Hair loss appears in different ways. One of the most common patterns is the ‘V’ shape, also known as a widow’s peak.
In this article, we’ll discuss what widow’s peaks are and what causes them. We’ll also look at the various ways in which a widow’s peak can be corrected.
What is a widow’s peak?
A widow’s peak refers to a hairline that meets in a ‘V’ shape at the middle of the forehead. This type of hairline is higher at the sides, with a low point in the middle. Many people have a widow’s peak to some degree, but it is more noticeable for some than for others.
It is often the moment that my patients start to form a widow’s peak that they reach out to me to explore how having a hair transplant can help bring their hairline backDr Fernando, Hair Transplant Surgeon and Director at The Treatment Rooms London
Why is it called a widow’s peak?
You might have wondered where the term ‘widow’s peak’ comes from. The term derives from 18th-century England; back then, a newly widowed wife would wear a triangular black hood or hat with a characteristic point that fell in the middle of the forehead, resembling the common hairline pattern.
What causes a widow’s peak?
While there is insufficient evidence to conclude that a widow’s peak is entirely down to genetics, if someone in your family has this hairline, you may have it too. While some men and women are born with a widow’s peak, others develop the pattern as their hairline begins to recede and thin.
Reverse widow’s peak
There is another type of hairline termed a ‘reverse widow’s peak’. As you might expect, this pattern is the exact opposite of a widow’s peak, with a ‘V’ shape going in the opposite direction.
While a reverse widow’s peak may occur due to a receding hairline in men, the pattern is also associated with frontal fibrosing alopecia, an autoimmune condition which often affects women.
Some women with a reverse widow’s peak must have a biopsy taken before they have a hair transplant, in order to rule out an autoimmune illness. This is because if they do have such a condition and undergo hair transplant treatment, the disease is likely to affect their new hair and compromise their hair transplant.
Widow’s peak vs receding hairline
Like a widow’s peak, a receding hairline is a pattern of hair loss that is very common. A receding hairline can develop at any age but tends to affect men in their thirties and older.
Just because you have a widow’s peak, it doesn’t mean you will develop a receding hairline. You may be born with a widow’s peak that doesn’t recede significantly.
Both a widow’s peak and a receding hairline (caused by male pattern baldness) can be hereditary and develop over time. The key takeaway here is that while a widow’s peak refers specifically to the ‘V’ shape pattern that people are born and age with, a receding hairline is more of an umbrella term that can also refer to thinning and balding at the temples caused by an underlying condition like male pattern baldness.
How to get rid of widow’s peak
There are various ways that you can treat a widow’s peak. These include:
- Changing hairstyle: your barber or hairdresser can recommend a hairstyle that makes a widow’s peak less noticeable and improves your appearance
- Use hair removal creams: you can buy creams (depilatories) that remove hairs and will slow regrowth compared to shaving
- Waxing: you can remove hairs by applying a layer of hard wax and removing it
- Electrolysis: a technique that uses heat to remove individual hairs and prevent regrowth
- Laser removal: using strong light beams to destroy the hair follicles. This method can stop hairs from growing back more effectively than most of the above methods
- Hair transplant: a hair transplant can correct a widow’s peak, and we’ll discuss this option in more detail in the next section
Widow’s peak hair transplant
Patients can undergo a hair transplant for correcting a widow’s peak. There are two main types of hair transplant – follicular unit excision (FUE) and follicular unit transplantation (FUT). Both of these techniques can correct a widow’s peak with new hair at the front of the scalp, making your hairline straighter and giving it a more uniform look.
The FUE technique will take individual follicles from the back of your scalp with tiny punches. Follicles will then be gently placed in holes that are ready-made at the recipient area, on either side of the widow’s peak ‘V’ shape, above your forehead. The FUT technique removes a strip from the donor area at the back of your scalp before it is stitched up. The strip is divided into smaller sections using a surgical tool and then implanted at the recipient site above your forehead in the same way FUE hair transplant surgery is carried out.
At Treatment Rooms London, we can offer both types of hair transplants to correct a widow’s peak. Our experienced surgeons will guide you through the best options for your hair. To book a consultation, use our contact form, or call 020 8706 0076.