I'm wondering how I can tell someone they need to comb their hair.

Come on Jay, fix that hair of yours before the meeting starts.

Mother and son coming into a bakery:

Jason, fix your hair now. It seems as if you were still asleep.

I don't even know if the word fix is suitable or common for this context.

The "Word" or "expression" I'm looking for is not fix though I want to know if it is correct.

I think comb would work but it's not the one I need right now.

The word that conveys the meaning I'm looking for is the spanish false cognate for Accommodate.

I know very well this is an English only forum, but I'm running out of ideas and there may be someone who has a little knowledge of Spanish to help me find this word.

  • 1
    I think of 'fix' in this sense as an Americanism. I (British) would say 'comb' or 'tidy' one's hair. Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 19:10
  • 1
    That depends whether 'combing' results in 'fixing'... Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 20:27
  • What are you looking for here? Is this a single-word-request? You say 'I'm wondering how I can tell someone they need to comb their hair.' but then 'I think comb would work but it's not the one I need right now.' Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 20:32
  • @ab2 which the OP hasn't specified. If I combed my hair, it wouldn't be regarded as 'fixing', but I don't have an elaborate hairdo... (IMO) Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 20:34
  • Fix in Spanish would be "Arregla or arregle tu pelo". See?? Do you mean "arreglar el pelo"? Forget accommodate and cognates. Arreglar tu pelo in the sense of fix your hair is right here. It means it was looking messy, so fix it. And you fix it by combing it or smoothing it down. Even in BrE.
    – Lambie
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 20:34

4 Answers 4


As a Spanish speaker, I think the word you're looking for is "tidy."

"Accommodate" as the false cognate of "Acomodar" would not work because accommodate means to find an arrangement for something/someone that is suitable for the occasion, and "Acomodar" is to "tidy up, clean up, or arrange things so they are in a tidy presentation". Therefore:

Acomódate ese cabello, que parece que sigues dormido.
Tidy up that hair. You look like you're still asleep.

"Fix" would work as it is essentially the same in meaning as "arreglar", which is also in use in some Spanish-speaking countries when it comes to hair:

Fix your hair. The meeting is about to start.

  • Thanks a lot Psosuna! I can see you understood my idea perfectly.and yes, we as spanish speakers use the word "acomodar" not only for the hair but also for a messy room, messy clothes and almost any other thing that we need to make look clean and TIDY. I found not only the answer to my original doubt but also the three possible ways to say it " sort out" "tidy up" and "fix". what I thought had been a pointless question, ended up being very worth it!
    – juan
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 16:44

I'd say that fixing the hair is the goal, and combing the hair is one possible means to that end, but not the only one. Some people might "fix" their hair with their hands, possibly with some gel or wax or somesuch, or use a brush. For some people, "fixing it" might mean making it more messy, not less. Ultimately it just means to change it to look like how you want it to look, or how the speaker wants it to look (which of course might not be how the owner would prefer it to look).

So, they're not the same thing but might result in the same thing in practise, if a comb happens to be the tool of choice.

Also, "fix your hair" may possibly be more common in the USA, but I think most British people would understand the intended meaning too. It's pretty obvious what it would entail even if you'd never heard it before. (A more common phrase in the UK might be "Sort your hair out".)

  • 1
    Yes, Iwill stick to FIX and SORT OUT. I know my question wasn't very precise and I apologize for that. Even so, the answers made it clear to me . I'm starting to believe I was wrong . It's very probable that the word I was looking for doesn't even exist !
    – juan
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 22:29

Fix according to dictionary means to mend something that is broken. However in colloquial English, fix can be used in multiple places. "Fix your mind on one thing" would mean focus. Therefore "Fix your hair, you look like you have just woken up" means set your messy hair. This also is used in a colloquial manner.

For Spanish you can use "Su cabello, parece sólo han despertado." I have used google translator. I know nothing about Spanish. The above sentence translates to "Set your hair, you look like you have just woken up."


English is a peculiar language and it has many uses such as this. Fix your hair is indeed something a Brit won't say, not because it's wrong but it's the way the language is spoken, however, it's grammatically acceptable. One other example, 'What's the time by your watch?' Here 'by' seems out of place, but it is correct use. There is nothing wrong with fixing your hair, but Brits prefer to comb it anyway. Haha.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.