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Hair Thinning Around Cowlick: Why Does It Happen?

By: Alejandro Buttari |
Hair Thinning Around Cowlick: Why Does It Happen?

If you’ve got a cowlick, you may have noticed thinner hair strands growing out of this part of your head.

While an entirely natural occurrence, hair thinning can be concerning for the one experiencing it. There’s the fear of continued loss of hair or irreversible balding. This can be quite stressful and damaging to a person’s self-esteem.

Knowing what causes hair thinning at the cowlick can help you deal with it. Once you can mitigate the symptom, you can also reduce the negative stress cycle.

In this guide, we discuss the causes behind hair thinning around the cowlick and what you can do about it.

Let’s begin by learning a little about the nature of cowlicks.


What Is a Cowlick?

A cowlick is a pattern of hair growth that causes some strands to grow in the opposite direction than the rest. As a result, these strands stick up from your scalp and may be difficult to push back down, even with product.

It is a genetic condition—not necessarily a problematic one, but rather an aesthetic one. It is not a cause for concern health-wise.

Cowlicks come in various patterns, such as spirals or whorls. Their appearance and position on the head differ based on hair texture, style, and other factors. Some people have cowlicks at the nape of their necks or in their facial hair.

Cowlicks are often confused with signs of balding, widow’s peak, and other hair conditions. However, cowlicks typically begin at birth and remain unchanged throughout the person’s life.

In some cases, cowlicks may also develop after surgery, injury, or hair transplant.

Unlike balding and other such hair issues, a cowlick doesn’t develop spontaneously or due to health issues like hormone imbalances.


Hair Thinning

It is a common misconception that cowlicks result in hair thinning.

Hair thinning can occur due to many reasons, including the following:

  • Aging
  • Male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia
  • Wearing tight hairstyles
  • Chronic stress
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Damage from hair products and treatments
  • Hormone imbalances
  • And more.

While the hair strands around a cowlick may appear thin, they aren’t necessarily thinner than the rest of your hair.


Why Does Hair Around Your Cowlick Appear Thinner?

The differences in direction of hair growth around cowlicks can make a patch of hair appear thinner and shorter than the rest of the head. Cowlicks also expose that part of the scalp and hence resemble a bald spot.

The thinner your hair is normally, the more visible the scalp will be in that area.

Is There a Treatment for Cowlicks?

Unfortunately, there is no way to get rid of a cowlick. There is no way to prevent one from occurring, either. Some people choose to eliminate the hair or get a laser treatment, but it only hides the quirk and doesn’t solve the problem.

You can tame cowlicks and style them better.


Ways to Fix or Style a Cowlick

People with cowlicks can find it more difficult to style their hair and disguise the stubborn area. Here are some solutions for you to try:

Use Water

The easiest method to style your cowlick is wetting the hair with water and styling it in the direction of your choice. You can set the look using a blow dryer or diffuser.

Make sure to set the hair with warm air and then cool air.

Hair Styling Products

Another quick solution is using hair styling products to flatten your cowlick. Make sure to try hair gels, waxes, pomades, and other options suitable for your hair type.

Get a Shorter Haircut

A messy hairdo on a short haircut evens out the thinner strands at the cowlick. This reduces its tendency to stick out against the rest of the hair.

If you’re willing to experiment, you can even go for a buzz cut.

Try a Different Hairstyle

Depending on your hair type, you can also go for a new hairstyle, such as:

  • A messy textured look in the direction of the growth
  • An undercut
  • The Taper
  • A Fade
  • The Ivy League

Grow It Out

Growing out your hair can prove a helpful trick in hiding a cowlick. Since long hair has more weight, it pushes down any strands that stick out.

If you’re worried about styling your hair, try adding a conditioner to your hair care routine. Conditioning reduces dryness and frizz and tames it while it grows.


Wrapping Up

The appearance of thinner hair around a cowlick is no cause for worry about further hair loss.

If it’s your appearance you’re worried about, there are many temporary solutions, such as hair styling products. You can even get in touch with a hairstylist for a signature hairstyle that will suit your hair, face, and cowlick.

Nonetheless, we hope this guide resolves your worries about balding and thinning around the cowlick.

This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for medical care or to prescribe treatment for any specific health condition. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.