What is an eyebrow cowlick, you ask? Similar to the kind that happens on your head, it’s a patch of hair that grows in the opposite direction than all of the other hair surrounding it. In my case, it’s on the inner corner of my left brow, and the result is a teeny, tiny bald spot that I can’t stop staring at every time I look in the mirror. To be clear, I always noticed the rogue hairs sticking out, I just didn’t know there was a name for them until brow god Joey Healy told me.
“Sometimes cowlicks are nothing more than just clusters of hair that have a lot of texture and curl,” he says. “They can occur anywhere, and the most common place people see them is in the front of the brow—I call that area your ‘sprouts.'” FWIW, the name makes them sound a whole lot cuter than they actually are.
But if you, like me, have got one—you may as well learn to live with it, because there isn’t a whole lot you can do to change it. “Just like you can’t get rid of a cowlick on your head, you can’t completely change the direction of hair growth in your eyebrows,” says Umbreen Sheikh, Founder and CEO of Wink Brow Bar New York City. Woof. The good news? “Just like a skilled hair stylist can artfully cut hair to disguise a cowlick, you can do the same by sculpting and shaping your brows.”
In addition to going to a pro, there are a few things you can do at home to help them if you’re dealing with a cowlick that happens at the head of the brow. The most important is trimming hairs (one! at! a! time!) so that they’re short enough that they won’t appear to be growing in the other direction with a super-sharp, stainless steel blade, such as the Joey Healy Precision Brow Blade ($18). But, Sheikh cautions, be careful not to trim things too short, because it may be more difficult to hold the cowlick down with an eyebrow-taming product.
Next, Healy suggests using a clear brow gel (personally, I’m a fan of Glossier Boy Brow, $16) to direct the hairs and give them a little kick in the right direction so that they lay along with the rest of your hair… or at least as close to “along with” as possible. If you don’t have any brow gel on hand, Sheikh explains that you can also use clear mascara or, in a pinch, Vaseline and a spoolie brush, to get the job done. If you’re really feeling adventurous, a spoolie and bar soap (yup!) can also do the trick.
As for filling in the bald spot, it’s actually not as challenging as it sounds. “Sometimes you see patches of skin where there’s cowlicks because the hair’s sort of like, flipped up and they reveal the skin underneath,” Healy explains. “So sometimes if you use a little bit of color underneath, like a powder, that can soften the contrast between hair and skin and it all sort of blends together more.” Beyond that, the best thing you can do is learn to love those little “sprouts” of yours, as I well know.
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