Choosing a wig, no matter the reason, is a big decision. Whether as a novelty or for hair replacement, the cost of a quality wig means that it is crucial you make a good choice the first time around - a mistake can be costly.


Wigs come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, but are predominantly made of just two kinds of materials - natural or synthetic. Being able to tell these two kinds of wig apart and knowing the benefits of each are crucial when it comes to choosing your next wig.


Synthetic wigs are constructed with the use of one or more varieties of synthetic fibre. These fibres are designed to closely mimic human hair and will fool almost anyone that isn't highly knowledgeable about hair.


When buying synthetic wigs, they are generally produced to mimic popular contemporary styles, so they require little styling work. However, once you have had a synthetic wig styled, you cannot then change it with the use of curlers or straightening irons - appliances such as these will destroy a synthetic wig. This means you must be particularly careful when choosing a synthetic wig, as it proves difficult to make permanent changes to the style.


Natural wigs are made from actual human hair. These wigs are a popular choice, because they don't just mimic real hair like synthetics, they are real hair!


Wigs made from natural hair are much more durable than their synthetic counterparts. This allows them to withstand the heat of styling appliances such as hair dryers and curlers. What this means, is that it is quite easy to permanently change the style of a natural hair wig to suit current fashion trends.


One important factor, that many people do not consider, is that a natural hair wig must be treated the same as natural hair - this can be both a positive or negative trait. Natural hair wigs must be regularly washed with special shampoo and conditioner, just like any other hair.


There is an easy test you can use to determine whether a wig is made of synthetic, or natural fibres. First, you pluck a single hair from the wig and burn it with a match or lighter. Natural hair will let off a pungent odour and burn quite slowly. On the other hand, synthetic fibres will shrivel up very quickly and will not have a distinctive smell.


When it comes down to making a decision on the purchase of a new wig, it can be hard to choose between synthetic or natural hair. Both kinds of wig have unique benefits and draw backs. When asking advice, people will have differing opinions based on personal experience. It is highly recommended that you consult with a trained wig salesperson before purchasing. They will listen to your expectations and should be able to assist you on selecting a wig that will suit you.