Here's How to Figure Out Where to Part Your Hair

A women with a middle part hairstyle
Photo: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

We all know there's obsession these days with the middle part. According to Gen Z, it's the only acceptable way to part your hair. But while some love a middle part, it's not everyone's jam. For others, it may be hard to pull off, and they would happily stick to their run-of-the-mill side part (ahem, me).

But what if you're tired of the side part you've been rocking since middle school? There are a plethora of other ways to part your hair.

During a late-night YouTube binge, we came across hair colorist Silvia Reis's wildly popular Ellebangs account, and after, we found her Are You Parting Your Hair the Right Way? video. To break things down a little further, we reached out to Reis, who helped us determine whether to go with a center part or throw our layers to the side.

"I think it's good to try different parts out — it's easy to put back if you don't like it, and you can have a lot of fun with your look without much risk," she tells us. "Just be sure to keep in mind how it flatters your face, and how it calls attention to your features. It's a simple thing that takes two seconds, but it can completely change your hairstyle."

We also spoke with celebrity hairstylist, groomer to the stars, and founder of Contents HairCare Cheryl Bergamy for all her tips on figuring out how to part your hair. "There are different ways to part your hair that can make the face appear thinner, fuller, longer, or shorter depending on facial shape," says Bergamy.

Read on to find out which look is best for you.

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Here's How to Figure Out Where to Part Your Hair

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The Center Part

Center Part
Venturelli/Getty

A super-precise center part like Kim Kardashian's is considered classic, and gives off a clean, polished effect. Of course, this part has picked up much traction in the last year or so thanks to TikTok and Gen Z, who have now named this the best part. And there's a reason why it's the internet's favorite.

"The middle part is one of the most fashionable hair trends," Bergamy tells us. "It gives a more youthful look without looking childish."

It tends to work best on faces that are more or less symmetrical, but can also help elongate shorter, wider face shapes. "A middle part gives a slimmer look," Bergamy adds. "For heart shape, it will balance features, such as your forehead or chin, while softening your cheekbones."

Reis agrees. "It can be the least forgiving if there are any uneven areas on the face, as it can call attention to them, and on long faces, it can exaggerate the shape," she says.

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The Side Part

Oliva Munn with a side part hairstyle
Steve Granitz/Getty

A side part — a la Olivia Munn — works on all face shapes. However, Bergamy says she finds it to be most popular on oval faces.

"Oval shape can pull off practically any side or middle part, but I find side part or deep side to be the ideal look."

Reis adds, "If you have a stronger brow, part your hair to show that off as more of the face is exposed on that side."

There are varying degrees of how far over you can make your side part. A dramatic deep side part can bring fun and old-Hollywood glamour to any look if you're wanting to switch it up for a night without making any permanent changes.

In the case that a deep side part looks too severe, Reis recommends a diagonal option. Section your hair toward the back in a diagonal line so that as it reaches your crown, the part ends up more or less in the center. You still get the carefree side-swept effect in the front, but both sides of the head are evenly balanced in the back.

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The Off-Center Part

Black Lively with an off-center part hairstyle
Steve Granitz/Getty

If you want to try a center part, but are afraid it may be too harsh for you, a slightly off-center part is the easiest way to give the illusion of a middle part without calling attention to any uneven area.

"It throws the eye off, so nothing looks out of balance, but gives off the illusion of a center part," says Reis. "This is sometimes the best option if you have a cowlick in the front, and it is also less severe than dividing hair in the middle."

Try sectioning your hair slightly away from the middle as Blake Lively, but not so far that it ends up veering into side part territory. "By creating this part it still gives somewhat of an even flow if you are wearing your hair out or pulled back," says Bergamy. She also believes an off-center part will soon be one of hair's hottest trends due to its universally flattering nature.

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The Hidden Part

Kerry Washington with bangs and a hidden part hairstyle
Jason LaVeris/Getty

Don't let bangs intimidate you, in fact anyone can pull them off. Plus, they hide your part. "There are various bang styles to choose from depending on the facial structure," Bergamy says.

With blunt bangs like Kerry Washington, you can certainly experiment with a side part, but naturally, the hair tends to fall in the center. "It's kind of that three-point system, and leaving the part in the middle will make your hair look balanced at each side," Reis explains. "Parts are more apparent if you have a free forehead, but if you have bangs covering it, your part won't be seen."

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