What is a Hair Cowlick?

What causes cowlicks? Where is it present? Can you get rid of it permanently?
What Is a Cowlick?

There are many unusual things in a human body, and one such thing is a Cowlick. No, it has nothing to do with a cow’s lick. This is a name given to a human hair pattern condition. So today, we will learn what is a hair cowlick, and what causes cowlicks in the first place.

1. What is a Hair Cowlick?

A bunch of hairs on your head that grows in a different or odd direction from the rest of the hair is known as hair cowlick. It appears like a swirl in the hair. Everyone has one or more cowlicks on their head. To put it simply, it is a section of hair that won’t get tamed regardless of a number of combing sessions. It doesn’t matter what you do, it just won’t look normal like the other hair on your head. (See Why do Older Women Cut their Hair Short?)

2. Why is it called a Cowlick?

The next question that arises, after what is a hair cowlick, is why is it called so? This spiral pattern can often be seen on a calf’s head when they are groomed by the mother cow. Since she licks her calves, it forms a swirling pattern in their hair. A cowlick is a name given to this hair pattern that appears on human hair because it resembles that of a calf.

What is a Hair Cowlick?

3. What causes Cowlicks?

Scientifically, genetics are responsible for cowlicks. Thus, they don’t just appear out of nowhere; they’re always present on the head. That means, from the time of your birth, this type of hair pattern is present there. Sometimes, genetics is not the only reason, an injury may also cause cowlick to form. It is because, after a head injury, the hair does not grow on the wound. It instead, grows around the wound in a circular pattern, resulting in a cowlick. (See 17 Ways to Make your Hair Grow Faster)

4. Where are Cowlicks Present?

Usually, cowlicks can be visibly noticed on the top section of the head, which can either be located at the front hairline, where the hair is parted, or at the back of your head, close to the neckline. But they can also occur at any place on our heads. It may be towards the back, near the neck, close to the temples, either or both sides of the head, or towards the front. They are even more noticeable on a person with straight hair, as compared to people with curly hair.

5. Can you Get Rid of it Permanently?

No, we cannot get rid of a cowlick permanently because it is a natural pattern. Cowlicks do not have a fixed direction of growth which makes them difficult to handle. The only way you can deal with hair cowlicks permanently is by cutting off your hair. However, you can also try to style it, as and when required. (See How to Slow Down the Greying of Hair?)

6. How to Tame a Hair Cowlick?

Now, it isn’t impossible to tame and deal with hair cowlicks. Try the following to rid yourself of this hair issue temporarily:

  • Wet the area that is being affected.
  • Use and apply styling products for retaining the shape of the hair.
  • Brush or comb your hair against the area where a hair cowlick is present.
  • Use different styling brushes and hair dryers for better effect.
  • Use the squish method to hold the section in its place.
  • Use hair clips or pins to hold the affected area after a blow-drying session.
  • Finish the whole look with a setting hair spray.

7. Cowlick vs Balding: How to Spot the Difference? 

Cowlick pattern often exposes the scalp when a person has thin or less hair, so people often, confuse it for balding. However, balding and cowlicks are two different terms with different meanings. A cowlick is a natural hair growth pattern whereas balding refers to hair loss due to poor hair health. A cowlick is when the hair grows in a different direction. But in the case of balding, there is a loss of hair in a particular area on the head. (See What do Eyebrow Slits Represent?)

Now, that you have understood what is a hair cowlick, following the abovementioned tricks will surely help you tame that stubborn tuft. However, this does not always work as hair cowlick can form anytime without any prior warnings. But, looking after your hair and giving it the required attention always helps in the long run!

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