How to Cut Around a Cowlick

by Valerie Taylor ; Updated September 28, 2017

A good stylist can help customers cope with cowlick problems.

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A cowlick can be the enemy of fashion=conscious customers and stylists alike. For those with shorter hairstyles, these areas of circular growth pattern cause problems when they appear near the forehead, the crown of the head or at the nape of the neck. When choosing a haircut, decide how short it will truly need to be and how a cowlick will affect the cut.

Customize Cuts

Cut thick bangs when working on forehead cowlicks. The weight of the hair will help pull it down, encouraging the style to flow downward. Apply a styling product to the hair and use a brush to pull the bangs in the desired direction under a blow dryer.

Cut cowlicks at the crown shorter than the rest of the hair if the hairstyle is a short buzz cut. This will encourage hair in the spiral growth pattern to blend with the rest of the hair instead of sticking straight up.

Cut longer hairstyles around the pattern of hair growth, using hair scissors. Lift and hold the hair in the direction it grows and softly chip around the cowlick with the scissors to create a soft, textured look. Apply styling product like pommade, or tease with hairspray to tame the cowlick.

Cut hair around cowlicks at the nape of the neck shorter than the rest of the hair. An even cut will cause sections of the hair to hang down lower or stick out farther than the rest of the hair--depending on the direction of the growth pattern. Apply styling product and blow out the section of hair that grows in the cowlick to help coax it to lie flat against the nape.


  • Consider keeping hair long as an alternative to cutting around the cowlick. Longer hair adds weight and managability to hairstyles that compete with menacing growth patterns.

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About the Author

Valerie Taylor holds a master's degree in ancient history and a bachelor's degree in education and literature. She coauthored an article on Spartan religion for the "Journal of Sparta" in 2010 and has written numerous, history-related articles for Internet publication. Taylor enjoys hiking, gardening and running half-marathons.