Real Hair vs. Synthetic Hair Extensions

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Real Hair vs. Synthetic Hair Extensions

A woman can use hair extensions to change her entire appearance. In the Victorian Era, Britain imported about 102 tonnes of human hair from France to accommodate the fashion requirements of both men and women who were wearing human hair extensions at the time. The Apollo Knot hairstyle was all the rage amongst women, a look that resembled the beehive hairstyle popular in the 1950s, and required hair extensions. The practise of wearing wigs and hair extensions eventually fell out of popularity. However, what is old is new again.

Today, many women are looking for lusciously long hair and they can achieve this sought-after look through the application of hair extensions. Fortunately, there are many traditional stores as well as online sites where one can buy hair extensions. For instance, eBay has an extensive selection of human and synthetic hair extensions. It is important to research the advantages and limitations of both types of hair extensions, including how long they will last once applied, and how much they will cost, as well as how to care for hair extension.

Real or Synthetic Hair Extensions?

One can choose between synthetic or real hair extensions, depending on what look is desired, how much one is willing to pay for extensions and how much time one is willing to devote to the application process, care, and upkeep of their hair extensions.

Real or Synthetic: Appearance

Because human hair extensions are actual human hair, they have the same shade and texture of natural hair. Real hair extensions can be purchased to completely match and blend with one’s natural hair. Synthetic hair extensions are not real hair and the quality may not be quite what one is used to or expecting. There is a possibility that the extensions will not completely match natural hair in colour or texture.

Real or Synthetic: Longevity

After going to the expense and time of applying hair extensions, it is important to choose a type that will last. Most real hair extensions can last for up to six months, depending upon how they are cared for. Synthetic hair is made from nylon or other synthetic materials so using traditional hair care products will not keep them in the same condition that they do natural hair. Because of this, frizzing and fraying of synthetic hair becomes evident after several washes. Because of this, synthetic hair may not last up to six months.

Real or Synthetic: Care and Styling

Real hair extensions can be styled in exactly the same manner as one’s own hair, with the same products and styling tools. Real hair extensions can be cared for exactly like natural hair. They can be washed the same way by using mild shampoo, conditioners, and heat protectors can be applied for styling. These hair extensions can be styled and curled like natural hair because they are real hair like one’s own hair. Synthetic hair extensions cannot be styled with the same heated styling tool that are used on real hair extensions. This is because when exposed to heat sources, synthetic hair melts. For instance, one cannot use heated curling irons to curl synthetic hair as the hair will melt. However, they are much easier to style and due to ‘memory technology’ hold a curl for quite a long time. It is possible to wash and condition synthetic hair extensions as one would their own hair, but remember not to blow them dry, but let air dry hair after washing. Detangling sprays can be used on synthetic hair extensions to stop frizz. Skin Weft Tape in Hair Extensions

The Various Application Methods

Hair extensions can be applied in myriad ways. Some methods can be done at home, while some methods require that a professional do it.

Weft Tape

A skin weft tape in hair extension differs from other methods of applying hair extensions in that no glue is used in the application process. Instead, double-sided tape is used to secure sections of human hair to one’s head. The weft process is simple and quick, reusable, and will last up to six weeks. The tape is invisible and the hair can be coloured and styled like one’s own hair. Because of the ease with which this type of extension can be applied, they can be applied at home with the assistance of a friend.


When one is interested in adding volume or coloured hair extension streaks for a temporary look that will allow them to experiment with different hairstyles, bonding is a good choice. With this method, small tracks of hair are glued to the scalp at the root of the hair. This is a temporary extension that is good for about a week. The extension is secured to the hairline with one of two types of hair glue.


Tracking involves the application of hair extension to concentric circles of braided hair on the head. Eight to fifteen rows can be sewn to the concentric braids, depending upon how much fullness or length is desired.


Fusion is a very versatile, natural-looking type of hair extension. With this method, hair is glued to natural hair with a glue gun, which provides a very natural look. This is a very costly and time-consuming method of applying hair extensions, but the extensions can be treated like natural hair.


Netting extensions involves the application of human or synthetic hair extensions by sewing extensions to a net that is covering the natural hair. Care must be taken when washing this type of extension as the hair can start developing mildew under the extension if it is not thoroughly dried each time the hair is washed.

Tree Braiding

This method is also called the ‘cornrow method’. Extensions are braided into existing hair that has been braided into cornrows.

Clip-In and Clip-On Hair Extensions

Clip-on hair extensions are temporary but do not have any of the disadvantages other types of extensions may have. Extensions of human or synthetic hair are sewn to toupee clips that are then clipped to the natural hair. One can wear clip-ons for long periods of time, take them off or put them on easily, and they are very comfortable to wear.

Micro Braiding

With micro braiding, long hair extensions are merged into the hair by braiding human or synthetic hair sections in with one’s own hair, incorporating the braid directly into the hair without glue or tape. It is time consuming as a complete application can take up to 15 hours to complete, but the extensions will last for several months using this application method.

How to Find Real or Synthetic Hair Extensions on eBay

When a final decision has been made and you are ready to start your search for real or synthetic hair extensions, simply enter keywords that describe what you are looking for into the search bar at the top of any page on eBay. For instance, if you type ‘long curly blonde hair extensions’ into the search bar and hit the ‘search’ button, you will be greeted with a results page that lists potentially thousands of listings for hair extensions that match that description. You can then sort the listings by colour, texture, and hair type (real hair synthetic).

It is very important to remember that cameras and computer monitors can interpret and display colours differently. It can at times be difficult to judge the extension’s true main colour and the colour of the highlights based on the photos posted in the item description. For this reason, you should contact the seller and ask them about their individual returns policy. For instance, will they agree to take back the hair extension if you are not happy with the colour? To contact the seller directly is very straightforward. Simply go into their profile and click on the contact link.

While in their profile, consider reviewing their feedback score to find out how they were rated by other buyers. This is relevant information that will allow you to make a decision about whether or not you want to continue with the transaction. The sellers with the highest feedback scores are referred to as ‘eBay top-sellers’.


Hair extensions are a popular way of making a change to your appearance without taking drastic measures like a haircut or a dye job. You can purchase hair extensions in both human hair and synthetic hair varieties. Each has its own specific pros and cons, and before you have your stylist put them in, you'll need to decide which type of extensions is right for you. Unless you opt to have them removed, they could be part of your look for up to a year, so it is important to select a style and type of extension that best suits personal tastes, lifestyle, and facial features. Choose a long, curly black real hair extension or a straight, mid-length synthetic red hair extension. The choice will come down appearance, longevity, and care and styling. There are a variety of attachment methods. Some allow you to apply the extensions at home, while others will require your stylists expertise. eBay can boast the widest selection of real hair and synthetic hair extensions.