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My Experience Wearing Synthetic and Human Hair Wigs - by Mirna Wilson

February 21st, 2023 | 12 min. read

My Experience Wearing Synthetic and Human Hair Wigs - by Mirna Wilson

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If you’ve started to research wigs you’ll know that one of the decisions you’ll have to make is choosing between a synthetic and human hair piece. 


With conflicting information and differing opinions, it can be hard to discern what it’s really like to wear synthetic and human hair wigs. 


We can help. 


We know that hair loss can be a struggle. But finding the perfect wig doesn’t have to be. 


We’ve been changing the narrative surrounding wearing wigs for over two decades. Here at Daniel Alain, we only make and sell human hair wigs. But we’re committed to an open and honest discussion around every type of wig. We believe in helping women find the right wig for them, whether that’s one of our human hair pieces or a synthetic wig from another company. 


One of our real-life customers, Mirna Wilson, wears both human hair and synthetic wigs. We’ve asked her to share her experience of wearing both, how they hold up over time, and how they fit in with her daily life as a busy mom of two small boys. We hope that in reading about her experience, you’ll have a better idea about which wig might be best for you.


Mirna suffers from hair loss due to alopecia areata. When she first lost her hair, she hid her bald patches and thinning hair beneath baseball caps, declined invitations to be sociable, and avoided being in photos - even family pictures with her children. Mirna’s hair loss was a secret shame she kept to herself. 


After exhausting all shampoos, lotions, and treatments that promised results but didn’t come through, Mirna started to wear wigs. These days, Mirna shares her wig journey online for others to learn from her experience. She’s passionate about sharing her story and teaching others about what it’s like to wear wigs every day. 



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Advantages and Disadvantages of Synthetic Wigs


Synthetic wigs are made from nylon or acrylic fibers that have been chemically processed to recreate the look and movement of real human hair. Most synthetic wigs are lightweight, affordable, and widely available in a variety of colors, lengths, and styles. 


We asked Mirna to tell us about the advantages and disadvantages of synthetic wigs.

Advantage 1: Synthetic wigs are low-cost


“One of the advantages to wearing synthetic wigs is their cost. They are simply much less expensive than human hair pieces,” explains Mirna.


Synthetic wigs can cost less than a couple of hundred dollars compared to human hair wigs, which often run into the thousands. For someone new to wearing wigs, synthetic wigs are a great entry-level price to start their wig-wearing journey.


Advantage 2: Synthetic wigs have a pre-set style


Synthetic wigs are 'fixed in style', which means you can enjoy the same look day after day. They’re low-maintenance, ready-to-wear hair, and you won’t be spending time and energy styling the piece.


“I wear my synthetic wig in the summer and I love the baked-in style,” says Mirna. “I’m in and out of the pool and the kids are always splashing me and my wig gets wet. I can simply put it back on the wig stand and it dries in exactly the same style. No fuss, no effort.”


Advantage 3: Synthetic wigs are less precious 


Because Mirna’s synthetic wigs are less expensive and have a shorter life expectancy than her human hair wigs, she’s less precious with her synthetic wigs and can push the boundaries of wear. Living in a beautiful pool home in Southern California with her family, Mirna spends the long summer days in and out of the water with her two young boys. Her synthetic wigs can handle the splashing that occurs during family pool time, and it saves her expensive human hair wigs from the water, pool chemicals, and sunlight.


“When I’m wearing my synthetic pieces, I’m not as concerned about it getting splashed by my kids in the pool. I’m not stressing out about my hair and I’m enjoying myself, allowing them to play,” says Mirna.


Disadvantage 1: Synthetic wigs don’t last very long


“One of the disadvantages of wearing a synthetic piece is that it doesn’t last as long [as human hair],” explains Mirna. “I expect my synthetic wigs to last me between two and three months in the summer.”


Synthetic wigs have a short lifespan. While a human hair wig will likely last several years, synthetic wigs will, at best, last just a couple of months. If a synthetic wig is your main go-to piece, you could end up spending the equivalent of the cost of a luxury human hair piece.

Disadvantage 2: Synthetic wigs don’t look natural



Try as they might, synthetic fibers are not able to emulate the natural beauty of human hair. If you’re trying to be discreet about hair loss or wig-wearing, it might be that a synthetic wig draws more attention to your head.


“One more disadvantage of a synthetic wig is that they look shiny and not very natural. When I go outside in the sun, my synthetic wig is very, very shiny. This will stand out for others to see.”


Another issue that Mirna experiences with her synthetic wig is the texture of the perma-tease. Perma-tease is the addition of short, teased fibers at the root to give the wig volume and body. 




“Synthetic pieces usually have a ton of perma-tease. That’s a dead giveaway you’re wearing a wig and it doesn’t look natural,” says Mirna.


Disadvantage 3: Synthetic wigs are uncomfortable


The best wigs are the ones you can wear day in and day out in complete comfort. Mirna finds that while her synthetic wigs may be comfortable for the first or second wear, after a while the fibers deteriorate and they’re not kind to the skin.


“The synthetic hair fibers will eventually start to fray or become frizzy. It becomes uncomfortable when the frayed fibers rub against your neck or your skin. It’s very, very scratchy.”



Advantages and Disadvantages of Human Hair Wigs




Human hair wigs are made from hair sourced mainly from China, India, or Europe. While hair quality and texture will vary, human hair wigs can be colored and treated the same way as bio hair. They offer versatility, comfort, and a natural look. 


We asked Mirna to share the advantages and disadvantages of human hair wigs.


Advantage 1: Human hair wigs look natural




Mirna’s human hair wigs have a completely natural look, even in bright sunlight. She feels confident wearing them, knowing that nobody would know she was wearing a wig. The human hair has a natural bounce that moves exactly like a real head of hair. 


“The thing I love the most about my human hair wig is that it’s so realistic. It’s the most comparable to biological hair. And that, I think, is what we’re all trying to achieve,” says Mirna.


Advantage 2: Human hair wigs have a natural texture and density


Mirna’s human hair wigs not only look natural, they feel natural, too. Running her fingers through her hair, her human hair wig feels like the hair she wished she had, and very different from the unnatural nylon fibers of her synthetic wig.


“The texture and density are most comparable to biological hair. It lays nice and flat and looks like natural hair!” exclaims Mirna.


Advantage 3: Human hair wigs are comfortable

Mirna was properly measured and fitted for her human hair wigs. She worked with a consultant at Daniel Alain to find the perfect fitting wig, and while her petite head struggles to find a good fit with a one-size-fits-all wig cap, her human hair wigs are the perfect size. A good-fitting cap means she can comfortably wear her human hair wigs all day.


Advantage 4: Human hair wigs can be styled




“One of the reasons I love human hair is that I can achieve any look I want. I can use hot tools, a curling iron, or a flat iron. I can also use tons of different bobby pins and rubber bands. I love that about my human hair.”

Mirna enjoys styling her human hair wigs and takes pride in finding ways to make her wigs look their best. Taking ownership of the care and styling of her human hair wigs helps Mirna feel like they are part of her. 


Disadvantage 1: Human hair wigs are expensive


“Cost is a factor, and human hair pieces are expensive. That might be a reason someone is deterred from purchasing human hair,” explains Mirna.


While the cost of human hair wigs varies, they typically cost more than synthetic pieces. Though the initial cost of her human hair wig exceeds that of a synthetic piece, the longer lifespan means Mirna gets value for money. Human hair wigs are well-made, durable, and versatile. With proper care and maintenance, human hair wigs can last 3-4 years, often longer. They can endure washing, coloring, and styling without falling apart, making them a long-term investment, not a temporary throw-away solution. 


Disadvantage 2: Human hair wigs need to be styled


While human hair wigs can be air-dried and don’t require a lot of styling if that’s not your thing, human hair wigs don’t have the same pre-set style as synthetic wigs. Mirna suggests that if you don’t want to spend time styling your human hair wig, they might not be right for you. 


“Synthetic wigs have a baked-in style so you don’t have to do much to achieve a look. With human hair, some people might not be interested in styling a piece. It just depends on your personal preference  and what you’re looking for,” says Mirna.



Is a human hair wig right for you?


We hope that reading about Mirna’s experience of wearing synthetic and human hair wigs casts light into unknown territory. We understand that choosing your first wig can be overwhelming and it’s a decision you want to get right from the outset.


If you think you’d like to know more about our human hair wigs from Follea by Daniel Alain, booking a free consultation with one of our experienced stylists is a great way to get started. They will be able to answer any additional questions about human hair wigs and address any other concerns.


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