Colored horsehair is so much fun, and the quality is excellent too! I get questions about this beautiful bow hair EVERY day….here’s where I get it and why I love it!
So many friends and students have asked me about my rainbow horsehair, so I knew I needed to do a post about it ASAP! I have been using colored horsehair on my teaching bow for 2 years now, and my young students really enjoy it! At the bottom of this post, I list my favorite brand, my favorite shops that sell it (the ones I know about….please comment below if you know of others!), and a few products that are similar.
I have two bows, one is my teaching bow and one is my performance bow. Since colored horsehair is fun to look at but not traditional, I NEVER use it in a professional performance setting unless we are playing a pops concert or educational concert (even then, I ask the opinion/permission of the conductor and/or personnel manager). Many people are critical about using colored horsehair because it can be viewed as unprofessional and I completely agree. This is why I only use it when teaching young students or am a guest clinician at a Suzuki workshop. The kids think it is cool, and that makes me happy!
When I teach with the colored horsehair, I am always excited about the reactions I get. Obviously, the children always want colored hair too, so I encourage the family/guardian to use this excitement as an incentive! If the student is in an age group/level where they will be performing in serious settings or entering competitions, we always make sure that the colored hair will be on a second or “spare” bow. For very, very young kids, I don’t worry about it and we give them an opportunity to earn the colored hair. If budget is a concern, sometimes I encourage the family/guardian to wait until they are upgrading to a new size instrument so that they do not have to waste and replace the perfectly good “plain” hair.
The hair is INCREDIBLY great quality and I can’t tell a difference between it and my regular horsehair. The color is very vibrant, and the rainbow color stays vibrant even after using rosin. Some of my students are disappointed with darker or monochrome color choices because the rosin DOES leave obvious white residue on the hair. It is the least obvious on the rainbow and tie dye colored hair.
Brands and Shops:
Chromabow is the best looking and highest quality colored horsehair that I have used. They have a variety of vibrant colors, plus rainbow, tie dye, and some custom varieties. I have purchased the horse hair from these shops:
If you are interested in colored horsehair with a matching stick, this company has a great option for a student -quality colored bow.
*Update- I am constantly looking for new shops that have colorful horsehair. I’ll post links to the shops I find (but haven’t tried) here: