How to Transition to a Middle Part, According to the Pros

November 23, 2020
Samantha Holender
By: Samantha Holender | by L'Oréal
PSA: The middle part is back. I personally held my deep side hair part in high regard, and hey, I even gave bangs a shot a few years back. But after seeing center parts making a comeback, I decided it was time to give the straight-down-the-center style a second chance. To get some tips on how to transition to a new part and avoid unwanted flyaways, I turned to Nick Stenson, artistic director for Matrix.

TIP 1: Prep the Hair  

When styling your hair — with a center part or otherwise — it’s going to be easiest to do so when wet. “This helps reform the hair’s hydrogen bonds allowing it to take its new shape,” says Stenson. “Then part it and use a volumizer before drying to provide style memory.” One of his favorites is the Biolage Hydra Foaming Styler. For a drugstore option, try the Garnier Fructis Style Mega Full Thickening Lotion

TIP 2: Find the Line 

Creating a middle part that falls straight back instead of zig-zagging left and right can be tricky — trust me, I’ve tried it. Thankfully Stenson has an easy hack. “My favorite tip for finding a middle part is to lay a tail comb vertically on the nose and rock it back into the hair line,” he says. “From there, slide the comb back through the hair to create the perfectly centered middle part.” 

TIP 3: Dry Into Place 

Once the part is perfect, it’s best to blow dry the style into place to preserve volume and help hair fall in the intended direction. “Once your style is in place, wrap a scarf tightly around your part for a few minutes to help press the style into place for the day,” says Stenson. This will help train the hair to stay in a center part and control flyaways or cowlicks. 

TIP 4: Grab Hairspray 

Even after setting the style with a scarf, it’s possible to have a few pesky hairs — especially in the front — that won’t stay put. One way to get them down? Spray some hairspray into your hands or on a brush and smooth out the resistant hairs. “Clear mascara is also a great hack for flyaways that need a little more of a direct hold,” says Stenson. 

TIP 5: Give It Time 

In a dream world, hair responds right away to a change of part. In reality, it’s going to take some time for hair to naturally fall down the center. “Some could see the hair more apt to hold the parting within a couple weeks, but if you have a strong natural part determined by the direction of hair growth you’ll have to work with it for a longer time,” says Stenson. 

TIP 6: Consult With Your Stylist 

If a middle part doesn’t seem to be flattering your face or laying properly, make an appointment with your stylist. While a new haircut may be an easy fix, it’s also possible that a slightly off-center part will better suit your face shape. “Though middle parts are trending now, some faces will be more complemented by a sweeping side part or slightly off-center part,” says Stenson. “Middle parts often reduce the subtle volume that would live around the face, so it can make small faces appear even smaller and wide faces a bit wider.” 

Photo: Samantha Holender

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