Hair Extension Grade Differences: 10A vs. 9A vs. 8A vs. 7A vs. 6A (2023)

Hair Extension Grading System Explained.

Hair Extension Grade Differences: 10A vs. 9A vs. 8A vs. 7A vs. 6A (2023)

There has been a lot of talk about different hair grades, but for many girls, it has been confusing what it all means. Since hair extensions have become more and more popular over the years and the market was getting bigger with all kinds of extensions, hair suppliers have come up with a hair grading system to determine the quality of the hair.

Not all hair is for the high-class market and of high quality. Some hair is low in quality and low in price. These extensions are usually sold in the lower-class market and there is nothing wrong with that. What do you do to specify hair quality? Invent a system! Below we will explain all the differences in simple and easy-to-understand terms.

It’s now much easier to tell whether the hair is high quality, medium quality, or low quality. For example, you’ve got 5A, 6A, 8A, or even 10A hair and that number determines the quality of your extensions.

1 The Difference Between Hair Grades

AiryHair Tape in Hair

That sounds pretty simple, but there is a lot of confusion regarding the hair grading system! Let’s get down to some of the more important aspects first.

  • The grading system has changed over the years. What was once considered high-quality hair a couple of years ago (5A) has since become medium-quality hair.
  • Many hair companies are not honest about hair quality. They will use top hair grades to sell you low-quality hair for a high price.
  • No one regulates the grading system. You can mark synthetic hair as 10A and sell it. However, you should still get a basic understanding of the whole thing. Just to avoid confusion and save some money in the long run.
  • It’s also important to learn about the different types of hair extensions. This ensures that you do know exactly what is going to come with your order.
  • Just like sheets with thousands of threads, these numbers are less relevant nowadays. Anything above 250 is a marketing sham, as proven by scientific studies.

Hair Extension Types

Let’s quickly go over the most important hair extension types. There is 100% virgin hair, Remy hair, 100% human hair, human hair quality, and synthetic hair.

100% Virgin Hair

This is the most expensive hair you can buy, and it has the highest quality. It is human hair with all the cuticles going in the same direction which hasn’t gone through any chemical or mechanical processing.

Remy Hair

Remy’s hair is also 100% human hair with all the cuticles going in the same direction, but it has been chemically or mechanically processed. It is also high-quality hair that will last you for a long time.

100% Human Hair

100% human hair has not been mixed with synthetic hair, but it has been stripped of its cuticles and might be chemically processed. It will not last as long as 100% virgin or Remy’s hair.

Synthetic Hair

Synthetic hair has no human hair whatsoever and it’s completely synthetic and this would be considered low-quality hair that won’t last for a long time.

2 Grade 3A

Grade 3A Hair Extensions

This is low-quality hair that was not properly maintained by the donor and is very thin. Sometimes suppliers might add synthetic fibers or animal hair to the mix.

Grade 3A hair is chemically processed, could have an unpleasant chemical smell, has very thin, tapered ends that are often split. Such hair will shed, tangle, mat, and won’t last you more than a few washes. Please be aware that even high-quality hair might smell funky right after opening.

3 Grade 4A and 5A

Grade 4A and 5A Hair Extensions

This is a lower to medium hair grade that is great for hairstylist schools. Most of the time you can expect 100% human hair that is not Remy. The cuticles are stripped or do not go in the same direction.

Grade 4A and 5A hair are on a thin side. Has a probability of tangling, matting and will last up to a month if taken care of properly. Lengths greater than 12 inches are not recommended. Otherwise, hair might fuse with your locks and it will hard to get them out out of your head. Grade 4A and 5A hair is of high maintenance and requires various detangling methods.

4 Grade 6A

Grade 6A Hair Extensions

This is a budget-friendly option that is suitable for most women.

Grade 6A hair is Remy hair which means all the cuticles go in the same direction. Such hair has medium thickness and can be dyed to medium blond color. It’s recommended to let hair professional color your extensions. Grade 6A hair extensions work on straight hair up to 18 inches and last for up to 8 months.

If you take a proper care, such extensions will work just fine as a high-quality budget hair. However, if you want curly hair or hair that’s longer than 18 inches, higher-grade hair is necessary.

5 Grade 7A

Grade 7A Hair Extensions

A great option to reach the wow factor on budget.

Grade 7A is a high-quality Remy hair that has all the cuticles intact, often referred to as “Double Drawn”. Such extensions are thick, strong, and they will last for up to 12 months. Grade 7A hair will shed and tangle much less than the other types and can be dyed on your own. A detangling shampoo is still recommended at least once every three months. You can reach a color that is as light as platinum blonde without causing much damage or dryness.

6 Grade 8A and 9A

Grade 8A and 9A Hair Extensions

Grade 8A and 9A is 100% virgin hair, which is pure human hair from a single donor. The hair was never processed in any way and has all cuticles intact. The price of 8A and 9A extensions is high with a lifetime of 1.5 to 2 years.

Please note: if you dye or curl virgin hair, it will no longer be virgin. Any processing will decrease the life expectancy of your hair extensions and is only recommended for women with #1B (black) color hair. Theoretically, you can dye Grade 8A and 9A hair to a completely white color. It is much thicker than lower-grade hair and has fewer short hairs mixed in the hair bundles. It Will not tangle as much and is easier to maintain.

7 Grade 10A

Grade 10A Hair Extensions

A good choice for #1B colors, curly hair owners.

Grade 10A is the highest quality hair that you can buy, and it’s also the most expensive. It’s 100% unprocessed virgin hair from one donor with thick ends and strong structure. You can dye hair up to white color without much damage. Grade 10A hair will tangle and mat less than your hair and does not require much maintenance.

Grade 10A extensions will last you for a very long time unless you process them. Some companies might sell 8A hair 10A. The difference? While both come from the same donor, one might have much thinner and not-so-healthy hair. Such extensions can cost thousands of dollars. Grade 10A is very thick and durable hair, the best you can buy at the moment.


The take-away is simple. The highest quality products cost more. However, there comes a time when paying 3x times more for a product that will look 10% better does not always justify its cost. We can’t tell you what to do with your money!

We have simplified our system to make things even easier. AiryHair currently offers three types of extensions:

Affordable Quality Hair: Standard Remy
Price: $30 – $100

Best Bang for the Buck: Standard Remy + Double Drawn
Price: $70 – $200

Exceptional Look: Remy Premium Plus + Double Drawn
Price: $150 – $300

Ready to get the best-quality hair extensions? Visit us at AiryHair!


  1. Very informative, I feel like I know what I’m looking for now when I walk in a hair store. I’m much more education when it come to hair weaves and bundles. Thanks so much!


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