Why synthetic hair might be the comeback we all need

23 February, 2023 / words by IALH Editorial Team

Written by Lauren Gordon

Image by @heathersanders

Synthetic wigs have entered the chat.

Synthetic hair has been climbing in popularity since the end of last year, with consumers ditching their human hair extensions for something they never thought they’d bat an eyelid at again. The affordability alone hasn’t been enough to sway consumers into becoming repeat customers and often we’ve been able to see the visible differences in quality, texture and longevity with synthetic hair in comparison to human hair. 

However, as the price for human hair continues to rise, as with many things at the moment, people have started to look for alternatives that can tick the same boxes that human hair does. The synthetic wig tag on TikTok has over 800 million views for clips that show people trying out realistic looking wigs from brands with synthetic ranges, such as Outre, Sensationelle and Riri’s.

Jumping on the trend but stepping away from industry standard synthetics is Ruka Hair, a black-owned hair extension brand which has iconically landed a storefront in Selfridges London and recently launched their first synthetic range made from plastic free extensions.

Their ponytails, Think Silk and Blow Wow, can be bought in 16 or 22 inch lengths and can be styled with up to 180 degrees of heat. They can also magically mirror the texture and softness of Afro hair, despite being made of collagen protein fiber.

A major downfall of synthetic hair is the unethical way it is disposed of, which has previously led to mass dumping in landfills. However, Ruka Hair’s Synths range has combatted this by creating biodegradable synthetic hair, meaning it can be disposed of in a sustainable manner. 

The Synths ponytails retail between £25 and £40, making them far more affordable than the human hair ponytails, which sell for £89 to £130 on influencer-endorsed website Beauty Works. Not only is synthetic hair cheaper, it’s new ability to be styled, be that with heat or products like hair oils and mists, allows users to manipulate the extensions to match their own hair with ease. 

The Radswan wigs, which launched in 2019, have been praised for mimicking natural afro-textured hair, including hair types 3a through to 4c, without looking ‘wiggy’ or false. Similarly, Ruka Hair’s Blow Wow ponytail effortlessly matches the appearance of blow dried textured hair, hence the name, making your ponytail style look more seamless than ever.

Having transitioned into using synthetic hair from beauty supply stores and from brands like LullaBellz and Ruka Hair, I believe this trend is one that will stick, especially as the synthetic hair becomes more environmentally friendly, remains affordable and transforms into the perfect hair extension alternative for afro hair textures.


Blow Wow Ponytail

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IALH Editorial Team


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