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Synthetic vs Human Hair Toppers. Which Is Right for Me?

April 18th, 2023 | 15 min. read

Synthetic vs Human Hair Toppers. Which Is Right for Me?

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Losing your hair, developing bald patches, or noticing a widening part line can be painful experiences, both physically and emotionally. Hair loss can make you feel self-conscious and impact how you feel about yourself. It’s frustrating when the reflection you see in the mirror doesn’t align with your self-image, and you are left searching for a solution to help you feel confident and more like yourself again.


At Daniel Alain, we understand the challenges that come with hair loss and have made it our mission to provide the best alternative hair solutions available. Our wigs and toppers are among the best in the world, and we have helped countless people find the right alternative hair solution to meet their unique needs. 


Although we only make and sell human hair wigs and toppers, we strongly believe in providing you with the best information possible. When it comes to choosing the right piece for you, nothing matters more than your comfort. Whether you ultimately choose a synthetic or human hair topper doesnt matter as long as it makes you feel beautiful, empowered, and more like yourself.


Whether you are experiencing hair loss due to aging, certain medical conditions, or stress, hair toppers offer an instant, non-surgical solution that can help restore your confidence. 


In this article, we will share our knowledge and experience to help you make an informed decision about whether to choose a synthetic or human hair topper. We’ll cover the advantages and disadvantages of each, including features such as how they look, how long they last, and how much you are likely to pay. After reading this article, you will have a better understanding of which option is best for you, and you will feel confident about your decision whichever option you ultimately choose.





advantages of synthetic toppers


A synthetic topper is made from synthetic fibers that have been chemically processed and treated to resemble natural hair. Synthetic toppers are an affordable solution to hair loss or thinning hair and come in a variety of colors, textures, and styles. 

Synthetic toppers retain their style and shape


“The main advantage to a synthetic topper is that they’re ready to wear,” suggests Patricia Wrixon, founder of The Salon at 10 Newbury in Boston, one of the most prestigious and highly respected salons and hair replacement centers in the US. Not only has Patricia worked in the industry for four decades, but she has also had her own hair loss experience and wears a topper herself.


The monofilament fibers used to make synthetic toppers are preset and styled, meaning they will maintain their shape even after washing or being exposed to various weather conditions. If you don’t like styling your hair and prefer to wear the same look day after day, a synthetic topper will give you the consistent look you want.

Synthetic toppers are available in a wide range of colors and styles


For a hair topper to look natural, it needs to blend perfectly with the color of your existing hair. Synthetic toppers are “available in a variety of lengths, colors, and textures, including straight, wavy, or curly, as well as different lengths and thicknesses," explains Patricia. The variety of options means you will likely find a synthetic topper that closely matches your hair type to help you achieve the most natural look.

Synthetic toppers are very affordable


“Synthetic toppers are a more affordable alternative to human hair toppers,” says Patricia. They’re factory-made and mass-produced, which makes them a popular choice for people on a budget. The cost of a synthetic topper varies depending on the quality of the fibers and the construction of the base, but they generally range from about $50 to $300. Some premium-quality synthetic toppers can cost more, but they’re still significantly less expensive than a human hair topper. 



Disadvantages of synthetic toppers

Synthetic toppers don’t have the most natural look


The fibers used to make synthetic toppers have a distinct texture that’s very different from the texture of real hair. Run your fingers through a synthetic topper and you will feel the difference. You can see the difference too, especially under bright lights or in sunlight. A synthetic topper typically looks shiny and artificial. 


A synthetic hair topper cannot be colored like natural hair and as a result, it will not look as natural or realistic as a human hair topper that can be colored to suit and blend in with your existing hair.


The synthetic fibers also have a limited range of movement and flexibility, which makes them look stiff and unnatural when styled. 


In short, synthetic fibers just don’t compare to real human hair. If you want your topper to be completely undetectable from the rest of your hair, a synthetic probably isn’t the right choice for you.

Synthetic toppers cannot be styled


One of the best ways to help a topper blend in with your existing hair is to style both the topper hair and your own hair. Doing this will help to produce the most consistent and seamless look. A drawback of synthetic toppers is that they cannot be restyled with heat tools in the same way that human hair toppers can be. 


The synthetic fibers used to create the toppers are made from plastics that cannot withstand high temperatures from curling wands, straightening irons, or hair dryers. Even heat-friendly synthetic toppers have to be treated far more gently than human hair toppers. If you enjoy creating loose, beachy curls for a special occasion, or straightening your hair for a sleeker look, a synthetic topper may not be the best option for you.


“Synthetic toppers are very sensitive to heat,” Patricia explains. “Even if you’re cooking, or grilling food outside, you could cause permanent damage to a synthetic piece.”

Synthetic toppers have a limited lifespan


Another downside to synthetic toppers is their limited lifespan. While they’re generally more affordable than their long-lasting human hair counterparts, synthetic toppers are likely to last only a few months before the fibers start to break down.


Exposure to heat, sunlight, and friction can cause the synthetic topper to become tangled or lose its shape and style over time. Regular care and maintenance can help extend the life of your synthetic topper, but it’s important to keep in mind that a synthetic topper will need to be replaced regularly.


“A synthetic topper tends to get frizzy as it's worn. If it rubs against your clothing, the fibers start to break down in the same way a wool sweater starts to pill,” says Patricia. 



advantages of human hair toppers


A human hair topper is made from real, human hair. The best human hair toppers are made using fine, European hair that is known for its beautifully sleek and smooth texture. When a human hair topper is 100% hand-tied (meaning that each hair is hand-tied to the base one to two strands at a time), the movement of the hair looks and feels completely natural and resembles a real head of hair.

Human hair toppers have the most natural look




“Human hair toppers are the best option if you want to achieve the most natural look,” says Patricia. “They move just like a real head of hair.”


Human hair toppers are considered to be the most natural-looking option for anyone looking to add volume or coverage to their existing hair. This is because human hair has a natural texture and movement that synthetic fibers simply cannot fully replicate. 

Human hair toppers can be customized


Human hair toppers can be colored or cut to match your existing hair color and length. In fact, at Daniel Alain, we recommend having some customizations done to your human hair topper as this will help you achieve the most natural look. Consider having layers, face-framing pieces, or bangs cut into your human hair topper. “Trimming a human hair piece really helps it to blend in and creates a most natural look,” says Patricia. 




You can give your human hair topper color treatments and add a root, low-lights, or money pieces around the face. “You can even perm them!” exclaims Patricia. Anything you can do to your existing hair can be done to your human hair topper. 

Human hair toppers have a long lifespan


The lifespan of a human hair topper can vary depending on the quality of the hair and the care given to it. At Daniel Alain, we advise our customers to expect our toppers to last about 2-4 years, and often even longer, with proper care and maintenance. Regular washing and conditioning, storing the topper properly when not in use, and avoiding excessive heat styling will help you get the most out of your topper for years to come. 


If you have a very active lifestyle and wear your topper while working out or at the gym, you will need to wash your topper more often to keep it looking its best.




While human hair toppers are more expensive than synthetic toppers, the long lifespan can make them a cost-effective option over time.

Human hair toppers can be treated like natural hair


One of the biggest advantages of human hair toppers is that they can be treated in the same way as natural hair. If you enjoy styling your hair, playing with accessories, and switching up your look from day to day, a human hair topper will allow you to explore every option. If you’re planning to use heat styling tools, we always recommend using a high-quality heat protectant to keep your topper looking its best for as long as possible.




“A human hair topper can be refreshed if the color starts to fade,” advises Patricia. “It will fade in a very natural way, but we recommend getting it re-colored around 9 to 12 months.”


Disadvantages of human hair toppers

Human hair toppers are expensive


Human hair toppers are more expensive than synthetic toppers due to the higher cost of sourcing and processing the hair. High-quality human hair that requires minimal processing and chemical treatments is rare, and this drives up the cost of an exquisite human hair topper. 


The cost of a human hair topper also depends on the length and color of the hair. Typically the longer and blonder the hair, the more expensive the piece will be. At Daniel Alain, our Follea toppers start at $1242 for the smallest base size in the darkest color.


“The only disadvantage to a human hair topper is the cost,” says Patricia. “We recognize they cost a lot more than a synthetic topper, but this is the highest quality hair available and you can expect it to last much longer. From an investment standpoint, I think it makes more sense to buy a human hair piece because you’ll be replacing a synthetic piece much more often.” 


While human hair toppers may be more expensive upfront, they can be a better long-term investment due to their durability and natural look. With proper care, the best human hair topper can last for several years, which means they’re likely to be extremely cost-effective in the long run.



Is a synthetic or human hair topper right for me?


Synthetic hair toppers are made from artificial fibers and are much less expensive than human hair toppers. They come in a preset style and will maintain their look even after washing or exposure to the weather. On the downside, synthetic toppers have a limited lifespan and can’t typically be styled with heat tools, so you won’t be able to recreate styles that involve bouncy curls or beachy waves.


While we recognize that a human hair topper isn’t right for everyone, they do offer a much more natural look and feel for the right person than synthetic toppers, as they’re made from real human hair. They can also be styled with heat tools, just like your own hair. Human hair toppers can be colored and cut, and last much longer than synthetic toppers but they are also much more expensive.



Am i ready for a daniel alain consultation?

Losing your hair can be a deeply distressing experience, and we understand you’re desperate for a solution. If you’ve been frustrated by the lack of results you’ve seen from treatments to regrow your hair, a human hair topper could be an effective solution to give you the volume and coverage you desire. By taking the time to research the differences between synthetic and human hair toppers, you’re already on the right path to finding the perfect one for you.


You should now have a better understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of synthetic and human hair toppers. At Daniel Alain, we only make and sell human hair wigs and toppers, but we want you to have the best information to make an informed decision about which type of topper is best for your specific needs and preferences, whichever option you ultimately choose.


If you’re interested in learning more about toppers, reading about the two main problems of hair toppers and how to avoid them is another great way to ensure you end up with the right hairpiece for you.


If you have any specific questions about our human hair toppers, our team of consultants is always available to provide you with answers and support. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us via a free consultation. You’re not alone in your hair loss journey.