How to Stop A Cowlick in Your Hair

How to Stop A Cowlick in Your Hair

Some people are lucky enough to be blessed with great hair. You know the kind - effortlessly sits there with absolutely no maintenance and still looks good. Yeah you know it. Well perhaps that's not what you have and instead you were cursed with the dreaded cowlick. We know all to well how it is to live with one and we've compiled this guide to let you know how to get rid of one (or at least cope with one) - they aren't the easiest things in the world to live with.  

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While we know that your hair isn't everything and there are other things in life that are more important, it actually is a pretty big deal. Your hair is typically the first thing that someone sees when they approach you, so it's best to try and make it the best it can be.

A lot of people have been seriously blessed when it comes to the barnet department, but for the majority of us the same can't be said. A cowlick is a problem for many people and results in a lot of people shaving their hair off. Fret not though, as we don't think this should ever be the case (unless you want to of course). Can you stop a cowlick? You can certainly try. We're here to tell you how to fix a cowlick.

What Is A Cowlick?

A cowlick is the bane of a lot of people's lives. It is a section of hair that stands at odds with the rest of your hair, which is why it is often an irritating problem for people. A cowlick goes against the natural spiral that hair typically grows in. Hair usually has a central whorl or spiral in which it grows, but people who have a cowlick usually have two, with the second being a little more discreet.

While you might think 'why the hell is it called a cowlick', the name actually has a pretty easy explanation. It derives from a bovine's habit of licking its young, which results in a swirling pattern in its hair. Pretty simple name then right? It dates from the 16th century, when Dr Richard Haydocke described one in a medical journal as this.


Usually a cowlick is in the crown of the head, but they can actually sprout anywhere. Unfortunately for them cowlicks are usually more evident in people with straight and thick hair, and both men and women can get them - although typically a woman can cover one more easily. People believe that they are a result of the circular formation of the collagen fibres in the scalp in the cranial fascia, which is different from the normal straight pattern.

A cowlick can come in different places on your head. You can get a cowlick on your hairline, a cowlick on your crown, a cowlick at the back of the head and even a cowlick fringe - the last is actually probably the most common.

How To Get Rid Of A Cowlick

While you're probably sick of your cowlick and desperately want to get rid of it, have you ever actually tried to just live with it? One of the best hair trends in recent years has been the dishevelled look, and while if you slicked your hair down your cowlick will be extremely evident, if you kept the rest of your hair a mess, it really wouldn't. Your cowlick and disobedient strands of hair will just become part of a look that seemingly has happened on purpose. Sure, this won't actually fix the problem, but this will help you on the days when you want to just rush out the house and don't want to have to keep worrying about how your hair looks.

Ways To Stop A Cowlick

If you actually want to fix the problem though, we do have some advice for you there. You might think that standing there and slicking down that cowlick with your bare hands is going to do something, but trust us, it won't. You are simply wasting your time and you actually aren't getting anywhere. Your follicles are strong forces to be reckoned with and it's going to take bringing out stronger forces to actually get them to what you want them to.


We recommend reaching for a blow dryer. While we don't typically suggest using one (heated appliances are bad after all), this guide is for the man who is finally at his wits end when it comes to that cowlick. A hairdryer can essentially change the way your hair sits, due to the force of the hot air. This is extremely beneficial if your cowlick is stubborn.

Using a hairdryer to flatten a cowlick into place will last until your next shower - this is when it will just bounce back into place. A heavy-duty pomade will be beneficial here and should be used once your hair is dry enough. This will stop your cowlick from unravelling as the day goes on and going back to its usual, stubborn self. Note however, that you will need to use one with extra strength and not just any old one, as this will literally do nothing.

One way to get rid of a cowlick is to weigh it down. This can be simply done by growing your hair out. The weight from the rest of your hair will pull it down, meaning the cowlick has no excuse but to change its course. However, this can be a last resort, as chances are you don't actually want to grow your hair long and this can also take a lot of time.

An easy thing for you to do is to change up your shampooing routine. Decreasing the amount of shampoo you use whilst increasing the amount of conditioner you use will promote the growth and production of more essential oils. This will naturally make your hair increase in weight, pulling down the cowlick and making it sit into a place you want it to (it won't be as free to move now it is heavier).

If none of the above work for you, then maybe you should consult a professional. A barber will be able to tell you exactly what's causing your cowlick to be so stubborn and will even (hopefully) advise some styles that will work with it. If you can't beat it, join it.

Celebrities With A Cowlick

You may think you're alone when it comes to trying to live with a cowlick, but honestly you're not. Plenty of people have them, including a whole host of celebrities. Tom Hardy and Zac Efron are some of the biggest names out there and are both owners of a cowlick.


Cowlick Hairstyles

Finding a hairstyle that works with a cowlick can be difficult. As we said, the best thing to do is probably to go down the dishevelled and shaggy look. If that isn't something you want to do, then you can always grow your hair so that the weight of the hair pulls down your cowlick into place.

How to Stop A Cowlick in Your Hair

  • Change your hairstyle - grow your hair longer so the cowlick has no choice but to go the way you want it, or simply go for the dishevelled look so the cowlick blends in.
  • Stop shampooing so much and increase your conditioner use - this will promote the production of natural oils which will weigh your hair down.
  • Use a high strength pomade to flatten down your cowlick.
  • Use a hairdryer to blow the cowlick into place (using products after to keep it there).

chris hemsworth cowlick mens

On That Note

So there you have it. While we can't tell you how to permanently get rid of a cowlick (it is probably one of the hardest hair problems to exist), we can tell you some temporary fixes and have come up with a list of tips for getting rid of a cowlick. Hopefully you'll now be able to sort it out a little in a way that will at least mean you can wake up in the morning and not hate what the gods gave you.


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