There can be some confusion on what defines a widow’s peak and a receding hairline, so what exactly is the difference?

Both these types of hairlines can look very similar, so you would be totally forgiven for thinking you have a receding hairline when actually, you’ve just been born with a pretty common, but slightly different looking, hairline.

jude-law-hair-mens-medium-length-hairstyle-receding-hairline-MFHC14-man-for-himself-3 Instagram - @marcogrob

What Is A Widow’s Peak?

Key Elements:

  • Natural hairline.
  • V-shape at the front.
  • Possibly inherited.

A widow’s peak can be easily confused by a receding hairline as it is recognisable by its V-shape. The bottom of the V will be visible at the centre of the forehead. The name supposedly stems back to the 16th century, when widowers used to wear a peaked headdress after they lost their spouse. Don’t worry, you can ignore all the bizarre superstitions linked to it.

The general consensus is that a widow’s peak is usually inherited; meaning it comes down to genetics. This has not been confirmed scientifically, however, it is common that if someone in your family has a widow’s peak, you will have one too.

You might not realise you have a widow’s peak until you pull your hair back and off your face. It can remain quite hidden and will vary from person to person. Some are definitely more obvious than others.

Source: Gattaca (the official trailer)

Can A Widow’s Peak Become A Receding Hairline?

Yes! A widow’s peak can start to move backwards. This is completely natural and will be the initial phase of a receding hairline.

You can see here from an early photo of Jude Law (back in 1997), that he has had a widow’s peak for a long time. It’s now receded leaving less hair in the V at the front.

There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about with a widow’s peak. For some reason, a lot of men don’t like to admit they have one, but it can actually be an attractive feature, and if the likes of Chris Hemsworth, Jude LawKeanu Reeves can pull it off, you can too.

Watch The Video

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What Is A Receding Hairline?

Key Elements

  • Progressive hairline.
  • M-shape hairline.
  • Due to hair loss/ageing process.
  • Will move/change over time.

A receding hairline can be extremely frustrating, but the key point is: this is just a natural part of ageing. Some lucky men will have a full head of hair for most of their life but for the majority of us, our hair will start to recede at some point in our life.

Your hair can start to recede at any age. The first, and obvious, sign is the front hairline will start to change and hair will become thin/sparse around the forehead. You will notice an ‘M’ shape form, where the hair will move back towards two points on the sides of the forehead/temple points. This is commonly confused with a widow’s peak as it is very similar to the V shape.

This change in the hairline differs to a widow’s peak in the fact that it is actively moving, and almost impossible to avoid. A receding hairline will continue to push back, as you age/mature. It can be the first sign of male pattern baldness and will move into the following stages of hair loss. You can see them here.

Men’s Hairstyles For A Widow’s Peak & Receding Hairline

Widow’s Peak Hairstyles

  • If you really want to hide your widow’s peak, the best way is to push your hair to one side. This will alter the definitive V-shape at the front.
  • You can also try playing with your parting to change up the style and look of the hairline.
  • Make sure you talk to your barber about your widow’s peak. They will be able to help you find a hairstyle that will work for you.
  • The buzz cut – to completely disguise the widow’s peak and remove any evidence of it, shave it all off!
  • There are more extreme measures, such a tweezing your hairline, but please don’t try this. It is not advisable.

Receding Hairline Hairstyles

  • Firstly, check out the Man For Himself Hairstyle Directory, for all types of men’s hairstyle inspiration. There are plenty of styles you can try here.
  • Please don’t panic if your hair is receding. You can still have a great hairstyle. It will just depend on what stage you are at.
  • If you’re really nervous about it, and have an obvious receding hairline, why not go try a buzz cut. You can try a longer version at first, or go completely clean-shaven. If you can grow some facial hair, it won’t look as drastic and will add a more mature edge to it.
  • The ‘comb over‘ – if you are fortunate enough to have plenty of hair on the top and at the front, you can comb the hair to one side for a formal and sleek style.