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7 Proven Ways to Differentiate Human Hair from Synthetic Hair

For women, purchasing a good hair is an investment. But when you spend a fortune on getting weaves and in a short while they start to look frizzy or tangled, you’d wonder why you bought the hair in the first place. This is why you need to know how to differentiate human hair from synthetic hair.

With the advancement in technology, synthetic hair weaves have indeed evolved such that if you aren’t in the hair business it can be difficult for you to differentiate it from human hair. Some synthetic hair have textures that feel like that of human hair. However, that doesn’t make it human hair.

How to Differentiate Between Human Hair and Synthetic Hair

1. Colour

Synthetic hair extensions come in various colours and they are usually vibrant. They could be shiny black, brown, gold, red, etc. On the other hand, human hair don’t have shiny or vibrant colours. They only come in few shades of black or brown. However, they can be tinted into different colours whenever you want.

2. Quality

Everybody knows human hair weaves are superior to synthetic hair. If the hair is smooth when you run your hands down through it but feels different when you run your hands upwards, then you know it’s human hair. However if it is smooth when you run your hands either ways, it’s synthetic hair. Generally, human hair weaves are usually soft, sleek and appealing to touch. But synthetic hair has a fake look unlike human hair that feels natural.  

3. Flexibility

Human hair can be dyed to any colour. It is as well suitable to be used with heat equipment to straighten or curl. But this isn’t same for synthetic hair. It can’t be dyed or bleached because it will most likely burn; neither can it be tonged or styled with any heat appliance.

4. Wave

Human hair always curl up when it’s wet. It doesn’t matter if you bought it straight, curly or wavy. This doesn’t happen with synthetic hair.

5. Durability

Human hair can last as long as two to three years. If it gets tangled, it only tangles a little unlike synthetic hair which tangles easily. And when you comb your human hair, it sheds only a few strands. However, synthetic hair sheds frequently and easily. To minimise shedding for your human hair weave, use a wide tooth comb to comb the hair from the tips to the roots.

6. Burn Test

Another tip on how to differentiate human hair and synthetic hair is to cut a strand of the hair and burn it. If it melts into a ball and smells like rubber, then you know it’s synthetic hair. But if it burns immediately and smells like real hair, it’s human hair. In other words, while synthetic hair melts, human hair burns.

7. Price

Human hair weaves are more expensive than synthetic hair. This doesn’t mean you should break the bank if you want to buy human hair. While there are relatively expensive ones, there are also different types of human hair which have different prices. Therefore, you should go for the one that suits your pocket.

Regardless of these differences, both hair extensions are cool enough to make you beautiful. But while human hair extensions gives you a natural feel, it requires much effort to be maintained. You’ll have to style them with heat appliances occasionally to enhance their look whereas you don’t need this for synthetic hair. If care isn’t taken or if you apply the wrong hair products, you can ruin your human hair.


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Nelly Henshaw

Nelly Henshaw is an Applied Criminology and Sociology Graduate working in Youth Justice Service who equally shares a passion for personal wellbeing and everything to do with Lifestyle such as, Food, Travel, Art, Fashion, Hair and Beauty. She lives in London, UK.

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