The Grace Kelly-inspired sideswept hair of the 1950’s; the part-free bouffants of the 1960’s; the stark and straight middle parts of the 1970’s: they’re all proof that when it comes to style, your part matters. You might not think much when separating your wet, fresh-out-of-the-shower strands, but here at MDC we’ve become fascinated by the influence your part can have on your complete look. From romantic to bohemian to sophisticated, every look is waiting for you at the tip of that fine-toothed comb. To help us dissect which parts are best for different hair types and face shapes, we caught up with Michael Van Clarke, London-based hair stylist and founder of the 3 More Inches line.
Consider Growth Patterns
When it comes time to pick your part, Van Clarke recommends you consider both “strength and direction of growth pattern and face shape.” Not sure what your growth pattern is? “You can see the direction of growth by looking at the crown. It grows in a spiral and will lay flatter and easier in alignment with root direction. Longer hair has more flexibility and weight behind it so root directions have less of a bearing. Strong kinks and fringes are usually pretty obvious and can dictate the direction the hair should lay. But you can work against it with product or heat styling or chemical straighteners,” Van Clarke says.
Flatter Your Bone Structure
Different parts can also flatter your face in a variety of ways. Though it can be difficult to generalize, here’s Van Clarke’s starting point for part suggestions.
Round Face: Opt for a “center part.” A middle part “can have a lengthening effect,” Van Clarke says, which makes this style great if you’d like to slim out your face. Center parts are also a great way to create the illusion of more defined cheekbones.
Square Face: To soften your jawline and forehead, choose a “high side part,” which is just slightly off center, Van Clark suggests. The long layers created by a side part will fall diagonally across the face, hiding harsher angles.
Oval Face: Though an oval face works well with a variety of parts, one great option is a “low side part.” A deep side part will create the illusion that your face is wider, balancing out a long face.
Heart Face: This face shape looks great with a “high side part,” Van Clarke says. Creating your hair just off the center of your head will create balance in your features, which is ideal if you have a strong chin or jawline.
Make a Change
“These days any cleverly personalized and unique look can be worn if the wearer is confident,” Van Clarke says. So if the suggestions above aren’t what you’re in the mood for, switch it up! “Play around in the mirror, ask your hairdresser to experiment. It may take time to resettle and if it goes against strong growth patterns it may require more work. But pretty much anything is possible if you're prepared to put the time in,” Van Clarke says.
Time, effort and consistency in order to make a change? Ah, such is life.
MDC Tip: When switching your part, bobby pins can work wonders. After blow-drying your hair in the newly desired direction, pin the resistant strands down while you finish getting ready to keep weird kinks from acting up.
What’s your hair part of choice these days? Do you switch it up or keep it consistent? Let us know below!