Human & Synthetic Hair Extensions: What’s the Difference?

125g of custom colour LATH hybrid weft and tape extensions

Hair extensions can be classified into two categories: synthetic hair extensions and human hair extensions. Human hair extensions are made from natural human hair, which can be dyed, styled, and treated. Synthetics, on the other hand, are made from artificial materials like nylon, acrylic, or polyester. While synthetics are affordable, they lack the natural appearance and flexibility of human hair. Keep reading to learn more about human and synthetic hair extensions and how to choose the best for your hair styling needs. 

Introduction to Human Hair Extensions

Over the years, human hair extensions have gained popularity due to their versatility. While they come with a higher price tag, their natural look and feel justifies the investment. Whether you are in for the high-end Remy hair extensions, affordable human hair wigs or clip-in human hair extensions, there is something for everyone. From adding length and volume to achieving the desired colour and texture, human hair weaves and extensions provide endless possibilities for transforming your hairstyle. 

Introduction to Synthetic Hair Extensions

Synthetic hair extensions offer a cost-effective alternative to natural hair extensions. Although they lack the feel and versatility of human hair wefts, some good-quality synthetics are still available. Artificial hair extensions are often the best pick if you are looking for a temporary solution or a budget-friendly option. 

Pros and Cons of Human & Synthetic Hair Extension

Before choosing between human and synthetic hair pieces, you need to understand the pros and cons of each. Here’s a quick overview:

Type Pros Cons
Human Hair Extensions
  • They have the look and feel of natural hair.
  • They can be styled and treated like natural hair.
  • Long-lasting with proper care.
  • They can be a bit costly.
  • They require more maintenance.
Synthetic Hair Extensions
  • They are affordable and budget-friendly.
  • They are low maintenance.
  • Pre-styled synthetic wigs are easy to use.
  • They cannot be dyed or heat-styled.
  • They have a less natural appearance.

Key Differences Between Human and Synthetic Hair Extensions

Understanding the key differences between real hair extensions and synthetics or faux hair extensions will help you make an informed decision based on your needs and lifestyle. Below is a detailed comparison:

Features Human Hair Extensions Synthetic (Faux) Hair Extensions
Material Real human hair. Artificial fibres (nylon, acrylic, and polyester).
Styling They can be treated, dyed, and styled like natural hair. Limited styling options.
Durability They can last for 6-12 months or more with proper care. Shorter lifespan of 1-3 months.
Cost Ranges from $200-$2000+ Ranges from $30-$200+
Maintenance Requires regular care and maintenance. Low-maintenance.
Comfort They are breathable and comfortable. They are less comfortable.

Cost Comparison: Human vs. Synthetic Hair Extensions

The cost of hair extensions in Australia varies depending on the hair type and quality. As you would expect, human hair extensions are more expensive due to their natural look, versatility in styling and longevity. Synthetics, while more affordable, have limitations in terms of lifespan and styling. Here’s a comparison table to help you understand the pricing landscape. 

Type of Hair Extension Description Price-Range
Human Hair Extensions
Clip-in human hair extensions They are easy to apply and remove. $200-$500+
Tape-in human hair extensions They are semi-permanent and require maintenance. $250-$800+
K-Tip human hair extensions It offers long-lasting results but requires professional installation. $500-$1500+
Weft/Weave human hair extensions Hair extension is sewn into braided hair. $200-$600+
Human Hair Wigs Offers full coverage and allows for easy customisation. $300-$2000+
Human hair toppers Designed to cover thinning or balding areas on the top of the head. $200-$3000+
Synthetic Hair Extensions
Clip-In Synthetic Hair Extensions They are budget-friendly and easy to use. $30-$100
Tape-in Synthetic Hair Extensions They are affordable but are meant for short-term use. $50-$150
Synthetic Wigs They are cost-effective and offer a variety of styles. $50-$200
Synthetic hair toppers Pre-styled and affordable way to cover thinning areas of the scalp. $30-$100

How to Choose the Right Type of Hair Extensions for Your Needs

The right type of hair extension can be a game-changer in enhancing your natural hair and achieving the desired look. Choosing only one brand from the many types of hair extensions can be daunting. Here are some of the factors you should consider before making up your mind.

What is Your Desired Outcome?

You should always choose a type of hair extension based on your desired look. Whether you aim for added volume, length or both, you are sure to find the best hair extension that meets your unique needs.

Hair Quality and Texture 

If you are looking for the best product in the market, consider virgin hair extensions sourced from a single donor and prepared without chemical processing. Such quality is only possible with 100% human hair. If your budget allows, investing in quality ensures durability, versatility and enhanced looks. 

Additionally, the texture of your hair extensions should match that of your natural hair. Whether you have wavy, straight, or curly hair, go for extensions that resemble your natural hair texture. 

125g of custom colour LATH hybrid weft and tape extensions

Your Lifestyle and Application Method

Most hair extensions are classified based on how they are applied to your natural hair. For instance, clip-ins use clips to attach to natural hair, while sew-in types are sewn to your braided hair. Another important aspect to consider before choosing a type of hair extension is your lifestyle. If you are physically active, a clip-in would be your best pick, as it allows for easy application and removal on a need basis. 

Maintenance Requirements 

Each type of hair extension requires varying levels of maintenance. Clip-ins are the easiest to install/remove but may require styling each time they are worn. That said, semi-permanent extensions, such as tape-ins and sew-ins, require regular maintenance to ensure they remain undamaged. 


For most people, cost is an important aspect when choosing a type of hair extension. As noted earlier, human hair extensions are more expensive than synthetics. If you are on a budget, you should strike a balance between the quality and cost of hair extensions while still paying attention to the other factors we have discussed above. 

Key Takeaway 

Having come to the end of this guide, you now know that the choice between synthetic and human hair extension boils down to quality, cost, versatility and longevity. Whether you prioritise affordability and convenience or authenticity and longevity, understanding the differences between the various types of hair extensions is key to making an informed decision. To get the best value for your money, consult a hair specialist who can help you choose the right hair extension for your needs and budget. For more information or to book a consultation, contact our team at Lady and The Hair today.

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