If you missed it, Gen Z has declared the end of side parts. What’s in? Parting strands down the middle. While this might not be a new trend for many of us—Kahh Spence, celebrity hairstylist and OGX ambassador, says women have been wearing their hair in both directions for ages, it’s just now becoming trendier—hopping on the bandwagon (or not!) is easier than ever with help from the pros.
The Science Behind the Shift
“Middle parts signify balance, honesty and the appearance of being more trustworthy,” notes Holly Dear, hairstylist and founder of House of Dear/Dear Clarke Salon. “I feel like we have all been misled so much within the past year and we are wanting to trust and be trusted.”
Further, hairstylist and founder of Phenix Salon Suites, Gina Rivera, says the reason for the shift is likely do to the urge for change. “I believe now more than ever both men and women are more willing to step out of the box and get away from their norm. Now that people are beginning to engage again, they are looking to change their style a bit and changing your hair part can virtually give you a new fresh look without making a big commitment.”
Where Should You Part Your Hair?
Depending on your face shape and your hair’s length and style, the middle part might not be right for you. Kahh says while he doesn’t believe either direction ages women, it’s important to look at the structure of the face. “A side part can show off a woman’s jawline and cheekbones, but the center part can hide a more round-shaped face,” he says. Something to keep in mind when looking for a youthful style: Because the middle part delivers an elongating illusion to the face, it can also sometimes make a face look droopy.
If a middle part looks a little harsh against your facial structure, Rivera suggests slightly adjusting your part to be placed a bit off center. “Or, if you want to go more extreme, a deeper side part can be softer and balance out facial shapes and features serving to compliment.”
The Volume Battle
Parting hair to one side delivers double the volume to the area, leaving middle-parted strands lacking the same height. To keep strands from falling flat, opt for a texturizing spray to help create body. Kahh says he typically uses OGX Aspen Extract Texture Dry Texture Finishing Spray ($9) on dry hair and back combs the hair slightly to give it “a bit more life.” For a protective option that adds grit and hold, add a pump of Oribe Imperial Blowout Transformative Styling Crème ($68) to damp hair and style as usual.
For a quicker tweak, Rivera recommends moving your part slightly off to the right or left of your center part. “This slight adjustment will give the hair just a bit of volume, making it appear fuller.”
How to Style A Middle Part
After speaking with the pros, it’s clear the possibilities are endless when styling a middle part. Dear says big, bold Hollywood-Glam curls would pair beautifully with a middle part, as would your natural texture. Kahh agrees, and says a sleek, straight look—be sure to finish the ends of the hair with a lightweight hair oil like the Frizz-Reducing Hair Oil by Prose ($48)—or subtle waves are his go-to styles.