Why Does My Cowlick Hurt? [5 Reasons You Should Know]

Having a headache is pretty annoying. And it’s more irritating when your cowlick is causing the pain. But to recover from the pain, you’ve to know why it’s happening. 

So, it’s time to ask yourself- why does my cowlick hurt

Firstly, a cowlick can hurt if you wear your ponytail too tightly. Then stress can contribute to the problem too. Another reason can be a scalp infection. Next, greasy hair can often cause this pain. Even new hair growth can be a reason why your cowlick hurts. Lastly, you might suffer from this issue because of an allergy. 

Now, these are just some vague info. You’ll need to know more to identify why your cowlick is hurting. Furthermore, what you should do about it. We’ve provided all the info you’ll need in the simplest words. 

Therefore, it’s time to start reading!

Can a Cowlick Hurt?

Cowlick occurs when your hair grows in a spiral way. This causes the hair to not lay flat. Instead, they’ll stick out. So yeah you can see your hair standing on your head because of the cowlick. 

Also, cowlick mostly takes place at the back or top of your head. 

cowlick at the back of the head
Source: quora.com

But sometimes cowlicks can be around the edges or at the front of the head. 

Now, cowlicks can hurt as you can’t really tame them properly. Therefore, after waking up from sleep, you might suffer from a headache. 

Another fact to know, short cowlicks don’t cause any pain. It’s the long ones that give you a headache. 

Thus, here we’ve tried info on how long your cowlicks have to be for it to hurt-

Length of CowlickWill Your Cowlick Hurt?
1-1.5 inches No
More than 1.5 inches Yes 

So, this is how you’ll know if your cowlick can hurt or not. 

Is Your Cowlick Really Hurting?

Now, is it the cowlick that’s hurting or your scalp? 

Well, to be honest, it’s the scalp area where your cowlick is. A cowlick is just a section of your hair strands. And it’s scientifically known that hair doesn’t have nerves. Therefore, it can’t hurt. 

Hence, it’s your scalp or the cowlick area that’s hurting. 

Why Exactly Is Your Cowlick Hurting So Bad? 

Now, let’s try to know what causes your cowlick to hurt. Well, there are 5 main reasons behind the issue.

All of them are quite common and they have simple solutions. So, let’s check them out- 

You Have Wore Your Ponytail Too Tightly

The first reason why you’re suffering from the pain is because of a tight ponytail. Yes, styling your hair into a ponytail will give you a pretty look. Moreover, the ponytail hairstyle is perfect for summertime. 

However, wearing the ponytail too tightly isn’t the best idea. Because it’ll surely give you a headache after 10-15 minutes. Why?

Well, even if there are no nerves in your hair. There are sensitive nerves in your scalp and underneath the hair follicles. 

So, when you tie the hair into a tight ponytail, it starts creating a feeling of suffocation. And this is the reason why you’ll suffer from a headache. 

Now, you’re probably thinking that cowlick isn’t that long. So, how can one tie into a ponytail?

Well, high ponytails exist. Therefore, you can definitely tie the cowlick along with your regular hair into a ponytail. 


Now, the easiest way to relieve ponytail pain is by taking it down immediately. Then massage the part that was hurting with moisturizing oil. 

Or just massage it without oil. Either way after taking down the ponytail, the pain will disappear within an hour. 

You’re Going through Stress 

Stressful days are pretty common now. People need to deal with different tasks on a daily basis. While doing so, they can definitely get stressed out.

Now, there are different symptoms of stress. One of them is an aching pain at the back of your head. And do you know what else is there? 

Yup, your cowlick area. So, when you’re stressed with a headache, you can feel like your cowlick is hurting. 


The best way to recover from this is by massaging your scalp. Then take a nap for a better result. 

Also, don’t worry about the work! Take a little break to feel refreshed! 

You Have Greasy Hair 

Now, greasy hair means greasy scalp. And this type of scalp is a breeding ground for scalp fungus. 

The scalp fungus that causes your head to hurt is named Malassezia furfur. This fungus loves your oily scalp because it feeds on the oil. Then it releases fatty acid. 

These free fatty acids create symptoms like scalp irritation, bumps, pimples, itching, etc. And all of these result in scalp headaches. 

greasy hair
Source: skinkraft.com


dry scalp
Source: jaad.org

To understand whether you have the infection, you have to observe the symptoms. Now, if you have got this fungal infection, it’s best to call a doctor. Because home remedies might not come in handy. 

Therefore, quickly call a dermatologist and ask for help. Furthermore, follow the advice they give you. Your scalp will get better in no time. 

You’re Growing New Hair around the Cowlick Area

growing new hair around the cowlick area
Source: knowridge.com

New hair growth can be a little painful sometimes. It’s like a sharp pain in your scalp. This happens because moving or new hair triggers pain in your scalp. 

Also, to understand whether the cause is actually new hair growth, observe your hair. You’ll see tiny hair poking out on top of your head if that’s the case. 

However, new hair growth doesn’t always cause pain. Therefore, we suggest you focus on the above reasons more. 


There aren’t any effective solutions for this. You just have to withstand the pain and let the new hair grow.

Sounds painful? 

Well, to be honest, you won’t be in much pain. So, no need to worry about it!

Maybe You’re Having Allergic Reaction

Last but not the least, sometimes your cowlick area can hurt because of allergies. For example, there are people who suffer from itching because of putting on a weave. In some cases, it’s an allergic reaction to the material of the weave. 

Essential oils can also cause allergic reactions too. How to understand? 

Well, you’ll suffer from scalp irritation, itching, and redness. These will cause pain afterward. 


Your easiest escape is to take down the weave. And go with an alternative. 

Then if it’s the essential oil, try immediate relief at first. For example, wash your hair and scalp thoroughly with shampoo. This will get rid of the oil. 

Then add a wet and cold compressor to the part that has gone red. Lastly, applying a hydrocortisone cream will help relieve the itching and pain. 

Now, if you’re tensed about where to find the cream, no worries! We’ve mentioned the cream so you can easily find it- 

cerave hydrocortisone cream

CeraVe Hydrocortisone Cream 1%

aveeno hydrocortisone anti-itch cream

Aveeno Maximum Strength 1% Hydrocortisone Anti-Itch Cream

Now, just apply the cream to the rash and you’ll get all better! However, from now on it’s best to avoid the pain by taking care of the cowlick! 

Tips on How to Tame Cowlick to Prevent It from Hurting

Now, it’s best to avoid this pain from taking place again. To do that you’ll need to take care of your cowlick. 

Thus, to help you out, we’ve provided some steps to tame your cowlick-

Step-1: Wet the Cowlick Area 

Now, find the place where your cowlick is and start wetting the area fully. You can use a spray bottle for this. Because we’re only going to take care of your cowlick. 

Step-2: Use a Hair Product with Hold

After that, apply a product that will give the area a little texture and weight. This type of product will make the cowlick stay put in its place. Applying it will also help you style that section of the hair easily.

Now, you might be wondering what product we’re talking about. Well, they’re hair gels and pomade. Also, if your cowlick isn’t that long, you can just stop here. But remember to brush the hair in the direction it’s growing. 

Step-3: Brush the Cowlick

Now, if you have a long cowlick, take a gentle brush and a blow dryer. Remember to use a brush that’s not round. 

Hold your blow dryer against the cowlick. And focus the heat from the dryer just a little above the roots. 

Then start switching the direction. Take the round brush to move both your brush and the blow dryer back and forth. Keep doing this till your hair is completely dry. 

Now, one thing you should remember-

Brushing your cowlick in the wrong direction can cause you pain. And by the wrong direction, we mean brushing against the hair growth. Thus, be careful about it!

Step-4: Use No-Crease Hair Clips and Hair Spray to Set the Hair 

Now, to set your long cowlick, use a no-crease hair clip. However, make sure to use it while your hair is still hot. Otherwise, the cowlick won’t set. 

Then once you’re done clipping in your hair, use your hair spray. This way you can set everything in place. Lastly, remove the clip gently if you want. And voila! Your cowlick is tamed! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why does my double crown hurt? 

Well, your double crown can hurt because of different scalp problems. For example, a scalp infection can cause your double crown to hurt. Then stress is also responsible for the issue. Lastly, tight ponytails or buns can cause pain as well.

Why does new growth hurt? 

Sometimes new hair growth can hurt. The reason for that can be the sensitive nerves underneath your hair follicles and in your hair scalp. Because when you’re having new hair growth, it triggers the pain in those nerves. And therefore, you can sense a little sharp pain.

Why does my scalp hurt when my hair is dirty?  

Well, the answer is simple. You’re suffering from fungal infections. These infections take place when your hair is greasy. More specifically- the infection occurs because of oil build-up in the scalp. This build-up invites the fungus to breed and create an infection.

Final Words 

That’s it, my friend! We have tried providing every bit of necessary info on why does my cowlick hurt

Now, you can also suffer from the cowlick after waking up from sleep. This happens if you move a lot while you’re sleeping. Because this way the hair follicles get irritated. To avoid this, call a professional.

Lastly, best of luck and stay safe!

Katharyn Riedel

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