all hair types How To Hide A Cowlick

Plus, what causes a cowlick in the first place.

June 24, 2022
What Is A Cowlick

If you struggle with a section of your hair that seems to grow in a different direction or pattern than the rest of your mane, you might have a cowlick. You’re probably well aware of how frustrating it can be to work with if you have one — but if you’re unfamiliar with the term and what it means, you may have been suffering through traumatic hair moments and never knowing what was causing them.

So we’re sharing what you need to know about a hair cowlick as well as tips for masking it. keep reading for all the info on this common hair concern, From what it is to how you can get rid of it and how to style your hair when you have a cowlick.

What Is a Cowlick?

You may be wondering why that funny little piece of hair is called a cowlick. The name cowlick comes from the swirled effect left in the hair of baby cattle after being licked by their mothers. In humans, a cowlick is a small section of hair that grows at a different angle than the rest of the hair on your head.

What Causes a Cowlick in Your Hair? 

Hair cowlicks are caused by genetics and are typically located at the crown of your head. They can also appear near the front of the hairline in the middle of the forehead. 

Because cowlicks often grow straight upward, they also add a bit of desirable volume to the hair — so while they can be annoying when they’re ruining a hairstyle you want to try, they’re not always a bad thing.

How to Hide a Cowlick 

If you have one — you may also be wondering, can you get rid of a cowlick? The answer is yes and no. While you can’t permanently get rid of a cowlick as it’s rooted in your hair growth (literally), you can temporarily hide it and learn how to style around it. Ahead, our styling tips, techniques, and products that can help you temporarily get rid of a cowlick.

Blow Dry in The Opposite Direction 

When your hair is damp, blow dry your cowlick in the opposite direction that it naturally grows. If it grows straight up, then try blow-drying the section of hair downwards to readjust the direction that the hair is sitting. This trick also helps to create added volume.

Finish With a Cool Blast

When you finally have your hair where you want it, switch to the cool-temperature setting for a few seconds. This cold blast of air to finish things off will help to set the hair in place. Top it off with a few spritzes of hair spray, and you’re good to go.

Use Products With Strong Hold Formulas

This one may seem obvious, but when you have a stubborn cowlick, you’ll want to use hair styling products that have extra strong holding power. When restyling your cowlick and patting it down to keep it from sticking straight up, use a strong hold hair pomade, like the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Overworked Hair Putty. If you’re putting the finishing touches on your hairstyle, use a strong hold hair spray, like the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold, Light Hairspray Unscented, so that your look stays put.

Clip It Down 

After you’re done heat styling, use a small hair clip to hold your cowlick in place while you finish up the rest of your beauty routine. The longer you hold the hair down and train it in place, the more long-lasting it will be.

Change Your Part

Cowlicks can impact where it’s best to part your hair. How to part your hair when you have a cowlick can depend on where it’s located. If your cowlick is noticeable from the front and you wish it weren’t, try switching up your part. Experiment with a middle part or a deep side part and see what’s the most flattering for you.

Consider Your Hairstyle 

Just like changing your part, don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles like braids, buns and ponytails to see what works best for you. It’s also worth mentioning that cowlicks are usually most noticeable with straight hair. To distract from the cowlick and make it less obvious, try sporting wavy or curly hairstyles like bathrobe curls or a curly perm.  

Next: How Long Does It Take for Hair to Grow?

Edited by: Shannon Stubbs, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn