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It rarely fails: When mornings are their most overwhelming, the dreaded cowlick makes an appearance. The hereditary circular hair-growth pattern, typically found at the front of the hairline, causes a tuft of hair to stick straight up at will. While the only way to remove a cowlick is to have it relaxed in a salon, it can at least be tamed with a bit of muscle. Switch up your hairstyling routine to smooth down a cowlick and get your morning back on track.

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Wash your hair with a smoothing shampoo, massaging the product into your roots and rinsing completely; follow with a conditioner. Use a keratin or argan-oil shampoo and conditioner to soften the hair and make it more manageable.

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Pull a dime-sized amount of mousse through the cowlick and any hair that sits on top of it, while your tresses are still wet. Cowlicks need to be styled right away, as they set into shape as soon as they dry. Mousse allows you to mold the hair without weighing it down or creating an oily look.

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Position a 1-inch wide round brush directly under the cowlick at the root. Place any hair that naturally falls over the cowlick on top of the brush as well. Press your thumb down firmly on top of the hair to keep it from falling loose.

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Aim a blow-dryer with a nozzle attachment at the root of the cowlick 5 inches away, using a high-heat setting. Rotate the brush to the right, while using your thumb to keep the hair secured on top. After 10 seconds, rotate the brush to the left. After 10 more seconds, pull the brush down toward your forehead. The continual change in direction will weaken the cowlick, and allow it to sit in the direction of your choosing.

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Rotate the brush in the direction that you would like the cowlick to sit for 10 additional seconds. Stop rotating it, and blast the hair with cool air from your dryer for 15 seconds to set it in place.

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Hold a can of humidity-resistant hairspray 10 inches away from the cowlick and apply one coat. Moisture in the air can cause a cowlick to revert, particularly if you have curly or textured hair.

Tip

Opt for a hairstyle that is chin-length or longer, as the weight of long hair can conceal a cowlick. Alternatively, have your stylist cut thick layers in the hair over top of the cowlick to tame it.

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About the Author

Celeigh O'Neil

Celeigh O'Neil has been writing professionally since 2008. She has a Bachelor of fine arts from the University of Ottawa, as well as degrees in fashion illustration/design, digital arts and certification in hair and makeup artistry. O'Neil was a frequent contributor to Toronto's "Dialog" newspaper and has worked as an instructional writer, creating lessons in fashion, art and English for students of all ages.