Hair extensions have been around for a really long time. You might have seen them but didn’t realize that it was not someone’s actual hair! They have come along a really long way and have become normal. However, there are so many different types of hair extensions out there that people have started grading them. The grading depends on the quality of the hair and there are so many of them. But what we will focus on is 10a vs 12a hair.
Hair grades started in the mid-2000s when the best hair grade out there was 3a. Nowadays, anything above 10a is considered to be high-quality hair. But how different could 10a and 12a actually be? That is what we are here to find out because there are a number of differences between them even though they are 2 grades apart. So let’s learn all there is to hair grade and see if the 12a hair grade beats the 10a or not!
Hair Grading System History
The hair grading system was created in the 1990s by Andre Walker, who introduced his own line of hair products on the Oprah Winfrey Show. To make the classification of different types of weaves and extensions, he sought to differentiate the hair types and made the Andre Walker Hair Typing System. That same system is followed today and since has only gone up in hair quality and grading numbers.
This system was more widely adopted from the mid-2000s when the best hair quality was considered to be 3a. Since then it has gone up and by 2021 the best hair quality has become the 12a hair type. Once upon a time, the 10a was considered to be the best hair grade but technology and innovation have caught up and the grading system went up since the 10a.
This is why many people wonder which is the best type of hair out there and because the 12a is higher in value, many people consider that to be the better hair. But how much better is it when compared to 10a is what we are about to find out!
10a vs 12a: Factors of Hair Quality and Comparisons
So let’s talk about the factors that determine the quality of hair between the 10a and 12a hair. There are many factors to consider for the differences so let’s first give a basic explanation of these factors first and then compare the two and pick out the winner!
Probably the most important to hair wigs, weaves, and extension is how it is made. This is called the weft process, where the hair is woven into a piece of fabric that will eventually go on top of your head. Wefting is important because it will be stitched in such a way that will help to differentiate the quality of hair. The two most common types of weft are the single weft and the double-drawn weft.
For the 10a, it uses the single weft while the 12a uses the double-drawn weft. The single weft is a common type of weft but it is less durable than the double-drawn weft. That means that 12a hair is sturdier and more durable and 10a hair is more likely to start shedding, making it last a shorter time.
Winner: 12a hair!
Type of Hair Used
The next thing that is important for the hair quality of hair is what type of hair is being used. And trust me, there are a mind-bending amount of hair types that are used for hair extensions! The most common ones are either virgin hair, Remy hair, or synthetic fiber. These are the most common types of hair used in hair extensions. Virgin hair means that there are no chemical treatments done to the hair and Remy hair is where the direction of the cuticle is in the same direction. Synthetic means that it is made with non-natural hair. After that, it depends on the producer what type they want to include, either Brazilian, Malaysian, Indian hair, etc.
When comparing 10a to 12a, I have found that 10a uses a combination of synthetic fiber with human hair to make the hair bundle for a weave or wig! The problem with that is synthetic fiber doesn’t last as long as natural hair, which is used in 12a hair! Most if not all 12a hair either uses 100% natural human hair, which is either virgin or Remy hair. So you can be sure that 12a hair is better than 10a here as well!
Winner: 12a hair!
Hair length is another factor when it comes to the quality of the hair in extensions. People may want same-length hair or different-length hair but that is all preference of how they want it to look. It can also be short or long, which is dependent on how the bundle is made.
For this, the problem that 12a faces is that they take the hair from one donor. This means that the hair used is all of the same length and there is no layering between them. For 10a, they come in both shorter or longer hair lengths, where a combination is also possible because of the synthetic fiber making it more versatile. A good start for the 12a hair, but the 10a is the clear winner here because it can come in variations that are just not possible with 12a hair.
Styling is another important part of hair extensions. When you get the hair, you may not prefer the way it looks so you want to portion, curl it, or even dye it. There are a lot of styling options that you can do with hair extensions because they won’t harm your actual hair and scalp! So experimentation with styling is a big part of either 10a or 12a hair.
The good thing is that both 10a and 12a hair are versatile for styling. Whether you are styling with heat or dying the hair a different color, these hair types are made to withstand the changes and still look as natural as possible. I would like to give a slight edge to 12a because it will last longer for any sort of styling done on it!
Winner: Slight win for 12a
Weight is important for the quality of weaves and extensions because you will have to wear them all the time. The weight is also important because it will determine how thick the hair is. Some prefer to have thicker hair while others might prefer thinner hair, it is all dependent on what type of hair you are going for.
In terms of weight, I think that both are equal. 12a are thicker hair made from natural human hair. This means that they are a bit heavier and takes getting used to, especially if you are wearing a weave or a wig. 10a hair is thinner and more adjustable due to them being way thinner with synthetic fiber. Both can achieve the same look but still look natural doing so I would say that they are both equal in terms of weight since it is subjective.
Color is an important part of hair extension because you don’t want it to look out of place. Matching the hair color with your hair is important to make your hair look as natural. While both can be colored, here I am limiting the styling part and only including the colors that the hair might come in to make it a fair comparison.
In terms of color, I would have to give it to 10a hair. This is because the hair itself comes in a variety of colors thanks to the synthetic fiber. So you can customize the look even before you get them with different colors. 12a hair comes in only one color because it comes from a single donor. This makes it impossible to have any variety other than the colors that are available. So the winner goes to 10a.
Hair extensions, weaves, and wigs all have particular prices and that depends primarily on the quality of the hair itself. The higher the quality of the hair, the more it will end up costing.
When it comes to quality, 12a has a clear advantage, and with a clear advantage comes the cost of the quality as well. So expect to pay more for 12a than 10a. This is mainly because 12a uses natural hair which is more expensive to obtain and maintain, especially virgin hair! The lower cost of 10a hair comes down to the use of synthetic fibers which are cheaper to produce and are of lower quality than natural human hair. Since I want to combine these two factors, the quality you get from 12a is far better than 10a making the cost of the hair worth it.
Hair often has the tendency to shed and become brittle with repeated styling and maintenance. That is where longevity comes in because the hair has to be a defining factor for the hair. The longer it can last, the better it will be for you to get that type of hair.
Here, the clear winner is 12a. From the weft itself, you get that durability that you will need so that hair remains strong and does not shed. Then you come to the quality of hair. Natural hair fibers are much stronger than synthetic fibers and are more resistant to styling meaning that they can last through many styles. 12a can last anywhere from 6 months to over a year with proper care while 10a last somewhere around 3 to 6 months.
So let’s tally up the scores according to their respective factor.
|10a Hair||Factors||12a Hair|
|Type of Hair Used||✔|
With the score at 6 to 3, the clear winner between 10a vs 12a hair is 12a! The quality of 12a hair is unlike that of 10a and is much better and because it lasts longer, you are assured of its quality!
As they are made from natural hair, you get 12a hair that is naturally occurring such as blonde, brunette, black, and red.
It really depends on how you care for the hair but 10a hair usually lasts around 3 to 6 months at most.
Yes, it is! Virgin hair is 100% pure human hair that is not stripped with chemicals or washed. It is left to be as natural as possible.
So with all said and done, 12a hair is far better than 10a when compared with all the factors that make up the quality of hair. In 12a, you get a product that lasts long, gives value for your money, uses natural human hair, and is able to style it however you want! Sure, the length and colors are something left to be desired, but you can always style it however you like after getting it to customize a look that is suited for you! So in that regard, I hope I have put to rest the 10a vs 12a hair debate!
- The hair grading system has a long history that dates back to the 1990s. It was made to classify the types of hair weaves, wigs, and extensions.
- As innovation grew, the grading of hair slowly increased over the years, starting from 3a all the way up to 12a as of 2021.
- There are many factors that determine the quality of hair, and the comparison shows that 12a is better than 10a, particularly because it is more durable!
- If you were to choose between 10a vs 12a, you should opt for 12a hair since it is better.