Synthetic vs Human Hair Colors

Posted by JR on Feb 6th 2020

Synthetic Fiber versus Human Hair: Why do they look different?

Human hair will always appear warmer than the same color in synthetic fiber. When alternative human hair is sourced, most of it is very dark brown (think salon level 2) and is then lightened to the lightest level (close to color 613) to create a blank canvas for textile-like dyes to be applied.

Human hair has underlying red and yellow pigments, so when it is lightened, those pigments appear. If you have highlights applied to your own hair you will first see orange, then yellow, and finally, the pale blonde color that you are looking for. Human hair can never be pure white (the absence of all pigment) unless it has turned that way biologically. Since that warm underlying pigment is always present, alternative human hair will always have a warm appearance.

Human hair colors will also look a little lighter than their synthetic counterparts. For example, if you normally wear color 6 in synthetic styles and you want to get a human hair style in the same color, you may want to consider choosing the next darkest color, 4, to get a more accurate match.

Why do I see more contrast in my synthetic color blends than I see in my human hair color blends?

Since we know that human hair will always be warmer, color blends in human hair will have less contrast than the same color in synthetic fiber. The red and yellow tones found in human hair will create warmth throughout the blend. Synthetic color blends have more contrast because there are darker colors blended with warmer colors.

Let's look at an example!

Here we can see the color Palm Springs Blonde (FS17/101S18) in synthetic fiber on the left and human hair on the right.

You’ll notice that the human hair version of Palm Springs Blonde is much warmer than the synthetic and has less contrast in the blend. If you had this piece and wanted to make it look more like the synthetic version, a great solution would be to use our In Tone Violet Shampoo to remove the warmth!

We hope this explanation of our colors was helpful to you and will allow you to make a more informed choice when choosing your next wig. Reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram if you have any questions!