The widow’s peak has been the target of negative connotations throughout history. Originally said to be an omen of early widowhood for a woman, the widow’s peak is a hairline that many make an effort to be rid of. Despite the folklore surrounding the name, a widow’s peak is not limited by gender with one study finding the hairline occurring in 29.6% of women and 32.8% of men, while another study found it appeared in 15.45% of men and 16.36% of women [1,2].
Some people may be unhappy with their widow’s peak, and try waxing, plucking, or other methods. However, this is temporary as the hair will begin to regrow.
What is a widow’s peak?
One of the most popular misconceptions about the widow’s peak is that it is a type of hair loss, such as male pattern baldness, female pattern baldness, or temple hair loss. However, this well-known hairline is a product of genetics. The gene that causes a widow’s peak is called the morphogenetic trait. It causes an extension of midline scalp hair growth in a ‘V’ or ‘peak’ formation at the centre of the forehead . Therefore, though 79% of hair loss is hereditary, and the widow’s peak is passed through genetics, it is not hair loss. Nor is it to be confused with an ‘M’ shaped hairline, as this is usually a direct result of hair loss . Where the ‘M’ shaped hairline has a much more triangular shape on the forehead, the widow’s peak is curved up the sides of the head, meeting in a triangular midpoint.
Some people go through life with a widow’s peak, never worrying about appearance. But others are keen to see the back of their genetic hairline. Many celebrities and models confidently sport their widow’s peaks. This can be helpful for anyone struggling with self-confidence, stress and anxiety when it comes to their hairline.
History tells us that a widow’s peak was a bad omen for young women. But this folklore actually derives from the mourning cap which women would wear circa 1600s. The cap had a ‘V’ shape which sat at the top of the forehead, creating the ‘peak’ shape. Despite this origin, the widow’s peak has also become a prominent hairline in vampiric folklore and film. It’s now the go-to hairline for the gothic.
When does a widow’s peak develop?
The widow’s peak hairline is hereditary, so you’re more likely to develop it if someone in your family also has one. It’s based on genes, so the trait is present during foetal development, although it may not show until a child’s hair becomes prominent, or until even later stages of life. This means that it is difficult to predict when a widow’s peak will develop.
As you age, your widow’s peak hairline usually becomes more prominent, which can lead some to believe that they are experiencing hair loss. But this is just your hairline naturally changing. Hairlines do change shape and develop with age, so a child may not display their hereditary hairline until they pass 5 years old .
Having a widow’s peak can also be related to several genetic conditions, such as:
- Frontonasal dysplasia 
- Aarskog syndrome 
- Donnai-Barrow syndrome .
What’s the best hair transplant for a widow’s peak?
If you’ve decided to have a hair transplant to diminish your widow’s peak, the Wimpole Clinic can help. We offer two different types of procedures when it comes to hair transplants: FUE (follicular unit extraction) and FUT (follicular unit transplantation). There aren’t many outstanding differences when it comes to deciding whether FUT or FUE is better. However, when it comes to choosing the right one, your surgeon will advise you on which is best for you.
FUE vs FUT
An FUT transplant is performed by harvesting strips of skin containing healthy, and active hair follices from the back or the side of your head. The surgeon then dissects this strip into follicle clusters, reimplanting the hair grafts into the affected areas.
This type of hair transplant costs less than FUE, however there is a risk of more hair transplant scarring as the grafts need to be harvested in strips. This means that an FUT transplant is recommended for patients who intend to wear their hair long, covering the scars. Although the surgery itself is usually completed within a day, it does take longer to complete due to the invasive nature, which is why FUT recovery time is a little longer than FUE recovery. You’ll usually see new hair growth within 6-18 months. If you think FUT is right for you, but you’re worried about scarring, scalp micropigmentation can help cover it.
An FUE transplant is a more modern, advanced approach to the procedure. The surgeon will use a tiny punch, 0.6-0.8mm in diameter, to remove follicles individually from the donor area. The procedure is minimally invasive and therefore does not cause noticeable scarring, meaning you can wear your hair however you like.
The Norwood Scale marks a widow’s peak as stage 1-2. This can be used to work out how many hair grafts are needed to get rid of your widow’s peak. A widow’s peak often sits at a 2-2a on the scale, so you may need around 500-1000 grafts.
Other solutions for a widow’s peak
If you’re looking for a solution that is less intensive than a hair transplant for a widow’s peak, there are a few options available. Instead of adding hair to the spaces highlighted by the ‘V’ shape, some people prefer to remove the ‘V’ itself.
This can be done by:
- Using tweezers — it is quite easy to pluck out the hairs of from widow’s peak. However this can be time consuming and painful.
- Waxing — do it from home, or have it done professionally. Waxing is a good way to get rid of the ‘V’ shape, however the hairs will grow back so it will need to be maintained.
- Hair removal cream — this is a painless way to remove the hair. However, again this is temporary as it will grow back.
- Laser hair removal — this is a more permanent way to remove the hair. But the process is expensive and may need to be carried out in a few sessions.
How the Wimpole Clinic can help
If you have a widow’s peak that is causing issues with self-confidence, we’re here to help.
We’ve been performing expert hair restoration services for over 45 years, even receiving the ‘Hair Transplant Clinic of The Year Award’ in 2022. It is for this reason that our leading hair loss team are able to provide consistently outstanding services.
If you’re unsure about where to begin, our trichology team is on hand to answer any questions or concerns you may have, and to help guide you in the best direction. Book your free consultation with our team to get started.
- Study of Frontal and Temporal Hairline Patterns In Japanese Subjects
- The Distribution of The Widow’s Peak Trait Among Young Adults of The Isoko Ethnic Group
- Widow’s Peak: A Usually Overlooked, Yet Significant Morphogenetic Trait
- Hair Loss Among Elderly Men: Etiology and Impact on Perceived Age
- Phenotype Of Normal Hairline Maturation
- Frontonasal Dysplasia
- Aarskog Syndrome
- Donnai-Barrow Syndrome
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