Cowlick Got You Standing on End?

by Joanna

I hate my cowlick. Seriously, most days it looks like I’ve spent the morning being groomed by a herd of cattle rather than spending any time on it at all. Pulling, smoothing, wetting, none of it works. My hair will stand on end all day. In one particular fit of frustration, I screamed out for an answer, “WHY ME?! What is the DEAL with my hair?!” And look what I found. At last! Answers… Here’s some information on that god forsaken thing we call the cowlick.

The hair on your head needs to go in one of three directions – forwards, backwards, or to the side. Since there is no line that divides your head to tell hair which way to go, your scalp uses a cowlick to serve this purpose. The swirl acts as a crossing point for hair to grow and lie in different directions. Here’s the problem: cowlicks don’t set or follow rules. Many times the hair in this area gets confused and chooses its own direction, usually leading to popping straight up or lying in a direction opposite of your personal style.

The good news? Pretty much everyone has one, with some being more or less visible depending on location.

Little known facts about cowlicks:

  • They are formed in utero, so once you have one…you’re stuck with it.
  • Both men and women are equally affected by them, but they are less visible in the short hairstyles men typically wear.
  • There may be a link between handedness and the direction of the swirl of your cowlick.
    • In people who are right handed, 90% of cowlicks rotate clockwise.
    • In lefties, 50% of people's cowlicks rotate counterclockwise.
    • This suggests that handedness and cowlicks originate from the same genetic mechanism

So there you have it. The truth behind the biggest menace in society, or at least in my bathroom mirror. What do you do to tame your cowlick? Do you have a really noticeable one? Mine is in the back of my head on the left side. My hair is always standing up goofy back there!


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