Cowlicks develop as your brain grows and your skull enlarges in the womb, causing the hair follicles on your scalp to be stretched this way and that—some of them forming into little whorls. In fact, in infants, distinct hair-growth patterns can reveal various neurological and other kinds of conditions. (We're just guessing here, but one of them might be called Prone to Bad Hair Days.)
If you're in a constant battle with your unruly cowlicks (like this O magazine reader who once contacted beauty director Val Monroe and has them on both temples), resourceful New York City stylist Lisa Chiccine says that long hair will work better for you, since length creates weight. (The shorter your hair, the more your cowlicks will get their own way.) If bangs are your thing, keep them heavy and cut either inside or outside the cowlicks (depending on how close they are to your hairline). Always blow-dry the cowlick in the direction opposite the way in which it grows; then on high heat, blow it straight down, holding the hair taut. For extra hold, try using gel.