You are ready to buy some bundles and you see “8A unprocessed Brazilian virgin hair”. What does it mean?
Well, the number “8A” is a hair grade. Hair extensions have different levels of qualities just like every other product in this world. You can use hair grades to differentiate hair qualities.
But what does each grade mean? And what exactly defines high-quality hair and “low quality” hair? In this article, we will spill some truths about hair grade. This will help you make a decision when you buy human hair extensions next time.
Better hair has higher hair grades
Hair extensions aren’t just “good” or “bad”. Your hair’s quality can go from 6A, 7A, 8A, to the higher scale 9A, 10A, 11A virgin hair. Better hair has higher grades.
The hair’s origin, thickness, fullness, and longevity are all factors to consider when grading hair bundles. The highest level is raw hair and virgin human hair. They have not gone through chemical processing and can last up to a few years with proper hair care. Raw hair and virgin hair is usually collected from single donors and is well preserved. This kind of hair can be colored or bleached without worries.
Lower grades such as 7A or 6A hair go through a lot of chemical processing. Hair extensions that are 7A and below might not have guaranteed quality and can last only for a few weeks or even less (These are what we call “scam hair”).
6A and 7A grade hair is non-Remy hair
5A-7A grade hair extensions are the most popular hair type on Ali-express, eBay, and Amazon (You shouldn’t shop for high-quality hair on these shopping platforms anyways…). This low grade hair is called non-Remy hair. Non-Remy hair is collected from the floors and usually comes with cuticles facing different directions.
Non-Remy hair is usually acid bathed to be stripped so it can look smooth. Some hair is dyed to black and silicon-coated to make it appear healthier. This hair will become a mess after one wash.
If you don’t have the budget to purchase high-quality hair and have to shop on Ali-express, you should always go with bigger. That way, you may actually get a slightly less processed non-Remy hair that can last a bit longer. Some really cheap hair can even be synthetic mix or animal hair mix too (Yuck), you don’t want those on your head as it can cause skin problems and rashes.
If you don’t want to invest too much in hair extensions, it’s totally okay to buy from Ali-express! Just know that, no matter what they advertise, you shouldn’t expect “virgin hair” or unprocessed hair from Aliexpress.
8A Remy hair is a good choice on a budget
We always hear people say “Let people buy what they can afford”. 8A Remy hair is a good choice for those on a budget. Remy hair has about 60%-80% cuticles intact. It is not the fullest hair from weft to tips and is definitely not virgin hair, however, it is still usable for quite a while ( 6 months to a year).
If you love to style your hair with heat and put a lot of products in it, you should invest in higher quality hair instead.
But if you are looking for a simple quick weave switch without spending too much, Remy hair should be good for you.
Be careful of companies that sell Remy hair as high-grade virgin hair. They look similar at first but Remy hair is NOT virgin hair. Some Remy hair is dyed to natural black (color 1b) so it appears healthy. You can’t bleach or color this kind of hair due to the black hair dye. If your hairstylist tells you that it’s hard to lift the knots on your closure, it could be the sign that the hair has been dyed.
Remy hair is a tricky case if you are buying from a company that you don’t really know. But one thing for sure is that if a company sells 100% unprocessed virgin hair but only charges $8 per bundle, something is definitely NOT right.
It’s pretty obvious to spot the fakes. For example, this is a real seller on Ebay. They are selling 3 bundles of “AAA” hair with closure, unprocessed virgin hair at only $10.49. This is definitely NOT virgin hair.
9A, 10A virgin hair offers longevity and versatility
9A and 10A hair is virgin hair. They definitely sit high on the hair grade ladder. 9A and 10A grade are usually virgin hair that hasn’t been through chemical processing. This hair has 100% cuticles that flow in the same directions. You can expect, thick, healthy and super soft hair with this grade.
The difference between 9A and 10A is only the thickness of the hair bundle. 10A bundles have mostly longer strands and fewer flyaways than 9A bundles. If two bundles have the same length, 9A hair will look thinner towards the ends than 10A hair. 9A’s weft is also longer meaning that you may need more tracks to achieve the same fullness than you would otherwise need with 10A hair.
Bundles are sold by weight. Each bundle is usually 3.2-3.5 oz or 100g. Longer hair strands are heavier. Longer hair will need fewer strands to achieve the same weight than shorter hair does. So higher the grade, the smaller the weft is.
If you are buying 9A hair already, we suggest that you just go for 10A because it’s the best virgin hair!
11A and raw hair are the most luxurious hair
11A virgin hair is the fullest hair. It is double drawn hair, meaning that the bundle contains 95% long strands. Branded Hair Extensions offers double drawn hair that is trimmed at the ends to achieve the most fullness. Our double drawn is is donor hair that’s folded in half so every strand is the same length. This means that a 10″ bundle is actually made with hair that’s 20″ or longer. Double drawn hair has absolutely no flyaways.
Have you ever gone to a salon with damaged scanty hair but after the stylist trims off the hair ends, your hair looks full again? 11A hair virgin hair is similar to that. It is naturally full and without needing to trim the ends.
Raw hair is also known as donor hair. It is collected from single donor’s braids and later on selected into a bundle.
Donor hair is a rare material because the donor will have to purposely grow out their long hair for many years. Hair factories rarely make raw hair bundles too long. You shouldn’t expect to buy raw hair that’s 30 inches or 40 inches. It will take years and years for someone to grow 40-inch raw hair.
Raw hair is mostly sourced directly from India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam or Law, etc. Hair vendors from these countries usually offer raw hair.
But raw hair is also different from virgin hair, some raw hair can be REALLY hard to manage and matt easily. This is because virgin hair is steam treated to ensure the cuticles are closed. But raw hair is not.
11A and raw hair are the best, purest hair out. Raw hair is a lot more coarse and untamed than virgin hair. The bundles may not match sometimes and there may be dry ends problems. Different people’s hair also reacts differently to heat, dyes, and bleach.
Raw hair has limited styles. You may only get straight, wavy and curly and that’s it. We still recommend Brazilian virgin hair over raw hair for its various styles, length, and versatility.
Hair grades are just references. Don’t make buying decisions based on hair grades.
You should always get hair extensions from reliable companies. Period.
Hair grade isn’t a regulated measure so hair companies can call their 6A hair “9A virgin unprocessed hair” if they want to cheat you.
Frankyl, our 8A hair may actually last longer than the “10A” hair from Aliexpress.
You should always do research, and see the hair yourself. This is why we always recommend sampling because you can actually see the hair yourself before placing a large order.
Sampling is even more important if you are dropshipping because you need to make sure that your customers are getting what you expect to send them.
Things you should consider when buying high-quality virgin human hair
Instead of using grade, you should instead consider what qualities you are looking for in hair extensions. You don’t have to always buy the most expensive hair. Here are some of the factors you should consider when buying virgin human hair extensions.
1.100% cuticles intact virgin hair extensions are the best
If the hair has cuticles intact, it will last longer. Hair cuticles keep your hair smooth. They can keep your hair thick and tangle-free. You should consider buying 100% cuticle intact virgin human hair for the longest use.
2. The fuller the hair, the bigger the volume
Lower-grade hair has a lot more flyaways and shorter hair mixed in the bundle. It is normal for hair bundles to mix some shorter hair just like your own natural hair. But a lot of purposely mixed shorter length will make your bundles look thin. You should always look for hair that’s full from the weft to the tips.
3. Most of the good hair holds curls well
You want to make sure that you can easily style the hair with heat tools and the original texture will bounce back after you wash the hair. Virgin hair extensions have many styles to offer thanks to a non-chemical innovative steaming technology. This technology can kill germs and reform the hair’s cuticles without destroying them.
If this step isn’t done properly, your curly hair extensions might become wavy or even straight after one wash.
Human hair extensions are collected from different individuals. Their hair might not react the same to heat. If you buy 3 bundles and 1 doesn’t hold curls well, it doesn’t mean that the hair is bad.
4. You can easily color high-grade hair
As we mentioned earlier. Some factories color the bundles jet black to hide flaws of the hair. If you receive jet black hair, not only the hair is probably flawed, it’s also difficult to color it or bleach it. If you bought a closure or frontal, the lace will be hard to lift. Your hairstylist will definitely “nag you” about the dyed hair closure.
5. White hair strings, blonde hair strings aren’t all bad
You probably wonder why a bundle has white hair, yellow hair or brown looking hair strings besides black hair. Well, this is because it’s human hair. Human hair will have natural white hair and blonde hair. Hair collected from different countries also will look differently. For example, hair from the Indian temple might not look the same as hair collected from China. This is because Chinese donor hair will OF COURSE look different than Indian hair donors.
If you are placing huge bulk orders, some hair companies can charge you extra to pick out white hair from bundles. But this will pump up your overall prices.
6. Hair factories don’t always have good hair
Many hair business owners think that they have found a gold mine when they found a hair factory to work with. This is very false. Different hair factories specialize in different hair and techniques. If you think that cutting out the middlemen and buying directly from factories will give you better quality? Think again.
For example, a hair factory focused on producing beauty supply products will NOT have raw virgin hair, period. If you work with a factory that produces low-end products at cheap prices, you are mostly not going to get what you want.
7. High prices don’t always translate into quality
High prices do not equal quality sometimes. Low prices don’t always mean bad quality.
Hair industry is tricky, sampling is the ONLY way to know hair quality.
8. Customer service is important
Good customer service is almost as important as hair. A good hair supplier is quick with communication and are glad to resolve any issues in a reasonable way. Unfortunately, a lot of people only find out about the downside of working with a bad vendor is when something goes wrong and they can’t get a satisfactory resolution.
We suggest that you always shop from a company that has clear business hours and ways to contact them. Also, a return/exchange policy is something. to look out for as well.
At last, you should learn what you buy
Good hair is an investment. If you are looking for a good hair vendor, you should learn about hair first.
You would study the stock market if you want to buy into stocks, so why not do the same with hair extensions if you want to invest in it!
If you want to start a hair business, it’s even more important for you to know what you are selling!
If you are as passionate as we are about hair extensions and beauty industry, you should subscribe to our Hair Boss Seminar! You will get an update every time we publish a new blog!
Want to test our hair? We now offer hair sample pack that includes 8A-9A-10A and 11A hair samples. Grab your samples and let’s start building your brand!