The Ultimate Guide to Hair Grades System

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The words “10A” or “8A” appear again and again while you buy hair bundles online. But, you are not at all sure of its meaning.

In this article, I will help you get a handle on the hair grades system. And you will learn other qualities to help you judge the quality of hair bundles.

Get ready?

Let’s go!

What Is the Hair Grades System?

The concept of hair grade was created by the hair suppliers in 2010. The purpose is to distinguish high-quality hair from low-end one. So, it is convenient to help customers choose according to their needs and budgets.

But, the truth is that it has gotten much too confusing. Literally, hair grade became a numbers game, instead of a “system”.

Hair Grades System Wigsmaster
Hair Grades System

The History of Hair Grades

Lots of merchants joined the hair online business in 2009. Facing fierce competition, every single hair vendor hopes to claim that their products are the best. So, the hair grade is more the vendor’s marketing strategy.

Let’s check its changes:

Hair GradesYear
3A2010 – 2011
8A, 9A2016 – 2018
The evolution of Hair Grades in each year

You see, hair vendors will add extra “A” each year to stand for the highest grade in that year. So, it is self-evident to see that the so-called 13A, 14A, 15A (and so) hair bundles will be on the market in the next few years.

Why Hair Grades System Needed?

Keep in mind, the goal of hair sellers is to meet different demands from customers.

From the same company, you can quickly choose the hair bundles according to the grades system.

Let’s have a look at its feature:

3A Hair

3A hair is the low-end hair quality. 3It  is usually from synthetic hair, animal hair, or fibers. The hair is very thin, easily gets tangled and shed after a few of washing.

4A and 5A Hair

4A and 5A hair are lower to middle hair quality, often used for hairstylist training. They are real human hair, but the hair is non-Remy. Its cuticles are stripped by the acid bath to keep hair smooth and shiny. So, the hair is also thin, and can last for 1-3 months with proper care.

6A Hair

6A hair is the lower-middle hair quality, suitable for anyone on the budget. It is the Remy hair, which means hair cuticles are intact and moving in the same direction. The hair is medium thickness, not easy to tangle, you can wear it for up to 8 months.

7A Hair

7A hair is the same quality as 6A hair. It is also Remy human hair that cuticles are intact. The difference is that 7A hair is mixed with less relatively shorter hair. The hair is strong, thick, and not easy to shed or tangle. It can last for 12 months or more with daily wear.

8A and 9A Hair

8A and 9A hair are the high-end hair quality. They are virgin hair from one single donor, the cuticle is intact and never undergoes chemical treatments.

The hair won’t shed or get tangled as much as other grades. It is easy to maintain, like your own hair, can last for 1-2 years.

10A Hair

10A hair is the highest hair quality in the market, also the most expensive one. (Forget the numbers game, 13A 15A 17A…)

10A hair is also virgin hair, often refers to double drawn hair. There is no short hair in the bundle, which means the same hair thickness from the tip to the ends.

Different Hair Grades Lifespan
Hair Grade Lifetime: 7A Vs. 8A-9A Vs. 10A

Is Hair Grade Regulated?

There is no organization, even an informal association, to regulate hair standards. 

Some vendors may promote higher grades than it should be, such as a 7A Remy hair advertised to a 10A virgin hair. As a result, more money you pay, which does not always mean more quality hair you get.

Moreover, it will be more difficult to identify hair quality if you shop online. You can only know what you get till you feel it in your hands.

So, you should not judge hair quality only according to the grade number.

What Else Should I Look Out For?

Except for the hair grade, some other qualities you can look out for when buying the hair bundles.

Hair Type

Virgin Remy hair is 100% human hair, standing for the best quality. Its cuticles are intact and traveling in the same direction. The hair strands are is never processed, be strong, thick, and not easy to shed.

Non-Remy hair is also human hair, its cuticles stripped by strong acid. The hair is altered, steamed, treated by chemicals, which change its natural state. Non-Remy hair can not last as long as Remy or virgin hair does.

Synthetic or fiber hair is the worst, I don’t recommend you if you are looking for daily wear. They will get matt and tedious after washing, too frizzy to brush.

[Related article: Human Hair vs. Synthetic Wigs: Which Should You Buy]

Remy Hair Vs Non-Reny Hair
Remy Hair Vs Non-Reny Hair

Amount of Donors

Virgin hair is from a single donor, and hair is the best quality. Other types of hair, however, are cut from several donors, putting the different qualities of hair together. 

The low-quality hair bundles are often are from the fallen strands, comb hair, fiber, or animal hair.

Watch the video to judge whether your hair is from a single donor:

Double Drawn

Compared to hair grades, “double drawn” is now regarded as a more accurate method to judge hair quality.

Single drawn hair has different layers of hair, the thickest at the top, tapers at the middle, and the thinnest at the tips, which offer a natural looking.

Double drawn hair means the shorter hair is removed by hands, then replaced with longer hair. All strands are the same length, to create the same fullness from the top to the ends.

For example, if you buy 18” double drawn hair extensions, the fullness from root to tip should be the same, and the majority (80%-90%) of hair should be the full 18”.

Double Drawn vs Single Drawn
Single Drawn vs Double Drawn

Weft Style

Single weft hair extensions mean only one side of hair attached on the weft, it will be thinner.

Double weft means the weft has 2 layer weft, you will get twice hair of single weft hair. Moreover, double weft will make sure hair is firmly attached to the weft, avoiding possible shedding.

So, if you want to get your hair thicker and avoid shedding, the double weft will be a good choice.

Double Weft Hair Bundles
Double Weft Hair Bundles


The smell of virgin hair is almost like your natural hair, as it does not undergo any chemical treatments.

Other hairs give off a “machine-made” foul smell due to chemical processes, which is to achieve its smoothness and shininess. In some cases, you can even smell plastic or fiber scent on the low-end hair bundles.


The initial purpose of hair grades is to apart quality hair from low-end hair. Later on, it became the hair vendor’s marketing tactics, little by little. So, you should also consider other factors when buying hair wigs online, rather than only by hair grade number.

Author: Charity Nasike


Charity Nasike is a passionate wig wearer and basically has diverse knowledge related to wigs' care and maintenance. When she's not writing, she's either in the kitchen trying out new recipes or on social media advising fellow ladies tricks to apply on their wigs.

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