Cowlicks, the small tufts of hair that stick out from the crown of the head, are usually genetic. They can also be caused by an injury or scar. These mostly endearing traits are most common in young children and tend to get better with age, but sometimes appear later in life when hair begins to thin.
Because they can appear during periods of hair loss, a lot of men with cowlicks worry that the tufts are a sign of balding. This isn’t always the case, but cowlicks can be a sign of a receding hairline. Cowlicks can also cause hair to lie in different directions, which can make hair look thinner, depending on how it grows.
Cowlicks can be frustrating, especially if your hair doesn’t lie flat. If you’re concerned about cowlicks, see a dermatologist or other qualified medical professional.
Telling the difference between balding and cowlicks can be tricky. If you’re concerned that your cowlicks are a sign of balding, there are a few things you can look for.
What is a Cowlick?
A cowlick is a section of hair that stands up or sticks out, often in an irregular pattern. Cowlicks can occur anywhere on the head, but are most common at the front, near the forehead.
Their name comes from the fact that they often resemble the way a cow's hair sticks up after it has licked itself. While cowlicks are considered a nuisance by many people, they are actually quite natural and are simply the result of the way your hair grows, if you have them.
Cowlicks are often seen in people with wavy or curly hair, as the curls can cause the hair to stand up in odd ways. If you have a cowlick, you may find that it is more pronounced when your hair is wet, as this can make it easier for the hair to stand up. Children and teenagers are also more likely to have pronounced cowlicks, as their hair is often more unruly.
What is Male Pattern Baldness?
Male pattern baldness is a condition that affects many men as they age. It is characterized by a receding hairline and thinning hair on the top of the head. In some cases, men may even lose all of the hair on their head. Male pattern baldness is caused by a combination of genetic and hormonal factors, which means that it cannot be cured. However, there are treatments available that can help to slow down the progression of the condition or even improve the appearance of the hair.
MPB, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is the most common form of hair loss in men. While many men will experience some degree of hair loss as they age, MPB is characterized by a distinct pattern of hair loss that generally begins with a receding hairline and thinning hair on the top of the head.
Treatment for male pattern baldness is possible, but can take a few months of medication for any visible results to show.
Cowlicks and Balding
Ever style your hair and notice that it's just not forming the shape you want in the way it used to? We've all been there. But cowlicks out of nowhere can cause you to stop and wonder why your hair is changing in density or texture. The same can be said for balding.
There are a few things that can be said about cowlicks and balding. We know that we all lost around 75 hairs a day, but losing more than that can be a sign of a problem. We also know that our hair follicles go through three different phases: the anagen (growing) phase, the catagen (resting) phase, and the telogen (shedding) phase.
The anagen phase can last anywhere from 2-8 years, and this is when our hair is growing the fastest. The catagen phase is a transitional phase that lasts for about 2-3 weeks, and during this time our hair follicles are shrinking. The telogen phase is the final phase, and during this time our hair follicles are resting. After the telogen phase, the hair follicle will go back to the anagen phase and the cycle will start all over again.
One theory about cowlicks is that they are caused by an imbalance in the ratio of hairs in the anagen and telogen phases. This theory suggests that cowlicks are more likely to occur in people who have a higher ratio of hairs in the telogen phase. This theory is supported by the fact that cowlicks are more common in people who have a history of hair loss.
Balding has a lot of the same causes as cowlicks, but it is more likely to be caused by an imbalance in the ratio of hairs in the anagen and telogen phases. This theory suggests that balding is more likely to occur in people who have a higher ratio of hairs in the anagen phase. This theory is supported by the fact that balding is more common in people who have a history of hair loss.
Is a Cowlick a Sign of Balding?
Many men see a new cowlick and think that maybe their hair is changing in density, or perhaps the shape of the direction of the hair is altering how thick the hair looks. While a cowlick can be a sign of a change in hair density, it is not a sign of balding.
Balding is characterized by a progressive thinning of the hair on the scalp. This thinning can start as early as the teens or early twenties, and can progress until there is little or no hair remaining on the scalp. While a cowlick may be a sign of a change in the hair, it is not a sign of balding.
So if you're worried about a cowlick, don't be. It's not a sign of balding. However, if you're concerned about hair loss, it's best to consult a doctor or dermatologist to rule out any underlying causes.
How Can I Treat Hair Loss?
If you are a man who is dealing with the effects of male pattern baldness, or if you have suffered any other type of hair loss, there are a number of different treatment options available to you. Finasteride and minoxidil are two medications that are approved by the FDA for the treatment of hair loss, and best of all, you can get them with just a simple text-chat with a doctor through Phoenix.
Finasteride is a prescription only pill that you take once a day, and it works by blocking the production of a hormone that is linked to hair loss. This hormone is called DHT, and when it’s blocked, hair loss can be halted, and in some cases, even reversed. The amount of time it takes to see results from finasteride can vary, but most men see a noticeable difference within a few months of starting treatment.
Minoxidil is a topical solution that you apply to your scalp twice a day, and it works by stimulating hair growth. It can take up to four months to see results from minoxidil, but it is generally considered to be a very effective treatment for hair loss. Minoxidil is available over the counter, online finasteride. But it is not as effective alone. Many men who use minoxidil also take finasteride to get the best results.
The combination of finasteride and minoxidil is considered to be the most effective treatment for hair loss available. When treatment is done for six months or longer, the majority of men not only have stopped their hair loss, but have seen their hair regrow. The results are usually permanent, as long as you continue to take the medication.
The Truth About Cowlicks and Balding
If you've discovered a cowlick, have no fear. Unless your hair is shedding, a cowlick isn't a sign of anything serious. Cowlicks just happen. A cowlick is a swirl or tuft of hair that grows in a contrary direction to the rest of your hair.
Hair loss doesn't have to be devastating. In fact, in the case of male pattern baldness, it's super treatable. To make a virtual, text-based appointment with one of our board-certified doctors, you can visit our hair loss treatment page here.
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.