Factors such as genetics, hormonal fluctuations, and the location of hair follicles on the scalp can lead to hair growing in cowlicks. Some individuals may have one prominent cowlick, while others may have multiple less visible ones along their hairline or at the back of the head. Cowlicks form when follicles on the scalp become confused about the direction they should grow in, resulting in a swirling pattern of strands on top of each other. External factors like scalp injury, surgery, regular shaving of the head, or frequent use of dry shampoo can also contribute to cowlick formation.
Cowlicks can cause itching, redness, and inflammation if sweat, dirt, or bacteria become trapped against the scalp. This can lead to itchy scalp conditions like dermatitis, which includes symptoms such as itching, swelling, redness, and scaly, flaky skin. Shaving or waxing the area with cowlicks requires extra care to prevent ingrown hairs and irritation. Regular scalp massages can help stimulate blood flow and relieve tension. For severe cases, consulting a hair specialist or dermatologist is advised. Symptoms can be managed through medication, lifestyle changes, and hair treatments.
While cowlicks cannot be avoided entirely, their appearance can be managed through hairstyle and product usage. Genetics are usually responsible for cowlicks but can also develop due to head trauma or surgery. Discussing cowlicks with a stylist before trying perms or chemical straightening treatments is crucial, as these can either exacerbate or reduce cowlicks.