How to Rehair a Violin Bow 

 June 1, 2021

By  Zen Chung

Getting your violin rehaired at the violin shop can cost you a fortune. This is why today we're looking at how to rehair a violin bow so that you can comfortably do it yourself. Not only will this save you a few extra coins, but it will also help you get a feel of what violin bow rehairing is all about.

Here we'll look at the steps you need to take as you rehair various length bows. Your violin bow affects the kind of music you produce. This means that having hairs sticking out can cost you a great deal. Let's first look at what you need to rehair your violin bow, and then we'll get into the steps.


What You Need to Rehair Your Violin Bow

You don't need a lot to get started with the violin bow rehairing process. However, depending on the type of violin bow you have, you may need some specialized things like a specialized jig. This will help ensure your safety and the safety of your violin bow.

Here are some items you'll need:

  • Comb
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Powdered rosin for finishing your violin bow
  • High-quality horsehair (approximately 150 threads)
  • A sharp pair of scissors
  • Bow rehairing kit suited for your violin
  • Miscellaneous tools like needle-nose pliers

Some of the items that your rehairing kit will have include:

  • Superglue or any other appropriate glue type
  • Hair clips or hair slides
  • Jig for threading the bow hair
  • A thin gauge wire

Steps for Rehairing Your Violin Bow

Step 1: Clean Your Bow

Although this first step is optional, we recommend that you use a clean lint-catching cloth and a gentle cleanser to clean across your bow. You can also choose to clean the inside of your frog and tip.

Step 2: Remove the Old Bow Hair

After you've taken everything apart in the first step and cleaned (or not), use a pair of sharp scissors or a sharp knife to cut the horsehair. Loosen the violin bows and cut the loose horse hair new the end of the bow. Leave some bow hair for gripping when you take it out.

If your violin bow has wedges or slides that you can remove to remove the bow hairs comfortably, the better. After you have the wooden wedge removed, you can move forward. Use the tool that comes in your bow kit to remove the wedges. If your instrument lacks these wedges, you can firmly pull the hair out with the pliers.

Ensure that the ferrule is out of the way.

Step 3: Prep the New Bow Hairs

After removing the loose hairs and broken hairs, it's now time to rehair your bow with the new bow hairs. Preparing the new violin bow hairs is the most challenging part of this process. You can choose to get a horsehair that is already prepared to make this process easier.

If you get a horsehair that has already been prepped, you'll find that it has already been glued together. Hairs carefully fanned and cut to fit your modern violin bow; you won't have to do much. You can get hair for your bow from online music stores and even Amazon. If you're not sure where to commence, you can visit a luthier or shop first.

When preparing your hairs to have your violin bow rehaired, start by securing both ends of the length of your horsehair with a hair clip or wire. Ensure that the new hair closely lies together before forming the hair bundle. You can then remove the remaining hair.

Ensure that you use the correct hair length. You can use the fine-toothed comb to ensure that you get neatly bundled hairs. Loosed hair can mess up the whole process. When you're sure that your hair is neatly laid out, cut to the size you need for your particular bow, and secure both ends with your super glue.

This will make the process that much easier to insert the bow rehairs into your own bow.

Step 4: String the Violin Bow

We've gotten rid of the broken bow hairs, slightly protruding loose hair and old hair. Now is the time to do the bow rehair process. Depending on the model of bow you have, you may use a unique slider or a second wedge in the frog.

If you have an electric violin or a composite bow, you may relate to the above. Depending on the guidance of the bow maker and your model, some things in this stage may vary. Remove the frog wedge using the tools that come in your kit.

Remove the small wooden wedge in your frog and tip. Ensure that the glue has dried, and then insert the bundle into the aperture on the tip end of your waiting bow. String the ferrule onto your hair and repeat this process with the frog end of your violin bow.

You can use the jig if you need to. We advise that you have a screwdriver or a thin stick nearby as you rehair bows. As you rehair a bow, you can use the screwdriver to position the end of your angled edges inside of the cavity. Ensure that the hair is adjusted slightly to ensure that no loose hair exists.

Step 5: Tighten Your Bow and Apply Rosin

This is the last step that can determine the sound quality of your instrument. After you've prepared your bow hair well and it's correctly seated in your violin bow, it's now time for some finishing touches. Find the sweet spot where the bow hair is not too tight and not too loose.

Once your bow tip is secured and the hairs evenly spaced, and are of the correct length, it's time for some rosin dust. Rosin bass bows are a very handy fixture. A fresh coat of powdered rosin for hair evenly spaced can make a huge difference.

You can use lighter rosin or darker rosin, depending on your preference. Drier light rosin is better if you live in a humid area to avoid getting the hair wet. Gently pat some more resin before you use your violin bow hair for the first time.

Ensuring there is no loosened hair, use careful massaging motions to rub the rosin along your violin bow's new horsehair strings. Let the crushed rosin burn through the hairs. Remove any excess rosin with a clean cloth.

Now, your violin bow is ready to go.


After completing these steps above, you now have a very strong thread for your bow tie. Your new bow hair and violin bow are now ready for use. Which one of these steps did you find the easiest? Let us know how you enjoy rehairing your violin bow. 

Zen Chung

I'm Zen Chung, a piano and violin teacher based out of Plano, Texas. I started this blog because my students (and their parents) kept asking about the best musical instruments to buy online. Look no further I'm here to save the day! 

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