The quick answer to the question “what is the best grade of hair extensions” is “there is no best grade of hair extensions.”
Right, the truth is, there is no universal standard set by an authority for when it comes to hair extension grading. So all hair extensions suppliers can set their own hair grading systems.
I am Lori, a hair extensions lover, and I have a close friend who is a hairstylist. She told me some insider tips when it comes to the hair extensions grades. Today, I will share with you these hair extensions secrets!
Best Hair Grade? It’s Just Marketing
Initially, the hair grading system was created because the hair extensions manufacturers and suppliers needed a system to price their products.
Before 2014, 5A grades hair extensions represent the best hair quality. Then these manufacturers realized they needed something to make their products stand out, so “6A” hairs were born.
Following a pretty similar pattern, “7A”, “8A”, “9A” popped up in 2015, 2016, 2017, and all of them were the top graded virgin hair for that year.
By 2021, 12A grade virgin hairs became the trend! 10A hairs, which used to be the best hair by 2019, should be considered in-between “non-remy hair” and remy hair.
To be very honest, I don’t think I can tell you what the best extensions are by simply basing on their grading. Just like the not-so-beautiful truth “Brazilian hair extensions can be made from anywhere”, it’s just marketing!
I had tried many hair extensions from different companies for years. Sometimes, the quality of 5A grades hair from company A was better than the 12A grades hair from company B.
How to Grade Hair Extensions
So now we know that we should not rely on the hair grades suggested by sellers/manufacturers. How can we tell the quality of different hair extensions?
The easiest way to grade hair is – grading them into four categories according to the hair: synthetic, non-remy, remy, and virgin hair.
Synthetic Hair Extensions
Synthetic hair is made of plastic, it’s usually the lowest grade of hair extensions. Usually, synthetic hairs tend to tangle easily and come with a shiny and unnatural look.
The great part of synthetic hair is, they are very durable and require less maintenance than human hair extensions.
Non-Remy Hair Extensions
Non-Remy Hair extensions, also known as 100% human hair extensions, are usually the lowest grade of human hair.
These hairs were collected from different donors, (from the drain or from comb brush). In such a case, because the hair and cuticles do not point in the same direction, they tend to tangle a lot. Hence the manufacturer has to use chemicals to remove the cuticles.
These types of hair, are typically looking very nice when you purchase them, but then they cannot last. Most of the time, after using them for a short time, they tangle a lot once the protective layer is removed.
We would consider that 100% human hairs are not much better than synthetic hair, or even worse because they cannot last.
Remy Hair Extensions
Remy hair extensions are the most popular hair types in the current market. They are considered high-value options because remy hair has undergone a physical process to align the cuticles in the same direction. They require less chemical treatment than human hair.
Because of this, there are more cuticles retained on the hair (stronger and healthy hair). So they are facing less chance of getting tangled. Remy hair extensions can be dyed into darken colors but not in a lighter color.
Virgin Hair Extensions (Raw Hair)
Virgin hair extensions should be considered the best grade of hair extensions because most virgin hair is unprocessed and cut from a single donor. In such a case, they don’t need to undergo any chemical process for alighting the cuticles.
One of the most significant advantages of virgin hair extensions is you can dye them into different colors, including lighter colors. Because they are collected from a single donor, the reaction to dye is pretty much the same, and there will be the best dying result.
In the last few years, some manufacturers named their “remy hair” as “remy virgin hair” and develop the term “raw hair.” Again, it’s just another marketing term. So what you should ask the seller is, “are these hairs collected from the same donor?”, “can I dye them into lighter color?”?
If the answers are yes, then probably these are high-quality virgin hairs.
How to Look for the Best Grade of Hair Extensions?
As mentioned, the best grade of hair extensions is virgin hair, when you received the hair, check if all the hairs are the same length, color, and thickness. You can also carry a burning test to check if it’s human hair.
Lower-grade hair extensions will contain hair with different lengths and colors because the manufacturer did not undergo a detailed selection process.
Here are quick answers to some commonly asked questions regarding the best hair extensions grade.
Is 9A a Good Grade of Hair?
It depends on the manufacturer, as mentioned, different hair manufacturers have other grading systems. If there are only 10A in their system, probably 9A hair can be classified as a good grade.
However, if one has already developed the 12A system, 9A hair is, just not that great. The question you should ask them is, can I dye the hair extensions? If the answer is yes, it’s probably at least remy hair grade..
If these can be dyed to a lighter color, it’s probably a very good grade of hair.
What Hair is Better 7A or 10A?
Usually, 10A hair is better than 7A hair if they are coming from the same company. However, it would be different if they are coming from different companies.
My favorite hair extension is a 5A hair from a renowned company, and I’ve been using it for six years, the quality is much better than all those 9As, 10As hair extensions produced by other companies.
I hope this article gives you some ideas about how to determine which hair extensions are worth purchasing or not.
At the end of the day, because there is no such “universal standard” for hair extensions grade, the best method is to ask the seller questions that can help you determine where these hair extensions are from and feel it by yourself.