I want to spend a little time on the subject of Human Hair Wigs.
The main thing to keep in mind is, if you decide on going with Human Hair remember that just because it is Human Hair doesn't mean it's good! The quality of the Hair can be great or absolute garbage! The Hair used in Wigs comes from a variety of areas of the world and is processed differently based on the type of Hair itself. For example, Chinese Hair is naturally very dark brown or black, and has a coarse texture, requiring major processing to achieve a lighter color and softer feel. If you buy a Human Hair Wig made with Chinese Hair it has not only been chemically lightened, but also processed to feel finer and softer. Indian Hair is naturally dark, but it is finer and silkier in texture and requires less processing.
The highest quality Human Hair is European. The chemical process for European Hair is far less damaging, and sometimes is not processed at all. If Hair has not been processed (colored, bleached, permed or the dissolving of the cuticle) it is called "Virgin Hair." The Cuticle is the outermost, protective layer of the Hair. To make coarse Hair feel finer and silkier the Cuticle is often chemically removed which reduces the diameter of each Hair, then a Silicone or other "plastic" type substance is used to seal the Hair. The Cutucle covers the outside of each Hair like overlapping scales on a fish, so it runs in one direction. When Hair is "harvested" for wigs it must be carefully cut and the direction maintained or it will snarl and tangle. If Hair is gathered up off the floor after cutting there is no way of realigning the direction, therefore the cuticle must be removed or the Hair can not be used.
Now that you know more about the Human Hair used for Wigs than you probably wanted, you may understand why the Cost can vary greatly. A short Hair, good quality Indian Hair Wig should sell for about $700-$900. Anything longer than shoulder length, $1000, or more. A Quality European Hair Wig can easily be $3000-$5000, depending on length. The cost is rising as the availability of quality Hair becomes scarce. The practice of "Hair Brokering", which has been a main source of quality Hair, is not as wide spread as it once was. A Hair Broker generally goes to less developed areas, where women still sell their Hair. They usually sign a five year agreement. They must only use the shampoos and conditioners provided by the Broker. They can not perm, color, blow dry, or use irons, and must Wrap their hair in scarves or cloth if outdoors. With an average Hair growth rate of a half inch per month, at the end of the five year contract they should have about thirty inches of hair for which they are paid the agreed upon price. With less and less women selling their hair, the prices will continue to rise.
If you invest in a quality Human Hair Wig, if properly cared for it will outlast a synthetic many times over. They do require more work as they need to be set or styled each time they are washed, but realize that you only should wash any wig about once or twice a month. Human Hair isn't for everyone, but if you plan on doing any cooking with your Wig on, a synthetic will crinkle-up like a scrubby pad! If you want to have hair any longer than shoulder length the synthetic fibers will Mat up and ruin very quickly and you will go through at least three or four a year! And when it comes down to it, nothing Feels as nice as Human Hair.
So that's my Human Hair Wigs 101! Thanks, John