How to get rid of a Cowlick: Exploring Treatment Options

Dinesh Patel
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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how to get rid of a cowlick

Cowlicks are natural hair growth patterns that grow in a different direction from the rest of the hair, which can be frustrating to deal with. 

These unruly sections of hair can ruin even the best hairstyles. 

A cowlick cannot be permanently eliminated without medical intervention, plus there are various ways to tame and minimize its appearance. 

Understanding your hair’s natural pattern and using the right haircut and styling techniques can help you achieve a sleek and polished look. 

This article will explore effective methods and tell how to get rid of a cowlick and regain control of your hairstyle.

Medical treatments

When dealing with persistent cowlicks, some individuals explore medical interventions seeking lasting solutions to manage these natural hair growth patterns.

Laser hair treatments

Some individuals have turned to laser hair treatments to manage cowlicks. 

However, it’s crucial to note that laser treatments cannot eliminate the cowlick since the hair follicles’ positioning cannot be altered. 

Instead, this method targets hair removal in the affected area, which may help diminish the cowlick’s appearance. 

Caution should be exercised to avoid treating the crown or top of the head, which may lead to unwanted bald spots.

Hair transplant surgery for cowlick

Micrograft hair transplantSource: 1905HKN_from_Getty_Images
Micrograft Hair Transplant

Hair transplant surgery can eliminate a cowlick for those seeking a permanent solution. 

During this procedure, skilled surgeons can control the direction of hair growth by rearranging the hair follicles. 

They meticulously follow the natural hair pattern to create a more desired look. 

As hair transplant surgery results are permanent, it presents a viable option for those struggling with persistent cowlicks.

Tips for styling and managing the cowlick

Laser hair treatments are ineffective, and not everyone can afford a hair transplant.

Therefore, the next course of action is to learn how to manage the cowlick without any medical treatments. 

Grow your hair longer to hide cowlicks

Growing your hair longer can help hide prominent cowlicks. 

As hair length increases, it tends to relax and become more manageable in a single direction. 

If your cowlicks are more prominent when your hair is of moderate length, try growing it out and styling it to hide the whorl. 

Long hairs provide more options to manage your hair’s natural tendencies.

Work with your hair’s natural pattern

Instead of fighting against your hair’s natural growth pattern, embrace it and work with it to minimize the visual impact of cowlicks. 

Observe the direction your hair naturally moves from your crown, then style it accordingly using pomades, gels, or other styling products.

Did you know?
Pomade is a hairstyling product that adds shine and texture and holds to hair. It comes in various formulations, such as water-based, oil-based, or hybrid. Pomades can help create a wide range of hairstyles, from sleek and smooth looks to more textured and voluminous styles.

Applying products to slightly damp hair can help manage your hair’s spiral pattern more effectively. 

This approach combines the hold offered by these products with your hair follicles, making it easier to manage cowlicks.

Use styling products and tools

Hair styling toolsSource: Syda_Productions
Hair styling tools

Styling products and tools can be your allies in taming unruly cowlicks. 

Apply your preferred product to slightly damp hair and use a blow dryer to direct the cowlick in the desired direction. 

Finish off with cool air to lock the style in place. 

However, avoid getting your hair wet throughout the day, as it may reset the cowlick and require starting the styling process over.

Excessive or incorrect use of blow dryers can cause dry, brittle hair, split ends, and even breakage. Always maintain a safe distance between the blow dryer and your hair to avoid overheating and burning your scalp.

How to style according to hair length and type

Cowlicks can be a challenge when styling your hair, but with the right techniques, you can work with them to create a stylish look that complements your hair length and style:

  • Super short hair: Embrace a messy, spiky look using saltwater spray and a hard wax or clay to add texture and volume to your hair
  • Bangs: If you have bangs, leave the part that sticks up and consider a heavier bang to weigh down the cowlick
  • Wavy/curly hair: Use pre-styling products to add tension and blend your hair naturally
  • Longer hair: Part your hair on the opposite side of the cowlick to give it lift and volume

Additional general tips

Other than the tips mentioned above and techniques, a few other general strategies can help manage cowlicks. 

  • Use a diffuser when blow-drying to manipulate the hair into place and tailor the cut to suit the cowlick
  • Opt for textured haircuts to help the cowlick blend in with the rest of your hair
  • Wet the cowlick with water before styling to make it easier to direct the hair as desired
Recommended Article:
Sometimes people may mistake a cowlick for balding because the hair grows in a different direction. To know how Cowlick and Alding differ, read Cowlick or Balding- What’s the Difference.


Cowlicks are natural hair growth patterns that can be challenging, but effective ways exist to manage them and achieve a polished hairstyle. 

While medical interventions like laser hair treatments and hair transplant surgery can provide more permanent solutions, they may not be feasible for everyone.

For those seeking non-medical approaches, styling products and tools can be helpful allies in taming cowlicks, and growing your hair longer can also help hide prominent whorls. 

Additionally, understanding how to style according to your hair length and type can make a significant difference in managing cowlicks.

By following these tips and techniques, you can regain control of your hairstyle and create a look that complements your hair’s unique characteristics.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I permanently get rid of a cowlick?

Removing a cowlick can be challenging since it is a natural hair growth pattern. However, some people opt for solutions like hair relaxing treatments or hair straightening procedures. These methods can temporarily alter the hair’s texture and direction, but they require professional assistance and may only be suitable for some.

What causes cowlicks?

The natural pattern of hair growth causes cowlicks. Hair follicles in this area grow in a circular or spiral pattern, which leads to the hair standing up or growing in a different direction from the surrounding hair. Genetics have an important role in the presence of cowlicks.

Is having a cowlick rare?

No, cowlicks are not rare. They are quite common and can be found in varying degrees on many people’s scalps. The frequency and intensity of cowlicks differ from person to person, depending on their genetic makeup and hair growth pattern.

Do cowlicks mean hair loss?

No, cowlicks do not indicate hair loss. They are a natural and normal aspect of hair growth patterns and have no direct association with hair loss. Many factors lead to hair loss, but it is unrelated to the presence of cowlicks.

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