Skip to Content

How to Get Rid of Cowlicks | An Overly-Detailed Guide

Wondering how to get rid of cowlicks? Does this issue ring in your mind each time you try to get a slicked-back ponytail? Cowlicks need a little taming to sit right.

Trying to make a cowlick behave can be difficult when you have no idea where to start. Instead of worrying — be glad you’ve found our guide! Below, we’ll show you several of our favorite methods to getting rid of cowlicks.

How to Get Rid of Cowlicks 11 Ways

Below are practical ways to get rid of cowlicks.

1. Getting a Haircut

Getting a haircut prevents dealing with your cowlick every morning. If you want to eliminate your cowlick, point that out the next time you visit your stylist.

Your stylist could cut along the cowlick so it lies in the same direction as the rest of the hair. If your cowlick is at the bang area, the stylist could cut it from its roots to avoid bulking up the area.

This process allows the bangs to fall on your forehead smoothly. You can opt for side-swept bangs instead of straight ones if your cowlick tends to sit towards one side of your forehead.

2. Smoothing Down

If your cowlick is acting up, try smoothing it down with hairspray, heat protectant, spray, or hair serum. These products are highly effective, as they lay the cowlick on your scalp the entire day. They will also nourish your hair and keep it hydrated. 

3. Straightening

You can get your cowlicks into shape by straightening them. Straightening cowlicks helps cowlicks face the right direction quickly. Use a flat iron with a smoothing spray to straighten your cowlick.

For the best results when straightening your cowlick, spray some heat protector on the hair and run your fingers through the hair. Then, comb through the hair and straighten it using the tool of your choice.

Ensure you set the correct temperatures to avoid hair damage. Stop if you notice some sizzling, as you may fry your hair with too much heat.

Read Next: 7 Steps to Straightening Hair Without Heat

4. Blow Drying

Applying heat on your cowlick is the best way to lay it in the right direction. For this method to be effective, blow dry the cowlick in various directions to prevent it from misbehaving.

You could use a diffuser if your hair is curly and stubborn. Spray some smoothing spray or moose on your damp hair. Then, blow dry the hair on low heat to avoid damage, and brush it from the scalp up, facing a different direction each time.

Do this strand by strand to ensure all bits are evenly blowdried. Remember to secure the hair bits with clips to prevent them from falling out of place when cooling.

5. Volumizing

Volumizing your hair helps hide the cowlick. Run a comb through the hair while teasing it to cover the cowlick. You could also use the express method to help lift the hairline.

This technique makes it easier to grip all your hair, including the cowlicks, into a sleek hairstyle. Another trick for volumizing hair is to apply styling products to dry hair.

This option gives a fuller look than when working with wet hair. Apply volumizing products from the roots, spreading evenly to every inch of hair. Style your hair after applying these products for the best results.

Read Next: What Is Volume Shampoo? and The Best Hair Steamers to Add Volume

6. Wetting

If your cowlick distinctively stands out, it may be dry and needs wetting. You don’t need to wet the entire head but only the cowlick. When doing this, use a spray bottle on the area.

Ensure that you do it from the roots, so every bit is doused in water, then set it in place using a blow dryer. This method makes the cowlick smoother and denser, hence easy to manipulate and style.

7. Texturizing

Texturizing your hair is another brilliant way of dealing with cowlicks. Texturizing allows the rest of your hair to blend in with the cowlicks, making them less noticeable. Beach waves or any other beachy texture disguise cowlicks pretty well.

Using texturizing spray and paste after styling ensures your hair maintains its shape. You could also give your cowlicks permanent curls and never have to deal with them again. Ensure your stylist places the curlers on every strand of your cowlicks to keep them in position for longer.

8. Squishing

Although the thought of squishing your cowlick may sound cheesy, you may be surprised to learn that this method is pretty effective. When you finish blow drying your hair, hold the cowlick down with one hand.

Then, apply some pressure on it using the other hand. Squish the hair at the midsection and not at the roots. This trick ensures the hair remains full at the roots but still smooths out.

9. Switching Up Your Part

Instead of fixing your cowlick by cutting or dousing it in products, try changing your parting to prevent the cowlick from flying around. Ensure the parting follows the hair’s pattern. Below are cowlick types and their suitable hair partings. 

Crown Cowlicks

Crown cowlicks can be challenging to deal with in short and long hair. If you prefer short hair, a pixie cut is perfect for hiding the cowlick. Cut the cowlick to its roots and leave the top and sides to hide that part completely. For long hair, cut it all at the same length so it weighs the cowlick down.

Forehead Cowlicks

An effective way of hiding forehead cowlicks is to brush your hair in the opposite direction. If you have a v-shaped forehead cowlick, consider getting soft bangs. Make the bangs appear fancy by adding some rounded curls.

Nape Cowlicks

Nape cowlicks are easily covered by long hair. If you have short hair, consider getting a buzz cut and leaving the neckline shorter than the rest of your hair.

Read Next: Middle or Side Part? The Great Debate

10. Using the Right Tools

For the best results when blow drying your cowlick, use a concentrator at the blowdryer’s mouth. This device controls the direction of the air blowing out of the blowdryer, giving immediate and quick results.

Consider getting root tamers to help handle your cowlicks. These little tools straighten the cowlicks from their roots while keeping you from burning your scalp. They have fine teeth that hold onto the hair, giving you a better grip when redirecting the hair.

These properties make tamers perfect if you have thick and unruly hair. Duckbill or regular no-crease clips ensure your styled cowlick stays where you want it to. Place the clips on wet and styled hair, then diffuse for an outstanding outcome.

11. Knowing Your Hair Type

Identifying your hair type (it’s easiest with out quiz) is paramount when learning how to handle cowlicks. Different hair types require varying maintenance and care. You shouldn’t apply too much heat on 4C hair as it’s thin and brittle compared to the 1C type, which is thick and coarse.

Identifying your hair type also helps you choose the right products that work best for you. If your hair forms defined curls when dry, it could fall under the 2C and 3C hair types.

However, if it remains straight after letting it dry with no products in, it may be the 1C type of hair. 4C hair is the finest and most delicate hair type. It’s also the hardest to tame and requires lots of products.

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman with messy hair looking upward at the top of her head in a grey shirt wondering how to get rid of cowlicks


Below are answers to commonly asked questions about cowlicks.

How can I get rid of a cowlick permanently?

It’s almost impossible to get rid of a cowlick permanently. You could either cut it or style it so it’s less visible. Use hair products and different styling techniques till you get it to sit where you want it.

Can I get bangs if I have a cowlick?

You can get bangs even if you have a cowlick. Ensure you point it out during your hair appointment, so the stylist tames or cuts the cowlick. Cutting is crucial as it allows the bangs to fall smoothly.

What causes a cowlick?

Most cowlicks are genetically influenced and form on your head before birth. However, some may form later due to the change in hair texture as you get older or if you injure yourself.

Where do cowlicks grow?

Cowlicks mostly show up at the head’s crown. They can also appear at the front of the hairline or the nape area. In most cases, genetics influence where cowlicks grow.

Can a cowlick be fixed?

A cowlick can be fixed using various methods. You could get a different haircut, straighten the area, or curl it. Texturizing or volumizing your hair can also prevent cowlicks from standing out.

So, How Do You Get Rid of Cowlicks?

Although cowlicks are annoying, they are easy to handle and keep out of the way without resorting to adverse and dangerous methods like laser hair removal.

You could get cowlicks out of the way by changing your haircut, straightening and squishing it, using the right tools, and understanding your hair type. Happy styling!