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).

Classic Taper with Brushed up Fringe

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.

Side Combed Ivy League

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.

Modern Cowlick Styled

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:
Ed Sheeran’s Messy Cowlick_
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Ed Sheeran's Messy Cowlick
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com
cowlick-andrewdoeshair
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Wavy Strendy Push Back
Drop Fade + Tapered Neckline
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Drop Fade + Tapered Neckline
Drop Fade + Tapered Neckline, by @criztofferson / Instagram
Modern Cowlick Fringe
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Cowlick and The Fringe
Blonde Quiff with Cowlick
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Blonde Quiff with Cowlick
Brush Up Hairstyle
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Modern Cowlick Brushed Up
Spiky Hairstyle
7/11
Spiky Cowlick
brush-up-glasses
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Vertical Cowlick Brush up Style
Angular Fringe with Cowlick
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Angular Fringe
Textured Top with Cowlick
10/11
Textured Top
Elegent Taper with Wavy Undercut
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Elegant Taper with Wavy Undercut