General Question

La_chica_gomela's avatar

How can someone who has long hair tell where their hair whorl is, and what direction it goes?

Asked by La_chica_gomela (12537points) July 20th, 2008

In these pictures, it is really easy to see the people’s hair whorls because they have short hair. How can someone with long hair figure out where theirs is?

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14 Answers

tinyfaery's avatar

Well, I have long hair, and I can tell by the way my hair hangs on my head. Towards the back of the left side of my head, my hair seems to sit slightly elevated on my head. Plus, when I pull my hair back, its always that side and area that seems the hardest to smooth down and get all the strands going in the same direction.

gailcalled's avatar

Is a whorl the same as a cowlick? My family all have them…mine are most visible on my forehead but there are others. Push your hair around and fiddle when it is wet…see whether it likes to go left or right. Also see where part breaks naturally. When my longish hair is wet, it turns under on left side and flips up on right.

When I wore braids, bunches or Princess Leah muffins, I could see a clear difference. And I always have my hair cut dry because of the unruly behavior (curls,waves, whorls, thick, coarse, fine.)

La_chica_gomela's avatar

No, a hair whorl is different from a cowlick. That’s what I thought it was too, after reading the wikipedia article, which was crap (in my humble opinion).

According to this paper from http://genetics.org (same as above) a person’s hair whorl is the pattern of growth on their scalp. Over 90% of the US population has only one whorl, and it starts in the middle of the scalp and emanates in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. Most people’s is clockwise. According to the article, a small percentage of the population have two, and it is “rare” for a person to have more than two, and they don’t change throughout one’s lifetime or with brushing or combing of the hair.

It should also be noted that in the two studies I read, the researchers excluded participants with long hair, so maybe this question does not have an answer…

Seesul's avatar

I asked my hairdresser and she knew immediately (I have very long straight hair, and straight is an understatement). Maybe it’s just experience unless it is really apparent. Very interesting question and study. Mine goes straight in the middle when it is wet and I can’t tell by looking or feeling it. That’s why I asked my hairdresser in the first place.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I don’t want to offend, but “straight” is not a definition for a hair whorl. A description of your hair whorl would be “clockwise” or “counterclockwise” and “one” or “two”. Please look at the pictures in the link if you don’t understand. You might have to scroll down to see them.

tinyfaery's avatar

Ok. So maybe I know where my cowlick is. I don’t notice any whorl in my hair; it all hangs straight down.

gailcalled's avatar

Maybe have a friend look at that spot in the back when your hair is wet. Or your hairdresser.

timothykinney's avatar

You could try taking a picture with a digital camera if you don’t have many friends. :)

La_chica_gomela's avatar

…Or if my boyfriend has already looked at the back of my head when it was wet and when it was dry and couldn’t see anything, AND if he was too busy playing Samuri of Legend, to come look at my hair when I thought it might be whorly…
Thanks for the tip, Tim, I already tried it though.

yeah, that’s right. freakin.

Seesul's avatar

I just had a blow dryer on my hair and glanced in the mirror. I don’t know if this makes any sense or not, but it’s worth a try. When I aimed the nozzle in the direction my hairdresser told me my hair goes (at the point where the whorl would be) it blows naturally. When I do the opposite, my hair is fighting it.

Thanks for the new vocab word, by the way.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Sorry Seesul, but I really don’t understand. As I said before, a hair whorl is either clockwise or counterclockwise, so I don’t understand how a hair dryer, which blows in a straight line, can blow in the same direction as the hair whorl.

timothykinney's avatar

My hair dressed, Svarta, told me that a whorl is like a cowlick with a bad hair day. Is that true?

La_chica_gomela's avatar

You know what Tim? You’re a boy. You don’t have a hairdresser. And you’re a horrible liar. So just shut up. ;-) and know that i love you

timothykinney's avatar

I am clearly an owl, have a feather pillow, and have no need to lie because I am always right. And I am capable of shutting up, yet typing mountains of words on my silent keyboard. And I know. =P

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