How to Make Synthetic Hair Look Real

Written by kent page mcgroarty
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How to Make Synthetic Hair Look Real
Extensions are a great way to increase hair's thickness. (model hold her hair high key image by Frenk_Danielle Kaufmann from

Hair extensions are a great way to make hair appear fuller and thicker. Whether used in updos, braids or simply to achieve more volume, hair extensions that are not made from real hair can look cheap and fake. Synthetic hair often has a shiny plastic look that appears extra fake in sunlight. This can be alleviated by applying baby or face powder to the hair and using a flat iron set on low to dull the texture. Powder application should be done every day or every other day to maintain look.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Baby powder or loose face powder
  • Flat iron
  • Hair ties

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  1. 1

    Divide hair into two sections. Take one section and evenly distribute baby powder over extensions. Loose face powder can also be used but is generally more expensive than baby powder.

    How to Make Synthetic Hair Look Real
    Divide hair into two sections before applying baby powder. (hair image by Pavel Vlasov from
  2. 2

    Apply baby powder evenly to the other section of extensions. It is better to over-apply powder than not enough as powder can always be brushed or shaken out. Too little powder can result in extensions still appearing shiny.

  3. 3

    Brush out powdered extensions with a plastic bristle brush (also called a weave brush) or shake out until all excess powder is removed. Plastic bristle brushes are recommended over boar bristle brushes, which can trap powder and eventually cake on the brush.

    How to Make Synthetic Hair Look Real
    Use a plastic bristle brush on synthetic hair. (spazzola image by Renato Francia from
  4. 4

    Repeat steps every day or every other day as needed to avoid super shiny hair. Flat irons set on low can also be applied to extensions to dull the texture. Simply grab sections of hair starting at the roots and pull iron down, creating straight, less shiny hair.

Tips and warnings

  • It is recommended that hair be braided and secured with hair ties before bedtime. This keeps hair from tangling and looking frayed.
  • Do a strand test with fake hair before flat ironing it. Take a few strands of fake hair and apply the iron to them to ensure extensions won't melt.
  • Test adhesive on your arm and wait 10 to 15 minutes before applying any extensions to check for allergic reactions.

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