Real Hair or Fake Hair?

So, you’ve always wondered about the appeal of hair extensions. Why would anyone want more hair to mess about with in a morning? Surely it’s just more hair that will go wavy in the rain; why would anyone want this?

So, what is the real difference between real hair extensions and synthetic ones? What are the benefits and disadvantages of each? And are they easy to look after or are they more hassle than they’re worth?
Let’s start with an easy one, real hair is clearly real human hair, it is therefore just like your own. You can wash the extensions, dry them, straighten and curl them, unless they are clip in extensions you wouldn’t even know they were there. With synthetic extensions, although they look and feel pretty much the same as real hair they can’t be treated in the same way. You can’t use straighteners or curling tongs but you can use heated curlers. Synthetic hair extensions cannot be dyed either, unlike real hair extensions.

The greatest advantage of hair extensions – regardless of whether they are real or synthetic – is that they make it possibly for every woman, irrespective of their race, religion, hair colour etc. to freely change their hair styles to suit the occasion or their mood or their outfit. Hair extensions are so versatile that you can adapt your look for anything whether it is the colour of your shoes or your Nan’s 80th birthday; they are suitable and acceptable for any occasion.

The problem that many women face when they want to purchase hair extensions is whether they should get real or synthetic hair and whether they should have permanent ones or ones that clip in. Here are a few advantages of both types.

The advantages of real human hair extensions are and easy one; they look exactly the same as your hair and they can be exactly colour matched. As no one’s hair is one block colour it is easier to get a colour match from real hair than it is from synthetic hair. However, if you do wish to dye your extensions to go with a new hair colour, dye will not damage real hair extensions – as long as they’re not dyed too often – unlike synthetic hair. The real hair extensions are comprised of hairs of great condition; they have natural shine, softness and flexibility. Due to these natural features, if cared for properly, real hair extensions can last for a full year.

The advantages of synthetic hair extensions on the other hand are that they already have a style; it doesn’t matter whether you choose curly, wavy or poker straight extensions, the fact that they are pre-set means that they hold their style in most conditions, including wind, rain and even humidity. Synthetic hair extensions add volume to your hair giving you the bonus of long hair with volume. This is unlike real hair extensions that add no additional volume. Synthetic hair extensions tend to be more affordable than real hair extensions, usually costing less than £100.

This article was written by beauty stylist Gina Smith for