a guy portrait with widow's peak
Written by
Morgan German
Medically approved by
Ahmad Chaudhry M.D.

In the 18th century, a black triangular hat or hood would be worn by the wife after her husband died with the point falling on the middle of the forehead.

What does that have to do with your “Widow’s peak” hairstyle? Everything. Widow’s peak is a figurative holdover from 18th-century England–and it’s the root of all your hairline-related questions and concerns today.

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What is a widow's peak?

You have a widow's peak if your hairline forms a downward V at the center of your forehead. Basically, it has a low point in the middle and is higher on the sides.

Some people have a distinct widow's peak, while others have just a hint. When you pull your hair straight back, it may be more obvious. It’s mostly genetics that determines if you have a straight hairline.

There's no denying it: Widow's peaks get a bad rep in the hairstyling world. Their habit of growing outside of your regular hairline can make it look as if they exist only to ruin otherwise perfect styles.

Myth busted: widow's peak predicts an early widowhood

Although there are persistent myths about widow's peaks, they are really just hairlines.

This is what you would hear in folklore. But, there’s no factual basis for this myth. TV and film often portray widow's peaks as a "bad guy's" feature. For example, both Dracula and the Joker have a widow's peak.

As much as popular culture tells you otherwise, widow's peaks say nothing about character or personality. Look at actors with prominent widow's peaks, such as Marilyn Monroe, Keanu Reeves, and Vanessa Williams.

A hairline like this is neither a bad omen nor a flaw. Like green eyes, naturally curly hair, or dimples, it's just another thing you inherit from your parents.

Widow’s peak vs. receding hairline

guy with widow's peak

Which one do you really have?

Inevitably, most men will lose some hair at some point. Some men may begin losing hair in their twenties; others may have grandchildren before it happens.

Receding hairlines are among the first signs of male pattern baldness. They look a lot like a widow's peak, but, the difference is that some people are born with a widow’s peak, so it isn’t necessarily a sign of thinning hair. On the other hand, a receding hairline is indicative of future baldness.

It begs the question, then: is there an easy way to distinguish between a widow's peak and receding hairline? Well, it’s less about the shape and more about its pattern over time.

As men age, their hair thins out, leading to a receding hairline. A man's hairline will recede slightly during his late teens and early twenties, but typically, the term "receding hairline" is reserved for those whose hairline continues to recede well into their forties and fifties.

The way it works is this: Healthy adults shed anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs daily. Because new hair grows to replace the old ones, many people don't end up bald early on in life.

But as men age, a hormone called dihydrotestosterone shrinks their hair follicles, causing the hair to grow out thinner and fall out more easily.

A small bald spot may appear at the crown of your head at first, but it usually begins near your temples and gradually draws back the hairline. As a result, the hairline may look like a widow's peak. If your v-shaped hairline continues to push farther back over time, it’s a sign that you’re losing hair and not just a genetic feature.

What causes a widow’s peak?

If you have a widow's peak, it is likely that there is someone in your family who has one as well. Widow's Peak's genetics and how or if it is inherited are still unclear.

Unfortunately, there isn't enough evidence to conclude that a widow's peak results from a single dominant gene. Multiple genes may be involved.

The widow's peak is associated with a few genetic conditions including:

  • Arskog syndrome is a rare genetic disorder affecting mostly men. As well as short stature, children with Aarskog syndrome also have abnormalities of the face, limbs, and genitals. There is an association between this condition and the FGD1 gene on the X chromosome.
  • LRP2 mutations are the cause of Donnai-Barrow syndrome. It can cause abnormalities in the eyes, nose, and ears.
  • Frontonasal dysplasia is a very rare condition involving abnormal development of the head and face. A number of types of frontonasal dysplasia are caused by ALX3 mutations, ALX4 mutations, and ALX1 mutations.
  • It is characterized by an abnormality in the midline of the body, known as Opitz G/BBB syndrome. It involves mutations in the MID1 gene, or chromosome 22.

As your hairline recedes, you may start growing what appears to be a widow's peak later in life, in addition to inheriting it from your parents.

What to do if you don’t like your widow’s peak?

widow's peak man with bun

Many people, perhaps like you, may not be particularly fond of their widow’s peak. So what do you do? There are two options. You can either work to get rid of it or, mould fashionable hairstyles around it to upgrade your look.

How to get rid of your widow’s peak?

If your widow’s peak really bothers you, talk to your barber or hairstylist. An aesthetician or doctor can also make recommendations on hair removal techniques.

Plucking your hair

Getting rid of hairs is an inexpensive and simple (although painful) fix you can do yourself. You can let it grow back in if you don't like the results. If not, you can tweeze each hair as it grows back.

Wax it out

You can use an at-home waxing kit or hire a professional. Make sure you test a small patch first to make sure it won't irritate your skin.

Use hair removal creams

In addition to removing unwanted hair, these creams keep it from growing back for a considerable amount of time. Follow directions carefully when using products made for the face.

The following may be more permanent or long-term options:

Laser hair removal

The hair follicles are destroyed with beams of light energy. It can take multiple visits, but it is more effective than most other methods at keeping hair short and prevent it from growing back. You can discuss the pros and cons of laser hair removal with your doctor.

Use electrolysis

It is an old-school method for removing individual hairs with energy or heat. By doing so, new hairs are prevented from growing. Dermatologists and certified healthcare professionals perform the procedure. Optimal results may require several visits.

Shave it!

It is certainly possible to shave your widow's peak. It is a maintenance-intensive option, especially if you have light skin and dark hair. To avoid getting a crooked hairline, you'll need a steady hand. You're better off not using a razor at your hairline if you do not like the hassle of dealing with stubble.

Another option is to shave your head completely.

5 best hairstyles to compliment widow's peak

A widow's peak doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can be incredibly attractive. Therefore, choosing a hairstyle based on this trait is only up to personal preference.

You can show off your widow's peak by slicking back or bunning your hair.

Don't do anything to your hair that combs it up and away from the forehead if you don't enjoy your widow's peak. You can soften your hairline by growing bangs.

You can minimize the widow's peak by sweeping your hair to one side or taking a slight side part. You can experiment with different partings to find the most flattering one.

Knowing what widow's peaks are, you need to figure out what haircut will suit your V-shaped hairline. Below are nice widow's peak hairstyles for men:

The comb-over

guy with the comb-over widow's peak hairstyle

Are you looking for a hairstyle that's both practical and stylish? You will enjoy the comb-over. It is an excellent choice for men who are fond of minimal styling because all you have to do is comb your hair over to highlight your natural texture. Try a tapered fade for the ultimate cool-guy look to take this look to the next level.

The undercut

widow's peak undercut

When you want to spice up thin strands, an undercut will do the trick. The undercut looks great on men, giving their hair a fuller look without drawing attention to their hairline if that's what they want. It's also a great look for men who like to experiment with different hairstyles, because it can be worn in multiple ways.

The slickback

Widow's peak with slickback

Are you looking to flaunt a polished look with little to no styling? You will look great with slicked-back hair. Designed for men with medium to long hair, this style takes minimal styling to new heights. To achieve this look, work a little hair gel, like L'Oréal Paris Studio Line Clean Gel, through your mane and brush your hair toward the back of your head.

The pompadour

widow's peak pompadour

Are you getting ready for date night? Your sweetheart will swoon over a pompadour hairstyle. You can achieve a winning combination of texture and height with this look. The L'Oréal Paris Studio Line Overworked Hair Putty can be used to style hair by working an egg-sized amount through your strands and shaping as desired. Voila!

The buzzcut

widow's peak buzzcut

Do you want a trendy look with a super short haircut? You can't go wrong with a buzz cut! You can keep things simple when you're heading out the door with this hairstyle. It's the epitome of a low-maintenance look, as there is no need for styling products. Your day starts just by waking up, taking a shower, getting dressed, and getting ready.

What can I do about losing my hair?

Now, you know how to get rid of a widow’s peak or how to make it look good. But, as mentioned before, a widow’s peak could be a sign of baldness in men. You can confirm with your physician. If it’s true, then naturally, you’ll be wondering what you can do about lost hair. Let’s go through that briefly here:

The market is filled with "quick fix" hair loss products for damage control. But, there are some things you can do to maintain the health of your hair.

You should back off the heat.

Try not to blow your hair on the highest setting or apply heat once your hair is mostly dry if you use a hairdryer. When your hair is overheated, it can become dry and brittle, causing it to break or fall out.

Vitamin supplements are a good idea.

Healthy hair needs proper vitamins and minerals to maintain the healthy growth. If you feel your hair is at risk for falling out, here are some vitamins you can include in your daily routine:

Regularly wash and use a conditioner.

By adding moisture to your hair, you will keep it strong, healthy, and less prone to breakage and thinning.

Even better, use a hair growth routine to assist your hair follicles in regrowth. With our Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine, these conditions will be a thing of the past. With trademarked formulas and ground-breaking ingredients, we aim to provide you with the most effective and safest solution to regrow your hair.

Of course, we are not all talk. In order to show complete confidence in our formula, we created a 150 days money-back guarantee to ensure that you are getting a solution, not a product.

Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Serum

Parting Words

That’s everything you need to know about a Widow’s peak. Although myths persist, a widow’s peak is no more significant than curly hair or a cleft chin–other genetic traits.

While some want to conceal or downplay their widow's peak, others want to emphasize it. Some barely give it a second thought. Now that you’re equipped with everything you need to know about the widow’s peak, you can decide how to use your widow's peak based on your personal taste.

FAQs

What is a widow’s peak?

There's a V-shaped point in the hairline in the center of the forehead called a widow's peak–the growth of hair in a bilateral pair of periorbital fields is suppressed. These fields normally meet in the middle of the forehead without a widow's peak, resulting in a straight hairline across the forehead. Widow's peaks occur when the point of intersection of the upper perimeters of these fields is lower than usual.

Is a widow’s peak bad?

Not necessarily. A widow’s peak is commonly known to be genetic in many people–so it can very well be no more than an inherited trait.

However, it’s possible for a widow's peak to appear in middle age as a sign of baldness. You may notice that the front hairline is receding rapidly at the temples–so pay attention to the hair patterns over time. A high widow's peak can be aggressive, and if yours is particularly prominent or receding, it could indicate future hair loss.

Why is it called a widow’s peak?

The name is known to root back to the 18th century in England, where the widow’s peak hairline resembles the hoods widows used to wear after the death of their husbands during mourning.

The result of this was the old wives' tale that if you're a widower, your significant other will die in their early 20s. Dark, but obviously not true.

Can I get rid of my widow’s peak permanently?

Yes, you can. Electrolysis is the only solution for permanently removing a widow's peak, a hairline in the shape of a V on your forehead. By using this method, each hair on the widow's peak is removed and the regrowth is halted. Electrolysis is the only FDA-approved method for permanently reshaping your hairline.

Other non-permanent ways include laser hair removal, waxing & sugaring, shaving, tweezing, depilatory creams, and hairstyles to adapt the look!

Are widow’s peaks attractive?

Widow’s peaks can be really attractive. Many celebrities in Hollywood flaunt one, as a matter of fact. Ultimately, it depends on your face shape and structure. You can mould your widow’s peak into fashionable hairstyles like a comb-over or undercut, which can most definitely upgrade your look and style.

Is a widow’s peak happen only for men?

No, everyone can have a widow’s peak–including women! In fact, it’s more common for them to have it. You may take notice when women tie their hair up in ponytails the prominent widow’s peak.