E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A tuft of hair on the human forehead, sometimes called a
feather; it cannot be made to lie in the same direction as the rest of the hair by brushing, or even by pomatum. When cows lick their hides they make the hair stand on end.
This term must have been adopted from a comparison with that part of a cows hide where the bairs, having different directions, meet and form a projecting ridge, supposed to be occasioned by the animals llcking themselves.Brochett: Glossary of North-Country Words.