Splitting Hairs About the Most Popular Hair Idioms in the UK

That’s exactly what we’re going to do hair. Of course, it had to come to this. Mostly because we couldn’t resist the temptation to make hair puns. It happens when you’re in the hair biz. Also because we were curious about the frequency with which Brits looked up hair idioms in the UK. Is it a sign that the Brits are obsessed, a little too much, with their hair? Rest a-sheared, we will leave no hair unturned in our very meaningful quest of understanding language and culture. 

The use of idioms is inextricably linked to the culture of a society. In an idiom, each word on its own won’t tell you the exact meaning of the phrase. All these words come together to create a meaning that’s entirely different and, in most cases, not literal. Idioms can also tell you much about the person’s background who’s using them. Let’s not split ends anymore. It’s time we get to the root of the matter already!  

Top 17 Most Popular Hair Idioms in the UK

RankIdiomMonthly Google Search Volume
1.hair of the dog14,800
2.bad hair day3,600
3.Becky with the good hair2,400
5.big wig880
=5.hanging by a thread880
6.let your hair down480
7.hair standing on end410
8.hair rising320
9.keep your hair on260
10.tearing your hair out140
11.by a hair90
12.turn a hair80
13.fine as frog hair60
14.hide and hair40
15.not a hair out of place20
16.caught in the cross hairs10

Longevita Hair Transplant found the most commonly searched hair idioms in the UK and ranked them according to their search volume on Google. A cut above others is the idiom “hair of the dog”, with an average of 14,800 searches per month. The idiom may have nothing to do with hair and a lot to do with the Brits’ love for alcohol. 

Next up is none other than “bad hair day”, with a search volume of 3,600. Sometimes, you can give your hair all the love, and it just doesn’t bear root! No need to get fru-straight-ed, though surely your time will come. Till then, keep mulleting over it. 

Well, “Becky with the good hair” was a bit of a hairy situation (really, pardon the pun). Bey’s song “Sorry” mentioned a “Becky”, which sent the Beyhive into a frenzy over Jay-Z’s, then alleged, infidelity. With a search volume of 2,400, it seems like many people are still doing catching up with pop culture. Next, we have the much-reviled “hair-splitting.” Maybe that explains why it has a search volume of 1,900. 

Seeing how so many people are living it every day, it’s rather surprising that “caught in the cross hairs” ranks last in the list of hair idioms with only around 10 people looking it up in a month. 

What Do These Popular Hair Idioms Mean? 

Some people might be on the verge of tearing their hair out if they can’t understand what these idioms actually mean. Now, don’t get your hairs in a twist. Let us straighten-out the situation of hair idioms for you. 

Hair of the Dog: It’s rather hair-larious. What it means is that in order to cure a hangover, you should, surprise, surprise, drink more alcohol. We know it’s just an excuse for Brits to try and drink more alcohol. Hair’s just getting a bad rap here. 

Bad Hair Day: When your hair’s just out of your control and making you look like your worst self. Keep in mind, for a lot of people, every day is a bad hair day, so for them, it’s just hair day. 

Becky with the Good Hair: “Becky” was the assumed mistress of Jay-Z, who was named in Beyonce’s song “Sorry.” Since then, it has been denoted a “side chick.” In the Black community, “good hair” refers to straight hair or with loose curls, soft and silky to touch. 

Hair Splitting: It’s the very annoying practice of arguing and debating over small, unnecessary, and unimportant details. 

Big Wig: It’s just another way of calling someone a hotshot. Again, nothing to do with hair or wigs. It means that someone is important and powerful.

Hanging by a Thread: It’s the event of a very likely failure or something bad happening. 

Let Your Hair Down: To act uninhibitedly. You’re free to enjoy yourself however you like. And you can literally let your hair down for it.  

Hair Standing on End: Now, this may literally happen when you’re frightened of something. 

Hair Rising: It means that you’re excited but also afraid. Here too, your hair might literally be raised. 

Keep Your Hair On: It’s basically asking someone to not lose their temper when things are not exactly going their way. 

Tearing Your Hair Out: When you’re so upset or angry at something that you want to pull your hair out! Word of advice, don’t do that; you’ll regret it later. 

By A Hair: To be able to do or have something very narrowly. 

Turn A Hair: Usually used with a “not,” it means to stay calm in a shocking situation.  

Fine As a Frog Hair: If you’re wondering who comes up with these idioms, you’re in the same boat as us. Frogs don’t even have hair! It is used to indicate that something’s very fine and delicate. 

Hide and Hair: When something or someone is completely missing. 

Not A Hair Out of Place: Neat and impeccable. No clue what your hair has to do with it. 

Caught in the Cross Hairs: We’re living in a cancel culture, so we’re all familiar with it. This means when someone becomes a target of someone’s anger. 


The idioms a society uses reflects its culture, history, and living. Earlier, we wondered if the popularity of these phrases had anything to do with the Brits’ obsession with hair. Now, for that, we can say that that’s not the case. Except for two or three of the idioms that had directly anything to do with hair, none other did. 

At the end of the day, though, everyone loves their hair, not just the Brits. We have reached a split end. However, now you do know some of the most popular hair idioms in the UK. You’re welcome.


  • All the idioms containing the term “hair” or anything related to hair were put together in a list. 
  • The search volume of every idiom was looked up on Google. The report was generated using the “Keyword Planner” tool. It showed the average monthly searches for the idiom on the search engine in the UK.  
  • The idioms were then ranked according to their search volumes.
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