Widow's peak hair: causes, myths & overview
By Prof. Dr. Soner Tatlidede 2022-08-04
What is a widow's peak hairline? Surely you have heard of this expression, which refers to a distinctive, V-shaped hairline that tends to run in some families. Some famous people, such as Chris Hemsworth, Leonardo DiCaprio, John Travolta, Colin Farrell, Ronald Reagan, Marilyn Monroe, or even Elvis Presley himself, had a widow's peak in their hair. But what is it exactly? Is there a relation between widow's peak and alopecia? Is it caused by testosterone? Is it possible to remove widow peak? Let´s talk about it!
What is the cause of a widow's peak?
The main cause of widow's peak hair is believed to be genetic, affecting between 10% and 15% of the population; there is a slight preponderance of widow’s peak in women, although some experts consider that the variations between widow’s peak in men and in women, are statistically insignificant. The presence of widow's peak is also related to some genetic disorders, such as the Donnai-Barrow syndrome, a rare genetic disorder caused by mutations in the LRP2 gene; and also with the Aarskog-Scott syndrome, which causes bone and facial alterations.
But, what is a widow’s peak? It is basically a hair anomaly that affects the shape of the human hairline, forming an inverted triangle (like a "V") on the forehead instead of a rounded and uniform line. It affects some people, and can be more or less pronounced in each individual, although some people hide it with fringes or using long hair.
Does a widow's peak mean I will go bald?
Of course, another cause of the presence of a widow's peak is the progressive recession of the frontal hairline due to the effects of male pattern baldness (inherited baldness): it causes a receding hairline while more and more hair is lost, which nowadays leads many people to get a hair transplant in Istanbul. But it must be made clear that there is no relationship between testosterone and widow's peak, and its presence is not a symptom of baldness.
What’s the origin of its name?
The so-called widow's peak is a term used to name the shape that the hairline acquires on the forehead, forming a "V". It is believed that the origin of its name dates back to at least the 16th century, when according to the tradition of the time, widowed women placed a hood over their heads with a peaked end that fell over their foreheads. Hence the expression “widow's peak”.
This hood -called the Mary Stuart cap - became very fashionable in Victorian England, but for some reason it became associated with widows. Later, a certain superstition arose that led to the belief that when men had this shape on their forehead hair, it was a sign that they would die young, leaving their wife a widow; this belief, very common in the 19th century, also extended to women, as it was thought that women with widow's peak hair would soon lose their husbands.
Although the link between having a widow's peak and death seemed to disappear in the 20th century, the truth is that the association of this trait with bad luck or evil in general, still survived along that century; thus, it is very easy to see evil characters in the cinema of that time, such as Count Dracula or The Joker, with widow's peak hairstyles. However, we also find it in superheroes like Superman, although in his case hidden by a fringe.
How to get rid of widow’s peak
So, what if we have a widow's peak, and we want to remove it from our hair? Many people are interested in knowing how to remove the widow's peak. If you are among them, the following are the main options you have:
- Shave it: You can use a razor blade to shave the hairs that protrudes from the forehead line. It is the simplest option; but also the least durable, of course.
- Apply wax: using wax can serve to pull out hair in that area, and weaken it; however, it is somewhat painful, and must be done very carefully.
- Use tweezers: using hair tweezers, we can pull out one by one the hairs that stand out, forming the widow's peak. But it's painful... and slow.
- Electrolysis: Electrolysis is a clinical treatment that uses electrical currents applied through a needle to kill the follicle, preventing further hair growth.
- Laser: laser surgery is undoubtedly one of the most advanced techniques to remove hair. It requires a previous study of the patient, and several sessions are necessary.
Keep in mind that most of these techniques to get rid of widow's peak hairline should be performed only by professionals to avoid damage to hair. Remember: trust only skilled experts for your hair problems. Clinicana is the best hair transplant clinic in Turkey, and we are experts in all kinds of hair treatments. What are you waiting for? Trust us! Request a free consultation, and ask us for a free, no obligation estimate for your treatment.