How To Tell If Those Hair Extensions Are Real Or Not

by Emily Grimshaw

From a quick fix glam up to long lasting locks, there are heaps of hair extensions
out there that cater for any look you are after. But how do you check if your hair
is real human hair or synthetic? Here are our five top tips to spot the difference
between the two.

1. Price £££

Common sense tells us that if its cheap, its synthetic. Synthetic hair is made
predominantly from plastic fibres whereas human hair is exactly what it says
on the tin! Expect to pay anything up to £50 for synthetic hair depending on
the style, weight, length and quality. A full head of human hair however could
cost anywhere between £200-£700 plus. The price varies on where the human
hair is sourced, the process it goes through, its length and thickness. That being
said, watch out for overpricing! We all know Russian Hair is the most expensive
but suppliers only need to have a few hairs in the pack that are Russian to pass
it off as Russian. Rural Chinese hair has the second most amount of cuticle layers
after Russian and the process can have a massive impact on quality and longevity.

2. It Will Last

If you wore your synthetic clip in piece each day it would soon get tatty and need
replacing. Synthetic hair is not to be meant to be worn permanently so excess wear,
washing and styling would have a quick detrimental effect on the hair. Real human
hair extensions on the other hand are miles more durable and last longer. Depending
on the quality of the human hair and how well you look after it, you will be able to enjoy
them for six months upto one year plus! One of our lovely Spectrum One ladies wore
her weave for 18 months before getting a fresh one!

3. Burn Baby Burn

The burn test. Ok please do not set your gorgeous new Spectrum One Synthetic Halo
alight just out of curiosity. That would be a sad moment. If you pulled out a few strands
of hair and used a lighter or unscented candle, you will find that real hair singes and
burns upwards…and smells like burnt hair! Synthetic hair, with it being plastic will melt
and form a sticky ball. So it goes without saying that using a high heat when styling
synthetics will damage the strands. However, in recent years, the quality of synthetic
hair has massively advanced and on some synthetic hair (like our new range of Spectrum
One Synthetics coming soon), you can use heated styling tools upto a temperature of
180 degrees and they can be occasionally washed too!

4. Colour And Style

Synthetic hair tends to be a lot more vibrant in colour. During the dying process, it
is difficult to achieve highlights and subtle colour changes that we expect when buying
human hair extensions. Human hair can also be redyed (we use anything upto 4% on
ours when switching it up), whereas with synthetic hair, it cannot be redyed, so make
sure that your colour match is bang on!

With the style of the hair, real human hair generally comes straight and the hair can be
washed, conditioned and styled over and over to achieve your desired style. Synthetic
hair on the other hand will come pre-styled. Keep an eye out for our range of styles from
loose curl halo piece to 90’s bounce pony…you will want your colour in them all!

5. The Science

If you popped a very strong magnifying glass over natural hair you would see that hair
is comprised of scales. So when you rub downwards on the hair it will feel smooth and
upwards would quickly turn it into a birds nest. Synthetic hair however would remain
smooth both ways due to the polymer makeup of the fibres. Anyone ever had split ends?
Well that would be the weaker scales breaking off. Individual synthetic hair strands are
much thicker than real strands. The best real human hair is Double Drawn which means
it is thick from root to tip, will be healthier and last longer than middle or single drawn hair.

So there you have it! Our 5 top tips to spot the difference between real and synthetic hair.
Here at Spectrum One we are branching out from our amazing professional range of human
hair extensions to synthetics. Watch out for our gorgeous Spectrum One Synthetics range
which will be landing just before Christmas!