Synthetic vs Natural Hair: Which is the Better Option?
In getting a sew-in or buying a wig, there are a lot of choices you have to make. It starts from the length of the hair you’re getting, the color, the hair texture, and also the source. Hair bundles and wigs can either be made from synthetic materials in factories using common polymers like polyester, vinyl chloride, or nylon. Or it can also be made using natural hair that is grown and cut to make wigs and bundles.
To put it simply, the main difference between synthetic hair and natural hair is the hair fibers used in making the bundles and wigs you buy from the market. But that’s not the only difference that you need to consider when buying a synthetic or natural wig. There are other factors too that we will discuss below:
Natural hair is (yes, you guess it right!) from humans! Women grow their hair to donate or sell it to merchants who will process it to become bundles or wigs. While synthetic hair is made from various types of polymers spun into fibers. Usually fibers of modacrylic, vinyl chloride, vinylidene chloride, polyester, and nylon are used to make synthetic hair.
Both synthetic and natural hair go through various process which requires time and effort. And those processes contribute to its price. However, what makes the great difference between the two is the source of the hair fibers.
For synthetic hair, polymers like polyester or nylon are used to make the individual strands of hair which are easier to produce that natural human hair. Polymer production is greatly optimized, making the process cost-efficient in a short amount of time.
Natural human hair, on the other hand, requires great care and a long time to let it grow. Your hair can grow around half an inch per month in average. So, in a year, only 6 inches is added to the length of your hair.
When it comes to styling, natural hair can be styled using heat tools like flat iron and blow-dryer since it’s made with human hair. Once washed though, you have to style it again like how you would do to your own hair.
Meanwhile, synthetic hair cannot be styled with heat tools because it will melt the hair fibers and you wouldn’t want to handle that kind of a mess! But synthetic hair is sold styled and it retains the shape and styling even after washing.
If you want to put a pop of color to your wig or weave, natural hair will be easier to treat with color since it behaves the same way as your hair does. So, you can go from blonde today, and a crazy color the next month!
Synthetic hair, on the other hand, cannot be color treated since the coloring chemicals may cause damage to the synthetic fibers. However, you can still get synthetic hair in various different colors.
Due to the materials used in making synthetic hair, it is easier to maintain since it doesn’t get easily affected by the weather and even the humidity. That means less frizz, yes! Since synthetic hair is also sold styled, the fibers can retain the shape and style even after several washes, making it easy to maintain and care.
Meanwhile, natural hair requires the usual needs of your own hair like washing, deep-conditioning, and even styling. But too much washing and styling can create damage to your hair overtime. Make sure you don’t overdo that part. And like your own hair, it is also prone to frizz or dryness depending on the weather conditions.
Between the two, natural hair will last longer. It can last around 1 year or more, especially with proper care. Synthetic hair won’t last as long since it typically lasts only four to six months. The difference in longevity can be attributed to the materials used. Since natural hair is made from human hair, which is naturally strong, it can last a lot longer.
If you’re getting more environmentally conscious, natural hair will definitely be a better option for you. Like human hair, natural hair will decompose after several years. And through decomposition, natural compounds that make up the hair goes back to the environment to be used again.
Synthetic hair, on the other hand, will not easily decompose and will only start doing so after hundreds of years. It may also breakdown to smaller plastics called microplastics that can infiltrate water systems.
All these factors aside, the better option will always depend on you! Make sure that you evaluate your lifestyle and see what will fit best on your day-to-day life.
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