No, it's not a bad omen…Widow’s Peak Hairline & Genetics

The term “widow’s peak” may sound grim, but a pointed hairline is just a genetic feature—much like hair colour or texture.

How it works

It’s a common misconception that a particular dominant gene causes a widow’s peak. Like other traits that influence hair growth, various genes work together to help determine the shape of our hairlines. Some researchers believe that hair patterns are heritable, so a close relative with a widow’s peak may increase your chances of having this hairline, too.

The genetic link

Genetic markers in your DNA, along with age and sex, influence the chances that you will have a widow’s peak.

widow's peak progression

Did you know?

Most children have a smooth, flat hairline. As they age into adolescence and adulthood, their hairlines tend to move higher up the foreheads. The presence or absence of a widow’s peak is just another example of our diverse features. Age-related receding hairline patterns can also resemble widow’s peaks in both men and women.

Explore more

How come villains in movies, books, and TV shows always seem to have a widow’s peak? While 23andMe can’t answer that, our Health + Ancestry kit can give you some insight into whether you’re likely to have a widow’s peak.

Health + Ancestry Service Kit

Health + Ancestry Service

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Rassman WR et al. (2013). “Phenotype of normal hairline maturation.” Facial Plast Surg Clin North Am. 21(3):317-24.