I have an area of hair on my head that sticks out. I want it cut a bit shorter than the rest. I've tried saying "Cortar esta zona un poco más corto por favor", and I haven't got anyone to understand yet. I want to explain that it sticks out, but I don't know the words to describe what my mother used to call a "cowlick", or how to describe that it sticks out too much. Boards stick out the back of a truck. Pencils stick out of the cup. The umbrella sticks out too far. His elbows/ears stick out. The English uses are endless, but I haven't been able to figure out how to say this simple thing in Spanish.

  • I would take a very simple approach. When the haircut is pretty much done, the barber will hand you a mirror and spin you so you can check the results at various angles. I would point at the cowlick and say, "Más corto aquí, por favor." If the barber gets it right away, then you're done. Otherwise,"Se levanta ahí,más corto por favor." Sometimes short, direct utterances are clearest. Commented Dec 12, 2019 at 2:26

2 Answers 2


When you mean that your hair sticks out (stubbornly so, in a way you don't want) you need to put that in Spanish to mean that

(tu pelo) sobresale o se levanta (de manera tenaz e incómoda)

For the hairdresser to understand that, you should therefore specify it, asking him or her directly to cut that portion really short:

Cowlick tamed

Por favor, ¿podrías cortarme esta zona muy cortita, de manera que esta parte del pelo no quede levantada o sobresalga?

Also, do point out to your barber:

No quiero esa forma molesta en la que el pelo se arremolina y levanta (de manera en que no se puede peinar)

I don't want the way it curls and sticks out (making it hard to comb)

The cowlick pattern your mother used to call it —an unruly lock or section of hair that sticks straight out from the skull or lies at an angle at odds with the rest of your hair— it's also undertood as a "remolino" in Spanish.

  • Seguramente hay variaciones regionales posibles para expresar eso de otra forma específica, pero la frase sugerida debiera funcionar mayormente en cualquier contexto [I'm sure that there are local variations —I did not want to get into those. The suggested phrase should convey what you need in a neutral tone for all Spanish speaking audiences]
    – ipp
    Commented Dec 11, 2019 at 20:44

When I was a kid, people would refer to those protruding tufts of hair as "pirincho". I just learnt on the Internet that they were called that way in reference to the feathers on the head of this bird called that way:


If you go to the barber's, you can ask him:

  • ¿Me puede cortar esta parte un poco más corta? (Can you cut this area a bit shorter?)


  • ¿Me puede cortar estos pelos que sobresalen / que se me paran? (Can you cut these hairs that stick out / stand on end?)

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