Hair parts are seriously underrated. With just one flick of a part line, you can instantly reap the benefits of a one-minute makeover at no cost or commitment.
Certain parts can emphasize favorite features, play down less-adored parts, take years off your face or even change the look of your face shape entirely.
And even if you have a favorite part, experts suggest changing it up every once in awhile to prevent hair loss and damage that can come from splitting hair in exactly the same spot on the scalp daily.
So take a look at our gallery of popular part options, see what benefits each style may have for you and go ahead—cheat on your regular part.
Clean Center Part
Cher and Gloria Steinem made it iconic, and it’s perhaps for this reason that the center part will always have a 70s vibe about it. “It’s best for round, heart and square face shapes since center parts put the symmetry of your face on display, making it appear slightly longer—defining your cheekbones and elongating your features,” says Alterna Global Creative Director Michael Shaun Corby.
Hair can sometimes hang limp from a center part, so to counter the weigh-down, consider wearing voluminous waves with the part. Use a large barrel curling iron, spraying a humidity-resistant hair spray like Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Working Hair Spray as you curl. Then brush out with fingers, says Corby.
Deep Side Part
This is a celebrity-loved red carpet option, because the deep angle in the hair adds instant sophistication and glamour to all hair types, no matter how thick or thin, wavy or straight the texture. “I especially love deep side parts on longer, narrower faces because it adds beautiful fullness to the face,” says Corby.
To find your own best deep side part, align the part with the arch of your eyebrow. For a modern take on the part, first blow dry hair sleek and straight with a smoothing oil. Then create a deep side part and gather hair back into a smooth low pony. “It’s so easy, but really makes a statement!” says Corby.
If center and deep side parts are too dramatic or harsh for your taste, an off-center variation could be the perfect solution. It works especially well to balance out round face types. “An off-center part is soft and natural-looking, and is usually how the hair falls naturally,” says Colby.
This part is best made with your finger just over from the center of your head. Off-center parts suit natural texture the most, so either slightly blow dry hair with fingers, or let it air dry. Then finish by misting a shine spray all over for health and radiance, suggests Colby.
If you have fine or thinning hair, a messy part could become your next BFF. “The lack of defined part creates the illusion of more hair and more volume—it’s like a volume fake-out!” says Colby. Use a comb or finger to create a messy part by starting at the top of head and zigzagging back towards the crown.
The volume of a messy part can be further enhanced by pairing it with natural-looking, textured waves. Spray a texturizing spray on damp hair, and then use your fingers to scrunch up strands. Allow hair to air dry.
Heart-shaped faces, this part is all you. The geometry of the shape works entirely in your favor. “The line of the part along with the cascade of side-swept hair perfectly off-sets the width of the forehead—which for heart shapes is wider than the chin,” explains Colby.
Similar to the deep side part, begin the part over the arch of your eyebrow. Then draw the comb back and inward, crossing over the center of the head towards the opposite corner. This part is most flattering with a sleek, straight hairstyle, says Colby. Apply a straight styling balm to damp locks, create your part, and then blow dry for a silky finish.
Faux Bang Part
There are two popular ways to create bangs with a part. First, you can create a deep side part, letting hair swoop down over the forehead and slightly over one eye, and pinning it just by the ear. “This sultry, sexy look works for all hair types and looks best on straightened or slightly wavy hair,” advises Colby.
Or a 1940’s pin-up look is a fun option for those who like retro-cool styles. The front portion of hair is straightened and then rolled under with a round brush and secured with pins. “It works best on medium-thick hair types and hair that has been straightened smooth,” explains Colby.
The No-Part Sweep-Back
“The no-part is a dramatic statement that looks best on square-shaped faces,” says Colby. This is because height is created at the crown of the head instead of the sides, which counterbalances the width of a square-shaped jawline.
Start by teasing dry hair at the top center of the head. Spritz strands along the hairline with pliable hair spray and sweep hair off the face as you comb it backwards. “Once you achieve the look, it will need some extra hold to go the distance—set with an ultra hold hair spray,” suggests Colby.
The 90s Flip Part
Popularized as the cool-girl part by Beverly Hills 90210, this style tends to only work well on some. “The flip part can make the forehead appear larger than it is, so it’s best for someone with a normal or shorter forehead,” says Colby. “It also looks better on longer face shapes, as the flip makes the face appear rounder.”
You’ll need a round brush and hair spray to achieve a flip that holds. (If you skip hairspray, be prepared to reset with your fingers every five minutes.) To modernize it, create the flip and pull hair back into a low pony or pinned style, says Colby. Wearing hair down with a flip dates the look. Sorry, Kelly Taylor.
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