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Hair Extension Grades: Differences Between 3A and 10A Human Hair

Hair extensions have had a huge increase in popularity in past years, which had an effect on market overflowing with many different types of extensions. Some of them are of high quality, meant for the high-class market, while on the other hand there are those of lower quality, and therefore lower price, sold in the lower class market.

For this reason, a certain Hair Grading System was invented, used to determine the quality level of the hair itself - low, medium or high. These grades vary from 3A, which is of the lowest quality, to 10A, the highest quality, and the most expensive one.

This grading system has changed over the past years, so hair that was considered high-quality a few years ago is now rated with a grade of 5A, for example, which is medium quality. Unfortunately, the system is not yet regulated, and it can be very confusing for many girls and women interested in purchasing hair extensions.

That's why we're going to explain what each grade stands for, so you would know in advance what you will be buying, in order to avoid any confusion and wasting money on hair that is of low quality.

The 4 Extension Types

Apart from the grading system, there are also different hair types. There are 5 most important ones:

  1. 100% virgin - of the highest quality, therefore the most expensive you can buy, made of natural human hair, which has not gone through any chemical or mechanical processing, so all the cuticles are going in the same direction.
  2. Remy - also 100% long-lasting human hair of high quality, with all the cuticles are going in the same direction, but which was chemically or mechanically processed.
  3. 100% human - not mixed with synthetic, but stripped of its cuticles and which might have gone through chemical processing. Doesn't last very long.
  4. Synthetic - does not contain any human follicles, completely synthetic and therefore of low quality and not longlasting.

Hair Extension Grades

Grade 3A - Very thin, low-quality product, usually with tapered, split ends. It wasn't properly maintained by its donor and was most probably chemically processed. Will probably shed, tangle and mat, and would not last a long time.

Grade 4 and 5A - Low/medium quality product, 100% human but with stripped cuticles or with those not going in the same direction. Pretty thin and will most probably tangle and mat, so it is high maintenance and would not be longlasting. This type of hair should be bought in shorter lengths, no longer than 12 inches, to avoid more tangling.

Grade 6A - Remy hair, with cuticles going in the same direction. Of medium thickness, so it could be dyed in a medium blond color. This one is best done by a professional and bought up to 18 inches in length, which could last up to 10 months. With proper care, it could act as a high-quality budget item, but for curly and long hair, one of higher quality is a better choice.

Grade 7A - high-quality Remy, with intact cuticles. Pretty thick and strong, so it tangles and mats less and can last up to 18 months. It remains healthy and strong even when dyed in a platinum blonde color.

Grade 8 and 9A - 100% virgin hair made of pure human follicles from one donor, unprocessed and with intact cuticles. Of high quality and therefore higher price, but it could last up to 2 years. Much thicker, with much less shorts in the bundles, so it doesn´t tangle as much and is easier to maintain. It could be dyed in white, while still maintaining its quality.

Grade 10A - hair of highest quality on the market, but also the most expensive. 100% virgin from one donor, unprocessed, very thick and strong so it doesn´t tangle or mat, therefore it's low maintenance and very longlasting. Perfect for long or curly hair. Maintains quality even when dyed in a white color. The best choice on the market right now.