How to Tell if Hair Is a Weave

by Samantha Cabrera ; Updated September 28, 2017

Need to know how to spot fake hair? Extensions can look quite authentic, depending on the quality of the hair. Spotting fake hair or a weave isn't as easy as it once was, so read on for a few telltale signs that someone's hair isn't the real deal.

Learn about the two types of weave: synthetic and human hair. The primary difference besides material is cost and quality. Synthetic hair can begin to look old after only a few weeks of wear and cannot be washed or styled like human hair. The cost of synthetic hair can range from $20 to $60. Extensions made of human hair can be used for years and blend in easily with natural hair. It is far more costly, from $100 to $400.

Understand the texture differences of real and synthetic hair. Real extensions constructed of human hair have a different texture than synthetic hair. Synthetic hair is very shiny and has a waxy look and feel to it. When compared to, or mixed with, human hair, the difference is very apparent. Synthetic hair is usually sewn or glued to natural hair. Extensions made of human hair are shiny but in the same way natural hair is. It blends in easily. Extensions made of human hair are typically applied with clip-in extensions or are sewn in.

Examine how the hair falls. Often, fake hair falls in a way that is too perfect to be real hair. Large curls that never fall flat and an immense amount of volume at the crown of the head (but nowhere else) are often telltale signs of a weave.

Examine the ends of the hair. Are they incredibly smooth? Is there no sign of split ends or even the least bit of damage in the bottom inch or two of hair? Synthetic hair will always be perfect through and through, while extensions made of authentic human hair will have some damage after years of use.

Look at how the hair is attached at the root. You might not get the chance to closely examine this on every person you suspect wears a weave, but if you can get close enough, look at how the hair is attached. If they are using clip-in extensions or a weave that has been glued or sewn in, it is very easy to spot when you focus. If hair is attached underneath other layers of hair, it will be difficult to detect.


  • If you are close enough to the person you suspect is wearing fake hair, simply ask them. The stigma of wearing hair weaves has faded now that many high-profile celebrities wear extensions. Experiment with clip-in extensions before committing to any other type of extensions.

About the Author

Samantha Cabrera is a freelance editor and writer, covering fashion and beauty. She currently serves as the Fashion Director of, and writes, a blog of b5 media. Cabrera also serves as the National Women's Fashion Examiner for and has written for and Cabrera is a native Texan and attended the University of Houston.