Cowlicks rank right up there with split ends and humidity-induced poof as a hair conundrum we can't get behind. Try as we might, sometimes it seems like only a steamroller will flatten out those annoyingly lifted and kinked roots. But just as we were ready to start waving our white flags, surrendering to this seemingly permanent hair curse, we had an idea: Maybe there are certain ways we can wear our hair that will make cowlicks a thing of the past. Hence, we turned to Nina Dimachki, artistic director at Kérastase, to give us a root awakening.
But before we unveil some expert-suggested styles, we learned some key tips and tricks for keeping cowlicks at bay. First, Nate Rosenkranz, creative team stylist at Alterna Haircare, said that the best way to hide cowlicks lies in the blow-dry: "When the hair is wet, blow-dry the cowlick in the opposite direction that it grows, concentrating at the root. Once you have corrected the direction of the cowlick at the base, you can style the hair as usual and live out the rest of the day cowlick-free.”
Meet the Expert
Nathan Rosenkranz is a celebrity hairstylist and member of the Alterna creative team. Located in New York, NY, Rozenkranz is a regular stylist at New York Fashion Week and has worked for Teen Vogue, Vogue, and W Magazine.
Edward Tricomi, stylist and co-founder of the Warren-Tricomi Salons, adds that applying a shot of cold air after heating up the roots is also a great way to help the style hold its place. "Finish it off with a mist of hair spray and you’ll be good to go!” he says.
Meet the Expert
Edward Tricomi is a celebrity stylist and co-founder of the Warren-Tricomi Salons in New York, NY. With nearly forty years in the hair industry, Tricomi has worked alongside legends such as Irving Penn and Patrick Demarchelier.
Now, on to the styles!
If your cowlick is located right at the front hairline, Dimachki suggests going for a chop: "Having heavy fringe will help weigh down well over the cowlick so that if it pops up, it’s completely concealed. Ask your hairdresser to cut the thickest portion of the bangs directly behind the cowlick—think of the classic triangle bangs, where the triangle point is at the top of the head. Even if it’s slightly asymmetric, you’ll win the battle," she explains.
Blake Lively's hair just doesn't seem like it can do any wrong. Her loose, messy waves are a thing of envy (seriously, how can tousled hair look so put-together?) and, coincidentally, are also the perfect disguise for a cowlick. Says Dimachki, "This style is perfect for any cowlick, anywhere on the head. Its looseness in texture is forgiving to any accidental front or back partings from cowlicks, and the shoulder-blade length helps weigh it down from getting out of hand," she says. We'd say getting your hair cut like Lively's is the perfect consolation for having a cowlick, wouldn't you?
If your cowlick is at the crown, Dimachki suggests cutting your hair all one length, like Olivia Palermo's: "Keeping hair at one length will maintain the heaviness at the bottom that the hair needs to conceal any crown cowlicks. The finer the hair, the more tension is needed while blow-drying. [Apply] a hazelnut size of Kérastase Forme Fatale Voluptuous Blow Dry Gel ($30) to the crown area and massage it into the hair that the cowlicks are most affected, then use a small metal round brush, [which] is great to grip the hair while blow-drying without sacrificing soft volume," she explains.
For days when we don't have time to conceal any unruly locks, Dimachki says the best thing to do is place it in a slicked-back bun or textured braid, and no one will be the wiser. To hold locks back in place all day while pulled taut, Dimachki suggests applying Kérastase Laque Noire ($37).
Have you found a cowlick-concealing method that works? Please tell us below!
Opening Image: Imaxtree