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Best Synthetic Hair Extensions

Updated on June 2, 2016
How to select the best hair extensions
How to select the best hair extensions | Source

What are the Best Synthetic Hair Extensions?

Hair extensions were once so expensive they didn’t fit well into the clothing, make-up and etc. budget. These days however, hair extensions are readily available in literally any shade you can imagine, and can be purchased either as real human hair extensions, or the synthetic variety which are obviously cheaper (in most cases). Pricing on hair extensions can fluctuate greatly from one brand of hair extensions to the next, so take your time shopping for the best hair extensions - meaning both optimal value for price, and quality. When I decided to shop for the synthetic hair extensions I was in two minds about whether I could even tolerate all those combs snapped around my head. I often get a good headache from slide combs, so spending too much money initially would have been silly.


Never Used Hair Extensions?

As a hair extension 'newbie', I opted for the five comb hair piece, which was about 22cm wide as I recall, and about 50cm long. The seller I purchased my hair extensions from had a wonderful selection of mostly natural colors, and at that time I was sporting my mid-brown, between-color type hair, so it seemed like it would be a snap to get a good match. As I hadn’t used a color recently to cancel out the auburn tones in my hair I knew I would be safe with the 1:1 mix of dark and mid-brown or even a chestnut as the bulk of the hair in those pieces were primarily brown with a dash of chestnut/auburn streaks resembling natures own highlights, not the bought variety – I’m never too sure how to describe the red in my hair without cursing its very existence. The hair extension arrived and I was absolutely delighted with the match!

A week later I decided to run a dark chocolate brown semi-permanent color through my hair, so I went back and ordered the dark brown which was a lovely rich looking color, completely devoid of any reddish tones. Again, I got a perfect match…who knew this would be so easy? I’m not sure what all the fuss is about!


A little about the quality of these synthetic hair extensions now– I was pleasantly surprised with how soft these extensions are to the touch, and how realistic to the eye. Of course they are shiny, so I would recommend using a flat iron to straighten your own hair before adding the five clip extensions to your hair. If you want a bit of wave, use the flat iron for that too because you will still have that shine that will allow you to blend your extensions seamlessly into your own locks.


Warning – Never use a flat iron or other heating products on your synthetic extensions unless it is expressly written in the item description. I noticed some heat can be used on some brands, but it is absolutely not to happen with most synthetic varieties of hair extensions. I have no idea why this would be the case with a handful of the others, and quite honestly, I haven’t done the research to figure out the different substances those particular heat resistant hair extensions are made from or why they are OK to heat. Besides, they were more expensive than the hair extensions I purchased, and being in the experimental stages of sporting long locks, I wasn’t prepared to shell out that kind of money.

Let me fast forward now to my new hairstyle, and my new color. I decided to go blonde, although not a platinum blonde which I believe would have looked ridiculous with my complexion anyway. My hair is also "bob short" and I LOVE this length. I wish I had done this a long time ago because it's so easy to style and very easy to keep in place all day long with almost no need to go back for damage control. The coloring process took about three months before I achieved the pale yellow from the intermittent bleaching. This yellowing is necessary if you want to go to a reasonably light blonde, and my shade is now a very ashy silver blonde, with no brassy tones in sight.

One might be undecided whether my hair is blonde or light ash brown at first glance…you get the drift. What I didn’t count on was how many shades of blonde there are in existence, and choosing the right blonde shade of hair extensions has become almost an obsession for me. I hate to do anything and not get it right! I am somewhat amused at myself for getting so involved in this quest for long hair after cutting my own long (ish) hair off, and I do need to confess it has taken me three more heads of synthetic hair extensions before I got to the closest shade possible. Yes, I am now decked out with any shade I can choose to wear!

The first shade I purchased was more of a golden blonde, but not so gold that I felt like I had taken a step backward because I had spent so long finding the right Wella Toner to cancel out the gold/brassiness. My hair was slightly more gold toward the bottom and underneath, so I shelved the hair extensions and pursued a lighter shade on my own hair before trying them on again. The second time I tried them, my hair was so ashen that the hair extensions looked too brassy, even though they really were not. Fast forward, the next hair extensions I bought were way too blonde – shelved, too blonde for me without having to do a tint on my eyebrows to match. I’m not going for the blonde bombshell look, just a mini-makeover for a pick-me-up.

With all this talk about matching one's hair to the hair extensions, there is also the option of wearing a color to compliment your highlights - the photo shown at the top of this page illustrates just one idea of how you could achieve that particular look. I quite like this look, do you?

Best Synthetic Hair Extensions
Best Synthetic Hair Extensions | Source

The next extensions I bought were the very last of the blonde shades my favorite seller had in stock. When they arrived I opened the package and my first response was “Oh wow!” The color is amazing, very ashy, almost a ghostly shade of blonde which I absolutely love. Unfortunately, my hair is not this color. I loved them for a few minutes and then put them back into the plastic sleeve and into my dresser draw. Now what?

So now I am back to the golden blonde shade, and my hair is so close to this now they are a very good match, indeed. I had used the Wella Light Ash Blonde toner, and as the “new” has gone from it, my hair has retreated toward the same blonde as these lovely hair extensions so well that I have ordered another piece. My reason is two-fold – these are not as thick and heavy as the dark brown extensions which came marked as “curly”. Most of that curly is right at the bottom, but the blonde hair extensions were purchased as “wavy” so I will layer one of these just a few inches higher than the other to get that long layered look that I love so much. It will also work out better with my new shorter hair style and make it easier to blend my own layers with the two longer panels of hair extensions. As for the toner, I plan to use a mix of Wella T18 and T11 toners next time, as I believe I have now mastered that process after months of hit and miss on the right shade.

Tips on Purchasing The Correct Shade of Blonde Hair Extensions

Here are some tips for shopping for good, inexpensive synthetic hair extensions, so you can get as close to the right shade as possible (in the shortest amount of time, and with less purchases than I have made) . The darker colors are easy, but for any blonde hair extensions, remember these points...


-Bleached blonde hair extensions will have slightly golden hues, although they are not particularly noticeable – just not ashy.

-The obvious golden blonde will have the slightly gold tones, but are easier to blend in light brown or golden blonde hair. There is no one-size-fits-all here, but this shade of blonde is about the best starting point if you’re not sure where to begin. If they don’t match, gift them to a friend. They really are beautiful hair extensions, and an amazing product for the price.

-The blonde extensions you will see that are obviously ash blonde, are VERY ash blonde with zero gold tones. If you’re a platinum blonde, don’t be fooled into thinking these will be a great match – nothing could be further from the truth. These extensions will look very dark gray in super white blonde hair.

How Much Do Synthetic Hair Extensions Cost?

How much did I pay for these synthetic hair extensions? Under $10, free shipping, and arrived via international mail right to my door in approximately seven days. I can't complain about the week's wait, I have waited longer for a letter to arrive from within my own state. These international eBay sellers could really show our Post Offices how to run a business more effectively. But, I digress...



Do you have any tips and advice to share about your first experience with hair extensions?

To cut or not to cut...

Would you consider cutting your long hair and wearing hair extensions?

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