Ask any hairstylist how you can switch up your current look without cutting or coloring your hair and they'll probably tell you to change your part. It's true that a new part can instantly transform your hairstyle, knowing exactly where it should fall isn't totally effortless.
When it comes to side parts, a lot of factors come into play such as how deep you want it, along with your hair line and if you have any cowlicks. "When I’m with a client and we decide to do a side part the major things that dictate which side we’re going to part their hair on are very simple: which side it parts on easier, which side of their face they like showing off more, and which side they feel more comfortable parting it on,” says L.A.-based hairstylist Chris Green. “Face shape doesn’t enter the equation much, but hairline and cow licks definitely do! You want to work with what you’ve got. Sometimes the hair doesn’t want to part to one side, or wants to only part on a certain side. Don’t fight nature, just try and go with the flow. One side usually works better than the other.”
So what's the easiest way to do create a side part? There's actually two methods. "Flip your head to one side, then shake your hair to that side and slowly come upright and see what you have,” explains Green. “You may need to gently nudge some hair back over to the other side for a little balance, and so it doesn't look like you were caught in a wind storm.” Alternatively, you can take the long end of a tail comb and split your hair from your eye to the back of your head. Experiment with placement and deepness until you see what feels right.
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Once you have your side part set, the biggest challenge is training your hair so that it fall naturally. To make the transition easier, Green recommends making the part on damp hair. A bit of styling product can help, too. He suggests using a non-sticky gel on damp hair and then blow-drying it. We love Pantene Pro-V's Extra Strong Hold Hair Gel ($5; target.com). "The product and heat from the blow dryer will help keep your part in place," he says.