Amidst a sea of low buns, creative braids and effortlessly beachy waves, one slightly unexpected hair detail backstage at New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2014 really caught our attention: the middle part.For most people, the middle part style is probably a memory of your distant past, a hairstyle quickly abandoned for the trendy side part, which has proven to be way more flattering for most. But done the right way, a part right down the center of your dome, whether straight and clean or a little imperfect and undone, can look good on almost anyone.
Anthony Cole, Sebastian Professional International Artist and lead stylist for the Christian Siriano runway show this season, says that a big plus of a middle part is how it balances out the face. “A middle part gives complete symmetry,” he notes. “The best part about this look is that it’s a strong look that allows you to focus right to the eyes, and the eyes are the voice which give the strength.”
Of course, Trésemme stylist Jeanie Syfu points out, there are certain face shapes that lend themselves more to a center part. “Obviously an oval face shape is perfection, you can do anything with an oval face. A square face also, that kind of just softens it up,” she says. Also, heart-shaped faces and anyone with a strong, defined jaw will really stun with this part placement. If your face is more round, Syfu suggests pairing a center part with asymmetrical, swooped bangs to offset any facial asymmetries and make it more flattering.
To get the look, Syfu emphasizes how important it is to first find your natural part. “It’s about brushing it back and seeing where it wants to fall,” she says, “because sometimes people do have a natural center part.” By finding your natural hairline, you can get a part that’s most flattering for your face, even if it might be a teensy bit off-center. But the real key to getting a perfect center part is prepping hair with product, Syfu says. Apply a mousse or volumizer to wet hair so that when you part and blow-dry, you’ll set the part in place and show any weird waves or cowlicks who’s boss.
Syfu suggests using a tail comb, starting from the bridge of your nose and pulling it straight back to keep it as centered as possible. Cole adds that making the part completely straight is important to make it the most flattering.
Choosing between a perfect part or a slightly messier one really just comes down to personal preference and the look you’re going for, says Syfu. “There’s so many trends happening that there’s no wrong or right—it’s just all about your personal style and what you feel comfortable in.” For the Rebecca Minkoff runway show this season, Syfu described the hair look—a low, classic ponytail at the nape of the neck—as undone and whispy, making a rigid center part the perfect clean detail to pull the look together without being so “in your face.”
If you have naturally wavy hair and want to play around with your look, she suggests trying the hairstyle she created for the Marissa Webb show: use a flat iron to smooth out just the first few inches of hair, starting from the root and stopping a little bit before the top of the ear. Cole also likes to concentrate the volume towards the ends when creating a center part. This will help to emphasis the clean part, but leaving natural texture at the bottom will keep things soft and frame your face more elegantly.