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By Vita K. at
79 Crossing

I know… cowlicks can be a big pain.  But rest assured, there are some simple steps to managing those pesky cowlicks to give you the hair style you want!

Here’s a common scenario:  You see an amazing haircut on a celebrity or in a magazine and decide it’s the one.  You bring the picture to your stylist and he/she cuts it exactly right… except that one piece that hangs down lower at your neck, or the bangs split. For men, it might not lay down the way they had hoped or it sticks up in the wrong spot.   What gives?

Well, every hair on your head is built to grow in a specific direction. This is what causes cowlicks.  Some cowlicks are easily managed (growth patterns that grow in one direction will go with any hair style).  Some are not as easy to manage (ones that grow in almost a circle pattern sometimes feel almost impossible to handle). 

Most cowlicks are found in three places: 1) the forehead, 2) the crown and 3) the nape of the neck.  Cowlicks can affect the way you part your hair or style your bangs (the forehead), your volume or lack of volume (crown), and your neckline from buzz cuts to bobs (nape).  If your cowlick doesn’t have a significant difference from the rest of your hair growth patterns, you might not even know you have one… And lucky you! =)

The best way to manage a cowlick is to learn how to work with them.  Every person’s hair patterns are unique, but there are two main ways to manage cowlicks.  You can either 1) cut them short to blend them into the hair, or 2) grow them long to give weight and manageability to the hair.

 

 FOREHEAD COWLICKS

 

Once you’ve made the decision to keep it long or cut it short, styling products, a blow dryer and a good brush will become your best friends.  If you have a cowlick in your bang area, this should be the first place you dry your hair.  You’ll want to dry the hair with a brush pushing it in one direction, and then after a few strokes switch and brush the hair in the opposite direction, this will help “confuse” the hair, as to which way it is supposed to go.  If the end result you choose is with the cowlick, then your hair should lay nicely, and if you choose the opposite, (which might be a bigger fight) you may be able to achieve more volume.  This is a personal choice as to what looks best on you.  For widow’s peaks, bangs are possible but will present a definite challenge when it is time to style them (depending on how dramatic the peak is). It’s my recommendation to not have bangs, but perhaps a short face frame, to make it look like you have fringe around your face. But for those who absolutely must have bangs, make sure they are thick enough, and that your dry them first in the way suggested above.  This will give you the most room to play and will manipulate the hair. 

CROWN COWLICKS

Cowlicks in the crown present issues for both short and long hair.  For very short buzz cuts, it is almost always best to cut these cowlicks shorter than the rest of the hair.  As hair grows in between haircuts, it will blend well with the rest of the hair as opposed to sticking straight up (Alfalfa style).  For short/medium/long cuts, it’s best to determine your plan of action with your hairstylist.  Most likely you will want more length, which will add more weight, and in turn, more control over that pesky cowlick.  Sometimes however, a little extra weight doesn’t always do the trick.  You can use pomades and pastes to direct the hair, but my tried and true way to manage cowlicks is to tease the area.  Now you don’t need to create Texas-size hair to have control; just some light teasing and hairspray is all you need.  This will give you awesome volume, and a finished look. 

NAPE COWLICKS

If you have long hair, cowlicks at your neck might not be noticeable.  But, if your hair is short or bobbed, sometimes it is better to have this section of hair cut shorter than the rest.  If the hair is cut perfectly even, when it’s dry it might hang down lower, due to the direction of the cowlick (which will make it look uneven). 

Follow these tips, and you’ll find that managing your cowlick is easy.  If you have more questions, stop by and ask your LookAfter stylist on the hair style that would work best for your hair!

62 Comments to Hair Style How To: Managing a Cowlick

  1. nou's Gravatar nou
    September 17, 2011 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    thanks for article…
    find another hair style at http://newsonlineupdate.com

  2. Sally's Gravatar Sally
    January 14, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Has anyone ever tried using a straighnter just in the cowlick spot? Very informative article.

    • Vita's Gravatar Vita
      January 17, 2012 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Sally, thank you for the feedback! A flat-iron would definitely help control a cowlick, but the hair will still need to be long enough. When using the flat-iron to control the cowlick I would move the iron in the direction you want the cowlick to lay. The heat from the iron and length from your hair, will make the cowlick disappear!

  3. carole garcia's Gravatar carole garcia
    February 19, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for this information..it really helps. I have a cowlick at the nape of my neck on the left-hand side and it is driving me crazy. My hair is short and I’m in the process of letting it grow..yikes! So it really look strange, especially when you look at me head-on. You can really see a difference on each side and my haircut looks uneven. The hair on my left hand side literally wraps down my neck and the right side is short. So right now I am going to get my scissor and cut the cowlick away…hope it looks better. Wish me luck!

  4. glenda's Gravatar glenda
    March 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I am 76 yrs. old and there is not a hair on my head that is not a cowlick. grey hair, tried spike cut, cowlicks do not work with me, tried a flat iron on the hair, nothing. No one knows what to do with it, and they do not believe my hair until they wash it and see how it stands up, a real mohawk down the middle. Now tell me what to do, gels and waxes don’t work. Know you think this is unbelievable but that is my problem and no more permanents for me. Just give me a suggestion.
    Thanks

    • Vita's Gravatar Vita
      June 5, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the feedback Glenda! As a stylist there’s nothing I don’t believe anymore. Everyone has there own specific issues unique to them, and I definitely sympathize with yours. If the top of your head grows to a natural faux-hawk ask your stylist to use their thinning shears in this area, it will help minimize the effect. As far as a style for you, my recommendation is to go with what your hair wants to do, and since your hair has multiple cowlicks this may be difficult to figure out. Ask your stylist for an in-depth consultation to really examine the way these cowlicks grow and perhaps you can come up with a better solution. All else fails, you can grow your hair out. It will be a painfully long arduous process, but the weight from the length of your hair could offer you more
      control.

  5. Jesse's Gravatar Jesse
    March 10, 2012 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Hi there,my baby has a crown cowlick,i you look at it from the back it spirals in a clockwise direction. My question is,which way will I put her side part?

    • Vita's Gravatar Vita
      June 5, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jesse thanks for the question and the answer is simple. The crown really should’t effect the way you part her hair. It could present issues as a teenager or adult when she is looking for volume in her crown. Right now, unless she has a severe cowlick in the fringe or front hairline you should be able to part her hair on either side.

  6. May 31, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    hi i have a fore head cowlick ive had it my whole life but i cant get it down evry day i comb it for a long time but it wont come down help me

    • Vita's Gravatar Vita
      June 5, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the question Caleb! I would suggest growing your hair out a bit. Lucky for you that is the new trend in men’s cuts! Unfortunately if
      you are wanting to keep it short the cowlick might not ever lie down.
      Cowlicks respond to weight, so unless you cut that hair off (which I doubt you want to do in the front of your hair) you just might have to spike the front. Or consider a side part (Mad Men-esque) where you can grow out the front of your hair, but not necessarily have it fall in your eyes. At your next hair appointment request an in-depth consultation with your stylist to determine the best solution for you.

  7. June 21, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Hi! I’m not sure if what i have is considered a cowlick but my hairline peaks where the arches are in my eyebrows. It looks as though a barber lined it up like how men do it. If you know what I’m talking about, do you have any ideas on how i could style my hair so i don’t look like a guy sometimes? Thanks. (BTW, I have very very highly textured hair so the only way my “cowlicks” ever lay down [and stay down!] is if i use gel or a holding moisturizer then tie my head with a satin/silk scarf for maybe 15 mins. or while I’m in the shower. Maybe that can help somebody on here.)

    • Vita's Gravatar Vita
      June 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Yes what you are describing is most definitely a cowlick. I am not positive on what you are describing but here are a few tips: If you have severe cowlicks in your hairline, bangs will only make your morning routine more difficult. Also the shorter your hair the more difficulty you will have when styling, due to the lack of weight. My advice for styling is to give your hair a deep side-part (not the middle or off-center). Examine your hairline and figure out which side would work best, then when you dry your hair in the morning dry this area first. If you allow it to air-dry even a bit, you will have more trouble getting the hair to do what you want. After you dry this area, if it is still giving you issues, re-wet and re-dry. You can train your hair to do what you want (if the cowlicks are not too severe), but it does take drying and re-wetting a few times to get it under control. Best advice I can give is let your hair fall the way it wants to, this is usually the most flattering look on anyone.

  8. Marie's Gravatar Marie
    October 6, 2012 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    Great suggestions, would love to hear a response for my hair!
    I have a cowlick right at the front of my head (forehead) which is right on top of my ‘black widow’.. It is frustrating trying to control it when it sticks out a bit further then my actual hairline. I’ve tried blow drying it, gels, flat irons and it still has a mind of its own :-/

  9. Marie's Gravatar Marie
    October 6, 2012 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    PS. I have quite long thick wavy hair

    • Vita's Gravatar Vita
      October 19, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the question Marie! Unfortunately cowlicks will always have a mind of their own. However, the fact that you have long hair is the first line of defense. More length = more control. A widow’s peak typically grows in the opposite direction of the rest of our fringe, growing towards your crown as opposed to towards your forehead. First if you have bangs, grow them out. Whether you choose to wear a long side-swept bang or grow them out completely. Whether or not you decide to keep a long bang, here are some tips for styling your hair. Blow dry this area FIRST, when it is still wet. If you allow it to air dry you will fight a losing battle. Next, blow dry your bangs with a brush to the left for a few seconds and then the right, alternating sides every couple seconds until your hair is dry. Then pick the side it lays the best to finish your bangs and start your part. Center parts can work, but if you’re trying to camouflage the cowlick a center part will only highlight your widow’s peak.
      Hope this helps!

  10. Becki's Gravatar Becki
    October 26, 2012 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    Hello!! I am dying here, I’m a mother of an active 2 year old, and I’ve got super long thin hair that get pulled, yanked, or tangled if its down so I usually keep it up in a bun, but doing this as often as I do is causing it to break. I would LOVE to get a pixie cut, but I have a cowlick that grows in one direction at my forhead, and another that grows in a circular direction at the crown of my head. Would a longer pixie cut ( think Keira Knightley in Domino ) work for me?

    • Vita's Gravatar Vita
      November 2, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      Pixie cuts are fabulous! I love how fresh and modern these styles are and right now we are seeing them everywhere! I think Keira Knightley in Domino would be an excellent choice for your hair type. Never having done her hair, I can’t say for sure but I believe her hair is also quite thin. As far as your cowlicks go you can either go two ways: longer for control or shorter and textured to conceal. Your future new style is doing both! You will have the length you need for control in the front and the shorter, textured hair in the crown area to conceal. The one thing I want you to know before you cut off your hair; when hair is short it requires more visits to the salon for shape-ups and trims to maintain the desired style. I say this because right before your next visit to the salon for a trim your cowlick may become unruly. If this is something you do not want to deal with you may need to shorten time in between visits to the salon.

  11. Eva's Gravatar Eva
    December 15, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    Hi,

    I constantly have a cowlick in the back of my hair, which is a collar length bob, and every stylist that cuts my hair, states that she cannot do anything to prevent it. The question is, what can I do, other than find a different stylist? Thank you.

    • Vita's Gravatar Vita
      February 11, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      In a sense the stylists are correct. They cannot get rid of your cowlick, it will always be there unfortunately. From your description I would guess that your cowlick is in your hairline at the nape of your neck. Cowlicks in this area can present problems for those of us with bobs and stacks because there is not enough hair to weigh down the cowlick. My recommendation is after your stylist has cut and dried your hair, have them cut the hair in the cowlick (at the hairline) shorter than the rest of the hair. Yes this will make it “uneven”, but done correctly it should be camouflaged by the rest of your hair and your cowlick will no longer stick out.

  12. February 5, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Can you please respond to Sally’s question from Jan 17, 2012 about using a hair straightener to tame a cowlick? Mine is at the crown. I am not sure if it is a cowlick or just tight curl I this area.

    • Vita's Gravatar Vita
      February 11, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Everyone has a cowlick of some sort in their crown. A flat-iron can help but I don’t suggest going over and over the same area with a flat-iron, you will just damage your hair. If the problem you are having is with it splitting which leaves your crown flat, then the best way to counteract this is to tease your crown. The hot tools, product and the cut can help in this process but to really fight the flatness a teasing comb/brush should become your best friend.

  13. Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
    February 12, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    I have a cowslick on the right side of my forehead. I have a left side parting and have a long side fringe the goes over my cows lick.the only problem is that it cause my fringe to look uneven, because part of my fringe has volume and other parts look flat. What’s the best way to deal with my cowslick? And should I change the side my parting in on?

  14. Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
    February 18, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    my cowslick is annoying me. I have a side fringe and my cowslick is right underneath, making my hair constantly looking like I have a bad hair day.

    • Vita's Gravatar Vita
      August 13, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Sarah I empathize with your problem. First, the fact that your fringe is long is a plus. The weight from the added length will help your control this cowlick. My first suggestion, is when you are having your fringe cut, ask the stylist to cut it dry and point out the issue you have with your cowlick. They may have to cut it unevenly so it appears even. Hope that makes sense. Next, I suggest parting your hair on the opposite side. Wet down your fringe and using your dryer train your hair to lay the opposite direction. You may have to do this a few times. Lastly when drying your hair (if you choose to keep your part the same) dry your bang area when it is still very damp, in the direction you want it to lay for a few seconds and then brush the hair in the opposite direction. Do this back and forth with the dryer until the bang area is dry (you should finish on the side you want your hair to lay), this can help “confuse” the cowlick which ultimately will give you more control.

  15. Christine's Gravatar Christine
    February 27, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    I have several cowlicks, but he one that troubles me the most is the one at the nape of my neck behind my right ear…it makes my hair (which is growing out from a pixie) stick up and look stupid…i am thinking of shaving it (think that 90′s style where people shaved their heads underneath longer hair) just to get rid of it…or keeping it supershort in the back and doing an inverted bob with long sides and front… (Or cuting it ALL off again and going back to super cute faux hawking pixie!!) What do you think?

    • Vita's Gravatar Vita
      August 13, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      Christine, I completely understand your dilemma. First kudos to you for being daring enough to try a pixie! Those cuts are so chic and on trend right now! All of your ideas could work, but even if you shave it, bob it, or go back to the pixie as it grows, which hair always does, this issue will present itself again. If your goal is to grow your hair out, whether now or in the future, there may be an awkward time where it just doesn’t lay right. Pomades and pastes will be your best friend during this time. I would make sure your stylist knows about this cowlick and have them cut it shorter (about 1” shorter) than the rest of your hair. Make sure the hair surrounding this area is cut to blend or mask this unevenness. This should help you grow it out until it is long enough where you have more control. However, depending on your desired length this may be an area you have to have cut shorter than the rest, all the time.

  16. dom's Gravatar dom
    March 6, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    I have a cowlick on my forehead and I comb my hair to the side but my cowlick makes it go all curly. Have you got any tips?

    • Vita's Gravatar Vita
      August 13, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      Cowlicks essentially just direct the hair to grow a certain way. I would try combing your hair the way your cowlick wants to lay. If you are not sure, your stylist should be able to point you in the right direction. Typically cowlicks don’t affect the wave pattern in your hair, but if the curls are a unwanted then try drying the hair straight with a brush and blow dryer or using a flat iron.

  17. Liz's Gravatar Liz
    March 18, 2013 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    Ha!! My son has two, on each corner of his front hair line, that split in opposite directions, and one big one in the middle!! Creating 4-5 directions of hair flow!! And just above all of that, a HUGE swirled one, another on his crown, and two small ones at his nape (back bottom hair line), one on each side!! You wanna talk about a “bad hair day!??” LOL!!!

    • Vita's Gravatar Vita
      August 13, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      Liz, I feel for your son. I would say there are really 3 options. If he likes his hair short I would have it buzzed short. If this is not an option try clippers on sides and back and have him wear it spikey-messy. This style is very popular right now, and with all his cowlicks he may have an easier time achieving this look than some of his non-cowlicky peers. The third option would be to grow it out long and with a very textured cut. The length and texture could give some control over his numerous cowlicks!

  18. Jack's Gravatar Jack
    March 29, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Hi there i got a cow lick right were i want to part my hair any ideas? and best product to use?

    • Vita's Gravatar Vita
      August 13, 2013 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jack! Unfortunately I would suggest parting your hair somewhere else. I know that might not be the ideal situation, but often times just changing that can give you back the control over your cowlick. As far as product goes, I prefer pomades and pastes to gels and hairsprays. Gels and hairsprays can become stiff, and depending on the severity of your cowlick, make it more noticeable. American Crew’s Fiber or Grooming Cream both have a high hold and should help you gain control!

  19. Graham Shannon's Gravatar Graham Shannon
    June 28, 2013 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    I have a cowlick in the front of my head, a forehead cowlick I guess, is it possible for me to style my hair like Justin Bieber?

    • Vita's Gravatar Vita
      August 13, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Graham without seeing your cowlick and the particular Justin Bieber style you are going for I can’t say for sure if you can achieve that particular style. I’ll say this though, if you are going for the longer, shag haircut (where his bangs are almost in his eyes) then you will need to grow your bangs and the top of your head, long enough so the weight from the hair will give you control. It may have to be longer than his style to achieve something similar. If you are going for the shorter version where it is longer on top and all spiked up, you want to make sure your stylist cuts lots of texture into your hair, and keeps the length a little longer (especially in the cowlick area) and then when styling blow dry your hair upside down. This will help you fight the cowlick and make it stand up.

  20. Brandon's Gravatar Brandon
    July 26, 2013 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    Hey! i’m a guy with considerably long hair about 8 inches, more of the emo hair look, um i have cowlicks that grow in two separate directions, right at the top of my forhead but at bit in the back where it’s not noticiable from the front or sides only if cut short, i made the mistake of cutting them short about 2 years ago And fear the ugly look of grown cowlicks in the back, thy aren’t noticable for the most part but family and friends that know about it tease me, and i fear about when i get older and choose to cut my hair short will having them cut in the back affect my hair cut? ( im really asking for re assurance here) but please email me!

    • Brandon's Gravatar Brandon
      July 26, 2013 at 5:10 am | Permalink

      i ment at the top of my hair like crown i guess you would call it

    • Vita's Gravatar Vita
      August 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      Brandon, cowlicks in the crown present problems for all sorts of people, probably even some of those friends and family that tease you. It’s a very common growth pattern. My suggestion for you, when you decide to go short it to make sure those cowlicks are cut shorter than the rest of your hair. I know that sounds simple, but it really is the answer. Make sure your stylist knows your dilemma ahead of time and let them know you don’t want them to stick out. Some people will tell you to leave it longer for the weight (which I often do) but in the crown area, on a men’s short cut, this is the wrong move. The length will cause more issues than cutting those cowlicks short. I hope this offers some reassurance Brandon. You are not alone and there is a way!

  21. laura's Gravatar laura
    August 13, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    test

  22. Jeremy's Gravatar Jeremy
    September 1, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    I have combed my hair and had my hair cut about the same way all of my life – now nearly 50. In the last several months I’ve begun to fight a crown cowlick that I just can’t get to lat down. For years I usually just combed my hair into place while still wet, and it would stay where it was supposed to. At first I thought it was just the barber cutting my hair too short up there, but even after it all seems to grow out & ready to be cut again… the cowlick still isn’t laying down! Suggestions?? I don’t want to look like a greasy-haired old guy, but am not sure what to do. What’s happening?!! Thank you.

    • Vita's Gravatar Vita
      September 3, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jeremy, thank you for your question. Without being able to see your cowlick, I can’t say for sure what is going on, but I suspect I may have an idea. If you have been having your hair cut the same way, more importantly the same length, for most of your life, and this problem has only recently presented itself, I would assume that your hair could be thinning in this area. Once you start to thin in an area with a cowlick, that cowlick can become more unruly and harder to control. Even though you are styling it the way you always have, there is now, not enough hair to receive the same results. Even if you have a full head of hair, our hair gradually thins through the years and this could be the cause of your recent problem.

      My suggestions are to work with your barber or stylist to figure out a new style for you that will allow you to control your cowlick. This could be as simple as parting it a different way or not parting it at all. Or perhaps you may want to go shorter all over to help camouflage the cowlick. Often times, going shorter all over (and going extremely short in the cowlick area) will help conceal the hairs that want to stand straight up. Hope this helps!

  23. Wendy's Gravatar Wendy
    October 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    Hi!! My son has two crown cowlicks and they both go in opposite directions. The solution we’ve come with is to grow his hair out, kind of like a bowl cut except his is a bit longer and worked out for us but now that he’s 6 yrs he says he wants to cut his hair. If we cut it, it’ll spike up again. We don’t want his hair to be too short, we still want the “long hair” look, but not too long either. Do you have any suggestions on how to cut his hair without it spiking up?

    • Vita K.'s Gravatar Vita K.
      January 7, 2014 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      Depending on the length you are going for you may have to just cut that area very short. Make sure the stylist blends this with the rest of his hair (using texture and layers) and cuts the hair with the cowlick. Find its natural position (which will go in many different directions) and have that area cut the shortest. Then have them leave the hair longer, gradually as you move towards his forehead, ears, neckline, etc. However if you want it kept long, it might be best to leave it all long. Double-crown cowlicks like the one your son has, do present a lot of issues. You must have weight there to control it, if that is what you wish to do.

  24. Amanda's Gravatar Amanda
    November 2, 2013 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    if I Have A Forehead cowlick Would Front Bangs Be An Option Because I’ve Been Debating WhethEr To Get Them Or Not But Idk If If Would Be Hard To Handle Because Of My Cowlick. I Have Long Bangs Now Should I Keep It That Way Or Go For The Bangs!? I’d Love To Hear Your Feedback.

    • Vita's Gravatar Vita
      January 7, 2014 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Hi Amanda! Without being able to see your fringe and the evil cowlick, I could not answer definitively whether or not you should get bangs. However, a severe cowlick in the fringe area make having bangs very difficult and annoying at times. Regardless of the type of cowlick, it can be done, but there could be a lot of work needed in order to get the bangs to lay flat. If you already have long bangs you should be able to get an idea of what your bangs will want to do when they’re short. Do they split? Do they only lay in 1 direction? Whatever weird quirk they have, expect it to be magnified when you cut them shorter. The more severe a cowlick is the more work will be needed. So, if you are willing to spend the extra time and maintenance I’d say go for the bangs you love!

  25. Shirley's Gravatar Shirley
    December 29, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    I am 60 yrs old and my hair is fine thinning gray, which I dye to hide the gray. For the last couple of years I have noticed that when I set in a reclining chair with my head up against it or when I get up from lying in the bed, the back of my head has flat spots swirling in several different directions. I looks like when a patient has been lying in a hospital bed for days on days or someone in a nursing home. My hair is straight and down to my collar length. My stylist says that she cant perm my hair with type of dye on my hair. Is there anything that can be done to help with this problem?

    • Vita's Gravatar Vita
      January 7, 2014 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Hi Shirley! Numerous people suffer from the same issue. Unfortunately there’s no perfect way to fix this. I suspect it recently became an issue due to the thinning you are experiencing. As our hair decreases in thickness over the years, cowlicks that were never an issue can present themselves creating new problems. I would recommend teasing this area when you do your hair in the morning and secure it with a strong hold hairspray. This way, when you relax in your chair and get up you have a better chance of concealing the swirls. Regarding perming your hair, I would seek a second opinion. Most hair color manufacturers allow you to perm but suggest strict waiting limits in between chemical services. While I believe you will have similar issues with the cowlick, I do believe your hair could be permed. Hope this helps!

  26. January 29, 2014 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Hi. I believe I have forehead cowlicks on each side of my head on the line of my edges. I’m African american and I just don’t know how I can make them grow out thick and full like the rest of my hair. Any suggestions ?

    • Vita K.'s Gravatar Vita K.
      July 16, 2014 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      Hi Emily!
      You could be describing a few different things. Often times people have thin vellus hair at their hairline both in the front and back of the head. This hair often doesn’t grow very long or thick. Or you could be describing breakage. People tend to pay much more attention (and by attention I mean with a brush, flat iron or even our hands) to the hair around the face. This hair is also the thinnest as everyone naturally has more hair in the back than they do in the front or sides. My suggestion would be to try an experiment to see where this lack of growth coming from. Experiment with a new part and find something that will camouflage these areas. Then for the next 3 months (I know its a long time but you have to give it time to grow) be extra careful to leave that area alone and get regular deep conditioning treatments to ensure your hair is at its healthiest. Hope this helps!

  27. Kamalani's Gravatar Kamalani
    March 5, 2014 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    So I need help I have this horrid cowlick on my forehead right at the part of my hair down to literally my ear. I’ve been dieing for bangs that are I guess you could say flippy but my cowlick is so stubborn it won’t let me I could really use some advice thanks:)

    • Vita K.'s Gravatar Vita K.
      July 16, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kamalani!
      I understand your frustrations! I often want different styles that my hair simply boycotts! When you say “flippy” bangs, I’m thinking you are describing a side-swept bang? If so, try parting your hair on the opposite side. It may take some time to get used to and some training of your cowlick but this could allow you to get that look. If you have a cowlick on both sides perhaps consider these 3 options: 1) straight across bangs. These are very on trend and will eliminate the side-cowlick issue. 2) Have side-swept bangs cut that are shorter than your eyebrows. This can be an extreme change but could look very chic! 3) Go for a much longer side-swept bang. Something between your nose and chin, just short enough that you can’t tuck it behind your ears. The added weight from the length might allow you to fight that awful cowlick! Hope this helps!

  28. Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
    March 26, 2014 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    I have what I think might be a cowlick on the left side of my hair. I have an inverted angle bob and on the right side it is beautiful, the hair falls nicely and in the direction of the angle, toward my chin. On the left side the hair falls with it angling toward the back of my head, like an S wave. I have no idea why. I first got this style in 2008 and then let it grow out. Got it again in 2012 and it’s been a nightmare ever since. I thought it was because the stylist razored the left side of my head but not the right side (I have fine thin hair so i wasn’t happy about this at all). I kept getting it cut, hoping it would go away but it didn’t. I let 12 weeks go by, got the big cut, and still, it’s there. I then got it cut even shorter in the back for more of an angle and it’s like it’s still there. Nice on one side, confused and dumb-looking on the other. Does shorter hair bring out the cowlicks and make them more pronounced?

    • Vita K.'s Gravatar Vita K.
      July 16, 2014 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Hi Sarah!
      Oh how I feel your pain with this issue! To answer your question, yes shorter hair brings out the cowlicks. I’m not sure what changed from 2008 to now, but it could be numerous things. The stylist might have just layered it a little differently which is what brought out the wave. It could be that in that 4 years time your hair may have gotten a little thinner on that side, which makes the hair lighter and allows cowlicks to become more pronounced. It could simply be the angle the hair is held as it is cut. Either way, it doesn’t sound like you are having much luck identifying the true culprit. I would say, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! Sometimes the best hair revelations come when we stop fighting what our hair wants and work with it. Since you have an inverted angle bob, consider taking the side with the cowlick much shorter with an asymmetrical cut and then play up the wave. Or play with how it is styled and start tucking that side behind your ear with an embellishment (a flower, bobby pin, or even a plain clip). Good luck in your battle, I hope this helps you a bit!

  29. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    May 13, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    I have a similar problem as Shirley. I’m 45 and as my already fine, thin hair starts to thin more, my crown cowlick looks like a bald spot, although it isn’t actually bald. As my hair has grown to medium length, it just looks like a bad comb-over when teased. Also its wavy, although not enough to wear it curly, but its not straight either. When I put product in it for volume, it ends up getting frizzy when I brush it. I’m ready to go short…what’s the best cut considering all factors?

    • Vita K.'s Gravatar Vita K.
      July 16, 2014 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Hi Diana-
      A few things to mention before we talk about going short. First, when you tease you should tease all over and around your crown. If you are thinning all over you may want to tease your sides, top and crown completely to ensure it is all cohesive and doesn’t resemble a bad comb-over. Concerning the product for volume you may be using the wrong item. I would stay away from gels of any kind (while it is long) and even mousse. For the type of hair you describe I recommend Bed Head’s Small Talk. This will give you frizz free volume as it doesn’t lift the cuticle of the hair, but instead doubles its size.
      If you do want to go short you really have lots of options. I would start looking through magazines or websites for hair that is appealing to you (even people on the street, everyone takes pics these days.) Pull out everything that you like no matter how different the styles are and go to a stylist you trust. Discuss with them your likes and dislikes of all the styles so they can customize the right look for you!

  30. Ivy's Gravatar Ivy
    June 21, 2014 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    My quandry is similar to the two above: my cowlick is on the right side of my widow’s peak, a la Conan O’Brien. I, too have an inverted bob, parted on the side to try to work with what nature gave me. Bangs aren’t an option, as I dont put much effort into my style at all. Got it cut yesterday, and the poor girl did such a hackjob. My typical razor-snob elitism was both tried and tested, as I could tell she was new to two blades, let alone just one. I want (and indeed now HAVE) to go the pixie cut route. Suggestions for a <3 shaped face?

    • Vita K.'s Gravatar Vita K.
      July 16, 2014 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Hi Ivy!
      If you are going the pixie route, it sounds like you have chosen a cut. If you have not already submitted to the shears, perhaps consider your usual inverted bob, but shorter. It will eventually grow back to what you are used to and you may discover different lengths that you prefer. Heart-shaped faces have a range of style options as the goal is to just minimize the pointiness of the chin. I would stick with an extreme side-part for either the bob or pixie, to offset your heart shape. If you don’t put much effort into your style remember that a pixie will always have to be styled. It styles much faster, but without a good blow-dry and some product hair can look thin and or non-existent, where a bob you can wash and go sometimes. I hope this helps in your quest for a good cut!

  31. Marti's Gravatar Marti
    July 1, 2014 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    Vita, thanks for the information. It sounds like you have workable ideas for these hair growth problems. What you have said works better than any other internet informant. I have a nape cowlick and the resultant swirl at the bottom of a medium-length bob. Now I have better ideas when may savior hair stylist is unavailable and I go to most anyone else…what to do because they are really incompetent!

    • Vita K.'s Gravatar Vita K.
      July 16, 2014 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Marti! Cowlicks are hard and as soon as you think you’ve got them under control and know what to do with them, they change their mind and go the other way! I’m glad you have found my blog to be helpful and wish you endless, happy hair days in the future!

  32. Cordy's Gravatar Cordy
    July 27, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Heyhey!
    I have double cowlicks at the crown area. I’m just wondering if having a short mohawk will cover it up.
    thanks

    • Cordy's Gravatar Cordy
      July 27, 2014 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      I’m a guy btw

    • Vita K.'s Gravatar Vita K.
      July 28, 2014 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Hi Cordy!
      If you do a full mohawk (from forehead to the nape of your neck) you could run into some issues when styling. If I am understanding you correctly a “double-crown” cowlick can be one of the must frustrating out there. But a short mohawk should be attainable. In keeping the mohawk short your cowlick might just stand up funky on its own, and the rest of your hair will blend with it into the style. Make sure your stylist is fully aware of your cowlick in the consultation and ask her/him to show you how to style this area, so that you know what direction to push and shape the hair when you’re at home. If you are looking for the popular “faux-hawk” (this is a mohawk from the crown to the forehead only) you will want the hair in the crown to be shorter than the rest of the “hawk”. If it is cut the same length it could end up sticking out kinda crazy after only a couple weeks, instead of growing into its shape.

  33. October 10, 2014 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Tips is vry help full some of tips ..i allready done..like when I ever I go for new hair style ..so I just ask to my hair stylist he suggest me good advise… but I have still some problem right side of forhead…I always trying to maintain with my fingers..is their any tips for right side of forehead cowlick..?

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