Wig Types: Synthetic Wigs vs. Human Hair Wigs

There is a load of misinformation going around when it comes to wig types. I hope to demystify this topic by breaking it down.

This is not for my ladies who often wear wigs and know their stuff. Instead, this article is for my newbies who know nothing about wigs and their different characteristics. Keep reading for the basics surrounding wig types.

Wig Types For Beginners

There are two main types of wigs: synthetic wigs and human hair wigs. Let’s examine each, shall we?

Synthetic wigs are made of synthetic, or man-made fibers.

Human hair wigs are created from harvesting hair from the head of a human (you guessed it!).

Pros and Cons of Synthetic Wigs


  • Low cost. Synthetic wigs are relatively inexpensive. This is great for someone who is just looking to try out a new style or has financial limitations.
  • Low maintenance. Synthetic wigs don’t take a lot to maintain. If it needs to be washed, wash it, shake it out, let it dry, and you’re good to go.
  • Style retention. Synthetic wigs have fibers that are set in a particular way (whether it be straight, wavy, curly, or kinky), and no matter how many times you wash and dry it, it shouldn’t lose it’s shape.


  • Too shiny. Shiny hair is gorgeous, but some synthetic wigs are unnaturally shiny. It’s a foolproof sign that you’re wearing a low-quality wig.
  • Don’t last. Over time, the majority of synthetic wigs get old and matted. Many of them won’t last an entire month.
  • Styling Limitations. Due to the way that synthetic wigs are set into a particular styles, they can’t often be restyled. You are essentially stuck with that one style.

Pros and Cons of Human Hair Wigs


  • Natural Look. Human hair wigs look natural, and when styled correctly, people won’t be able to tell that it’s not your natural hair.
  • Versatility in Styling. Human hair wigs offer countless styling options since they are made of real hair. You can straighten it, color it, roller set it, bleach it, and more.
  • Long lasting. They can last from several months up to a year, or longer depending on how well you take care of it.
  • Texture match. You can buy human hair wigs with hair that was harvested from someone with a hair texture similar to yours.


  • Cost. Human hair wigs often cost more than synthetic wigs. This is due to the fact that with human hair wigs, you are getting hair that’s from someone’s head (vs. synthetic hair that was manufactured in a factory).
  • Care Requirements. Since human hair is actual hair, it needs care. You will need to wash, condition, (sometimes deep condition) and more to keep your wig looking its best.

Which Type Of Wig Is Better?

Unfortunately, there is no way for me to tell you which wig type is better. The pros and cons touched on before show you that both synthetic and human hair wigs have their merits.

So how do you choose?

Take a moment to reflect on what you are looking for in your next style. If you are short on funds, you might want to consider synthetic wigs (since they don’t usually cost much).

If you are looking for a more natural looking wig that will last a long time, go for a human hair wig.

Either Way, Don’t Settle

There are levels to quality when it comes to wigs. Just like there are extremely cheap synthetic wigs, there are cheap human hair wigs that won’t look great over time. Conversely, there are really great looking synthetic and human hair wigs. 

Good Luck!

Ultimately, you have to make the decision based on your personal preferences. What works for one person may not work for another.

Thanks for reading!



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