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What Do Hair Grades Mean?

What Do Hair Grades Mean?

If you have been looking for hair extensions, you may be wondering what the difference is between A, AA, AAA, AAAA grades etc of human hair extensions.

If you are new to the industry these grades can be very confusing, as hair can be listed from anywhere between A to AAAAAAAA. The more A's listed, the more confusing things become, but not to worry, we are here to help.

Where Does The Hair Extension Grading System Come From?

So let’s start from the beginning; where does the grading system come from? The grade of a set of hair extensions is determined by the factory that sources the hair from the donor.

Contrary to popular belief, the grade of the hair does not actually reflect the quality of each strand, but the length of each strand. Confused...? Let's explain things in a little more detail.

How Does The Hair Extension Grading System Work?

It's actually pretty simple once you understand how the system works. Rather than thinking of the hair extension grading system as determining the quality of the hair, it actually refers to the proportion of strands per bundle that actually measure the full length of the bundle.

For example, every strand in a bundle of 18" hair extensions will not measure 18", as each bundle will be made up of long and short hairs. The more strands that measure the full 18", the thicker the bundle of hair, and the higher the quality. This is also referred to us single or double drawn, whereby single drawn would be grade A, double drawn would be the highest listed grade, typically AAAAA or higher.

Based on this understanding, we can now break down each grade to determine the type of bundle.

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Grades Of Human Hair Extensions

Grade A 100% human remy hair single drawn - e.g. in a bundle of 18", around 30% of the hairs will measure 18".

Grade AA 100% human remy hair 50% drawn - e.g. in a bundle of 18", around 50% of the hairs will measure 18".

Grade AAA 100% human remy hair 60% drawn - e.g. in a bundle of 18", around 60% of the hairs will measure 18".

Grade AAAA+ 100% human remy hair 75% drawn e.g. in a bundle of 18", around 75% of the hairs will measure 18".

Grade AAAAA+ 100% human remy hair 90% drawn e.g. in a bundle of 18", the majority of the hairs will measure 18".

You will also see listed terms such as Grade AD, Super A, or 7A, HD, however these all refer to the same principle of how drawn the hair is, and if it is listed at the "top grade", then this will mean it is double drawn. 

Hair Extension Grading Is Outdated

A few years back, when there was less information available regarding the quality of hair extensions, grading systems were used to help entice customers to purchase what would seem like a higher quality of hair by listing as AAAAAAAA. However due to the confusion caused by the system and a lack of understanding available, many now refer to the terms "single drawn" or "double drawn" instead, as this is a much clearer and more accurate way to describe hair. Hair listed as double drawn is now considered the higher "quality" in terms of a grading system, as it means that each bundle purchased will have a high proportion of longer hairs, resulting in thick hair extensions from root to tip.

Is It Possible To Determine Hair Extension Quality From The Grading System?

Despite all of the information available, as many suppliers still opt to list hair extensions with a grade associated you may still be wondering if it is possible to gain any information regarding the quality of the hair from the grade is it listed with.

Unfortunately the answer to this question is no, and there is a very good reason for this.

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Why Does High Grade Not Mean High Quality In Hair Extensions?

In order to help understand the answer to this questions, let's take 2 imaginary factories who both produce human hair extensions, Factory X and Factory Y.

Factory X has decided to focus on only the best quality materials, sourcing beautiful human hair from its donors.

Factory Y has decided to focus on cost, sourcing poorer quality hair from is donors to make a bigger profit.

When each factory receives the hair from the donors, the hair will be sorted into different grades, some bundles containing lots of short hairs (Grade A), some bundles containing lots of long hairs (Grade AAAAA+), and others falling somewhere in between (AAAA,AAA etc).

As factory X has chosen only the best hair, and factory Y has chosen poorer quality hair, when the hair is split into its retrospective grades the top quality grade from factory X will be far superior to the top quality hair from factory.

Each factory will then sell their AAAAA+ grade hair to suppliers across the globe, yet only the suppliers who have chosen to work with Factory X will receive high quality hair, whereas those suppliers who choose to work with Factory Y will receive much poorer quality hair, even if they both asked for the same "grade" product.


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