How to part your hair (like, the right way)

Not too long ago, where you parted your hair was super controversial. First, there was team side part, comprised mostly of millennials who were all about asymmetry (and side bangs, tbh). Then Gen Z chimed in and declared the side part dead, making middle parts trendy. And now, of course, side parts are back—and all over the spring runways (Y2K wins again). 

The perfect way to wear your hair? Whatever way *you* want. And the best, er, part? You don't have to pick a team. It is completely possible to divide and conquer—whether you want to part your hair to the side, the middle...or somewhere in between. 

The easy part 


Before playing around with your part, figure out where your hair naturally falls. Celebrity hairstylist Clariss Rubenstein has a simple trick for that: "Brush all your hair straight back, then push it forward to see where it falls," she shares. Depending on how long you've worn your current part and how your hair behaves (thx, cowlicks and curl patterns), you might not have a clear, straight line—but this should allow you to at least see the start of your part. 

Define your line

Want to stick with your natural part? Great! All you need is a rattail comb to make sure that your part is clearly defined. Pick one with a stainless steel tail—it's helpful for sectioning your hair (we heart the Mielle Organics Rat Tail Comb, $3). Use the point to follow your natural part and trace it against your scalp, pulling stray hairs away with your fingers as needed. Pro tip: Do this on dry hair—when strands are wet, they can be harder to maneuver. 

Face it


Feel like switching it up? In general, a "slightly off-center part is very versatile," says Rubenstein. But if you want to go for the part that'll be the most flattering, look in the mirror at your face shape.

Square: A middle part accentuates the angles of a square face and creates symmetry, says Rogeria Cavalcante, founder of Second Floor Salon in New York City.
Round: More circular faces look best with a middle part (it adds some visual length), but you can also try a side part (which makes for sharper angles).
Oval: Try parting your hair to the side. A middle part can appear to elongate your face.
Heart: Soften the appearance of your cheekbones while providing balance to a pointer chin with a side part.
Diamond: A side part helps to accentuate your angles, says Cavalcante.

Change it up 

Ready to shake up your strands? To get a middle part, brush all of your hair back, then use the pointed end of your comb to trace backward, starting directly in between your brows. Use your nose for guidance to ensure your part is dead center. For a slight side part, do the same—but place the comb at the start of your brow before you go back. Going for a more severe side part? Trace back from the end of your brow. 

Struggling with flyaways and frizz along your part? Apply some styling cream or a stick like Nexxus Slick Stick ($16) to achieve a sleek, shiny vibe. 

Scared your part will slip? Hot tip: You can train it. Before bed, use a spray bottle to dampen your hair at the roots. Part your hair where you want and brush into place, then gather it into a braid to wear overnight. After a few days, your new part will stay put. 

Play it up

Now that your hair's in place, it's time to dress it up. 

1. Baby braids


Try out some baby braids a la LaPointe. Create as many or as few sections and braids as you want.

2. Slicked-back bun


Use your hair's natural grease to your advantage. Or do double duty by applying a hair treatment that secures strands and smoothes them at the same time.

3. Severe side part pony 


The Loewe runway not only featured deep side parts, but also a whole ear party to accentuate the look. Your biggest earrings are begging to be worn. 

More hair inspo right this way...
 🎀 A step-by-step tutorial for styling wavy hair 
 🎀 6 simple ways to wake up to a good hair day 
 🎀 The GL girl's guide to hairstyles that last all. day. long.

Hey, girl! Just wanted to let you know that this story originally ran in our February/March 2024 issue. Want more? Read the print mag for free *today* when you click HERE.

Top image: @chloefraterr
Slider image: @txunamy


by Lisa DeSantis | 3/11/2024