Cowlick vs. Balding: Similar Yet Different Hair Problems

Cowlick vs. Balding: Similar Yet Different Hair Problems

Cowlick is the bothersome and worrisome swirl mess in your hair, it’s bothersome because the hair whorls of this cowlick don’t let you make a hairstyle easily, and it makes you worried because it gives an impression that it’s a sign of balding.

The irregular pattern of hair growth is called cowlick because it resembles the sticky cow strands on the calves of a cow when it is either given a bath or has licked itself up. It’s indeed true that this sweet thing, as it’s named after, looks more suitable on a cow’s hairline than yours as this stubborn hair whorl becomes extremely difficult to manage when styling your hair. You can’t do much except part your front hair on one side if the cowlicks have appeared on your forehead. These cowlicks are more visible and difficult to hide in short hair, while in long hair with volume, these whorls can be easily concealed.

What is Cowlick, and what Causes Cowlick?
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Cowlick is a swirl-patterned hair growth on your head; it’s a small segment that grows in a swirl pattern against the direction of the rest of the hair. This hair whorl is visible mainly in people with curls and wavy hair because the curly hair strands can grow abnormally.

Cowlick is caused when a section of hair grows at a different angle from its follicle; hair growth generally happens in three directions forward, backward and on sides, and cowlicks increase in the opposite of these directions and make the strands stand abnormally. Having cowlicks can be a genetic condition; if someone in your family has these hair whorls, you might also have them.

Cowlick mostly commonly emerges on the crown area or anywhere near the forehead. Some people believe that this hair whorl is either formed clockwise or anticlockwise in some people, mainly based on their right or left-handedness.

What is  Balding and the Sign of Balding?
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Hair loss in men has become a widespread phenomenon, most men suffer from hair-related issues at some point, and the most common and acute problem is male-patterned baldness. Male patterned baldness affects most men as they grow old and turn disastrous with time. Here are a few of the common signs of balding:

1.      Hair thinning is the most common sign of balding

If you ask us what the initial signs of balding are, it’s undoubtedly hair thinning as it makes sparser spots on your head and makes it look bald. Hair thinning doesn’t happen overnight but gradually takes place, and many factors are involved in thinning hair, including poor genes, lousy eating habits and lifestyle. The shrinking of the hair follicle causes hair thinning; these follicles shrink with each hair growth cycle, making the hair thinner and ending up emptying the strand and balding. The only way to stop balding is early treatment of thinning hair.

2.      Receding HairlineHairline is an indication of baldness

Another clear indication of male pattern baldness is a receding hairline. Men usually start losing hair from the temples making your HairlineHairline appears M-shaped. Receding hairline is a common sign of hair loss in men; it broadens the forehead and causes big bald spots on the top of your head.

3.      Shedding clumps of hair

Shedding 50 to 100 strands in a day is normal; things become severe when you shed more hair than that and experience something like a handful of shed hair on your pillow. Losing clumps of hair is alarming, and it’s also amongst the few early signs of balding.

4.      An itchy scalp is another symptom of hair loss

Itchy scalp and skin flakes are common skin conditions caused by dandruff, itchy scalp can also contribute to baldness. Skin flakiness on a specific area of your scalp creates ringworms, and excessive scratching on these ringworms can damage the hair follicle, which causes hair loss. So to prevent hair loss from this skin condition, treating this problem beforehand is suggested.

5.      Poor genes also contribute to balding

Besides these common signs of patterned baldness, a poor family history of hair loss makes you vulnerable to balding. If the hair loss thing runs in your family and most of your family members are affected by then, you are likely to experience it too. However,  it’s a gradual process that can be treated with medications and other viable options.

What are the Key Differences between Balding and Cowlick?
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  • Cowlicks or bald spots look similar but are two different things; although cowlicks give an illusion of hair loss as they create an area of the visible scalp in the center of the swirl, it has nothing to do with balding. On the other hand, balding is an indication of severe hair loss.
  • Besides creating a mess over your head, cowlicks have nothing to worry about and no adverse consequences. At the same time, balding is a medical condition that, if not treated promptly with the proper medication, can lead to alopecia and other untreatable hair loss ailments.
  • The hair follicles, while having cowlicks remain thick like they typically grow while balding; the hair follicle shrinks evidently; if you look at the scalp, that’s the symptom of a medical
  • Another visible difference between cowlick and balding is that the visible bald spot in cowlick remains the same size always, while if you are struggling with bald spots, it will get bigger with time.
How to Treat Balding and Cowlick?
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Hair loss and patterned baldness used to be a big problem in the past, but with the rapid advancement of science and technology, this problem can be treated in various ways. You can control hair loss in its early time by treating it with proper medications. Many tested and approved medicines are available for hair loss treatment; the most famous and influential among them are minoxidil and finasteride. Finasteride is a tablet that halts hair loss by blocking the production of the DHT hormone that aids hair loss. It’s also believed that regular use of this pill can reverse hair loss. You can feel the visible change in you.

On the other hand, minoxidil is a topical spray that works as a stimulator for hair growth. This medicine is an effective treatment for hair loss; it aids hair in regrowing. It’s also believed that combining these two medicines does wonders to reverse hair loss. People who have used this combination for more than six months call this combo the permanent solution for hair loss.

The stubborn tuft of hair that keeps standing over your head and never blends with the rest of the locks, known as cowlicks, is not a medical condition that requires medication for treatment but just natural hair growth. However, you can get rid of it and hide it by tricking it differently. Here are a few tips to permanently fix these hair whorls.

  • Before giving all the options to fix cowlicks, we must tell you that you can always embrace this abnormal hair pattern by providing a beach wave look to your hair. This hairstyle won’t fix cowlick but would make this mess an integral part of your haircut.
  • Try different products that give texture and volume to your hair; by applying these products, you can make these cowlicks fall in the same direction where your hair falls naturally.
  • You can also use robust styling tools to fix these hair whorls, like a blow dryer and damp shower, as the heat aids in changing hair direction.
  • The easiest and most terrific way to trick cowlick is growing out your hair, which would increase the weight of your hair and make it fall by itself.
  • Lastly, you can get the assistance of a professional hairstylist who can handle it professionally with a new hairstyle that minimizes its visibility.

Many people get apprehensive when they notice the appearance of cowlick, as it’s considered one of the signs of baldness. We hope we have cleared all our clients’ misconceptions regarding these cowlicks. We know that these small hair whorls in your hair are incredibly frustrating and challenging to handle, but one thing is good it has nothing severe and got nothing to do with baldness. And you should not be worried about male patterned baldness also if you notice any of the above signs because that is also super curable at an early stage.