Which to Choose? Human Hair Vs Synthetic Hair

No matter if you’re wearing hair now or considering it, the “human hair vs synthetic hair” debate will at some point have played out in your head. Even though I’ve been wearing synthetic hair for the past year, I constantly run through the arguments for human hair vs synthetic hair all the time.

Because, you know, the grass is always greener.

So, let’s discuss. Hopefully if the “human hair vs synthetic hair” question has been one of the reasons you’ve been holding yourself back from wearing hair, this will help paint a clearer picture for you.

human hair vs synthetic hair

Up first, let’s look at synthetic hair, shall we?

Synthetic Hair Pros and Cons


  • Synthetic hair is easy to care for: Just wash, dry and shake!
  • It holds its style no matter what the weather
  • You can try a variety of colors and styles without visiting your hairstylist
  • Synthetic hair is relatively inexpensive (anywhere from $100-$250 for a topper, and $150-$400 for a wig)
  • Synthetic hair has been accused of looking “too perfect” (yes, there is such a thing!)


  • Some synthetic hair comes with an unnatural shine
  • You can’t get a silk top with synthetics – your scalp will look less-natural than a human hair piece (in some instances)
  • They don’t last very long: Expect your synthetic wigs and toppers to last 4-6 months, on average
  • Unless you get a heat-defiant version, you can’t straighten or curl them
  • The fiber doesn’t feel like most human hair (although this is only apparent when you have a human hair and a synthetic side-by-side)

Why I Love It: Living in the humid south, it’s capital-A awesome that the style holds even when the weather is terrible. Prior to wearing hair, if there was any humidity in the air I either had to wear my hair in a pony tail or sprint from my car to my cubicle. Now I couldn’t care less what the weather’s like.

Why I Loathe It: The shine on synthetic hair is a big factor for me. There are several methods I use to help lessen the shine (have you read my post on the Ellen Wille Mega Mono wig? She’s a synthetic wig that has close to zero shine out of the box and is amazing), but even after employing all those methods, some shine remains on most of the hair pieces I’ve worn. Boo to that. I know I mentioned that synthetic hair can sometimes look too perfect, and the shine definitely plays into that.

Human Hair Pros and Cons


  • Human hair can be colored, permed and styled just like your bio hair
  • It comes in a variety of textures and can exactly match your own hair’s texture
  • There are a many scalp options to get an extremely natural look
  • They last a long time with proper care: Expect your human hair toppers and wigs to last over a year
  • Human hair simply feels superb and looks incredibly natural


  • There is more upkeep involved: Expect to have to wash more often, deep-condition and straighten (in some cases) regularly
  • It’s harvested from an actual human head, people! This means it’s going to be more expensive than synthetic hair, so save your pennies for both the piece and the products to care for it (the cost varies immensely by just about every factor out there – expect to pay $300+ for a stock topper and $700+ for a stock wig)
  • If you custom-color it, it’s hard to replicate the exact result if you need to replace it or want a backup
  • It behaves like your own hair – it gets dry and it droops in humidity

Why I Love It: I’ve done some minor experimentation with human hair even though I wear synthetics. Hair loss feels ever-so-slightly less painful when your hair looks and feels like your bio hair should (I won’t even say “used to” since my bio hair was always crappy). The hair moves and shines just like your bio hair would.

Why I Loathe It: If I could duplicate the cost bullet above 16 times, I would. Wearing hair is SUCH trial and error that it physically makes me sick to think about spending big bucks on a piece that might not work out. Yep, you know where I am going with this. I’ve been there, done that (but that’s for another post).

What’s My Pick?

What I’ve figured out through this year of hair-wearing is I want both, dang it all to hell. I’m not big on curls and crazy styling, but there are times where it would just be nice to have a piece that is real hair on my head. The human hair vs synthetic hair debate, for me, is a draw.

The only thing that has held me back from going the human hair route is that buying a piece could be an expensive mistake, but sometimes you just have to take the plunge. So, I’m looking into some human hair options to see if there’s something that will work.

In my ideal world, I’d have both a synthetic hair and a human hair topper (colored to match my syn option) that I could interchange. I’d definitely wear my synthetic hair topper on the weekends to help extend the life of my human hair piece.

So, the search is on.

For those of you currently wearing hair, what’s your take on the whole human hair vs synthetic hair debate? What do you wear?

For others who are deciding where to start, what are you leaning towards?

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