Contrary to what TikTok trends may have you believe, side parts are not dead. They’re fun, they’re glam, and they’re not going anywhere. Side parts also fall in a spectrum of sorts: They can range from a barely off-center divide to an exaggerated curvature. Point being? Your side part is yours and you can customize it however you please.
Although, if you’re a side part newbie curious about how to flatter your face shape (yes, hair parts play a big role), here’s how experts recommend mapping the placement.
Where to place a natural side part.
So you’ve chosen to give the gorgeous side part a whirl, and you have your tools at the ready. But where should the divide begin? Take this tip from celebrity hairstylist Marcus Francis: “A good guideline would be the arch of the eyebrow,” he once told mbg about parting the hair. Then you simply take your tail comb and trace it from the arch, upward into the hairline. And there you have it: A natural side part.
See, the highest peak of your brow lands diagonally from your nostril and edge of your iris—so by placing your part right above that point, you’re mapping the divide based on your features (your eyes and nose), which adds some symmetry to your look. It almost looks like your part should land in that spot, even if the strands naturally fall someplace else. And because not everyone’s eyebrows have the same shape, your side part may appear more or less deep than a friend’s—again, side parts cast a wide net, but this trick accentuates your features best.
After you map out the placement, follow the steps to secure the side part: Spritz your styler of choice along the side of hair that wants to go the other way, comb it down, and work the product into the follicles. To air-dry, secure the stubborn side with a few hair clips. “The setting clips are key for this style to prevent the section of hair from separating,” Francis adds.
For extra hold, take a paddle brush or round brush and create tension on one side of your part. Take a blow dryer and aim it at the scalp area (on a low heat setting, so as not to cause damage). Pull it away every five to 10 seconds to let it cool, then repeat on the other side of your part.
Bonus tip: If you fancy a no-fuss, half-up half-down style, you can slice through the strands above each eyebrow. Gather the hair at the crown and secure with an elastic or clip.
At the end of the day, you can choose whichever way to part your hair. If you do elect for a side part, though, perhaps map the divide right above the arch of your eyebrow. According to experts, the symmetrical placement can flatter your features.