How to Tame a Cowlick

I am not a girl who can pull off a center part. They look fabulous on other women. I’d love to be able to rock one. Whether it’s that may face is too round or my hair is too flat, it just doesn’t work. I’ve been rocking a side part since my high school years and since then, I’ve been fighting my cowlicks.

I’m one of the lucky few who happens to have a feisty cowlick on either side of my forehead. It doesn’t matter which side I part it on, there’s a stubborn cowlick there to make my hair routine difficult. I’ve been fighting unsuccessfully for years, until I discovered a method I wish I’d known years earlier.

How to Tame a Cowlick

Step 1 – Pick where you want your hair to part and part it. The deeper a part I try to do, the harder I have to fight my cowlick. If you’re anything like me, you have to handle this while your hair is still wet. Once it dries, it’s set and there’s no fighting it. So, while your hair is still wet, blow dry the hair forward and down. Do not flip your head over to blow dry.

How to Tame A Cowlick - Step 1

Step 2 – As your hair is becoming more dry, start to transition from a downward blow dry to push your hair to the side you want it to go. I’ve read that for good swoopy bangs, you should blow dry your hair in the opposite direction. This does not work for girls with cowlicks.

How to Tame a Cowlick - Step 2

Usually after my hair is blow dried, it looks like this:

How to Tame a Cowlick - Step 3

You’ll see that there are still some hairs that really don’t want to cooperate. You’ve got to hand it to them, they’re feisty little buggers. This is where the magic comes in.

I discovered this magic when I packed in a rush and forgot hairspray. Knowing that I’d have hairs sticking straight up – There’s Something About Mary style – all week, I was forced to use the only hair stuff I could find: My boyfriends hair “fiber”.

Hair Fiber

N has a variety of brands hanging around and they last forever because you don’t need much of it. The Every Man Jack is my favorite because it has a matte finish. We bought it at Whole Foods. The American Crew has a low shine and is a little more pliable. We bought it here. The Redken pomade has a high shine which I don’t love but it will do the trick also.

Hair Fibers

Step 3 – Take a teenie bit and pinch it between your middle finger and thumb. This stuff is tough so you have to move it around a bit to get it warmed up to put on your hair. Next, apply. You are basically glueing the cowlicky hairs to the hairs that like to do what you want them to do.

How to Tame a Cowlick - Step 5

Step 4 – Run a comb through it to make sure the product is evenly disbursed.

And voila!

This is the only way I’ve found to keep my cowlick in check. I wish I’d discovered this years earlier but unfortunately, these fiber products are usually marketed at men so I completely ignored them. I’d always opted for gel (which is too shiny and looks weird) or hairspray (which never seemed to work all day).

Here’s how my hair looks on a normal day. My hair is absurdly straight naturally.

Cowlick Tamed - Final Look.jpg

If you think this could help our other cowlicky friends, pin it so others can find it. I wish I had tried this years ago!

  • Haha. My sister has a cowlick. This will come in handy for her!

  • I have a terrible cowlick – except mine spans all the way across my forehead so there’s no way I could ever do a center part. (Except that was my hairstyle of choice until I was 14 or so and looking back really makes me question mine and my parents’ judgement for letting me leave the house like that). I usually just let my hair fly all over but I will definitely have to try this the next time I want my hair to look tame!

  • I think this post is going to change my life…so thank you for that!!!

  • I have the same problem on both sides of my head. I blow dry my hair like that, but have never used fiber before. I may have to hit up Whole Foods. I do put product on my hair to smooth the frizzies, but I have to be very careful of what I use and how much. My hair will instantly turn greasy if I’m not careful.

    • I’ve had the same problem with other products before. The fiber works like really really strong gel (like glue actually) but because it is matte, you can’t see it. If you touch your hair there, it will feel a little waxy but not crunchy. I’m so glad I forgot my hairspray that time and had to use this stuff! It’s also good for taming the occasional flyaway. I usually take the extra product on my fingers and smooth out other places that are sticking up.

  • I have the same problem! I’m definitely pinning this. My hairstylist was able to find a way to make cut my bangs so it’s easily covered and I don’t have to do a whole lot of work. BUT my bangs have grown out now and I can’t get a hair cut at the moment to get them shorter again (and since I moved my hairstylist is now 6 hours away) this is gonig to be REALLY helpful!

    • My issue is bangs that are growing out also. Because there isn’t enough weight on the hair to pull the cowlick down, the bangs will stick straight up. The fiber helps, for sure!

  • I have the same problem trying to tame my cowlick! It’s been a struggle since I was little. And it’s so much worse with second-day hair. It makes it really hard for me to embrace being carefree when I can’t make my hair lay down.

    • I usually do this on first day hair and then have to redo the fiber the second day. It’s the only thing I consistently do to my hair every day. Otherwise I will look like There’s Something About Mary, straight up.

  • I have a cowlick too…I do have a fringe….but it takes ages to do….depending on cowlicks moos that day!!

    • I swear some days it wants to fight me more than others. Some people swear that if you fight it for long enough that it gets better and eventually the cowlick will give in. This has yet to happen to me.

  • Lix

    I have the same problem, though I generally just give up on it! I’m too lazy to bother beyond trying to tuck it under my bangs.

    • Once I blow dry it, I just re-do the fiber each morning. I usually wash my hair every 2-3 days. It’s easy, I promise!

  • Omg. THANK YOU. I have the worst cowlicks in the world! Mine is towards the back of my part so I’m not sure this would work exactly the same but it’s for sure worth a try!

  • Mine is terrible, too. I have to use clear mascara/brow gel to tame mine~!

  • I feel your pain! My head is literally a party for cowlicks. I even have one in the back & if I’m not especially attentive I have a huge part/swirl big enough to look like I’m balding (or like I’ve slept on it for years)
    Thankfully I learned how to manipulate the front with my blowdryer and I’ve finally trained it so that as long as I switch up my part consistently (a few days of middle part, a few days of slightly middle part and a few of side part) I can make it work. If I parted my hair on the side for a month then a middle part just aint happening! The cowlicks come back in full force.

    Happy Monday! & belated V Day! <3

  • You so pretty.

  • Kym

    I have a darn cowlick too, it’s so annoying! I usually just pull my bangs back and I’m done with them … luckily TJ has some of that Redken pomade so I’m definitely taking my computer into the bathroom tonight to follow your steps before heading out the door for his game tonight!

  • But i love turning my head upside down and blowdrying it! I will have to try your way soon.

  • I have a cowlick in the exact same spot. Can totally work to my advantage when I’m having good cowlick days, but as you know, those are few and far between.. #downwiththecowlick.

  • I had bangs up until I was 17-ish and cowlicks alone were one of the main reasons why I haven’t gone back to bangs as adult. I’m sure hair straighteners make a world of difference too.


  • I feel ya girl. Mine was large and in charge today…

  • Well damn, you and me both sister! I was even thinking about growing my bangs out and going back to a middle part cause I was sick of dealing with them

  • Genius!! My cowlick is like the drunk dude who refuses to leave the party. so frustrating. Happy to know the solution may be as close as my husband’s bathroom!

  • What great tips, thank you!

  • Samantha

    I just got bangs and have yet to try and tame them myself! Hope this works for me too! Thanks 🙂

  • Oh boy do I have cowlicks!! I could NEVER wear a middle part, so this is right up my alley 😉

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  • Katrina

    Here´s one “cowlickhead” from the North that wants to THANK YOU for this phenomenal tip! I happen to have fine, finnish-style babyhair, and on the top of this the awfull cowlick on my fringe. I´ll definitelly go and get some bibre-stuff too to tame this hidious thing! 😀

  • Tania

    I know Im late on reading this but I am so glad I came across it! I Have the weirdest and biggest cowlick on my hairline and I’ve never tried this. Thank you so much!!:)

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