Many people worry that a widow’s peak means they’re going to go bald. If this is you, you probably want to understand whether there’s a correlation between the two.
The good news is that a true widow’s peak isn’t necessarily a precursor to a receding hairline or baldness.
However, you’ll want to confirm that your hairline is truly a widow’s peak. You may be incorrectly labeling the shape of your hairline as a widow’s peak when it is actually receding.
What is a widow’s peak?
A widow’s peak is a natural shaping of the hairline where the hair naturally forms a v-shaped point, usually in the center of the forehead. They can vary in size and prominence, and generally run in families as a genetic trait passed down through generations.
However, many people often confuse a widow’s peak with a receding hairline. Let’s explore the difference between the two, and the relationship between widow’s peaks and Male Pattern Baldness.
Widow’s peak vs receding hairline
A widow’s peak can be present in a healthy head of hair. It’s not the same as a receding hairline.
Actor Jude Law’s receding hairline, for example, is sometimes confused with a widow’s peak. This is because his frontal forelock is still relatively intact.
However, this shape is a result of Male Pattern Baldness and we shouldn’t refer to it as a widow’s peak.
A receding hairline can present itself as a thinning of the hair at the temples, creating a v-shaped hairline of sorts.
However, the difference here is that the hair is receding at the sides of the forehead. This is a common cause of what some people call an uneven hairline – where the hairline is asymmetrical because it has receded more at one side.
By contrast, a widow’s peak is where the hair creates a point in the middle. Think of a receding hairline as the loss of hair in one area and a widow’s peak as an abundance in another.
Can you go bald with a widow’s peak?
Anyone with or without a widow’s peak can go bald or have a receding hairline. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone that is created in men when the testes process testosterone, causes Male Pattern Baldness. The shape of the hairline doesn’t affect the process.
Myth: people with a widow’s peak never go bald
Some people believe that people with a widow’s peak don’t go bald, but this is incorrect. A widow’s peak can turn into a receding hairline if the person is predisposed to Male Pattern Baldness (MPB). The shape of the hairline doesn’t make this any less likely to happen.
Are people with widow’s peaks more likely to bald?
Anyone with a widow’s peak is capable of losing their hair if they are predisposed to Male Pattern Baldness. But it’s a misunderstanding that people with a widow’s peak are more likely to bald. This is caused by confusing a v-shaped receding hairline with a genuine widow’s peak.
A common MPB hairline takes shape as the hair around the temples recedes backward, leaving the frontal forelock in place. This can vaguely be described as being v-shaped but is not the same as a widow’s peak.
The difference is that a widow’s peak is a protruding point in the center of a normal, healthy hairline. When the sides of the hairline start to thin and recede, this also creates a roughly pointed shape.
People often confuse the two, but think of a widow’s peak as an extra point of hair in the center. Meanwhile, a v-shaped receding hairline is an absence of hair at the sides.
Does a widow’s peak mean you’re going bald?
If you have a widow’s peak, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll go bald. If you do, your widow’s peak will likely become more prominent by receding into your temples, but it’s not guaranteed to happen this way.
How to hide a widow’s peak
While a lot of people ask how they can hide a widow’s peak, they’re usually asking how they can hide their receding hairline.
I had the same thought process when my hair started to recede at the temples, and simply brushed the hair at the side of my head forward to cover the thinning areas:
Note: the other gentleman in the photograph is my dad, who as you can see has also lost his hair. This is a genetic trait we both share, but just because your dad is bald doesn’t mean you will be, and baldness doesn’t always skip a generation!
The ability to hide thinning around the temples by brushing hair forward to cover it doesn’t last long.
A receding hairline usually progresses to the point that this isn’t an option, and you’re better just going for a shorter haircut that complements your hairline better. This is usually when people consider whether just to shave their head, or go for a short-cropped haircut first.
My recommendation is that longer hairstyles don’t look great with a receding hairline, so work your way gradually toward a full shave with progressively shorter haircuts. Over time, you and those around you will this will allow you and those around you to get used to the new look.
Long hair to a fully shaved head overnight is a dramatic change that can come as a shock when you see yourself in the mirror. It also highlights the issue to other people at the exact time when you’re trying to avoid drawing attention to your hairline.
If you want a preview of what you’ll look like if you shave your head, this might help: How to see what you’d look like bald
How to get rid of a widow’s peak
If you have a widow’s peak and you don’t like the look, it’s possible to shave it off. However, this isn’t a particularly effective solution. Often the shaved area will have a 5 o’clock shadow, either immediately or after a few hours.
Having to shave the same area every day is a chore, and in my opinion, isn’t necessary. I’ve seen some people with quite extreme widow’s peaks, but in general, I think they look fine. I actually always wanted one when I was a kid!
If you’re asking how to get rid of a widow’s peak for good, then unfortunately you’re out of luck. There isn’t a permanent solution; it’s best instead to work with what you’ve got.
Take Luke Todd’s advice and ask your barber to advise on a hairstyle that suits the hairline you have and the shape of your face.
The widow’s peak gets its name from an old tradition where a wife would wear a black triangular hood when mourning her husband. The shape of the hood resembles what we now call a widow’s peak hairline.
A true widow’s peak is quite rare. One study by Smith & Cohen (1973) concluded that only 3% of the population has a widow’s peak. Other studies have placed this number higher depending on their definition of what a widow’s peak actually is.
A true widow’s peak will be visible from birth. A v-shaped receding hairline – often mistakenly called a widow’s peak – can start to show any time from the teenage years onwards. This can end up with full-blown baldness or simply settle into a mature hairline without severe hair loss.
Astrologists believe that a widow’s peak signifies creativity. However, in terms of biology, it doesn’t symbolize anything other than a genetic trait that creates the distinctive v-shaped hairline.
A widow’s peak is simply a v-shaped point in the center of the hairline, caused by genetics. However, a hairline that is receding at the temples is sometimes mistakenly called a widow’s peak and is caused by dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone created when the testes process testosterone.
A true widow’s peak hairline, the v-shaped point in the center of the forehead, is nothing to worry about.
Unless your widow’s peak is extremely prominent, there’s no reason to try to hide or get rid of it, for example by shaving.
When people discuss a widow’s peak in the context of male pattern baldness, they are often talking about a receding hairline. When the hair thins and recedes at the temples, it creates a similar shape but in different areas of the forehead.
A true widow’s peak creates a v-shape with additional hair growing in the center of the forehead. When the hair recedes at the temples, this absence of hair creates an m-shape which people often incorrectly call a widow’s peak.
Neither means that someone will go completely bald. There is no correlation between widow’s peak hairlines and Male Pattern Baldness.
Not even a receding hairline is necessarily a precursor to baldness. Most men experience some hair loss in their 20s and 30s, with the hair settling into what is called a mature hairline.
Some continue to recede and experience baldness, at which point they tend to face the decision of whether to shave their balding heads.
Coming to terms with baldness
Be aware that it’s natural to be nervous or worried about the prospect of baldness. However, the best thing to do is accept your new look.
The sooner you come to terms with baldness, the sooner you can stop worrying about it and start living as a confident bald man.
This is easier said than done, but remember that it’s better to be bald and confident than balding in denial. Most people are too caught up in their own anxieties to worry about your hairline, and when you realize this and accept your baldness, it’s extremely freeing. This is one of the main benefits of shaving your head.
Of course, there are things you can do to help yourself feel more confident. Try to keep a healthy tan, pair your shaved head with a beard, hit the gym and keep up with the latest fashion tips for bald men.
While this look isn’t for absolutely everyone, there are very few bald people who don’t look instantly better with a tan, a beard, and a little more muscle.