The modern cowlick is a unique hairstyle in that it’s different for almost everybody. Before discussing what exactly it is, let’s first clear up the term cowlick. A cowlick is a tuft of hair that grows out in an unexpected direction — the most common being the spiral shape that most have on the crown of their head.

As a style, the modern cowlick is all about letting your tufts do as they please. Most modern cowlicks are of a medium length and are slightly longer on top than on the sides. This cut inherently has quite a bit of texture, derived from the erratic nature of the cowlick(s).

How to Get a Modern Cowlick

You can choose to show off your cowlicks in many different ways, but in this article, we’ll focus on the most common.

Modern cowlicks typically start off with having your hair cut down to what can only be described as a ‘long Ivy League cut’ — that is to say a medium-ish top and slightly shorter sides.

Have your barber or friend cut your top hair down to around 2 inches with scissors, and slowly blend that into the sides, which should be shaved down to a number 4 — give-or-take.

Make sure that before cutting your hair, your hairdresser combs any tufts in your hair down as much as possible. That way, after being cut, they will return to their old glory and add texture to your hair by sticking out.

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How to Style a Modern Cowlick

Once again, how you style your modern cowlick is completely up to you. The important thing, though, is to try not to hide any tufts or style them down — then it wouldn’t be a modern cowlick anymore!

Nevertheless, here are a few suggestions:
  • Slick the top back
  • Comb your hair to one side with some gel or putty (feel free to use fingers or a comb)
  • Brush it up slightly

Side note: I would personally like to point out that some faint facial hair works very, very well with this style!

For more examples check our gallery down below:
Drop Fade + Tapered Neckline
Drop Fade + Tapered Neckline, by @criztofferson

Drop Fade + Tapered Neckline

Modern Cowlick Fringe

Cowlick and The Fringe

Brush Up Hairstyle

Modern Cowlick Brushed Up

Spiky Hairstyle
Credits: Morris Motley

Spiky Cowlick


Vertical Cowlick Brush up Style

Textured Top with Cowlick
Credits: Braid Barbers

Textured Top

Elegent Taper with Wavy Undercut

Elegant Taper with Wavy Undercut

Angular Fringe and Cowlick

Angular Fringe and Cowlick