Lunar Hair Care: Cutting Your Hair By The Moon's Phases
If all the talk of moon rituals, birth chart readings, and rising signs hasn't clued you in, interest in astrology is mainstream. The recent surge brings new opportunities to indulge our cosmic sides. Most notably? A phenomenon called lunar hair care, and rumor has it that these moon-inspired trims can actually score you longer, thicker locks.
What is lunar hair care?
Lunar hair care is one way that astrology fans have incorporated the power of the stars into their recent self-care practices. It involves syncing hair trims with the lunar cycles, letting cosmic timing set the pace of an otherwise mundane task. The idea is that trimming the hair in time with certain cycles of the moon can bring about longer, stronger, and lusher strands.
There's some precedent for this belief, too. Farmers have relied upon the moon's phases for guidance on when to plant crops for optimal growth, dating as far back as the 1800s. (See the Farmer's Almanac.) Lunar hair care simply applies the same planetary principles to us—specifically, to our hair.
"The pull of the full moon and new moon creates a healthier, more productive garden. This is the same approach we take in lunar hair care," says Stefani Padilla, a hairstylist and shaman. "Just as the moon pulls the tides in the ocean, it pulls upon all bodies of water: This causes moisture to rise on earth, which encourages growth."
It is this upward movement of water, cued by the moon, that is at the root of lunar hair care. After all, humans are made up mostly of water—and it makes up approximately 10 to 13% of our hair.
How to practice lunar hair care:
Just as we plant seeds of intention with the new moon and release that which no longer serves us at the full moon, we can do the same with our physical bodies:
1. Set intentions during the new moon.
Understanding the specifics of syncing your hair care with the moon cycles takes the waxing and waning of the moon into consideration. New moons, at the very beginning of the lunar cycle, are barely visible in the sky. Esoterically, this is believed to be the ideal time for planting the seeds of intention; so, as the moon is on the brink of growing in the sky, this is when to make your hair goals explicit (i.e., full, thick, lengthy locks).
"The new moons are a powerful moon phase to plant seeds of intention as it is a window in time to manifest—including longer hair and quicker growing," says Padilla. As you are manifesting your best possible mane, Padilla reminds us that positive self-talk is the missing ingredient for success. "When we repeat the narrative of 'my hair isn't growing, my hair is falling out, my hair is dull, my hair is dry and brittle,' we are creating that reality," she continues. "Hair, just like our being, requires positive affirmations in order to transform into what we are trying to create."
2. Continue your hair care routine.
Just as personal growth comes through work, so does hair growth. Even if you follow the lunar charts for your trims, it will mean nothing if you spend the time in between not caring for your strands and scalp—or even worse, damaging it with excessive product buildup, regular heat styling, or physical wear and tear.
First, make sure to keep your ends hydrated and limit damage. While this won't stimulate growth at the root, it will mean less length taken off at your next trim.
You must also practice regular scalp care by eliminating buildup and encouraging circulation. When you have too much buildup from oils, products, and debris, it can cause inflammation at the root. When this happens long term, chronic inflammation can even lead to hair loss. Make sure to clean the scalp regularly with a safe shampoo—or even a scalp exfoliator.
Finally, consider your diet and supplements. Eating foods high in fatty acids and vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid may encourage hair growth and reduce hair loss. And supplements like iron, magnesium, zinc, collagen, and biotin may support hair health1.*
3. Time a cut seasonally around the solstice or equinox.
If you are trying for length, you're recommended to get a trim every 10 to 12 weeks, which coincidentally is about the length of a season. In astrology, the summer and winter solstice and fall and spring equinox are very important. These four time periods signal a moment of transition. Use these as markers for your own style change—yes, even if that style change is just a trim. "Our hair is an extension of ourselves. When we cut the actual strands of the hair, even the tiniest trim, we can feel an energetic shift," she says.
4. Trim during a full moon.
The full moon—when the moon most visible and on the precipice of waning—is like the peak before the descent, a time symbolically affiliated with release. "When we cut our hair, we are 'releasing' a part of ourselves [that] we no longer want to carry," she reveals. Letting go of that which doesn't serve you at the full moon is ripe with symbolism for trimming away the dead, dull, split ends of your hair at this time.
"This moon phase is a great time for thickening and strengthening," Padilla also says—so even if you're not yet due for a trim, consider using this time for a strengthening or hydrating treatment. No better excuse for a night in during a full moon than a hair mask, no?
The bottom line:
Here's the thing: Manifestation is a personal practice that means different things to different people. We would never squash your dreams of a lunar hair care makeover, but this is not the type of practice that can be scientifically backed. That doesn't mean it's not worth trying.
"I encourage ritual as a means of taking time out from our busy schedules and the daily noise around us to create a dedicated space to care for both our hair and our well-being," Padilla says. "This means allowing the space for calling in what we are desiring."
Jessica Ourisman is a therapist-turned-freelance writer covering topics related to beauty, fashion, and wellness. She has a master's degree in social work from Columbia University and bylines that include Brit Co., TheThirty, PopSugar, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, Cosmopolitan AU, FabFitFun, Glam.com, and more. She is the founder of the blog, Beauty-Stoned, and currently lives in Paris, France, with her two miniature schnauzers.