This drawing should do:

Straight bow hairs

These are the hairs of a brand new bow. Straight, clean, etc.

I noticed this:

Straight bow hairs with one loose hair

As you can see, it seems like a certain hair is a bit loose.

  • Is this bad? (I.e., does it affect performance, produced sound, etc.)
  • Should I try to remove/cut it? Or perhaps I should change the whole hair set in the bow?

4 Answers 4


A loose hair won't vibrate the string in any useful way, and it may catch at unwanted moments.

Remove it, just as you would a broken hair.

  • Simply remove it!
    – Manoochehr
    Jan 11, 2013 at 9:46
  • 2
    So I just cut it off from both sides with, say, scissors or is there a more technical way to do it? XD
    – Saturn
    Jan 11, 2013 at 19:35
  • 2
    I use a very sharp knife.
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Jan 11, 2013 at 22:12
  • I just pull it and snap it off. Usually the ends come out cleanly. Edit: But after reading some of the answers I realize it's not a great thing to do. Will cut from now on.
    – talonx
    Jun 16, 2020 at 7:59

The guy who rehairs my bows once advised me that I shouldn't completely pluck out the hair, but to leave a little bit on both ends. This is so that the other hairs don't become loose and fall out. He said it's not generally a problem since most people don't break ridiculous amounts of hair, but it makes it easier to rehair your bow and is best for your bow in the long run. Also, I've found that wrapping the hair around the tip of the bow then pulling effectively leaves a little at the end.


If you just have one or two, remove it. The best approach is to cut it at the loose bit, then pull the hair away from the rest of the bow and cut it carefully at both ends, right up against the frog and the tip.

You can do this many times before the bow needs restrung.

Remember, using rosin diligently reduces breakages, thus increasing the lifespan of your bow.

  • 1
    Is the rosin thing true? My intuition is that the bow is more slippy and thus less likely to snag with zero rosin (though you clearly wouldn't want to play it that way as it sounds awful)
    – dumbledad
    Jun 2, 2015 at 11:34

I have always been told to cut broken hairs off a bow (such as with scissors) rather than pull them out, as that will make the bow hair last longer before you need it replaced (that way the rest of the hair is less likely to fall out). I play at an advanced level and was recently told I should have my bow rehaired at least once a year. I doubt you need to rehair it that often (I'm studying violin in school so I play it a lot) but it is something to consider, but make sure you go to someone good because I went to a very mainstream violin shop and he did a terrible job and many of my bow hairs looked like that. Now I only go to people that my peers or teachers go to and have good experiences with. If your whole bow's hair was a mess like mine was you would have to have someone else just completely redo it.

I have not heard the thing about rosin so I don't know anything about that.

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