You’ve been parting your hair wrong this whole time

woman with curly hair

“A woman who cuts her
hair is about to change her life,” the celebrated Coco Chanel once
said. But, what about a woman who changes her part? If you’ve ever
attempted to flip your hair from the left to the right, or vice versa, you
likely had a hard time adjusting to your new look. It’s amazing the difference
something so simple can have.
When Byrdie asked celebrity
hairstylist Mika Fowler for her professional opinion on the best and
most flattering parts for the varying face shapes, she obliged. “If
you have a round shape, the ideal part line is down the middle or a deep side
part,” she said. For those with oblong faces, she recommended a middle
part. While this information is certainly helpful, there’s more to know about
parting your hair than just the shape of your face. And, please don’t shoot the
messenger, but there’s a good chance you’ve been parting your hair wrong for a
very, very long time. Here’s why.
natural part

woman coming wet hair with fingers
The first action you need to
take to figure out how you should be parting your hair is super simple. Instead
of analyzing your face in the mirror, trying to decipher if its more heart-
than round-shaped, just take a shower. Okay, a little more is involved than
just washing your hair, but still. “Comb back your wet hair with your
fingers,” hairstylist Paul Warren explained to Refinery29, “and then
push forward with your palm at the crown of your head.” According to the
accomplished celebrity stylist, your hair will then “split where it
naturally falls.”
Gone are the days of having to
pick a part according to what’s most “flattering.” While Warren
admitted that “the [face-shape guide] was a nice rubric,” he doesn’t
think it matters these days. That’s right, ladies. Instead of scouring Google
images to find how celebrities who might have a similar face shape to yours
have parted their hair, you can simply rock your au naturel part. And isn’t
that just so much simpler? 
through trial and error

woman blow-drying hair
While it’s true that you don’t
have to do much more than embrace your natural part, you may want to try
something different. And try you may. Not to compare your luscious locks to a
dog, but the wonderful thing about hair is that, for the most part, it can
be trained to do as you say. Hair colorist and popular YouTuber Silvia Reis
(aka Ellebangs) advised women to experiment with different parts.
“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 said when speaking to
Unlike hairstylist Paul
Warren, Reis does still think it’s important to pick a part that flatters your
face so she recommends paying attention to how the part “calls attention
to your features.” Arguably the best part of switching up your part
is how easy it is to do. “It’s a simple thing that takes two seconds, but
it can completely change your hairstyle,” said Reis. She isn’t wrong.
parts aren’t just for kids

woman with center-parted hair
When’s the last time you
parted your hair down the middle? For some, the idea of trying out this classic
part can be downright frightening. We get it. “Middle-parts get a rap for
looking young because, usually, you see middle-parts on young girls,” Paul
Warren told Refinery29. While the style may often be associated with little
ones, women who embrace the middle part past childhood can end up looking up
way more avant-garde than juvenile.
A great way to play up the
middle part, according to Warren, is with long straight bangs framing your
face. Think: Brigitte Bardot circa late 1960s. Though, if you are one of the
(lucky) ones who has managed to maintain a youthful appearance through
adulthood, a middle part might just take even more years off your look. Since
you probably want to look sophisticated, not childish, a middle part may be
best left to others in this case.
parts are hard to pull off

Kim Kardashian with center part
It’s not solely women with
youthful-looking faces that struggle with the middle part. You might even say
that, for some women, the middle part is their great white whale. And, we’ll be
honest with you, not everyone can pull off the middle part — no matter how hard
they chase after it.
Parting your hair down the
center à la Kim Kardashian can make for a severe and stunning style, but what
works for her may not work for us. Silvia Reis told InStyle that the middle
part “can be the least forgiving” of them all. Especially
“if there are any uneven areas on the face, as it can call attention to
them.” Reis went on to explain that separating your hair down the middle
can also exaggerate the shape of a long face. 
Still, if you’re determined to
pull off this look, you can try a modified center part of sorts
by sectioning your hair just slightly off center. “It throws the eye
off, so nothing looks out of balance, but gives off the illusion of a center
part,”  Reis explained.
your curls do their own thing

woman with red curly hair

Taming lions is impressive,
sure, but have you ever tried to tame a wild mane? Now that’s a circus. If
you are blessed — or as some would say cursed — with spirally tresses, you’ve
undoubtedly spent a good chunk of time trying to get them to lay a certain way,
even if that meant a bunch of heat treatments. While embracing your natural
hair seems almost too easy, that’s exactly what some hairstylists recommend.
“Let them fall wherever
they go,” celebrity hairstylist Tommy Buckett told Allure, “It looks
more modern when they’re messy anyway.” So, if your hair naturally falls
left, right, or center — or even some combination of the three — don’t fret. We
promise you it looks amazing.
Of course, that’s not to say
you’re stuck with your natural part. If you do decide you want to try something
different, there’s a way. When speaking to Glamour, celebrity hairstylist Jenny
Cho recommended parting your hair while it’s wet as this will make it last
much longer. As an extra defense, comb your locks with leave-in conditioner and
apply your preferred curl cream, working from root to tip.
even a Hair Part Theory

woman with curly hair
Once upon a time in the late
’90s, two Manhattan-based siblings, John Walter, a physics and computer
science expert, and Catherine Walter, who has a background in cultural
anthropology, came up with an interesting idea: the Hair Part Theory.
The theory (via The Atlantic)
states, in part: “The way a person parts [his or her] hair is related to
many subconscious associations when assessed by others.” The Walters’
believe that these behavioral cycles in turn affect “personality
development.” The theory suggests that parting your hair on the left would
call attention to the processes of the brain’s left hemisphere, like logic.
Likewise, parting your hair on the right would call attention to the right
hemisphere processes, like creativity. Left hemisphere processes are also seen
as more masculine, while the right are considered “natural” for
women, says the Walters.
“Margaret Thatcher’s
left-side part supposedly enhanced her aura of strength and will,” wrote
The Atlantic. Whereas Robert Kennedy, with his right-side part, gave him an
“intriguingly soft dimension.” Change your part, change your life?
part is “universally flattering”

woman with hair parted on side
There is one part, in
particular, that hair expert Silvia Reis says is “universally
flattering”: the side part. Even Jenny Cho, the stylist who gave her
face shape-based recommendations to Byrdie, insists that this part will work
with a variety of face shapes, including round, oval, square, heart, and
diamond. Basically, everyone can make the side part work for them. 
“If you have a stronger
brow, part your hair to show that off as more of the face is exposed on that
side,” Reis suggested to InStyle. If you’re nervous to dive into the deep
side part trend, Reis highlighted a diagonal alternative. Parting your hair on
the side, while also diagonally, enables you to get the sweeping, tousled style
you love while still allowing the left, right, and even back sections of your
hair to remain evenly distributed. Plus, it looks amazing. 
super fine to super fly

Cameron Diaz
If you have fine hair, it’s
safe to say you’ve used many a volumizer in your lifetime. While there’s really
no substitute for a good hair product, a part can actually make a huge
difference on its own. That is, the deep side part. When speaking with Allure,
hairstylist Nathaniel Hawkins recommended beginning your part in line with the
center of your iris and then moving diagonally toward your crown. He explained
his reasoning, saying, “This allows you to have fullness on one side while
still creating an even distribution of hair.”
This same trick will also work
if your hair is starting to thin. A deep side part adds both fullness and
volume, hairstylist Dana Caschetta told Today. In addition to parting your hair
off to one side, blow-drying your hair in a flat-wrapping fashion will also add
body. Devin Graciano, founder and CEO of Use Me Hair, explained,
saying “Think of this as blowing your hair in a comb-over from ear to ear,
alternating sides.” It may sound silly, but it’ll look great.
with, not against, your cowlick

Kate Bosworth
Despite their cutesy nickname,
cowlicks can be totally frustrating. Surprisingly, nearly everyone has a
cowlick — though, to varying degrees. The reason for this is fairly simple.
“In a perfect world, there would be a line so hair would know which way to
go,” Orr Barak, a dermatologist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston,
Massachusetts, told NBC News. Instead, a cowlick creates its own center point —
its crosshairs, if you will — and that is where your hair will change
directions. No matter what you do, that cowlick is going to resist.
Hairline cowlicks can pose a
particularly challenging problem because of where they are located on the
scalp. Although hairstylist Tommy Buckett acknowledges the annoyance, he told
Allure you still “have to part hair the way the cowlick’s going.”
While it may sound counterintuitive, this will actually enable your cowlick to
hide in plain sight. Okay, cowlick, you win this round. 
Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.