Do you have a cowlick? If not then, I am sure you know someone who has one.
Maybe you’re totally confused by what a cowslick is!
No it’s not literally a lick from a cow.
It is the weird bit of hair on someone’s head (usually the front) where it sticks up a little bit.
It is called a cowlick because it quite literally looks like a big cow has licked the front of your hairline and made a long lasting flick of hair!
The funny description of this type of style called a cowlick dates back hundreds of years to the 16th century where a book contained the line “The lockes or plaine feakes of haire called cow-lickes, are made turning upwards.” Interesting!
Here are a few examples and a big arrow to help you:
This kid got his cowlick incorporated into his stylish hairstye! Moooove over, ladies!
The hair isn’t always at the front though, look at this kid’s cowlick on the crown of his head! Bet that’s a bitch to cut.
This cowlick looks like a whirlpool on this little guy’s head! I guess that’s why they sometimes call them ‘hair whirls’.
Girls get cowlick’s too although they’re not always as obvious. Unless they’re cut into a fringe that is…
The cowlick is not restricted to us mere mortals either.
Famous celebrities also suffer from ‘the cowlick’, such as Brad ‘Cowlick’ Pitt:
Obviously, he pulls it off EXTREMELY well (but then again I think he’d pull off most things, don’t you?).
Lindsay Lohan also has hair that “stands straight up or lies at an angle at odds with the style in which the rest of an individual’s hair is worn” (aka a cowlick).
For Lohan her cowlick adds some lift at the front of her hairline and works in her favour.
Apart from maybe these two, most of us who have one, complain about it.
They tend to make hairstyling difficult (particularly for men whose haircuts are usually shorter and so make the cowlick more obvious). Yep, the cowlick is mostly just a plain nuisance and a hairdresser’s nightmare.
But guess what? after all that moaning, people with cowlicks need to listen up and be grateful for what they’ve got! Why? Well, those flicks of hair are a daily reminder of a healing power you didn’t even know you had!
Now is the time to stop complaining and thank our lucky stars we were born with this hair defect.
The reason that you should pay attention if you have a cowlick (and if you don’t) is because the nuisance licks may be a sign of improved health.
That’s right, a team of scientists have found an interesting link between cowlicks and certain health benefits. The link is between your cowlick and a certain protein you are more likely to have as a result.
But what does this do? And how do they know?
According to the group of scientists, if you have a cowlick, it also means that you are more likely to have a certain tumour-suppressing protein in your genetic code.
This protein is found in your DNA and helps your body to control cell reproduction, DNA repair, and cellular self-destruction. That’s a bit of a mouthful but crucially this added protein can help tackle the big c – cancer.
That’s because all of the above bodily changes (when not controlled) can contribute to the growth of cancerous tumours.
So this means that the protein could help you fight cancers! How cool is that?
The protein ‘turns on’ a certain group of genes called ‘polarity genes’ and they’re pretty powerful. They help your body to move nutrients to your cells and help cells to join and work together to support your body in being s healthy as possible.
Randomly, this wonder protein can also cause biological structures in the body to form opposite patterns which, when occurring in the hair, appears as a cowlick!
So, if you have a cowlick, you probably also have a protein that can help your body by ‘turning on’ certain genes that fight cancerous tumours. Lucky you!
How did they discover this?
Sometimes science baffles me. I mean it’s amazing to found out that scientists have made this discovery but knowing how they did it is just truly remarkable! You’ve got to have a huge amount of respect for these wonder men and women who are making these findings and as a result saving lives, fair play!
Once the scientists had found the protein they though was responsible for the cowlick (and all the amazing disease fighting stuff, but also the cowlick!) they got a load of fruit flies. Hear me out…
The scientific researchers added the protein (the cell control protein to do with cowlicks mentioned earlier) to a group of fruit flies.
When the flies had this new protein added, their hair became somewhat comparable to the human cowlick!
Aww look, it’s the Brad Pitt of the fruit fly world!
The fruit flies with the added protein were described as looked “unkempt” with hairs growing in all directions!
Why fruit flies?
What you probably did not know that the DNA of a fruit fly and a human is very similar.
Therefore the researchers guessed that the protein was likely to affect flies in the same way as they thought it affected humans (and they were right!).
Scientists 1, cancer 0.
Who would have thought the humble fruit fly could be so useful in helping us do scientific research. This is definitely going to make me think twice about swatting flies.
Obviously, there is much more to this research than meets the eye, the findings could be truly extraordinary. For example, it could lead to breakthroughs in chemotherapy and other cancer treatments, how amazing would that be!
So next time you look in the mirror and think, ‘I wish I didn’t have this stupid cowlick’ please just embrace it, just like this guy has done!
But if you are still concerned about how to tame your cowlick on a daily basis then watch this video:
So, do you know someone who has a potentially cancer fighting cowlick? If so, make sure you share this article with them!