Lunar Hair Care: Cutting Your Hair By The Moon’s Phases

I began studying astrology to understand how the zodiac worked in relation to personal style, our fashion choices and even why we look the way we do. But I soon came across another, equally inspiring theory: how the moon might hold sway over our hair growth.

It’s widely accepted by farmers and gardeners that the moon supports the planting of crops for a better harvest, and many use the lunar phases in their biodynamic planting, but the discovery that the moon could dictate how hair grew was music to my ears! Even the Farmers' Almanac — the centuries-old publication that predicts weather years in advance — suggests the best dates for cutting hair if growth is what you're after!

Astrology can be a pretty hard subject to pin down and this is a pretty elusive area in particular, but I’ll share what I’ve found so far.

How does it work?

Although not fully understood by science, it’s thought that the moon is a regulator of growth (ie. has a direct pull on living things) and that certain activities can be performed in line with the monthly cycle.

The full moon makes hair grow fast, thick, long and luscious.

The theory goes that the powers of expansion are strongest when the moon is getting bigger (waxing), becoming nice and full and bright in the sky, on its path to being a full moon. During this waxing lunar phase, a hair cut will encourage growth right up until the full moon.

Think of it as the "Werewolf effect": the full moon makes hair grow fast, thick, long and luscious.

When you cut your hair, you remove the dead ends, which keeps your hair healthy. Just like a plant, any dead parts of your hair will sap nutrients from the healthy parts, making it hard to grow. So if you trim hair while the moon's pull is strongest, you have a better chance of incorporating natural elements and encouraging root strength and growth.

It's thought that the body (and hair) is readily ingesting what it's given during this phase, so this is also the best time to use masks and conditioners, as chances are they'll penetrate even deeper and are likely to be more effective.

The sun makes its way through the zodiac signs, taking one year to complete its circuit, and in this way we find birth signs. Born in November? Likely a Scorpio. April baby? An Aries, and so on.

As the fastest astral body, the moon is far quicker and takes around a month to move through the signs in the sky, spending one and a half to two days in each. On its journey through the zodiac, the moon completes the monthly lunar cycle, changing from a new moon to full, then full circle.

When the moon passes through the watery zodiac signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces), it’s thought energies are more fertile. Taurus, Libra and Capricorn also fall under this category, though not as much as the three water signs. The fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) are the most dry and arid, with Gemini, Virgo and Aquarius following suit.

When the moon is passing through a fertile sign, repair, recovery and growth is promoted. The dry signs are the best for permanent removals like waxing or laser (leaving little fertile energy to support regrowth).

So the best time to remove unwanted hair is before a new moon when it's passing through Aries. The best time for a haircut if you want lovely, long locks is the full moon in a water sign.

Does It Work?

I find it very difficult not to follow the lunar cycle in my beauty routine — I’m a total convert! Perhaps it’s the superstitious side of me, but I’m loath to pluck a stray hair before a full moon (especially those really random, weird ones ...) or cut my hair at any time other than during the waxing moon. I keep a pair of hairdressing scissors handy and will request a trim from my (very patient) boyfriend: just a little off the ends on the full moon!

It’s incredibly difficult to measure whether it’s working, and I’m the first to admit I’m no scientist. It could be that the ancient wisdom is really an old wives tale, but it’s how it sits with you, so why not give it a go?

So the next time you go to book an appointment at your salon, you might want to consult a lunar chart first!

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