Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a polysaccharide polymer frequently used as a starting material to fabricate hydrogels, especially for recapitulating the brain's extracellular matrix (ECM) for in vitro neural stem cell (NSC) cultures. Here, we report the successful synthesis of a methacrylated HA (MeHA) polymer from an inexpensive cosmetic-grade hyaluronan starting material. The MeHA polymers synthesized from cosmetic-grade HA yielded similar chemical purity to those from pharmaceutical/research-grade HA reported in the literature. Crosslinked MeHA (x-MeHA) hydrogels were formed using radical polymerization which resulted in mechanical properties matching previously reported mechanical property ranges for enhanced neuronal differentiation of NSCs. We assessed cellular adhesion, spreading, proliferation, and stiffness-dependent neuronal differentiation properties of ReNcell VM human neural stem cells (hNSCs) and compared our results to studies reported in the literature (that utilized non-human and human pluripotent cell-derived NSCs).