Sideswept Bangs: Control Your Cowlicks!

The past 6 years of my follicular existence have always included some sort of bang situation on my forehead. Short, long, blunt, sideswept…you name it, I’ve done it. It seems I’ve settled on a sideswept look – mainly because they are so much easier to style (and grow out) than heavy, blunt bangs, but also because I have some serious cowlicks.

See for yourself.

how to style bangs cowlick

Yep. I definitely don’t have the world’s most perfect hairline.

Are you scared to cut bangs because of your hairline? It’s something I hear from friends all the time – “I want bangs so badly, but I have cowlicks. They would never work on me!” Well, I’m here to tell you that you can definitely style bangs, even with the most stubborn cowlicks. Let’s get down to business.

First off, take a gander at what my bangs would look like if they were left to their own devices.

how to style bangs cowlick

how to style bangs cowlick

how to style bangs cowlick

Not cute. Not cute at all, people. So! Here’s my step-by-step process to achieving great-looking, sideswept bangs.

1. Start with wet hair.

how to style bangs cowlick

2. Blow dry (this is a fantastic hair dryer!) a good amount of the moisture out before styling, raking the bangs back and forth between your fingers.

how to style bangs cowlick

how to style bangs cowlick

3. Once damp, your main mission is to absolutely confuse your cowlicks. Start by brushing your bangs to one side while pointing the nozzle of the dryer close to the forehead.

how to style bangs cowlick

4. Now switch directions.

how to style bangs cowlick

Switch again.

how to style bangs cowlick

And again.

how to style bangs cowlick

At this point, your cowlicks will be completely confused. Surrender, cowlicks! RESISTANCE IS FUTILE.

how to style bangs cowlick

5. After drying, begin moving your bangs in the direction you want them to lay, making sure the pieces are lying flat.

how to style bangs cowlick

how to style bangs cowlick

6. Voila! Smooth, sideswept bangs without any crazy cowlick action.

how to style bangs cowlick

Yes, it’s really that easy. It might take a few times to get the hang of it, but your bangs will be trained in no time.

how to style bangs cowlick

Good luck and good styling! Here are my all-time favorite hair tools and styling products.

  1. Beth @ dot in the city

    August 21, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Oh, this is exactly what I need! Thank you…I have a crazy cowlick and I need all the help I can get as my bangs grow out ;)

  2. Heather

    August 21, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Your side swept bangs always look great in your photos. It makes me want to cut some bangs… but bangs are a bit of a commitment for me. :)

  3. ellbeejay

    August 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Gasp! I didn’t know you suffered from rampant cowlick-ism! When I bit the bullet and got bangs cut a year ago, I used a photo of YOU and my stylist tsked and told me that my bangs would never look quite like yours because I had a cowlick. I perservered, got them anyway, and now plan on re-wetting my hair to try this RIGHTNOW. Um, except for the kid waking up in the other room. Gotta go!

  4. linette lyles

    August 21, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    thanks for the step by step guide…going to try this with my long bangs tomorrow! Wondering if this sort of technique would also work with the 2 pesky cowlicks at the crown of my head that leave me with a nasty looking double part thing going on at the top/back of my head. :(

  5. Jen

    August 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Would it be terribly creepy if I took that last shot of you to the salon with me on Saturday? I SO want some side-sweepy bangs, and yours are perfect, especially with your hair worn down.

  6. Kristin

    August 21, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Awesome! Thank you! It seems like over the past year, my bangs have become increasingly cowlicky. Not sure what the deal is! Thank you for this.

  7. Seriously Sassy Mama

    August 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    This was fabulous!

  8. Ashley S

    August 21, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I LOVE how your bangs look and I would love to try them…but I haven’t had bangs since I was 8 and I’m terrified. I’ve changed my hair style once in the past 20 years and change makes me reach for a paper bag. Maybe one day…if I knew what to do with it :)

  9. Jessica

    August 22, 2012 at 8:57 am

    OMG, we have the same bangs. Mine are ridiculous when they are untamed. I have had bangs since forever due to a fabulously tall forehead. For some reason, within the last two years, I have lost all ability to style my bangs. I blame childbirth. I will be trying this today. Excellent!

  10. Joy

    August 22, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Oh my goodness…I have wanted to try sideswept bangs for years now but decided I couldn’t because of the pesky cowlick right about the same spot yours is. You give me hope that I could carry it off!! Your hair is just gorgeous and I thank you for posting this tutorial.

  11. Kami

    August 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I’m in need of new blush, lovin your pinkish cheeks in the pics. Any sugestions, please? Love the bangs also!

    • whoorl

      August 22, 2012 at 5:07 pm

      Thanks! My two favorite blushes for really pink cheeks are Illamasqua Cream Blusher in Promise (wearing it in the photos) and NARS powder blush in Desire.

  12. Diane

    August 23, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Thank you! Without lots of taming mine look crazy. Off to try this.

  13. Lisa

    August 28, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Wow, I have cowlick just like yours! Will attempt to confuse mine tomorrow as you demonstrated.

  14. Jolene

    August 30, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    This is awesome. I have cowlicks (you can see a ton of pics here: http://jolenesblog.com) and have always wanted bangs but always been told never to get them. Going to think about giving this a shot for sure.

  15. Jenn

    September 5, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Cowlicks are the thorn in my side; thanks for the easy to follow picture tutorial!