There are pros and cons to making a custom wig from either human hair or synthetic hair. While it ultimately comes down to what is better for the individual project, here are some points to consider.
Human hair, as the name suggests, is hair that is cut from the head of a person, for the purposes of wig or hairpiece making. This practice of selling or donating one’s hair for wig or piece making is a very old one, and there have been many eras in history when wearing wigs or hairpieces was pretty standard practice, whether made from one’s own hair or someone else’s. These days the hair buying trade tends to be less localized – Jo March would probably have a harder time raising money for he family by popping into her neighborhood barber shop. Because it comes from real people, human hair tends to look and behave like, well, real hair. There are good and bad points to this, of course.
Human hair is great for: historical wigs; wigs that need the hair to be extremely lifelike and realistic; wigs which need to be restyled frequently in a wide range of styles; wigs that need to be absolutely natural and undetectable; wigs which will be worn with a large amount of hair hanging loose
Synthetic hair is made by machines, using a plastic that is shaped into fine strands. There are various qualities and types of synthetic fibers, some are quite lifelike and will withstand heat tools and styling – others are more artificial. The range of choices on the market is much broader than it was even a few years ago, so both wig makers and wearer’s alike have more choices.
Synthetic hair is great for: very long or very full wigs; wigs that need to be an extremely bright or saturated non-natural color; wigs that need a very distinct texture that is not lifelike; wigs that will spend a great deal of time being worn in rain or high humidity
Those are just a few of the differences between human hair and synthetic hair. Not every point will hold true for every situation and many of the drawbacks can be mitigated with proper care and handling.
When we work with a client, we determine how they’ll use their wig and what their expectations and needs are, so that we can suggest the best materials for their wig. In many cases, either fiber can be a good choice, and it will often come down to budget or maintenance concerns. Your project quote will include the best options for your particular wig.
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