Widow’s Peak: Styling Tips

All Things Hair | 15 October 2018
widow's peak light brown braided half updo

Embrace your unique detail.

Yes, it may be the archetypal look for puppet vampires and black-and-white monsters, but have you ever seen a real widow’s peak? Chances are, you’ve heard of this term thrown about, especially in the hair industry. Macabre references aside, a widow’s peak is, quite simply, a hairline with a V-shaped point on the forehead. In those without a widow’s peak, the hair grows straight across.

In some cases, especially in men’s receding hairlines, the temples tend to go in prematurely and leave a V shape in the middle of the forehead. However, this shape can also be present in women and children as a more acute point and not necessarily as a result of hair loss, a.k.a. a true widow’s peak. It is usually inherited, with some widow’s peaks being more noticeable than others.



The Widow’s Peak: What’s In a Name?



widow's peak half updo
A widow’s peak—or a V-shaped hairline, instead of one that is straight across—can be subtle or pronounced. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

The term is said to date back to the 1840s. It gained its name as it’s supposed to look like the peak of a widow’s hood and was said to signify that your husband had passed away. The name still stands today (without the somber references) and with the right tricks, can be effortlessly styled around, regardless of face shape.

Styling Around a Widow’s Peak

It may be a little difficult styling a widow’s peak; a quirky hairline often means less styling options, but there are still plenty ways to mix it up depending on the desired look. The most common styling option for men with a widow’s peak is by having shorter hair on the sides and back, and keeping some volume and texture on the top of the head. To minimize the attention on the V shape itself, push the top of the hair back.

widow's peak men's quiff hair
High hairstyles, like a quiff or a pomp, are a subtle way to work around your widow’s peak. Photo credit: Verity Jane Smith

To embrace the widow’s peak, use a slicked-back style. This works particularly great for all those that have medium to thick hair on top. For this look make sure to use a firm paste (we like Dove Men+Care Sculpting Paste)  to hold hair in place.

DOVE MEN+CARE SCULPTING PASTE

For those wanting to run with the peak and have a non-fussy style, make sure to keep the back and sides short, as well as the lengths on top of the head as in the gentleman’s square cut. For a shorter (and more hot-weather friendly version), try the buzzcut. The natural hairline will be visible, and as the hair is short it requires very little upkeep. It also suits those with a more round or oval face shape.

For women, if wanting to minimize the appearance of a widow’s peak, a fringe softens the hairline and distracts the eye from the center point. A side or zigzag part is also an effective way to camouflage a sharp central point in your forehead.

widow's peak zig-zag part
A zigzag parting is a modern way to work around a widow’s peak.

If all else fails…

Hair removal is a more extreme version of getting rid of a widow’s peak, but it’s a treatment that’s becoming more and more popular due to various celebrities having this done. Permanent hair removal can also take up to eight sessions or more to remove all the hair. And as for shaving? We think shaving the hairline is a no-go, as this might cause stubble on your forehead and most likely draw more attention.

It is common for a widow’s peak to act as a cowlick, or where a hair parting naturally grows in the opposite direction to the rest of the hair, making it very difficult for it to lie flat. The trick to combat this is to wet the hair then blowdry it in the same direction as the rest of your hair. Start with a heat protectant like Nexxus Promend Heat Protecting Mist, and finish with some anti-frizz hairspray, such as TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Frizz-Free Hold Hairspray, for hold and flyaway control.

NEXXUS PROMEND HEAT PROTECTING MIST
TRESemmé KERATIN SMOOTH HAIRSPRAY


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