Cowlicks! They can be so frustrating! Unfortunately, almost everyone has one in one place or another! A cowlick is a section of hair that stands straight up or hair that grows in a spiral pattern. The most common place for cowlicks is at the crown of the head. On top of the head hair grows to the front, on the back of the head it grows towards the nape and hair grows to the left and right side of the head on the sides of the head. A cowlick's spiral pattern is likely caused because hair gets confused about whether it needs to go forward, backward, or to the side, and some hairs get caught in between creating that characteristic whorl. The hair whorl can be in the center of the head but it can also be located to the left or right side of the head. In the very center of the scalp it will be visible because the hair lies flat. The second most common place is along the front hairline. Here the whorl of hair growth is generally less pronounced, so hair seems to stand straight up. (Fun Fact: In people who are right handed, at least 90% of cowlicks have a clockwise rotation while about 10% go in a counterclockwise direction. Left-handed people generally have a counter-clockwise rotation.)
Depending on how resistant your hair type is and how stubborn your cowlick choses to be, we’ve listed our favorite ways to conquer the cowlick! If one doesn’t work for you, try another or a combination of a few — something is bound to work, we promise!
Blow Dry Away from the Cowlick Pattern: You’ve probably already tried to train your re-train hair while blow drying, but when it comes to cowlicks, technique is key. Drying cowlicks should be done IMMEDIATELY after you wash your hair. Letting the hair dry naturally, even just slightly, before blow drying allows the cowlick to start to “take it’s form.” Eliminate this by blow drying at least that section while your hair is still sopping wet. Use a firm grip brush and work this section back and forth, mostly away from the growth or “grain” and be sure to follow this up with a cool shot button.
Use a Root Lifter: Root lifters are the perfect hair styling product for anyone who suffers from cowlicks. We recommend a mousse-based root lifter that sprays directly onto the root area. This can be used by itself to tame less stubborn cowlicks or in combination with blow drying for the extra stubborn growth patterns!
Cure Hair with a Keratin Treatment: Some may call this the cheaters way out, but we call it staying sane! If you have had enough of your battle and are tired of feeling defeated, try getting a smoothing treatment applied to just that area, or your whole head if you want to make your styling process really easy! Using a smoothing treatment will seal the hair in place for 4-6 weeks at a time, or until you have new growth. This is definitely worth it — especially in the humid months of summer! Not to mention, if you stick to applying the treatment just to your problem area, it won’t be costly at all!
Tease to Prevent Separation: This is obviously a more temporary solution, but it’s the perfect way to cover cowlicks on the back of the head or directly on the part. Not only will it help to blend in any unsightly parts, but it will give you a crazy boost in volume. Not a bad side effect if you ask me!
When All Else Fails, Embrace it! If you’re cowlick is too stubborn to response to these helpful hacks, it might be time to switch up your style to one that works more naturally with your cowlick. If your cowlick is on your hairline or part, find a style that will move with your cowlick and start to train the rest of your hair to move that way. After all, cowlicks are the hardest hair to “retrain,” so starting fresh with the rest of your hair might be a lot easier!