Is a Cowlick an Early Sign of Balding?

cowlick balding hair lossCertain changes in your hairline, such as shedding or other hair conditions, can make you believe you are going bald, which may cause you to seek out information on hair loss and investigate viable hair restoration solutions to stop and prevent further balding. However, that’s not always true, especially if the significant issue is a cowlick. This article explains what a cowlick is and differentiates it from signs of balding. Read on for more information.

What Is a Cowlick?

A cowlick refers to a section of hair that sticks out above the rest. Instead of growing in the same direction, the hair spreads out in different directions, causing a swirl appearance. Its name comes from the appearance of the coats of bovine calves after a leak from their mother.

What Causes a Cowlick?

Scientists have established that the cowlick is congenital, developing long before you are born. One study established that fraternal twins are likely to have cowlicks in the same scalp spot but in opposite directions.

The scalp lacks definite boundaries establishing limits within which hair can grow. Therefore, hair follicles in some areas end up producing hair that looks confused. Instead of going in one direction, the hair strands on your head go forward, backward, and sideways.

How Do You Fix a Cowlick?

From the discussion above, cowlicks are congenital, and their likelihood is determined long before you are born. Therefore, it is impossible to fix then since that would mean altering your genetically determined direction of hair growth. Since there is no permanent solution, the best way to fix it is to use a strategic hairstyle to conceal the swirl.

Is There a Correlation Between Cowlicks and Balding?

A cowlick does not necessarily indicate hair loss. During balding, the hair in a given spot reduces in size. The most significant causes of hair loss include androgenetic alopecia (hereditary pattern balding), as well as illness, DHT, and severe stress to the central nervous system. With increased follicle miniaturization, the hair growth cycle becomes shorter and shorter, resulting in even shorter hair. Eventually, the weakened hair strands find penetrating the scalp impossible, resulting in baldness.

The causes of cowlicks are different from those of hair loss. It does not involve miniaturization but only concerns the growth of hair in the wrong direction. Therefore, a cowlick isn’t the same as hair loss.

Other Signs of Hair Loss

Apart from a shortening hair growth cycle, other signs of balding include thinning, waspy hair, receding hairline, and noticeable shedding. So, when you notice hair on the pillow when you wake up, the chances are that you are balding.

In conclusion, having a cowlick doesn’t mean you’re balding. However, it is an indication of a naturally occurring phenomenon in which hair grows in different directions. If you’re dealing with hair loss or thinning hair, we encourage you to contact a nearby Transitions member hair replacement center who will work one-on-one with you to answer all your hair loss questions, address your concerns, and help you find the most appropriate hair loss solution for you.


Photo credit: Weerborstel van Lukas Lelie via WikiCommons

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