Widowspeak (1)

What Is a Widow’s Peak? The Causes and How to Get Rid of It

  • 2nd January 2024
  • 8 min read
Written by Arran Isherwood
Dr Steve Stangoni
Medically reviewed by Dr. Steve Stangoni - GMC No. 7042486 on 11th January 2024
Next review due on 11th January 2025

A widow's peak is quite a fairly common physical feature, yet not everyone knows what it is. You've likely spotted that V-like shape in the hairline of celebrities, friends, or maybe even in the mirror. 

In this guide, we'll explore what a widow's peak is and its causes and address the common question: is it linked to balding? We'll also share some practical tips on subtly altering its appearance or removing it entirely, should you wish to.




What is a widow’s peak?

A widow's peak is a distinctive hairline formation where the hair grows in a V-shape at the centre of the forehead. 

The term 'widow's peak' has an interesting origin, believed to be linked to the pointed hoods worn by widows in mourning in historical European societies. 


What causes a widow’s peak?

While the cause of a widow's peak isn't fully understood, it's known to run in families, indicating a strong hereditary link. If someone in your family has a widow's peak, it's more likely that you'll have one, too.

Widow's peaks can be more pronounced in some people than in others. Some may have a slight, barely noticeable peak, while others have a more dramatic, sharp V shape. This variation, again, is down to genetics.

However, it can also be associated with certain genetic conditions, including: 

  • Aarskog syndrome — Mostly affecting males, this condition can lead to a widow's peak, as well as other physical abnormalities.
  • Donnai-Barrow syndrome — This is caused by a gene mutation and results in abnormal development of the face and head.
  • Opitz G/BBB syndrome — This condition results in unusual development along the centre of the body.
  • Frontonasal dysplasia — A rare genetic disorder that affects the development of the face and head, often resulting in a widow's peak.


Is a widow’s peak a sign of balding?

While a widow's peak might seem to be an early sign of hair loss, it's often just a natural and genetically determined hair growth pattern. In fact, it's not unusual for children to have a widow's peak from an early age.

On the other hand, a receding hairline typically develops later in life and can be an early sign of pattern baldness. It's when the hairline gradually moves back from the temples, creating more of an M-shape. 

Therefore, if you notice your hairline moving back beyond your natural widow's peak, it might be a sign of balding.


What is a reverse widow’s peak?

Instead of a V-shaped hairline that comes down to a point on the forehead, a reverse widow's peak resembles an upside-down V. The hairline arches upwards in the centre of the forehead, creating a more rounded hairline. 


Why do some people want to get rid of a widow’s peak?

Widow's peaks are perfectly normal and can lend a distinctive look that some people love. It's just another thing you can inherit from your parents, like blue eyes, curly hair, or freckles.

This hairline has graced many famous faces, like Grace Kelly, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kourtney Kardashian, adding to their signature looks.

However, some people might feel it affects their confidence. A widow's peak can sometimes be mistaken for a receding hairline, a concern often associated with ageing.

They can also sometimes limit hairstyling options. While there are certainly hairstyles that suit a widow's peak, those who want a fringe or a more uniform hairline might find their peak gets in the way.

Having any unique physical trait can also impact self-esteem and how you feel about your appearance, especially in a world that often values uniformity. Some people with widow's peaks might feel self-conscious about standing out or looking different.


How to get rid of a widow’s peak

If you're not a fan of your widow's peak and are considering options to alter its appearance, here are some methods you might explore:

Experiment with your hairstyle — Avoid styles that pull your hair back from your forehead, as these can emphasise the widow's peak. Instead, consider growing bangs or a fringe; these can soften the hairline and make the peak less noticeable. Parting your hair off-centre can also create a more subtle appearance.

Change the hairline yourself — If you're up for a more hands-on approach, use hair wax or hair removal creams to reshape the hairline. This method allows for some DIY customisation of your hairline, though it requires regular maintenance to keep the new shape.

Laser hair removal — For a more long-term solution, laser hair removal can effectively reduce the prominence of a widow's peak. It targets the hair follicles, meaning the hair takes longer to grow back. Just remember, this method typically involves several sessions and can be a bit of an investment.

Electrolysis — This technique uses a fine needle-like device to send a small electric current directly to the hair follicle. This process not only removes the existing hairs but also permanently prevents them from growing back. It's a precise method, ideal for shaping the hairline, but it requires multiple sessions and a bit of patience for the full results. 

Hair transplant — If you're looking for a drastic change, a hair transplant is a permanent option. This involves transferring hair follicles from denser areas of your scalp to the widow's peak region. Strategically placing these follicles evens out your hairline, creating a more uniform appearance. 


How does a hair transplant work for a widow’s peak?

When considering a hair transplant to address a widow's peak, two primary methods are used: Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT).

FUE involves extracting individual hair follicles directly from the scalp using a specialised tool. This method is known for its precision and leaves minimal scarring, making it a popular choice. Each follicle is then implanted into the widow's peak area to create a more even hairline.

FUT involves removing a small strip of skin from a dense hair area, typically at the back of the head. The hair follicles are then separated from this strip and individually transplanted to the widow's peak area. While FUT is often quicker and may allow for more follicles to be transplanted in one session, it does leave a linear scar where the strip was removed.

Both methods aim to redistribute hair to the widow's peak area, creating a natural-looking, balanced hairline. 

At FUE Clinics, we offer both methods, and a free consultation with our hair transplant specialists can help determine which method is best suited for your specific needs.

To learn more, read our guide on what to expect from your hair transplant.


Learn more about FUE Clinics

If your widow's peak is knocking your confidence, hair restoration surgery could be a permanent solution to reshaping your hairline. Take a look at our guide to understand if you're the right candidate for a hair transplant.

If you'd like to learn more about what options are available to you, explore our range of hair loss treatments, take a free online consultation or contact us to speak to our team of hair transplant specialists today. Or, head over to our FAQs or blog for more information. 

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