What do Elvis Presley, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Dracula all have in common? Aside from being insanely famous, they also share a genetic trait that determines their distinctive hairlines. If you pay close attention in pictures, you’ll see they have a V-shaped hairline, called a widow’s peak.
While some widow’s peaks are more pronounced than others, they’re very common amongst guys and girls (like Kourtney Kardashian)—just look around. So, what’s the story behind this follicular phenomenon? Is it a precursor to baldness? And what’s with the creepy name?
Where Did the Term ‘Widow’s Peak’ Come From?
We dug through the archives of our local library to discover how exactly the term ‘widow’s peak’ originated. Turns out that in the 1500s, women wore black, triangular headdresses called “mourning caps” or "widow's hoods" after the deaths of their husbands. The shape of these hoods sparked the superstition that if a man’s hairline resembled a mourning cap, it forecasted an early widowhood—hence “widow’s peak.”