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Widow’s Peak: What to Know About this Hairline

As humans, we all have different defining characteristics that make us who we are. It may be a bulbous or button nose, diastema, dimples, freckles, or any physical traits that add to your uniqueness. A widow’s peak is one of the peculiar characteristics of men, women, and children.

a man touching his head while showing his hairline

It’s a hairline that comes together to create a downward V-shape in the middle of your forehead. Unlike a receding hairline, a widow’s peak is congenital. Meaning you were born with it. 

But how did a physical attribute get such a name? What causes this hairline and how do you take care of it? We’ll answer these questions and more in this article. Keep reading as we dive in.

Why’s it Called a Widow’s Peak?

old image of women wearing a widow's peak hat

The name of this hairline has an eerie undertone, and it dates back to 18th-century England. Then, women wore a black triangle hat or hood that pointed down the middle of their forehead after their husbands died.  Hence, when a woman was born with a V-shaped hairline that looked like the widows’ headpiece, people assumed she’d experience the same fate—early widowhood.

Later in the 20th century, this type of hairline became popular among film and television villains such as the vampire Dracula and Batman villain, the Joker.

What Causes a Widow’s Peak?

a photo mix of Kourtney Kardashian and Leonardo DiCaprio

This V-shaped frontal hairline is a genetic trait often passed down just like natural straight or curly hair. In other words, it’s hereditary. So if your mum, dad, or any relative has a V-shaped hairline, you’re likely to have one, too. Furthermore, it is also associated with several rare genetic disorders:

Aarskog Syndrome 

This is a rare genetic condition featuring different physical abnormalities like short stature and limb, facial, and genital anomalies. Some cases also experience cognitive disorders. It mostly affects males, and this hairline is the shared physical trait of people with this syndrome.

Opitz G/BBB Syndrome

This condition affects the midline of the body, with abnormalities around the eyes, voice box, esophagus, ears, mouth, and nose. People with this condition also have a V-shaped frontal hairline.

Donnai-Barrow Syndrome

People with this genetic condition have abnormal facial features, including the eyes, ears, nose, and hairline. 

Frontonasal Dysplasia 

This disorder happens when the head and face don’t develop right. It can show up as a flat, broad nose, wide-set eyes, or a vertical furrow in the middle of the face.

But sometimes, people may develop a widow’s peak as they age, especially when their hairline recedes due to male pattern baldness.

Is A Widow’s Peak A Sign Of Balding?

half photo of a lady with a widow's peak

Many people mistake this hairline as a sign of balding. But that’s not true. While a receding hairline can look like a widow’s peak and vice versa, the latter does not signify baldness.  People have widow’s peaks, regardless of their age. As such, this hairline doesn’t always indicate hair loss.

What’s the Difference Between a Widow’s Peak & a Receding Hairline?

Chris Hemsworth has widow's peak

These two concepts aren’t the same. For one, a receding hairline involves losing hair at the front of the scalp. Oftentimes, this thinning can result in a hairline that looks like a widow’s peak. While it can appear post-puberty in men, a receding hairline usually happens to men in their thirties and older.

On the other hand, a widow’s peak is a hereditary permanent hairline. People are born with this hairline, and unless they get a hair transplant, it never goes.

Furthermore, during the early stages of hair loss, it can be difficult to differentiate between a widow’s peak and a receding hairline. But you can figure out the one you have by observing these differences:

FactorWidow’s peakReceding hairline
Hairline shapeV-shapedM-shaped
ProgressionNo progressionCan progress to baldness
Family historyHereditary and congenitalHereditary but not born with it
AgeRemains the same as you grow olderWorsens as you grow older

How to Get Rid of a Widow’s Peak

Kat Graham smiling

Although widow’s peak is common, some people may not feel comfortable with theirs. For instance, it could be because their V-shaped hairline is more prominent than others. If that’s your case, you can manage how obvious your hairline is by doing any of the following:

  • Wear a hairstyle that covers all or most of your head.
  • Wax or use hair removal creams or depilatories to remove unwanted hair and switch up your hairline.
  • Opt for laser hair removal or permanent procedures like electrolysis.
  • Go for a hair transplant.

Stylish Hairstyles for People with Widow’s Peak

Sofia Richie with widow's peak on long blonde hair

If you’d like to hide your hairline, whether receding or widow’s peak, with a cute hairstyle, choose from any of these:

Buzz Cut

Zayn Malik rocking buzz cut and trying to hide a widow's peak

This coiffure helps to hide your hair’s natural texture so it becomes harder to notice your widow’s peak.

Brush Forward

man rocking hair that is combed forward

Brushing your hair forward over your hairline adds textures to your. It also hides a widow’s peak.

Comb Over

cute comb-over hairstyle

This style helps add volume to your hair and it can be maneuvered to disguise your hairline.

Side-Swept

pretty lady rocking side-swept hairstyle

A sharp side parting or hair that sweeps to the side may not hide your hairline, but it’s one coiffure that adds contrast to your face, hence the perfect distraction.

Fringe

black girl rocking fringe hairstyle

Bangs have been hiding the forehead from time immemorial. Since hair falls over your forehead, rest assured nobody will see your distinct harline let alone take notice of it.

Widow’s Peak Hairline isn’t Bad at all

Justin Theroux's face

Though this hairline may seem prominent and attract stares to you, it isn’t bad. Celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Kourtney Kardashian have a widow’s peak, and they rock it with pride.

So, instead of dwelling on the negatives, focus on the positives. For instance, this hairline is versatile; it allows you to part your hair anyhow you want. In addition, you can also wear easy hairstyles like the ones above or opt for a ponytail to brazen out your widow’s peak—the choice is yours.

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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting which I've been chasing alongside my fashion career.

That aside, when I'm not sharing style articles, selling with stories, or sketching fashion-forward pieces for Ria Kosher, you'll find me telling wild stories that always come with a twist.

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