Do you have a stubborn cowlick in your hair? Here’s how to tame it so you won’t look ridiculous all day.
You’ve got questions; we’ve got answers! Each week on Help A Reader Out, we’ll be taking your fashion and beauty troubles, turning them into informative guides.
Thanks for all your beauty questions in our open call for ’em! Feel free to contribute more, as I’ll keep checking back there to see what people are wondering. One question that I loved and absolutely related to was this one by reader Emily on the topic of cowlicks:
Guh, cowlicks are really, really annoying. One of the most annoying things about having a pixie cut is that they are virtually impossible to hide short of just wearing a hat. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to dealing with them. But first, let’s talk about what a cowlick actually is.
According to Wikipedia, a cowlick “is a section of hair that stands straight up or lies at an angle at odds with the style in which the rest of an individual’s hair is worn.” You do your makeup, put on a cute outfit, wash and condition, and blow out your hair–then bam. There’s this stubborn little jerk popping out the side of your head, and you’re just like.
So, what can you do to fix it? Here are a few tips and tricks that could help.
1. Blow dry your hair right away
As soon as your hair starts air drying, it’ll want to stay however it naturally sits. If that means forming into a cowlick, then the sooner you start blowing out your hair the direction you want it to go, the better.
2. Prep properly
Always make sure you’re spritzing your hair before heat styling it. Not only does it protect your hair–which, in turn, typically makes it more cooperative–it also allows you to maintain the shape that you’re attempting to make. Use a heat protectant, such as SHOW Sheer Thermal Protect, and a high-quality root lifting product, like Verb Full Body + Weightless Lift Volume Spray, before your blow out your locks.
3. Use a brush that supplies a good amount of tension
Make sure you’re using a brush that grips every hair and will truly let you smooth it all out in the same direction. According to Allure, the Spornette G-36XL Porcupine Brush is perfect for this. Simply combing and blowing or using a less “grabby” brush will allow some hair to slip through, so you’ll only wind up heat correcting a portion of the cowlick. Pull your cowlick left, right, and down, so it gets smoother as a whole while you’re drying it and winds up sitting in the position you want it to.
4. Consider a style switch
If you typically wear your hair straight, maybe it is time to just go with the flow and embrace your cowlick by trying out a new style, whether it’s curled, feathered waves, a different position for your part, or an entirely new haircut. Consult with your hairdresser to see if there’s a way to incorporate your cowlick into your look in a way that looks like it’s actually on purpose; it could save you a whole lot of time and energy trying to cover it up.
5. Professionally straighten it
If you love the style you have but hate the cowlick, there are more permanent solutions than simply blowing it out each day. If your cowlick (or overall hair) is causing you daily grief, the easiest and most time-effective way to deal could be to have it professionally straightened at a trusted salon.
6. Wear a hat
Okay, yes, this is kind of a copout, but when you are in a giant hurry and don’t have time to do a ton of heat styling, wearing a cute hairstyle that goes well with hats (rather than simply popping on a slouchy beanie with abandon) will look intentional and chic provided the hat coordinates with your outfit and the season.