Which to Choose? Human Hair Vs Synthetic Hair

No matter if you’re wearing hair now or considering it, the “human hair vs synthetic hair” debate will at some point have played out in your head. Even though I’ve been wearing synthetic hair for the past year, I constantly run through the arguments for human hair vs synthetic hair all the time.

Because, you know, the grass is always greener.

So, let’s discuss. Hopefully if the “human hair vs synthetic hair” question has been one of the reasons you’ve been holding yourself back from wearing hair, this will help paint a clearer picture for you.

Human Hair vs Synthetic Hair

Up first, let’s look at synthetic hair, shall we?

Human Hair vs Synthetic Hair: Synthetic Hair Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Synthetic hair is easy to care for: Just wash, dry and shake!
  • It holds its style no matter what the weather
  • You can try a variety of colors and styles without visiting your hairstylist
  • Synthetic hair is relatively inexpensive (anywhere from $100-$250 for a topper, and $150-$400 for a wig)
  • Synthetic hair has been accused of  looking “too perfect” (yes, there is such a thing!)

Cons:

  • Some synthetic hair comes with an unnatural shine
  • You can’t get a silk top with synthetics – your scalp will look less-natural than a human hair piece (in some instances)
  • They don’t last very long: Expect your synthetic wigs and toppers to last 4-6 months, on average
  • Unless you get a heat-defiant version, you can’t straighten or curl them
  • The fiber doesn’t feel like most human hair (although this is only apparent when you have a human hair and a synthetic side-by-side)

Why I Love It: Living in the humid south, it’s capital-A awesome that the style holds even when the weather is terrible. Prior to wearing hair, if there was any humidity in the air I either had to wear my hair in a pony tail or sprint from my car to my cubicle. Now I couldn’t care less what the weather’s like.

Why I Loathe It: The shine on synthetic hair is a big factor for me. There are several methods I use to help lessen the shine (have you read my post on the Ellen Wille Mega Mono wig? She’s a synthetic wig that has close to zero shine out of the box and is amazing), but even after employing all those methods, some shine remains on most of the hair pieces I’ve worn. Boo to that. I know I mentioned that synthetic hair can sometimes look too perfect, and the shine definitely plays into that.

Human Hair vs Synthetic Hair: Human Hair Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Human hair can be colored, permed and styled just like your bio hair
  • It comes in a variety of textures and can exactly match your own hair’s texture
  • There are a many scalp options to get an extremely natural look
  • They last a long time with proper care: Expect your human hair toppers and wigs to last over a year
  • Human hair simply feels superb and looks incredibly natural

Cons:

  • There is more upkeep involved: Expect to have to wash more often, deep-condition and straighten (in some cases) regularly
  • It’s harvested from an actual human head, people! This means it’s going to be more expensive than synthetic hair, so save your pennies for both the piece and the products to care for it (the cost varies immensely by just about every factor out there – expect to pay $300+ for a stock topper and $700+ for a stock wig)
  • If you custom-color it, it’s hard to replicate the exact result if you need to replace it or want a backup
  • It behaves like your own hair – it gets dry and it droops in humidity

Why I Love It: I’ve done some minor experimentation with human hair even though I wear synthetics. Hair loss feels ever-so-slightly less painful when your hair looks and feels like your bio hair should (I won’t even say “used to” since my bio hair was always crappy). The hair moves and shines just like your bio hair would.

Why I Loathe It: If I could duplicate the cost bullet above 16 times, I would. Wearing hair is SUCH trial and error that it physically makes me sick to think about spending big bucks on a piece that might not work out. Yep, you know where I am going with this. I’ve been there, done that (but that’s for another post).

What’s My Pick?

What I’ve figured out through this year of hair-wearing is I want both, dang it all to hell. I’m not big on curls and crazy styling, but there are times where it would just be nice to have a piece that is real hair on my head. The human hair vs synthetic hair debate, for me, is a draw.

The only thing that has held me back from going the human hair route is that buying a piece could be an expensive mistake, but sometimes you just have to take the plunge. So, I’m looking into some human hair options to see if there’s something that will work.

In my ideal world, I’d have both a synthetic hair and a human hair topper (colored to match my syn option) that I could interchange. I’d definitely wear my synthetic hair topper on the weekends to help extend the life of my human hair piece.

So, the search is on.

For those of you currently wearing hair, what’s your take on the whole human hair vs synthetic hair debate? What do you wear?

For others who are deciding where to start, what are you leaning towards?

I *NEVER* Thought I Could Pull off This Look!

When you have thinning hair, there are just some things you shy away from. You may remember a post I wrote not too long ago about the first time I wore big earrings to work. Who knew something so mundane would be totally eye-opening for me?

Pre-hair, there were other things I’d avoid at all costs. Scarves are cute, don’t you think? Never would I be caught dead in one (I’m talking about decorative scarf/wrap/thingies, not utilitarian ones for cold weather) as the bulk around my neck would look odd against the lack of volume on my head.

Funky hair colors or bold highlights were out as well. Aside from the fact that I didn’t want to spend ANY additional time in my hair stylist’s chair, there’s no way I was going to field comments about my new, eye-catching hairdo at work the next day. No way, no how.

A flat-iron was a tool I never imagined I’d use. Why would I want to press my thin hair to be even thinner an an attempt to get it stick straight? Of course, on synthetic hair (most of them, anyways, synthetic hair is available in heat-friendly fiber) I don’t use a flat-iron either, BUT, I can successfully wear my hair pin straight if I want to, without looking like a drowned rat.

Hats are handy sometimes, at least I think. I live in the South so I don’t need one for warmth, ever, but I can imagine their use in other climates. Wearing a hat would freak me out because I’d be wondering what I looked like when I took it off. Plus, I’d be concerned with getting my concealers all over it. I did wear a ball cap once in recent history for a company soft ball game. I was the only one after the game who kept it on.

Sunglasses were even difficult “back then”. I still wore them, of course, but I’d have to think twice about if I wanted to rest them on top of my head. My concealers did an awesome job of hiding my hairloss, but even just a few short minutes of sunglasses on top of my head would create a dent in my hair. Not the best look, unfortunately.

Alright, so you get where I am going, right? There are just things that you learn to avoid, or things you worry about in a way no one else ever would when your hair, well, sucks.

This year my husband and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary. We’re pretty low-key people, but as 10 years is a milestone, I wanted to look extra special. So I broke out the one beauty item I never in a million years expected to ever wear.

RED LIPSTICK.

As in, “look at me, I’ve got nothing to hide and I think I kinda-sorta look good” red.

Red Lips

And guess what? It was awesome. My husband was floored and very complimentary, which in turn made me feel even better about myself.

The best part was that no one even gave me a second thought. Sounds sad, huh? But seriously, all I looked like to anyone who saw me was a normal-looking girl out on the town with her husband. I didn’t look like what I always imagined people saw me as, which I’ll keep to myself since some of what I thought about me wasn’t always the nicest.

Wearing hair has given me so much of my life back. I no longer have to give my look a second thought when I’m presenting at work, or picking out clothes, or just going out to eat with my husband.

I’m happier around my kids, I look people in the eye and–heck!–I’m even saving money by not visiting my stylist for colorings (does anyone else wonder why us “hair-challenged” girls still pay full-price for a stylist’s services when we have so much less hair on our heads? I used to be out the door in less than an hour with a cut, color AND blowdry but I’d still be charged the same price as the women next to me who was there for hours).

Those are just a few of the benefits to wearing hair. There are so many more I could come up with! After my anniversary dinner, though, I’d have to say that saving money is one of the best perks. I’m definitely contributing more to the red lipstick fund, now.

For those wondering, I’m wearing my Long Synthetic Topper in 8H14, by Jon Renau, purchased at Gallery of Wigs. You can read more about this hair topper here!

Ellen Wille Wigs: Mega Mono Wig Review

As promised, here is my official review with more photos of one of the most gorgeous Ellen Wille wigs out there, the Mega Mono. In my last post about synthetic lace front wigs, I told you about how this Ellen Wille wig kinda, well, stole my heart. As soon as I saw this beautiful color, I knew I had to try it. So, here’s my Mega Mono wig review!

Ellen Wille Wigs: Inside of Mega Mono

Like most wigs, there are a few standard areas of the wig cap to pay attention to:

  • Lace front: You see this running across the top of the wig. In this pic, I’ve trimmed it a tiny bit (more to come on that).
  • Mono top: The middle-front top of the wig has a mono top (monodirectional), which gives that area a scalp-like appearance. The hair can be parted any way you want in this section.
  • Ear tabs: See the shiny things flanking either side of the mono top? Ear tabs are meant to help keep the wig in place. Inside are wire/bendy things/something that you can adjust by pushing on this area to help “mold” the wig closely to your head. I think these are beneficial especially if you don’t have any bio hair.
  • Tighteners: The tighteners/adjustable tabs are used to tighten or loosen the wig.

    Ellen Wille Mega Mono Cap

    Lace Front of Mega Mono: Ellen Wille Wigs

    Here’s a pic of the Mega Mono before I cut the lace–just to give you an idea of how it looks right out of the box. If you look closely you can see the lace right below where my part is. It bothered me so I cut it back pretty drastically, which is totally ok! It’s meant to do that, if you want.

    Ellen Wille Wig Tobacco Rooted

    Ok, so on to what everyone wants to look at. Take these next few pictures of the Mega Mono Wig by Ellen Wille and look at them closely. Blow them up to 8×10 and hang them on your wall if you want. But know that NO ONE looks at our hairline and part as closely as we do. I’m not saying that because I think it looks bad (because, I don’t!) but I know everyone is going to have nose-smudges on their computers/phones/tablets. Just remember, due to our lovely condition, we are more hair-aware than ANYONE out there!

    Ellen Wille Wig Hairline

    You’ll see in the image above that I’ve trimmed the lace front back significantly. The lace front was tricky for me…unlike the toppers I’ve been wearing, there is no rim to use as a guide to where the hair should begin. I kept wanting to trim further and further back, but at some point you just have to stop and let it be.

    Close up of Mega Mono

    Here’s an even more close-up pic of the Ellen Wille Mega Mono hairline with the lace trimmed back.

    Ellen Wille Mega Mono

    I think having a deep side part helps with this look. Also, since the hair is parted on sort of a diagonal, it causes more of the lace to be covered which I think is a good thing.

    And here, of course, is a pic of the wig from the front. Over-exposed as always (sigh).

    Mega Mono Wig Review

    Finally, no wig review would be complete without a photo outside. I remember the sun being in my eyes, ha.

    Ellen Wille  Wigs Tobacco Rooted Wig

    Pros of the Ellen Wille Mega Mono

    What I really love about Ellen Wille wigs is the lack of unnatural shine that some synthetic wigs get. Some synthetics (wigs or toppers) have an artificial shine to them that gradually lessens the more you wear it (there are some tips and tricks to get rid of it faster which I’ll talk about soon), and I found that is the number one drawback of synthetic hair. Ellen Wille wigs look 100% natural right out of the box. I really wish some of the more readily available synthetic companies (are you listening, Noriko and Jon Renau?) would figure out how to do the hair fiber as nice as the hair fiber that Ellen Wille wigs have.

    I’d say the fit is average – my head is not too large nor too small and it fits me just fine.

    Cons of the Ellen Wille Mega Mono

    Not many! The hair fiber itself is so incredibly realistic, but I still struggle with the lace front and the knots. You might be able to see it if you look at my photos, but the knots underneath the lace front are dark. With human hair, you can get bleached knots so that they are invisible under the lace. That’s not happening with darker wig/topper colors.

    I think my hairstyle disguises this well, but the fact that I am aware of this means I’m not 100% comfortable in this wig.

    Closing Thoughts on Ellen Wille Wigs: Mega Mono

    I do love this wig. I love how the hair moves and I love how natural it looks. The density is perfect, too, as it’s not “wiggy”. If I could find a way to make peace with the lace front, I’d be wearing this in a heartbeat. I actually wish this wig was made in a non-lace front as I would love to try to integrate some of my bio hair with it. That’s difficult to do with a lace front.

    I’m going to continue to wear this now and then but it’s not going to be my every day look…at least, not yet. But, I can assure you…someday is probably closer than I think.

    Be sure to check out my first post about this wig, too.

    What do you think?

    If you have a minute, head on over to wigs.com to check out all the other colors this wig is available in.