Shopping Bag


Shipping & promo codes are calculated
at the checkout

Your shopping bag is empty


How To Spot FAKE Hair Extensions

Good hair extensions don’t come cheap, so you need to make sure you are getting what you pay for, how to spot fake extensions.

Back to posts
How to spot fake hair extensions

A guide to ensuring you get the best quality hair extensions!

We know when you’re investing in hair extensions you want to make sure you’re getting the best quality. Good hair extensions don’t come cheap so it’s important you make sure you are getting what you pay for. Fake hair extensions can not only look unnatural, if applied incorrectly they can also damage your natural hair.

Hair extensions are so popular and with the popularity comes the opportunity for falsely advertised fake hair extensions claiming to be real. We are on hand to give you some top tips on how to spot fake hair extensions and ensure you’re purchasing the best quality hair extensions.

1. Check the source of hair extensions

When having hair extensions fitted you want to know where they have come from, make sure you purchase from reputable brands or salons with positive reviews from clients. We have established our credibility with the exceptionally high-quality hair from The London Hair Lab and the focus on creating natural looking hair extensions whilst caring for our client’s own hair.

2. Feel the texture of the hair extensions

You will be able to feel the difference between human and synthetic hair. Human hair should feel soft and smooth and have a natural movement and texture to it. Synthetic hair is often plasticky and may feel overly smooth and processed. It will lack any natural texture and not move seamlessly with your own hair.

3. The flame test

This is one foolproof way of knowing whether your hair is real or synthetic. We do advise that this test should be conducted with caution and only with a few strands taken carefully from your extensions.

Use a lighter or unscented candle and hold the strands of hair above. If it’s human hair it will burn slowly upwards and have the distinct smell of burning hair. Synthetic hair will melt a lot slower and have a chemical or plastic smell and form into a ball.

The flame test is not always possible to do if you are having hair extensions fitted in a salon or if you are shopping hair extensions online. We have created a little guide to help you figure out if the hair is real or fake before you complete your purchase.

reading facts about how to spot fake hair extensions

4. How much do real hair extensions cost?

Human hair is a lot more expensive than synthetic hair due to the quality and durability. If you find the price is significantly lower than average, it could be a sign of fake hair. In a hair extension salon, you will be paying for the cost of the hair and the skills of the stylist that is fitting your extensions. If you are seeing extremely low prices for hair extensions this can be a red flag for low quality or synthetic hair. If you want to see the prices charged at Vixen and Blush visit our hair extensions price list.

5. The colour of the hair extensions

If you are dealing with a reputable salon, they will be able to spend time ensuring a custom colour match which will blend flawlessly with your natural hair and create a seamless and natural look. At Vixen and Blush we believe that a custom colour match is so important for each client to ensure a bespoke match. If the hair that you are seeing in the salon is one uniform colour and shiny it’s probably fake.

6. Check for shedding

Authentic human hair extensions should have minimal shedding if they are highly quality. You might fund that fake or low-quality hair extensions may shed excessively, indicating poor construction or synthetic hair.

7. Can I apply heat to hair extensions?

Yes, you can apply heat to hair extensions, human hair extensions can be treated just like your natural hair. It’s important to take a few key steps to ensure your hair extensions remain in good condition. We recommend always applying a heat protectant spray on your extensions before any heat styling. This will help minimize any damage and maintain healthy hair. When sectioning the hair make sure you apply liberally to each section to make sure your hair is protected. If you want to find out more about the products are specialist stylists advise you can read The 8 best products picked by our stylists.

Keep your styling tools set at a lower temperature to avoid damaging your extensions and natural hair. 120°C to 175°C is usually a safe heat to use.

Try to limit the amount of heat styling that you do as frequent exposure to heat can dry out your hair making it feel brittle, leading to split ends. The beauty of having hair extensions is that once you have styled your hair it will hold the style for up to 3 days.

Styling hair extensions

If you have cheaper synthetic hair extensions, they might melt into you real hair if you apply too much heat. Your stylist should go through the styling tools and products to use with your extensions. If you are told to avoid heat styling with your extensions in this could be a red flag that you are dealing with fake extensions or an inexperienced stylist.

At your appointment our hair extensions specialists will go through the maintenance and aftercare so you know exactly what’s best for your hair extensions and you will feel confident when you leave the salon that you know how to look after them. If you ever have a question on how to maintain your extensions, we have a lot of guides on our blog. Our front of house team are also always on hand to answer any questions you might have.

Spotting fake hair extensions requires a keen eye and a few simple tests. Having hair extensions fitted in a reputable salon that specify the brand and type of hair they use will always be your best bet in ensuring you receive top quality hair and a trustworthy service.

free consultation with real hair extensions

8. Visit our hair extension salon in London

Having hair extensions fitted is an investment and at Vixen and Blush we understand how important this is, we pride ourselves on the ability of our stylists and the quality of the hair we use. If you would like some further guidance or to come and see the hair that we use for yourself, book in for a free consultation.

At all our in-salon consultations we offer a free test piece to be fitted so you can feel the hair and experience what it’s like having extensions fitted.  You can wash and style your hair with the test piece in to see how it moves and blends with your own hair.

Vixen and Blush hair extensions is in central London, just minutes from both Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road.

Find us at: 6 Rathbone Square, London W1T 1EB

Our opening hours are:

  • MONDAY-THURSDAY 10am-8.30pm
  • FRIDAY & SATURDAY 9am-5pm
Sarah Mckenna

Sarah McKenna is the founder of Vixen & Blush and The London Hair Lab. Sarah graduated as a research biochemist in 2005 and started a career within the pharmaceutical industry, before becoming a hair extensions expert. In 2010, Sarah gained insight into the hair extensions industry and could see that clients had a very poor value/quality proposition. At that time, poor-quality hair extensions were available, at prohibitively high prices. Sarah left her initial career and set out on a mission to improve the hair extensions industry in the UK, using her research and development skills.

Spending 3 years securing a high-quality and sustainable supply of human hair, Sarah then developed new products and fitting techniques to allow long-term refits of the same hair. In this way, Sarah was able to offer hair extensions services at a more affordable price to clients, while improving the quality of the service for her clients.

With Vixen & Blush starting in 2012 as a 1 chair salon in London, Sarah quickly grew the business to what it is today, a team of more than 20 hair professionals working together as London’s leading hair extensions specialists.