These days we can’t help hearing about the ‘war’ between Millennials and Gen Z’s regarding the best way to wear a part. The truth of the matter is, it doesn’t matter how old you are or what generation you belong to. What we can agree on is that we all want to express ourselves in the best, most flattering way possible.
Leave the generation gap aside and consider that it’s not about when you were born, but what you were born with that matters. Whether you are #teamsidepart or #teamcenterpart or even #teamnopart, we can each benefit from knowing the do’s and don’ts for our face shape.
The first step is to determine what face shape you have. If you don’t already know, tie back your hair and look at yourself in the mirror. If you can’t tell just by looking, use a lipstick or eyeliner on the mirror to trace what you see. Generally speaking, we all fit into one of these categories:
Oval – the ‘ideal’ face shape prominent cheek bones and a slightly tapered chin
Square – prominent jaw; forehead, cheek bones and jawline are similar in width
Round – face width and length are almost the same, wide cheeks
Oblong/Rectangular – like the oval or square with elongated length
Heart – widow’s peak; prominent forehead with strong taper down to chin
Diamond – rarest of all shapes; prominent and angular widest at temples
An Oval face shape can wear both the center or side part easily as pretty much any style flatters this face shape.
Do: Add a little texture to enhance your favorite features or playfully place color to accentuate your eyes, cheeks or lips – whatever is your favorite!
Don’t: Shorten the face with too heavy a fringe. Keep it piecey and light if wearing a center part, angular and gently sideswept if parting on the side.
Blessed with a strong jawbone, a square face shape can be softened with diagonal lines and adding texture.
Do: Rock a side part to draw interest to your cheekbones or sport a center part by tucking each side behind your ears. For both, add soft texture at or below the ears to accentuate your best, most prominent feature.
Don’t: Wear strong, straight lines such as one-length long hair without layers or a strong, solid fringe that could further accentuate the square shape you are trying to soften.
Opposite the oblong face, the round face shape requires the eye to be drawn vertically.
Do: Offset the shape with diagonal lines wearing a low side part while tucking the opposite side behind your ear; Wear a center part with a curtain bang, releasing tendrils around the face when tying the hair back to create the illusion of length.
Don’t: Wear a one-length bob that ends at the jawline or slick back the hair too tightly.
The objective with an oblong face shape is to shorten it to be more oval-like and to create width by drawing the eye side-to-side.
Do: Shorten the appearance of the face with a diagonal line, creating asymmetry with a side part or when choosing a center part, a solid fringe.
Don’t: Accentuate length by wearing long hair with a center part without creating waves, texture or piques of interest along the way.
A heart-shaped face can often be identified by killer cheekbones, a narrow sometimes pointy chin and widow’s peak.
Do: Wear a side part with a heavy, side-swept fringe that draws attention to your eyes and visually lifts your cheekbones; when wearing a center part, push or pin back either one or both sides of your hair to create width at the jawline.
Don’t: Elongate or accentuate a narrow face with long, one length hair without creating width either with layers, texture or volume.
Unique and special like the gem, the diamond face shape is the rarest and arguably most desirable of all face shapes. The features are highly angular with the greatest width at the temples.
Do: Create asymmetry with a deep side part and lob haircut that slightly curves toward the chin; play off your angles by wearing hair with a center part and soft voluminous waves creating width at and below the cheekbones.
Don’t: Wear a heavy solid fringe as it could make the face shape appear triangular.
So forget about the hype around side part vs center part or the viral TikTok craze #middlepartchallenge. In reality yes, hair trends have come and gone, and come again, but the part you choose to wear, should really be the one that flatters your face shape and accentuates the features you love about yourself the most.