A cowlick is a problem that causes the hair to stick out more than the rest for a particular stubborn section of hair.

This is a section of hair which grows in a different way than the rest. Although it is completely harmless, it can cause serious hair problems by making it difficult to style.

Continue reading to find out more about cowlicks, how to get rid of them, and what are the ways to style them.

hairline cowlick

Root Cause

It is a well known fact that almost everyone has at least one cowlick. There may be more than one in some people. However, cowlick is not easy to be notice because the hair’s weight pulls it down.

Cowlicks are largely influenced by genetics. According to 2003 Trusted Source research, right-handed people tend to have cowlicks that follow a clockwise orientation. However, there are other researchers who have disagreed and conclude that there is no association between handedness and cowlick orientation .

Cowlicks may also be caused externally by factors such as injury or surgery such as a hair-transplant that alter the growth of hair. For hair transplant, hair can be moved from one side of the head to the other, making it difficult and sometimes impossible to determine and control the direction of the hair.

Where are the common locations of Cowlicks

Cowlicks can appear in several areas of the head.

The back of your head is where you will find the crown is the most commonly seen. The front of your hairline is next, but it shouldn’t be confused with a widows peak. The cowlick is most noticeable if it is along the front of the hair or hairline. Cowlicks may also appear at the nape and sides of your head near to the temples.

Some claims that cowlick can also be found in men’s beards. However, their curly texture makes it difficult to locate them.

How It looks like?

Cowlicks come in many different forms.

A whorl or spiral is the most popular pattern. Its appearance will vary from one person to the next depending on hair texture and style.

Cowlicks can appear as straight hair sticking up. For others, it will look like fully flat hair on the head.

The full spiral pattern can be seen if the hair is short and almost buzzed. The hair is parted in the middle of the spiral to expose the scalp.

The cowlick’s appearance is also determined by the position of the cowlick. Cowlicks placed in the crown area can appear like a tufted hair sticking up almost like a bump. Moreover, when it is placed along the hairline, it may look like natural volume.

spiral cowlick

Blading or Cowlick?

A cowlick can occasionally expose the scalp and is often mistaken as balding. This is frequently caused by the location and texture of the cowlick especially if the cowlick is near to the scalp. If someone doesn’t have very dense or long hair, the area of separation might appear empty.”

A cowlick and balding are not the same thing. A cowlick is different from balding as a cowlick has a natural pattern of hair growth while balding is caused by hair loss.”

You can see the vast difference in their appearances when you observe them nearer. The cowlick looks like your hair is parted specifically in one direction. However, bladdness can indicate that you have sparse hair due to thinning as much the hair has disappeared completely from the scalp.

Is it possible to get rid of it all?

There is no way to eliminate a cowlick. It is simply the natural pattern of hair growth that you were born with.

Laser hair treatments have been used by some people to treat their cowlicks. However, laser hair treatments can’t completely eliminate cowlicks because the hair follicles can’t be moved.

It can, however, remove the hair from the area in question. However, the word of caution which is to avoid the to head or crown at the top as a bald spot there is something to avoid.

Styling Tips

You can’t get rid cowlicks so you need to learn how to style them. It can be tamed in many different ways so it is less noticeable and obvious.

Tips for Hair style and Length with Cowlick

For a messy, spiky look for super-short hair recommendation. Use saltwater spray to twist your hair and compress it mildly. Use a hard wax, clay for finishing.

If you like to have bangs, wear it with the split and just leave the cowlick that sticks up so long you are comfortable with it. A heavier bang can be effective to weigh down the cowlick due to the extra weight of the hair bangs.

hairline cowlick


A pre-styling product is recommended for curly/wavy hair. It will add some mild tension to your hair and the objective is to combine with other pieces of hair in order to make it look more natural by blending them.

if you have long hair, this trick will work for you if you have concerns that it will look flat. To give your hair some lift, try parting the hair on the other side of the cowlick.

Final General Tips

A diffuser is recommended. Blow-dry the hair with a diffuser and use your fingers to manipulate and twist the hair into position. It is important to have a haircut that is specially designed at that parting.

You can camouflage cowlicks by growing or lengthening your hair. Longer hair means more weight, which will make it less likely for your cowlick to stick straight up and lay fully flat.

You can ask your hairdresser for a bespoke texture cut to blend the cowlick in.

You can also style your cowlick by using water no matter what is the texture and style of your hair. This will make it easier to style your hair the orientation you like. To set it all in position, you can use a blow dryer.

The Bottom Line

Cowlicks are a section of your hair that grows in a different orientation as compared to the rest of your hair. It is completely normal, harmless and genetic.

Although you cannot get rid of them completely, you can manage them by taming it. You can style your cowlick with heat and water in the direction you prefer, or use products to hold it in the preferred position. Lastly, it is important to consult your hairdresser to find the best way to manage your cowlick.