Widow's Peak vs. Receding Hairline: What’s the Actual Difference?

Medically reviewedby Dr. Amy Revene M.B.B.S.
WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Are you confused about the difference between a widow's peak and a receding hairline? This is a common question because it's easy to get them mixed up. Knowing the difference between these two conditions is important to determine the best course of action.

In this article, we will discuss the differences between a widow's peak and a receding hairline, as well as their causes, treatments, and strategies for prevention.

With this information, you can make an informed decision about how to care for your hair in 2023. Read on to learn more!

What is a widow's peak?

A widow's peak is a distinct hairline pattern that forms in a V shape at the center of the forehead. It's also referred to as a "V-shaped hairline" and is usually caused by genetics and hormones. 

Although some people are born with this straight hairline pattern, it is often seen in middle-aged and older people. 

Sometimes, a widow's peak can recede with age and cause the hairline to become more straight. For those unhappy with their widow's peak, a few options are available, ranging from styling techniques to hair transplants.

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What causes a widow's peak?

male hair loss, mature hairline

It is believed that the genes responsible for a widow's peak hairline are inherited from one's parents. This means that if either parent has a widow's peak, the likelihood of their child having one is significantly increased.

Also, a person may develop a widow's peak later in life due to a variety of factors such as age, lifestyle choices, or hormone imbalances.

Therefore, it is important to keep track of changes in your hairline and seek medical advice if necessary.

Read this: Widow’s Peak: Everything You Need to Know

What is a receding hairline?

hair health, natural hairline

A receding hairline is a sign that androgenic alopecia, or the gradual thinning of the hair over time, has begun to take effect.

It is characterized by a receding of the hairline from the forehead, creating an "M-shaped hairline.” If not treated, this can lead to further hair loss, increased thinning, and bald spots.

What causes a receding hairline?

hairline receding

There can be a variety of reasons for hair loss and a receding hairline, including hormonal changes, family history, medications or treatments, stress, and lifestyle choices.

  • Hormones, such as DHT, can cause hair follicles to shrink, which leads to hair thinning and shorter hair growth phases.
  • Family history is also a factor, with hair loss potentially running in the family at different ages.
  • Certain medications and treatments can lead to hair loss and a receding hairline.
  • Stress and lifestyle choices such as diet, smoking, tight hairstyles, excessive styling, and chemical treatments can also cause a receding hairline.

Widow's peak and receding hairline hairstyles for men

Men are more likely to have receding hairlines and widow's peaks. If you have widow peaks or receding hairlines, you can style your hair in many ways for a traditional, professional look or slick it back for a more modern look. 

Additionally, they can be customized to fit any face shape. Whether you prefer a classic or modern cut, you'll find these styles to be great.

Widow's peak hairstyles

For those with a widow’s peak, there are several stylish and easy-to-manage hairstyles to choose from: 

  • Short hairstyles that bring attention to the features of your face and make styling easier
  • Longer styles that still showcase the widow's peak
  • Pushing the hair to one side to draw attention to the widow's peak without making it overly noticeable
  • Parting the hair down the middle to create a bold and brave look

No matter the hairstyle, embracing your widow’s peak can be a great way to look stylish and create a unique look. With the right hairstyle, you can make your widow’s peak a feature to be proud of!

Receding hairline hairstyles

For men with a receding hairline, several hairstyles can help you draw attention away from the thinning hair and create a more polished look. These include:

  • Buzz cut - A simple and easy style to maintain that keeps the hair short and neat, reducing maintenance time.
  • Short crop - An edgy look that retains some length while concealing thinning hair.
  • Undercut with facial hair - An undercut with facial hair adds texture and definition while distracting from the receding hairline.
  • Angular fringe - Adds volume and texture to thinning hair while camouflaging the receding hairline.
  • Comb over - A classic look gives the illusion of more hair, best when paired with textured styling products.

By picking the right hairstyle for your face shape and hair type, you can create a stylish, put-together look that makes a receding hairline look less noticeable.

What can I do if my hair keeps falling out?

Many men experience male pattern hair loss as they get older. In fact, 85% of men will have noticeably less hair by the age of 50.

The good news is that hair loss can be treated, and most men who lose their hair can keep it or even grow it back with the help of modern treatments. Even more so if treatment begins early.

Here are some of the most effective ways to treat hair loss.

1. Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine

hair growth routine

The Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine is a natural way to stop hair loss in men that has been shown to work in clinical tests. It uses the power of vitamins, minerals, and plant extracts to help hair grow in a healthy way. In a clinical test

This product also comes with easy-to-follow instructions for users to follow in order to obtain the best results. With regular use, this product can reduce hair loss and restore healthy, strong hair.

Most importantly, it offers a 150-day money-back guarantee, so your purchase is safe and secure. Try it today and experience visible results within just a few weeks!

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2. Hair loss medications

Hair loss medications such as minoxidil and finasteride can help stop or slow down the process of hair loss. They work to reduce hair shedding and increase new hair growth by widening blood vessels and increasing blood flow to the scalp.

Clinical research has shown that when used as part of a comprehensive hair loss routine, these medications can help reduce shedding and increase the rate of new hair growth.

It is important to use these medications as prescribed and to talk to a doctor before starting or changing any hair loss treatment plan.

However, some side effects are also associated with these medications, so it is important to be aware of them and speak to a doctor if any concerns arise.

Read this: What Are The Minoxidil Side Effects, Sexually?

3. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT)

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a relatively new method of treating male pattern baldness. It uses low-level lasers that are shone directly onto the scalp to stimulate hair growth and circulation.

This treatment is non-invasive, painless, and poses no negative side effects. In addition, it is also said to be effective and safe for long-term use.

4. Hair transplantation

Hair transplantation is a surgical procedure that moves hair follicles from one area of the body (such as the back or sides of the head) to the balding area. This procedure can be used to restore hair growth in men with moderate or severe hair loss.

It is important to remember that this procedure is invasive and carries certain risks. Additionally, results may take some time to become visible as the new hair needs time to grow.

However, it has been successful in many cases and can be a permanent solution for hair loss.

Speaking to a doctor and researching before deciding if this route is right for you is important.

Read this: Hair Transplant For Widow’s Peak: Everything You Need to Know

5. Lifestyle changes

Finally, it is important to make some lifestyle changes to help keep the hair healthy and reduce the risk of further hair loss.

This can include getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. Additionally, reducing stress levels may also help to reduce the risk of further hair loss.

It is also important to avoid certain products that can damage the hair, such as harsh shampoos and dyes. Instead, opt for gentle products and ingredients that help nourish the hair.

Incorporating these lifestyle changes along with one or more of the treatments mentioned above can help to stop hair loss and restore a healthy head of hair.

Read this: The 9 Best, Unparalleled Shampoo For Fine Hair To Buy In 2023

The main difference between a widow's peak and a receding hairline

The main difference between a widow's peak and a receding hairline is how it changes over time. Widow's peaks are more distinct and usually remain in an M shape while receding hairlines are more gradual. 

Here are some tips to help you recognize the difference between the two:

  • Do the wrinkle test: look in the mirror and locate the highest wrinkle on your forehead. If your hairline sits one inch (33 mm) above this wrinkle, it is likely a maturing hairline.
  • Look out for even recession: Maturing hairlines typically recede gradually and consistently over time. If there is more hair fall or thinning in certain spots, it may be a receding hairline.
  • Look for an M-shape: A widow's peak typically has a V shape of hair that remains in a downward point at the middle of the forehead while the hair beside it recedes more. This creates an M-shaped hairline.


While a widow's peak and receding hairlines can look similar, they are quite different. Recognizing the difference between the two is important to determine the best way to treat hair loss.

There are many ways to treat hair loss, from changing your lifestyle, like getting enough sleep and eating well, to medical treatments like low-level laser therapy or hair transplantation.

For those who are looking for a safe and effective treatment without any side effects, it is recommended that they try the Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine

This comprehensive product has been scientifically proven to help reduce hair loss and promote healthy hair growth.

It is a safe and effective way to stop hair loss because it is made from plant-based ingredients.

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Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.