i lik the hed
April 26, 2018 5:59 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a short women's or gender-neutral haircut/style with one big caveat: my hairline is one giant cowlick.

Ok, technically it's like three cowlicks, one on the right that swirls right, one on the left that swirls left, and the middle just grows straight back towards my crown.

Once in middle school I tried bangs and the less said about that the better. When I was in college I shaved my head, and while it was growing out the only way I could figure out to get the front to look decent was to straighten the shit out of it every day (a la Pete Wentz). My hair is really thick, and left it its own devices, it looked likeDevon Sawa's hair in Casper.

I don't want to shave my head again or look like I just graduated from West Point, and I don't want to straighten anything. Some product is ok, I guess, but the reason why I have long hair today is because I want to put the most minimal amount of time into my appearance as possible (but still look like I care, naturally).

posted by lollymccatburglar to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Honestly, as someone with multiple cowlicks herself, long hair is just gonna be easier. You can swipe it up into a pony tail. The weight of the hair over-rides the sticky-uppiness of the cowlick. I have a very very short pixie and it just sticks out everywhere. I have tried multiple stylists, styles, and products, and it just isn't ever gonna look right. I'm just too impatient to grow it out!
posted by misanthropicsarah at 6:28 AM on April 26, 2018 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Sometimes when I'm having a day when my cowlicks just won't lie flat no matter how much I wet it down, I go the opposite direction with my hair and hit it with a ton of texturizing spray, mess it all the way up, and finish with hairspray to try to make it look like I MEANT to have my hair all piece-y and all over the place. It...mostly works.
posted by helloimjennsco at 6:36 AM on April 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: As another thick haired human with widow's peaks and cowlicks and curls, I have finally just given up doing anything but growing it long enough to pull up. Every time I've cut it short, it's been a disaster. Just yesterday I called my stylist and said I wanted to cut it all off because summer is coming, and she just sent me a picture from her phone of the last time we tried that, and I was like...Oh, yeah. That's bad. Let's not do that again.

I'm not saying there's not a perfect short cut for you, there may be. But in my fifty-someodd years of trying to manage this mane, I've discovered that a pony tail twisted into a bun take 2 minutes, and look like I've actually bothered to do something with my hair, without actually, ya know, having to do anything with my hair. ;)
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:52 AM on April 26, 2018 [4 favorites]

Best answer: My son is growing his hair out and has about 4 cowlicks all going different directions. His hair was good very short (not a buzzcut or true high-and-tight, but a pretty short-on-top fade) and I assume it'll all sort itself out once it's shoulder-length and can be fully pulled back, but it's chin-length now and a complete nightmare. Avoid.

I think the best thing to do would be to go to a salon, have the stylist look at what you've got, and ask them this same question. Bring pictures. When you make the appointment, let them know that this is what you're going to be showing up with and you want the stylist most able to answer your questions. I also have difficult hairs (in other ways) and when I need a serious intervention, this is what I do.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:54 AM on April 26, 2018

Best answer: I don't have cowlicks but I do have thick thick curly hair. I've found that a tight undercut with enough length on top (think sokka from avatar) to pull back into a pony tail is the right balance between options for looking cool and brimg able to just throw my hair in a pony tail and shorter showers and switching to a very high hold men's line based hold product such as a natural beeswax paste or a molding clay when i do want to style it in a fun way. Men's products assume that the user wants to spend no time on this as a default. I recommend finding a queer community serving barber to help. Pinterest is your friend here.
posted by edbles at 7:12 AM on April 26, 2018

Best answer: As a fellow Devon Sawa lookalike, do not attempt. I tried short (horrid) and bangs (less horrid, but essentially a constant fight to have them lie flat-ish) and long hair seems to be the way to go. I've discovered braids, by the way, as a way to look put together without having to actually put much effort into anything (because I hate doing anything with my hair at all goddamn why can't it just look like I got a blow out at the hairdresser every day).
posted by lydhre at 8:07 AM on April 26, 2018

Best answer: I have bad cowlicks, one in front and one in back. My haircut for the past 8 years has been something in between Rachel Maddow and David Beckham, and it works. I push the bang hair up in front and let my cowlick do its thing and pretend it’s a pompadour.
posted by coppermoss at 8:19 AM on April 26, 2018 [6 favorites]

Best answer: My rec would be - if you are lucky enough to be within range of one - find the queerest salon you can get to on a regular basis. I think with the right cut - about halfway between styling and barbering - you could make those cowlicks work with a sort of Lady Elvis (on preview, yes, also Rachel Maddow) and wouldn't need more than 60-90 seconds' work with a round brush or flatiron to tidy it up in the mornings, plus a quick swipe of pomade or putty.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:23 AM on April 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: What about a cut that's shorter on the sides, like #2 or #14 in this link: 30 short pixie cuts for women? That said, it does read as queer to me (me = femme queer person, also me = loves this type of haircut) so hopefully that's a good thing!
posted by capricorn at 8:55 AM on April 26, 2018

Best answer: I was thinking longer sides, shorter in the front, like #5 in the link above. Would your hair behave enough for a #18?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:15 AM on April 26, 2018

Best answer: How about a “spiky pixie”? Lean in to those cowlicks!

(Now I want to cut all my hair off, but my last pixie left me liking like the mommiest mom ever to mom.)
posted by rebeccabeagle at 10:06 AM on April 26, 2018

Best answer: This can be done with a cut that is shorter on the sides and back, but much longer in the front to weight the cowlicks down, as others have suggested. I'm also a fan of the "shaved asymmetrical pixie" look. A good stylist is also essential. I usually check out the social media/website of a stylist and look for ones who feature lots of intricate and short women's cuts.
posted by whistle pig at 12:26 PM on April 26, 2018

Best answer: Might not be quite what you're looking for, but I'm a very-curly-haired woman and cut my hair very short a bit over a year ago. Nowadays I go to the sportymans haircuts for men place because it's close and cheap and I don't have to make appointments. Curly hair means that very short haircuts don't end up looking at all like a buzz cut. I get a #5 trim on the back and sides and go with a finger-length scissor cut on top.

Sometimes I think it's more work to get it styled the way I want it than it was with longer curly hair, and the more frequent haircuts kinda kill any cost savings I have from not getting the super-fancy curly specialty cuts I used to. Letting it grow out too long between haircuts is awkward, since there's a fine line between "fun, modern, sticky-uppy" and "matronly poof," and I'm not quite at an age where I think the latter is appropriate yet. Some leave-in conditioner or gel helps.
posted by asperity at 7:10 PM on April 26, 2018

Best answer: Something like Rhea Butcher’s style, where it flips up at the front, might work.
posted by mymbleth at 1:37 AM on April 27, 2018

Response by poster: Thank you everyone!! This is why I love Metafilter. You have given me both really good tips (I particulary love Rhea Butcher's cut) and straight-talking (DO NOT ATTEMPT). Now I have to sit down and think it over.

find the queerest salon you can get to on a regular basis

Totally agree. It'll mean going into the city once every few weeks, but I know if I take my local salon a picture of Rhea Butcher I'll walk out looking like Lisa Rinna.
posted by lollymccatburglar at 5:58 AM on April 27, 2018

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