Problem Hair: Cowlicks
Problem Hair: Cowlicks
Karen Marie Shelton - Copyright - All Rights Reserved
Revised Date: 05/04/2010

Introduction

In case you are not sure what it is, a cowlick is a little tuft of hair that tends to be unruly and will tend to pop up anywhere. If you have one, you know exactly what it is and probably have waged your own hair wars with the dreaded wild hair.

Alfalfa from the famous Our Gang hit comedy series of the 1930s and 1940s was famous for his cowlick. 

Usually Alfalfa had one persistent cowlick that would stick straight up at the back of his crown.  

While Alfafa's hair was part of an enduring characterization, most people hate any sort of hair anomalies that are difficult to deal with.

What Is A Cowlick?

Cowlicks occur when hair forms a pivot that distributes the hair from a specific point around in all different directions. 

On some heads the hair recedes at the temple hairline causing a type of erratic hair pattern.    

Cowlicks are most often found in the crown area but they may also be found along the front of the hairline around the face and the nape areas.

Most people are born with their cowlicks.  People that suffer hair from chemotherapy or other illness may be horrified to discover that a new cowlick pattern will emerge along with their regrowth of their hair.

No one is exempt from the dreaded cowlick.  Lots of famous people have cowlicks.  Famous beauty, super model Claudia Schiffer,  is reported to have not one, but two cowlicks at the front of her hairline.  

Claudia has commented that she deals with her problem hair by wearing it longer and having it styled to compliment, rather than highlight, the erratic little hair tufts.

Knowledge Is Power Over Cowlicks

A thorough understanding of all the available styling techniques and hair care options for cowlicks should help you make confident decisions about how to deal with hair problem.

A cowlick can definitely be managed.  There are many options for dealing with the dreaded wild hair.  While some of the drastic options include plastic surgery, electrolysis and waxing, other options include corrective hair styling and use of styling aides to help tame the crazy hair. 

There are many circumstances that should guide your selection of the appropriate option for dealing with your cowlick.  If your image is integral to your career, you may want to consider drastic measures.

If your cowlick can be tamed with the right hairstyle, styling tools or hair accessories, consider these as good options involving minimal hassle.

Once the dynamics of your own particular cowlick is understood you can select a treatment option that will suite your needs and allow you to adjust to the ongoing challenges of your hair.

You Can't Get Rid Of A Cowlick - Or Can You?

Depending on where it is located, your cowlick can be easy or difficult to deal with.   Luckily the hair care industry has provided some techniques for dealing with cowlicks in the 2000s.

Famous movie stars and celebrities have secretly resorted to hair waxing electrolysis or plastic surgery when their cowlicks caused them too much trouble or threatened their images.

There are options for permanent removal of cowlicks.  If you are definitely hell bent on permanently altering or eliminating your cowlick, you can try hair waxing, electrolysis, or plastic surgery.  

Will these drastic measures work?  There are many documented cases where waxing, electrolysis and surgical techniques have successfully managed the hair line in such a way as to effectively control heinous hair patterns.  

While hair waxing is never permanent, repeated waxing may soften the hair significantly so that the cowlick is easier to style.  Electrolysis may or may not be permanent.  Some of the hair from the cowlick may grow back over time and required additional electrolysis treatments.

Plastic surgery is the riskiest venture of the three mentioned, but also the most guaranteed in terms of permanent changes to the hairline and the cowlick.

There are other drawbacks to all three of these options.  Although waxing, electrolysis and/or plastic surgery might successfully work keep in mind that the costs may be high, you may have to go for several visits and it may be somewhat painful.  

In some cases, all or part of the dreaded cowlick may return.

A Good Stylist Can Help You Tame The Wild Hairs

If waxing, electrolysis or surgery doesn't appeal to you.  There are still several other options you can consider.  

If your cowlick is well placed on your head all that is you may need is a good haircut to work with the direction of the hair or add weight from hair above to hold the cowlick down.

A great stylist can custom design a haircut that can camouflage your cowlick by working it into your overall style and look. 

Thick, wavy and curly hair can be managed with well placed short layers that incorporate the cowlick or other unruly sections into the overall style.

Some chemical treatments such as perms or relaxing treatments will also help tame cowlicks.

Products That Help Tame Cowlicks Temporarily

Another option for cowlicks is to utilize styling aides to alter the hair's appearance.  

Most hair creams, greases or pomades with good hold can work wonders on most stubborn hair tufts. 

Apply the styling product of choice to the root area around the cowlick and then use your fingers or a pick to redirect the cowlick.  The styling product will help to hold the cowlick in place.  Just remember, a little bit goes a very long way. 

Cowlicks At The Nape Of The Neck

Hair irregularities or cowlicks may often occur at the nape of the neck where the hair sometimes grows in towards the center or out towards the sides.  The hair may also grow up from the nape, colliding with the hair growth from the crown.  This collision results in a cowlick that sticks out from the back of the head.

The model shown to the side, from displays a classic nape cowlick.  

To eliminate her pesky cowlick the model needs to wear her hair either much shorter or much longer at the nape. 

Longer hair will add weight and eliminate the current cowlick.   If the model grows her hair longer she can also wear a ponytail that is styled to weigh down the cowlick.  

Another solution would be for the model to get the cowlick area cut very short so that it can lay flat against the nape of the neck. If the model went with the shorter hair option, she could conquer her cowlick with the use of a proper hair styling products. ( such as straightening gels, mousse or styling creams)

When styling a shorter cowlick, the model needs to point the nozzle of her blow dryer down to smooth the hair cuticle and coach it to lay flat.

Cowlicks In The Bangs

The model shown to the side, also has cowlicks at the very beginning of the hairline.  These are similar to the type of cowlicks that the lovely Claudia Schiffer has to deal with.

The cowlicks have been skillfully cut into shaped bangs which control the annoying tufts of hair.  Heavy bangs are often a good option to hold down cowlicks at the very front of the hairline.

By using a light pomade, straightening gel, mousse or styling cream with a blow dryer, the hairline cowlicks can be blown into submission.  

When using a blow dryer the model needs to have the nozzle pointing downward to help smooth down the hair cuticle.  

Summary

Are cowlicks the end of your hair world?  They don't need to be. 

There are many options for dealing with the dreaded wild hairs.  While some of the options are drastic and include plastic surgery and electrolysis, other options include waxing, corrective hair cutting and styling and use of styling aides to help tame the crazy hair. 

There are many circumstances that should guide your selection of the appropriate option for dealing with your cowlick.  If your image is integral to your career, you may want to consider drastic measures.

If your cowlick can be tamed with the right hairstyle, styling tools or hair accessories, consider these as good options involving minimal hassle.

With the right hairstyle and tools you may even come to enjoy your cowlick.  Who knows, anything can happen.

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Original Publication Date: 4/6/2000 - Revised Publication Date: 05/03/10
 

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