Hair Extension Grades: 5A, 6A, 7A, 8A, 9A, 10A

What is the Difference Between 5A, 6A, 7A, 8A, 9A, 10A, and above?

A lot of potential clients ask us, "What Grade is your hair?"

Great question!

If you are looking to buy hair extensions from a reliable hair vendor, you want to know if it is excellent hair and will your clients fall in love with it. 

Before we go into the hair grading system, let's see where it first evolved. Understanding the truth behind the names used for hair grading will be important when trying to find the best hair extensions for your money.

Table of Contents

1. History of the Hair Grading System

2. How to Grade Hair Extensions

3. What is the Best Grade Hair to Buy?

4. Is there a Universal Hair Grading System?

5. Comparing 5A to 6A to 7A to 8A to 9A to 10A

6. Hair Grading Q & A in the Comments

 History of the Hair Grading System

The hair weave business has changed dramatically over the past decade.

Today, there are so many different types of hair extensions and marketing terms to quantify the quality of hair.

Chinese manufacturers and Chinese trading companies created the (5A, 6A, 7A, 8A, 9A, 10A) grading system as an easy way to explain to their clients "how good the hair is."

Although, there is a catch.

Do you remember just five years ago when "5A" hair was so amazing? That might have been back around 2012 - 2013.

But wait! Then there was "6A" hair in 2014. Of course, that was then the best hair extensions.

In 2015 we were introduced to "7A" Brazilian hair weave was then considered the new top grade.

The amazing "8A" virgin hair was then popular in 2016, and now in 2017, the "9A" hair weave is the best.

In 2018, you would see trading companies trying to say their "10A" hair was the best.

Remember when "11A" hair weave was the new high-grade hair extension and the talk of the town in 2019?

In 2021, we are looking at all sorts of numbers and I don't know if it will ever stop.

Anyone want to make a prediction of what the "Top Grade of Hair" will be in 2030? Probably 20A Grade Hair? Remember, it's all fictitious anyways!

Do you see the trend here? Every year Chinese hair manufacturers add an additional "A" to their hair to stay competitive. In reality, it is all just hair extension marketing.

Hair Extension Grades

How to Grade Hair Extensions

Currently, there is not a "Universal Standard" for human hair extension grading. Therefore, there is not a standard hair grade chart that you can pull up, and it is accurate.

Technically someone could call their hair extensions 8A despite being smelly, crappy, tangling, non-Remy hair.

Here are some factors you should consider when shopping for virgin hair extensions:

  • Wefts: Single stitch or double stitch? Double stitch wefts should reduce shedding.
  • Weight: The standard weight of sew-in hair bundles is 100 grams or about 3.5 oz. Is the bundle cheaper because it weighs less?
  • 100% Human Hair: Private Label only sells 100% human hair and think most of our clients prefer this. If you are looking for really cheap hair that will not last, color, or style then consider a synthetic blend.
  • Remy or Non-Remy: You want Remy hair with the cuticles facing the same direction to reduce the chances of tangling. Non-Remy hair will quickly tangle and cause issues.
  • Raw Hair or Virgin Hair: In general, there are two types of quality levels of hair on the market. Raw Hair which is in its natural state and Virgin Hair that has had some processing including aligning the cuticles. Both can be great options depending on your hairstyle use case.
  • Single Donor or Multiple: Single Donor hair only matters for a few types of hair, including Indian Temple hair or possibly a unique gray hair. Is it necessary? 99.9% of the time, we would say no. Some companies "claim" the hair bundle is from a single donor, but I would not pay extra for it.
  • Single or Double Drawn: Most human hair sold in the USA market is single drawn hair. The cost to produce a double drawn bundle is much higher because the shackling process of removing the shorter hairs is much more expensive during manufacturing. Expect to pay more for a bundle of human hair that has long hairs all the way to the tips.
  • Color: Can you color the hair? Virgin hair will usually lift to a #27 Honey Blonde while Raw hair can be colored to a #613 Blonde or #60 Platinum Blonde. If you are not coloring the hair, you might consider buying a less expensive option if available.
  • Styling: Human Hair extensions generally should not have an issue styling. Of course, Raw Hair Extensions will always give you the best results.

It's essential you know exactly what you are buying and selling to your clients.

Let's go over the type of virgin hair offered here at Private Label.

What is the best grade of hair to buy?

Shop The Best Hair Extension Grades

Our phone rings off the hook all day! One of the common questions people ask us is what grade of hair is sold on Private Label?

Raw Hair Extensions


Would we consider the hair 5A, 6A, 7A, 8A, 9A, 10A, or what? Do we sell mink hair? What about Japanese denim? The list goes on!

To be honest, all the numbers and name to describe hair extensions is 100% marketing.

Let me quickly go over the Human Hair options that are available at Private Label. Depending on exactly what hairstyle you are trying to achieve should determine the level of quality hair needed.

Basically, I don't recommend using Raw Hair for a quick weave! 

Malaysian Hair Extensions

The Malaysian body wave and Malaysian straight weave are a fantastic value for the price.

The natural 1b color blends very well and is styled very easily.

What you should know:

  • The hair is 100% Human Hair
  • Double Stitch Wefts
  • Hair is "Virgin Remy" with cuticles facing the same direction
  • Malaysian Hair can be colored up to a #27 honey blonde
  • Single drawn but still not thin at the tips
  • All bundles are 100 grams (standard)

Our clients have enjoyed the price vs quality of the Malaysian Hair. The construction of the matching closures and frontals is excellent!

Pro Tip: When companies call products "Malaysian" or "Brazilian" it's also marketing like the grading system. You are NOT wearing real Brazilian hair. It's often referred to a country to help distinguish a product. Unfortunately, if you don't use these terms it often confuses clients.

If you or your customers are looking for low-cost options, then this would be it. Not everyone can afford the most expensive hair so offering an alternative will increase your customer base.

If you call us or visit a Private Label Showroom, our staff can show you the Malaysian hair in person so you can feel it for yourself!

Brazilian Hair Extensions

Ready to take it up a notch?

These are the best selling bundles at Private Label, Private Label Wholesale (bundles are referred to as Premium), and for our 1,000's of dropship hair clients on the Dropship Bundles platform.

What you should know:

  • The hair is 100% Human Hair
  • Double Stitch Wefts
  • Hair is "Virgin Remy" with cuticles facing the same direction
  • Brazilian Hair can be colored up to a #27 Honey Blonde
  • Single drawn but still not thin at the tips
  • All bundles are 100 grams (standard)

The main difference between the Brazilian Hair and Malaysian hair is the longer hair strands within the bundles. Also, when the hair is examined the better batches are generally used for the Brazilian Hair. This is something most people would not recognize.

If you are looking for great quality hair extensions for the price then Brazilian Hair is it!

Vietnamese Hair Extensions

The Vietnamese hair weave is just stunning. We would not consider it anything between a 5A, 6A, 7A, 8A, 9A, or higher. We just call it "Raw Hair" that is sourced from the countryside of Vietnam.

The hair is THICK. Probably the thickest hair we have ever sold. The texture is not silky smooth like the Brazilian but a little course. A perfect match for a woman that wears sew-in extensions.

What you should know:

  • The hair is 100% Human Hair
  • Double Stitch Wefts
  • Hair is "Remy" with cuticles facing the same direction
  • Vietnamese Hair can be colored up to a #613 Russian blonde
  • Double drawn and full to the tips
  • All bundles are 100 grams (standard)

This weave is some of the best quality hair you will ever find. You will not find many sellers of Vietnamese hair as it is not common in the marketplace. It is not as easy to get and takes longer to supply than other hair types.

Pro Tip: The Raw Vietnamese & Indian Hair on Private Label is actually sourced from those countries.

We do our best to stay stocked with Vietnamese hair despite is scarcity. You could consider this hair extension grade a 12A or whatever the current top number of hair extension is by the time you read this. Really, it's raw hair and the best!

Indian Hair Extensions

The wavy & curly Indian hair textures are some of the most sought after in the industry.

We are talking beautiful and long-lasting hair extensions.

What you should know:

  • The hair is 100% Human Hair
  • Double Stitch Wefts
  • Hair is "Remy" with cuticles facing the same direction
  • Vietnamese Hair can be colored up to a #613 Russian blonde
  • Very full bundles
  • All bundles are 100 grams (standard)

The popularity of Indian hair has stayed consistent over the past ten years. Because it is less abundant to find the prices for true raw Indian hair that has been donated at temples will generally be more expensive.

Private Label's Indian hair is 100% with no mixing of processed hair. You may find "cheap" Indian hair, but it will not match the quality of the bundles we provide our clients. It has been our goal to offer the best possible raw Indian hair that is available from India.

Universal Hair Grading System

Will there ever be a universal hair extension grading system? We don't think so anytime soon.

The hair extension market is still like the wild west when it comes to marketing terms and ways to grade hair.

The idea of having a 5A or 6A hair quality was great until the marketing concept of adding additional A's to the numbers to appear higher quality.

What Are the Best Hair Extensions?

Are 10A hair extensions better than 8A hair extensions?

It's a tough call because technically, you could call your hair any "grade" you want.

Our staff tends to agree the best hair extensions are the RAW hair. Our clients love our Raw Vietnamese & Indian hair. The Raw Hair is in its natural state, it can be a little more to deal with because it will act just like the hair on your head. 

Everyone is going to have a different opinion on the hair extensions they buy. Your view of what's the best weave will be different than the person next to you. The goal is to find great hair at an affordable price. If it's labeled 7A, 8A, 9A, or even 10A it really doesn't matter!

Comparing 5A to 6A to 7A to 8A to 9A to 10A

Is it even possible?

Technically no.

Selling your clients virgin hair that matches their needs will be fundamental. Understand the capabilities of natural hair will be crucial to your success. We don't think there is anything wrong with calling your hair a specific grade but make sure you can back it up.

To be competitive, you have to focus on selling the best hair extensions possible for an affordable price. You don't have to go too cheap as someone might not think your hair is of quality.

Nobody markets "5A Hair" anymore. Everything seems to be "6A" and above. Do some research, and you will probably find 11A and 12A hair available. Just remember, the 8A hair is no better than the 9A hair of today. There have not been any significant advancements in the wefting, shackling, or manufacturing of human hair in some years.

If you have any questions about hair extension grades or the numbers system, just drop a comment below!

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This blog is very helpful when trying to explain the difference to our clients and also for people coming into the hair selling business! So informative and easy to understand! I saved the post for future reference for myself! Thanks so much private label for your continued drive to help those how want to further their career in the hair business! I really look forward to pushing my business!

Ann Ross

I love that you explain the difference in the different textures and why you name them Brazilian or Malaysian. It’s also very nice to see someone actually tell the people what stylists have been saying for year, that “A” or number system is just a marketing draw when people are still getting tricked into purchasing mixed media hair from the hair store or from a supplier. What most people want is the result of “silky” hair and not understanding that their extra curly coarse hair will not match the Indian wavy hair. As a professional I don’t use the marketing terms 3b or 4c hair because that mainly something the manufacturers created to be more marketable as women are now becoming more aware of their natural textures. The fact the website also recommends frontals for matching is great. The YouTube video is just the icing on the cake.

Morgan R

I love how you explained the reason behind the grade system. Yes it is all hype on our end but that’s how they market and distinguish the different qualities of hair they offer. I would love for you to do a blog about the different draws of raw hair extensions, explain how remy & yaki are specifying the cuticles and not type of hair. I think that would be dope.


Being a part of the Hair business group and watching the hair business blueprint videos have helped me learn a lot. I too was confused just a week ago and posted in the group for advice on hair grades. The first comment was Mikey with the link to the YouTube video on hair grades. I must say watching that video and now reading this blog gives me so much more confidence in my brand and the hair industry. He’s right, it’s all a Katherine tactic but knowing what questions to ask vendors such as “are the cuticles aligned” or “what color can it be lifted to” will help anyone make a good decision on what quality they prefer. I didn’t know that Brazilian hair wasn’t actually from Brazil haha. I’m going to keep watching, reading & gaining knowledge from these gems Mikey drops on a regular. The more you know about the hair and beauty industry the more successful you’ll be. Mikey is living proof of that and that’s enough motivation for me. Thank you.

Debbi Shequila

This blog is very informative. I came to understand the grading of the hair and also the origin labels some companies use for selling. Thank you for posting!

Zuleika Sabastro

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