigs are both fantastic ways to achieve natural-looking, beautiful long hair in an instant—but there are some differences buyers should be aware of. In this blog post, we’ll break down the main points of difference between synthetic and human hair wigs to help you find your best solution.


With any purchase, price plays a big role in the decision-making process. Of course, you want the best quality product you can get, but you don’t want to spend a fortune to get it—which is fair. However, with wigs the usually the price reflects the quality. Synthetic wigs can range in price from just $80 all the way up to $400 for a premium synthetic wig. The synthetic fibres used to create the hair have their advantages, offering a low-maintenance, ready-to-wear daily solution. Premium synthetic looks almost the same as human hair, whereas cheaper synthetic wigs may look a bit dull, and can even border on looking ‘costumey’.

Human hair also comes in a huge variety of prices—just a bit higher on the spectrum. With human hair, a higher price is to be expected, as it’s a much longer process to make the wigs. You’re also paying for the freedom that comes with the wig; it’s the most natural feeling option, and they last a long time. A human hair wig will set you back anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars, to upwards of $1000. This price point is all due to one thing: quality. If you’re buying premium human hair, it’s been through the works and it’s some of the best on the market. When you’re trying to decide on a budget for a wig, think about the long term—human hair is more expensive, but will last a long time, possibly saving you on replacements.

The Hair 

The hair itself, well, for human hair wigs; it’s exactly what you’d think—it feels like soft hair because it is soft hair!

As for synthetic wigs, the feeling of the hair depends on the overall quality of production and the fibres used in the wig. Synthetic wigs obviously lack the natural feel of human hair and can be prone to shedding, but they’re a great solution for people living in humid places. Synthetic hair will not frizz up in humid climates, they’ll hold shape and style much longer than human hair. Human hair will always look and feel more natural but investing in high-quality synthetic hair can deliver similar results; it can be extremely difficult to tell the difference between the two. On the other end of the spectrum, with cheap, low-quality synthetic wigs, again—you get what you pay for—often having an unnatural shine, shedding, and tangling.

In terms of wearing, human hair wigs are much heavier—synthetic fibres are lightweight and can be more comfortable for all-day wear. The weight of human hair depends on how the wig was manufactured, the more expensive, higher quality human hair wigs can be lightweight, but the cheaper you go the heavier and more uncomfortable they can be.

Styling & Care

This is where some of the main differences come in. Synthetic wigs are convenient; less maintenance is required and they’re usually ready-to-wear with minimal styling. For some this is a pro, others a con. They’re fantastic at holding their style; if you’re spending an hour getting your hair perfect daily, a quality synthetic wig is your best choice. Though there are some heat resistant synthetic options out there, we don’t recommend using heat on the fibres. That means that straightening a synthetic wig, in most cases, will irreversibly damage your wig. If you like to switch your hair up daily, always trying new looks and styles, then you’ll want to opt for human hair. Offering endless versatility, you can achieve a huge range of looks with human hair wigs. You could even get it coloured professionally, or safely use heat tools on them to add some curls or straightening. 

This is where you should be considering what you want to get out of your wig. Do you want to achieve your perfect style every day while cutting an hour from your schedule? Or have the freedom to change your style and try new things? Always do your research about the wig that you’re looking to purchase so that you can be confident it’ll achieve your hair goals.

Human hair wigs require a lot more upkeep—exactly like your natural hair—caring for the wig includes washing, deep conditioning and restyling to keep the hair strong. Because the hair isn’t growing from the scalp, they lack some natural oils, meaning washing isn’t going to be a frequent part of your routine—washing every 6-8 weeks—this can depend on how frequently it’s worn climate and other external factors too.

Synthetic hair is a low-maintenance option, simply just wash, dry, shake, and it’ll return right back to its usual style. There’s also a range of shampoo and care products made for synthetic hair. The frequency of washing will vary depending on how often it’s worn—generally, it’s recommended to wash every 15-20 times you wear it.

Life Span

If you’re looking for longevity in your wig, human hair is the way to go. A good quality human hair wig can last more than a year with the proper love and care—it’s a long-term investment.

Quality synthetic hairs can also last, but usually, you’re trading longevity in for the convenient and time-saving qualities of synthetic hair. Synthetic wigs will typically last no more than 8 months, eventually losing their shape and style.

Achieve Superior Hair with a Wig!

Superior Hair Extensions provide a wide range of synthetic and human hair wigs in NZ. We also offer a range of hair extensions and professional installation services. If you’re interested in trying new hairdos with human hair wigs or just want to rock your signature style with synthetic hair, you’ve come to the right place. Browse our full range of wigs and hair extensions online today or reach out to our friendly team if you’ve got any questions.

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