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What Does It Mean When a Woman Plays With Her Hair? 

A woman’s hair plays a significant role in her body language, but depending on the context, playing with one’s hair can have several meanings. Here’s everything you need to know about what it means when a woman plays with her hair. 

Why a Woman Plays With Her Hair

The answer to this question varies, depending on the situation.

The Short Answer

When you see a woman playing with her hair, it could mean one of several things, such as: 

  1. She’s feeling anxious 
  2. She’s feeling bored 
  3. She’s feeling self-conscious 
  4. She’s feeling confident 
  5. She’s flirting 

All women use body language differently, so it’s important to consider other factors before jumping to conclusions. And if you’re struggling to figure out how a woman is feeling, the best thing you can do is ask!

The Long Answer

Woman playing with her hair because she's anxious with bird tattoos on her forearm

Daxiao Productions/Shutterstock

So, what does it mean when a woman plays with her hair? Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer to this question — there are several reasons why a woman might be doing this.

1. She’s Feeling Anxious 

One of the most common reasons women play with their hair is because they’re feeling anxious. Anxiety is very common in women, so if you see a woman playing with her hair more than usual, it might mean she’s feeling nervous. 

Regardless of gender, people tend to fidget when they’re feeling uneasy. Some people might bounce their legs, chew their nails, or tap their fingers. If someone has long hair, which many girls do, they may use that as a way to fidget as well. 

Here are some other signs a woman is feeling anxious: 

  • She’s avoiding eye contact 
  • She stutters when she speaks 
  • She can’t seem to sit still 
  • Her arms are crossed 
  • She seems irritable 

2. She’s Bored 

Another reason a woman might play with her hair is that she is bored. Hair-playing is a very common way for people to fidget, and people tend to fidget more when they have nothing else to do.

You’ll often see women playing with their hair at work, during class, or while waiting in line. If you’re talking to a girl and she’s playing with her hair, it may be a sign that she’s losing interest in the conversation. 

Of course, playing with one’s hair isn’t always a sign that a woman is underwhelmed. You’ll usually notice some other body language indicating boredom, too. 

Here are a few signs that suggest a girl is feeling bored: 

  • Her responses are short or vague 
  • She’s avoiding eye contact 
  • She’s slouching or otherwise looks tired 

3. She’s Feeling Self-Conscious 

If a girl is constantly playing with her hair, it may be a sign that she’s feeling embarrassed or self-conscious. Perhaps she’s having a bad hair day and is trying to fix it.

Or, she may be feeling insecure about her appearance and is trying to make her hair look a bit nicer. Self-conscious girls can often experience anxiety.

As mentioned earlier, anxiety can be another reason for women to play with their hair.  So if you think a woman might be feeling self-conscious, consider complimenting her — it may help brighten her mood! 

4. She’s Feeling Confident 

Most of the reasons covered so far have been negative. However, a woman playing with her hair could be a good thing, too! Women who are feeling confident in their appearance may frequently play with their hair.

This behavior could mean she’s fond of how she styled her hair that day, and playing with it is her way of drawing attention to it. 

5. She’s Flirting 

Are you wondering if a woman is flirting with you? The best way to do that is to pay attention to her body language—and playing with her hair is one of many possible signs that she’s into you.

Of course, hair playing on its own isn’t necessarily a sign of flirting. Keep an eye out for these other instances of flirty body language: 

  • She’s sitting very close to you 
  • She’s making prolonged eye contact 
  • She’s laughing a lot 
  • She’s mimicking your body language 

Frequently Asked Questions

To answer what does it mean when a woman plays with her hair, a lady in a button-up shirt twirls the end of her long hair


Are you still wondering why women play with their hair? Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about women, hair, and body language! 

What does it mean when a woman plays with her jewelry? 

Many women fidget with their jewelry for the same reasons they play with their hair, which could mean anything from boredom to flirtatious behavior.

Alternatively, some women may play with jewelry because they like how it looks and want to admire it. Or, if it’s new jewelry, they may be adjusting to how the jewelry feels on their skin. 

Why do girls play with each other’s hair? 

Girls of all ages tend to play with each other’s hair, and this can happen for various reasons. The most common reason for this is because it feels soothing!

Many people (including men) feel relaxed when someone runs their fingers through their hair. Another common reason for this is that they’re bored, and playing with a friend’s hair is an easy way to pass the time. 

What does it mean when men play with their hair? 

While some men may not play with their hair as often as women do, this is a common behavior in people of any gender, especially in those with long hair. Men tend to play with their hair for the same reasons women do. It could be a sign of anxiety, boredom, confidence, or even flirting. 

Is it bad to play with my hair too much? 

While playing with your hair isn’t always a bad thing, doing it too much can lead to some issues. Possible risks include: 

If you play with your hair a lot and have begun to experience these issues, it may be wise to try to break this habit. Contact a doctor if you have any serious concerns.

Do girls brush their hair more often than men? 

Because many girls have longer hair than men, and longer hair needs more frequent brushing than shorter hair, it’s safe to say that women tend to brush their hair slightly more often than men. However, some women have short hair and some men have long hair, so it varies from person to person. 

In addition, a lot of feminine hairstyles require more maintenance than masculine ones. This fact means women who wear feminine hairstyles may need to brush their hair a little more often than men do. 

So, What Does It Mean When a Woman Plays With Her Hair? 

Regardless of gender, hair-playing is a very common example of body language in people. There are a lot of different things it could mean when a woman plays with her hair, but the most common reasons are anxiety, boredom, self-consciousness, confidence, and even flirting. 

However, the answer to this question will vary depending on the woman and the situation. Be sure to take note of any other body language a woman is showing to get a better idea of how she’s feeling!