Friday, March 12, 2010

Gaining Control Over Your Cowlicks and Swirls


Has anyone ever told you to comb it another direction repeatedly and it will go away?
I bet you've tried that for years and nothing has changed. The cause of a cowlick or swirl is simply the direction the hair follicles are pointed. All the brushing in the world isn't going to "train" your hair follicles to do something else. The only thing really in training is you learning to cope with it!

Modern medicine does provide a permanent solution in the means of plastic surgery. Hair follicles can be surgically altered to point another direction. Some people have even resorted to electrolysis and waxing to damage the follicle growth of the hairs in the cowlick possibly resulting is softened hair growth or no hair growth at all.

Another great temporary option is a chemical restructuring of the hair. A good stylist should be able to apply a perm or relaxer directly at the root area of the problem. This will not completely remove the cowlick, but it can temporarily soften the growth pattern leaving it more manageable. This process will have to be repeated every few months to maintain so it is really best if the chemicals are only applied on new growth and not overlapped which could lead to breakage.

Of course most people do not have a problem with their swirls that warrant such painful and brutal measures. Most cowlicks can be tamed with product, styling techniques and the proper haircut.

The first step in taking control of your locks is admitting you have a problem. Just because you see a picture of a haircut you like, doesn't mean your hair will actually do the same thing as in the photo. Admit to your "problem area" and go with the flow.

Look for less structured styles with more of a free flow feel. This works especially well for people with wave or curl in their hair. Tousled messy looks are making a huge comeback. Sea salt and texturizing sprays are a great lightweight alternative to gel to enhance your natural locks.

If your hair has cowlicks in the front along your hair line avoid wispy bangs. You need weight to pull down counteracting the growth pattern. So styles with no bangs are ideal for people with hairline swirls. If your bent on having a bang, go for a heavy bang that will have enough weight to lay correctly. A side bang will camouflage the problem area easier than a full straight bang. If you do wear a full bang straight down it needs to be pretty weighty to mantain its shape.

Your blow dryer and flat iron will be your best friend. Make sure you dry your hair from soaking wet for best results. If you let the hair dry even a little it is forming the pattern of the follicle direction leaving your hair more difficult to shape when dry. Use a round or vent brush with a metal barrel which will heat up and help to set the new pattern in place while drying. After your hair is completely dry, Heat up your bang with the dryer and then use your cool button to rapidly cool the hair and set it in place.

For men's cowlicks, you have 2 choices....short and tight or longer and messy. The in between lengths just end up leaving you looking like a 5 yr old with a $5 haircut in a mans body. Try pomades and waxes for workable messy with a little hold.

If you have cowlicks at the nape line, your best bet is to keep your hair long enough to weigh down your cowlick. Or your can take advantage of the cowlick and wear a messy flippy look along the bottom of a bob style haircut.If you choose to wear it short, it must be kept short enough to avoid sticking out and looking messy. I dont mean messy in a good way either! Messy like the photo on the left looking like you have a rooster tail sticking out the back of your head! That haircut would look 200% better if someone just wacked that thing off the back!

If you can train yourself on how to work with your natural growth pattern, your hair will end up looking the best it can possibly look. You will probably even have people ask you "How do you do that? I want my hair like yours!"


  1. so interesting. as ever! great new layout too xx

  2. aire bra

    said that this good blog for ever and nice posting
    Good work its really like it..