V hairline, also known as widow’s peak, describes the union of your hairline at the center of your forehead to make a V-shape. In simple terms, having this hairline means there is a low point in your hairline in the middle and higher points on the sides.
Note that the widow’s peak can be very distinctive in some people. On the other hand, others will only have a hint of one. To check whether you have this hairline, pull your hair straight back.
A common condition that gets confused with this receding hairline is alopecia. The latter is an umbrella term that encompasses several hair loss disorders, including alopecia areata and androgenic alopecia.
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about the widow’s peak, including why it was named that way, its causes, signs, and some hairstyles to make it less visible.
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Why is it called a V hairline?
During the 18th century in England, when a man dies, his wife would wear a black triangular hat with a point falling in the middle of the forehead.
The distinct shape created by the hat resembles a V, which explains the name of this condition. However, it also led to the spread of several myths and misconceptions about this hair feature. One of the classic myths is that people with a receding hairline in this shape will get widowed soon (more on that later)
Widow’s Peak Hair Causes
The exact study of genetics that explains the vertical transmission of the widow’s peak is not entirely clear. With that said, having a family member with this trait increases your risk of developing it in the future.
However, there is not enough research to blame a single gene or DNA mutation. Instead, scientists believe that the widow’s peak originates from a multi-factorial process that includes genetic predisposition.
Oftentimes, you might mistake this with a maturing hairline, which is M-shaped instead of V shape. A mature hairline might indicate other health underlying issues.
For instance, some genetic disorders tend to increase the risk of the widow’s peak, including:
- Aarskog syndrome – this is a rare disorder that mostly affects males. Besides having a V receding hairline, people with this syndrome tend to be shorter in size and have distinct abnormalities of the face, limbs, and genitals. The exact gene responsible for this disorder is known as the FGD1 gene, which is located on the X chromosome.
- Donnai-Barrow syndrome – this is the result of a mutation in the LRP2 gene. It causes unusual anatomical features of the ears, nose, and eyes.
- Frontonasal dysplasia – is another rare condition that leads to the abnormal development of the face. This set of disorders often stems from mutations in the ALX1, ALX3, and ALX4 genes.
- Opitz G/BBB syndrome – a very rare disorder that precipitates abnormalities in the midline of the body. The genes involved in this disorder include the MID1 gene.
The section above covered the inherited part of a widow’s peak. However, some people develop this hairline later in life. This is usually the result of receding hair.
Widow’s peak myths
As you may expect, the widow’s peak is associated with a myriad of misconceptions and myths.
The most ludicrous myth is that this receding hairline predicts an early widowhood. This myth has no basis and remains part of ancient folklore.
The media also helped in painting a grim picture of the widow’s peak. For instance, “evil” characters tend to have this hairline feature, including Dracula and the Joker.
Of course, having the widow’s peak or any other hairline feature does not say anything about your personality. Just like some evil characters in movies have this feature, some good characters do as well. Classic examples include Keanu Reeves, Marilyn Monroe, and Vanessa Williams.
All in all, this or any hairline does not predict anything in particular. It’s just another anatomical feature you inherit from your parents – similar to eye color, curly hair, dimples, or straight hairline.
Widow’s peak hairstyles for men
Before trying to do something extravagant to hide your V-shaped hairline, remember that there is nothing wrong with it. In fact, some people find it extremely attractive. Therefore, you shouldn’t feel compelled to choose a hairstyle just to hide your widow’s peak.
You can even show it off by slicking your hair back or into a ponytail. Be careful not to induce more traction alopecia. It’s crucial to keep a scalp of healthy hair if you want to do this.
With that said, if you’re not a fan of the widow’s peak, try more hair growth that forms bangs and avoid combing your hair up or away from the forehead.
Another thing you can do is sweep your hair to one side or part it slightly off the center. Try doing this in different places to see which style fits you the most.
After learning about the different aspects of this receding hairline, now it’s time to find the right haircut for you.
For men, you can try one of these hairstyles to make your V-shaped hairline less visible:
This haircut is practical and doesn’t skimp on style. A comb-over is an excellent option for men who like minimal styling. All you need to do is comb your hair over on either side, which calls attention to your natural texture.
Adding some spice to your thin strands can be easily achieved with the undercut. This one is popular among men. You will give the hair on top more attention, which reduces the look of your V-shaped hairline.
The undercut is also ideal for men who like to try various hairstyles on different days. It is easy to wear and fits many hairstyles.
If you want to flaunt the polished look of your hair without too much styling, this look is for you. Optimally, men with medium and long hair would do this hairstyle. It takes a minimal styling look to a new level.
Use a touch of hair gel to brush your head toward the back.
4. The pompadour
A pompadour hairstyle will give you the right amount of charm and major texture. It also gives your hair the right height.
Use some hair putty through your strands to give it the desired shape.
This is more of a trendy look for men. It keeps things nice and simple while making your V-shaped hairline less visible. There is no need to worry about using hair products to pull out this style.
Widow’s peak haircuts and hairstyles for women
1. Curls with a side part
Curls with a side part are a great way to flaunt medium and long locks. Add a touch of curl mousse to your strands, then scrunch them and let them dry.
Once dry, create a deep side part on either side of your head. Finally, finish with a misting of a shine spray. That’s it! You’re good to go.
2. Natural curls
Natural curls won’t let you down when dealing with the widow’s peak. This hairstyle allows you to play with your texture and gives you a salon look all on your own. Amp up your curls with the help of moisture shampoo and conditioner. Also, add some curling mousse and scrunch to enjoy the final look.
3. Ballerina bun
It is difficult to go wrong with the ballerina bun. It is stylish and clean-cut.
What can you do if you don’t like your V hairline?
While many people are not bothered with having a V-shaped, receding hairline, some find it annoying. If this is the case for you, there are several options to deal with this issue.
Of course, you can start by trying one of the hairstyles we listed above. Talk to your barber or hairstylist to achieve this goal.
If these methods are not effective, you can talk with your doctor and ask for recommendations to resolve this receding hairline.
Some short-term solutions include:
- Tweezing – although painful, plucking your hair is a simple process that you can do by yourself. If you find the results unsatisfactory, you can always let hair growth happen. Conversely, if the results are good enough, keep tweezing the extra hairs whenever they pop up.
- Waxing – getting an at-home waxing kit is simple and cheap. You can also do it at a professional clinic. Before waxing the hairs, make sure to test the product on a smaller skin area to ensure that it doesn’t cause any allergic reaction.
- Depilatories – these products are designed to remove unwanted hair for a longer time compared to shaving. Before purchasing a depilatory cream, read the label and make sure it’s for facial use.
Some longer-term or permanent solutions include:
Laser hair removal
just like you would laser on other areas of the body, pointing a beam of light on your V-shaped hairline will destroy the hair follicles. This procedure may require several sessions; however, the results are generally impressive and potentially permanent.
Ask your dermatologist about the pros and cons of undergoing this procedure.
Another solution you can use to treat this condition, as well as male pattern hair loss, is to get a hair transplant. There are two types of hair transplants – FUT and FUE. Your dermatologist or surgeon can advise you on what works for you. The advantage of this procedure is that you can also fix bald spot issues, perform hairline lowering, or just fix your male hair loss.
energy or heat, electrolysis is an effective (but old) method to remove unwanted hair. It serves also to prevent the growth of new hair follicles. Just like laser therapy, this technique requires many sessions to see optimal results. Before opting for electrolysis, check out the credentials of your practitioner – he/she must have some training in this field. Ideally, you would get treatment from a board-certified dermatologist.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the V hairline
Can I shave a V hairline?
Shaving your widow’s peak is an option. However, if you opt for this, you will need to continuously maintain it. This becomes more important if you have fair skin with darker hair. Make sure to shave it properly to avoid a crooked hairline.
Also, do not use a razor to avoid the hassle of stubble. Some people prefer to shave their heads completely, which effectively solves this issue.
What is the role of genetics in the V hairline?
The V shaped hairline seems to run in families; however, scientists were not able to pinpoint a single gene that causes this feature. Instead, current evidence suggests that having a family member with a widow’s peak increases your chances of developing it.
Certain genetic disorders are associated with the widow’s peak (we listed some of these disorders above).
What is the positive side of the V hairline?
One of the key benefits of having a V hairline is the versatility it offers. It gives you the ability to naturally part your hair in many ways. You can part it easily to the right, left, or center, which is nice and creates limitless options to experiment with your hair.
Can I accomplish a ponytail while having a V hairline?
Pulling out the perfect ponytail is a very challenging task on its own. Add a widow’s peak to the equation, and things become more difficult.
The little turf of hair will compromise the perfect look you’re looking for, especially since all of your hair has to meet in that one place. However, you can always try a middle part pony instead of the classic one. This might circumvent some of the cowlick-sprouting hair issues.
Who are the celebrities with a receding V hairline?
Finding a celebrity with the same style as you can often be good for morale. However, you shouldn’t let this determine whether you feel good or bad about yourself. A widow’s peak is just a feature of your hair that doesn’t say anything about you.
Some celebrities who have a V-shaped receding hairline include Kerry Washington, Nicole Kidman, Blake Lively, Anne Hathaway, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Keanu Reeves.
The widow’s peak is a very common feature of the hairline that runs in families. Making sure a V hairline is an anatomical feature and not an early sign of a receding hairline is very important. The latter can mean male pattern baldness or hair fall.