If You’ve Got A Cowlick It Means Something Pretty Extraordinary About Your Genes

There's one specific hair-related problem that's so common everyone from Brad Pitt to Victoria's Secret angels have it. I'm of course talking about cowlicks, which is where part of your hair sticks up in a different direction to the rest of your hair.

Cowlicks generally happen around your hairline or at the crown of your head and can lead to hours of frustration in front of the mirror.

But what's the reason behind them, and why does it seem that cowlicks have a mind of their own?

You see, the hair on your head needs to go in three directions; some need to go forward, some backward, and some to the sides.

Dr. Orr Barak, a dermatologist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston explains: "In a perfect world, there would be a line so hair would know which way to go", but a cowlick is actually supposed to be the body's answer to this.

But an unruly cowlick often chooses its own direction and will cause hair to stand up or grow at a different angle compared to most people. The cowlick's spiral pattern is likely caused because hair gets confused about whether it needs to go forward, backward, or to the side.

If you feel like you're fighting a losing battle against cowlicks, don't fret - because a team of researchers has discovered a potential link between cowlicks and the cancer-fighting properties of a certain gene.

That's right - your annoying hairdo could actually indicate your body is better at fighting cancer than people with perfectly uniform tresses.

Cowlicks can only exist with the presence of something called polarity genes.

In a study led by Michigan State University, researchers discovered that these genes are regulated by a protein that plays an important role in fighting cancer.

The tumor-suppressing protein is part of a large family of helpful cells that control cell reproduction, DNA repair, and cellular self-destruction. These are all handy tools your body uses on a daily basis to fight cancer.

When researchers added this protein to a group of fruit flies, they saw the hair on the insects become unkempt, leading to cowlicks. The high degree of genetic similarity between fruit flies and humans means that this protein probably plays a similar role in us.

"Until now, people neglected the regulation of polarity genes, thinking them to be regulated in a rather humdrum manner similar to 'housekeeping' genes that are devoted to basic cellular functions," said David Arnosti, an MSU professor who contributed to the study. "Our work challenges this view and raises an important question relevant to the development of new cancer diagnosis and therapies."

If scientists can confirm their findings, it could lead to the development of a whole new range of cancer-fighting chemotherapy treatments that would restore the protein's magical suppressor abilities.

If you're still not convinced that being able to fight cancer is better than having a perfect head of hair, I think I've found someone who would agree with you. The girl in the video below had the worst hair day of all time and it's hilarious.

The video shows Sabrina Loyer from the YouTube channel CleCherie explaining how she got her hairbrush completely stuck in her hair. She then speeds up the footage while she tries to get it out, but ultimately fails. Finally, towards the end of the video, she actually cuts a large chunk of her off in order to get the brush out of it.

Even Angelina Jolie, whose widely considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, has a cowlick!

So there you have it! Having a cowlick is nothing to be ashamed of - in fact, it could mean that you stand a better chance of surviving than the rest of us!

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